From LIFE: The Bowman Residence by Paul Hayden Kirk   2 comments

From Google’s LIFE Photo Archives is the Bowman Residence located in Kirkland, Washington. Photographed in June 1958 by Nat Farbman:

From University of Washington – Dearborn-Massar Collection:


Paul H. Kirk bio on Docomomo WEWA

From University of Washington – Dearborn-Massar Collection

Posted April 14, 2010 by mcarch in General

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Wilt “The Stilt” and His House on the Hill   15 comments

Ready for a another athlete’s home? You already got an insider’s view of Willie Mays’ pad from the 60s, so let’s see how Wilt “The Stilt” Chamberlain pushed the limits of mod living as shown in Life from March 24, 1972 and the January 1974 issue of Ebony. The architect was David Tenneson Rich who has the story of his involvement on his site.

Here’s more info from Big Time Listings when the house was sold in 2007:

“Built in 1971, the five-bedroom, 7,158-square-foot contemporary-style house at 15216 Antelo Place in Bel-Air was built by Chamberlain, who lived there until his death in 1999. TV writers George Meyer and Maria Semple purchased the house from Chamberlain’s estate in 2002 for nearly $3 million, and have owned it ever since. The house has attracted much attention over the years—both with this listing and in 2000-2002, when Chamberlain’s estate was trying to unload it, first for $7.45 million and later reducing its asking price to $4.38 million. The house’s unconventional (some might say tacky) features include a gold-lined hot tub, a retractable mirrored ceiling above the master bed, a swimming pool that flows into the living room, walls of glass, 40-foot ceilings, a wrap-around pool, and a balcony suspended over the living room, according to listing information. Other features include five and a half baths and teak finishes, according to listing information.

The house sits on a 2.58-acre parcel that has ocean and city views, according to public records and listing information.”

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Posted January 31, 2010 by mcarch in General

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Idea House II (1947)   4 comments

Here we have a home designed and built 63 years ago (1947) by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis (designed by William Friedman and Hilde Reiss, Walker staff members, and local architect Malcolm Lein). It was part of a program to demonstrate the museum director’s “art-in-use” belief that a house should be art and that art could be functional.
In 1948, Life magazine selected an average American family to live in the house and provide feedback on modern living. The Stensrud family (Rockwell, Janet, Susan & Rocky Jr), moved from their conventional home to live modern for a week.
Even though they had issues with some elements of modernism, such as not enough decoration, it seems that they were taken by the openness and the connection with the outdoors. It made them realize that their traditional home was poorly planned with dark, boxy rooms.
What I like about this house is that there are no futuristic gadgets or unobtainable materials. It is a straightforward demonstration of what modern architecture in houses could be. It’s a shame that got lost somewhere.
I wonder if this could be done today? It seems strange, but an average 21st Century family living in a traditional home would probably have the same experience if they lived for a week in a modern house.
Enjoy the pictures and the articles below. The first set is from the Oct. 18, 1948 issue of Life with photos by Joseph Scherschel. The second set comes out of McCall’s Book of Modern Homes (1951).

Click on the pics for the whole set on Flickr, where you can view much larger versions:

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Big D Mid Century Modern by Prinz & Brooks   3 comments

Here’s a gem that was on the Dallas market a year or two ago. This is (was) the Hayes Residence, designed by Harold E. Prinz and LeVere Brooks in 1956. Recently, I discovered some b&w pics taken when the house was new, so I decided to do a little then and now comparison. The b&w photos are by Maynard Parker and are from the Huntington Library. Clicking on the b&w pics will get you a high-res shot and the color ones will take you to my Prinz & Brooks Flickr set to see more.

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Say Hey, It’s Willie Mays’ Hillside Pad   9 comments

From the pages of Ebony, August 1963 is phototour of Willie Mays‘ mod house. It’s interesting to see the mix of styles in here, particularly Willie’s bedroom. It goes to show that not everyone who lived in a Modern home filled it with furniture by Eames, Nelson, Knoll, etc.

The home was constructed by speculative builder Al Maisin and even though the article says an architect was involved they don’t mention his name.

The house still exists, but I couldn’t find any other details. Here’s what Google Maps shows. I’ve included some snapshots from Google at the bottom of the page.

Click on each pic for a larger view


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Rare Morris Lapidus House in WSJ. Magazine   Leave a comment

The Wall Street Journal is featuring one of the three residences that Lapidus designed. Take a look:

WSJ. Magazine -The House That Lapidus Built



More Links about Morris Lapidus:

The Luxury of Lapidus Glamour, Class, and Architecture in Miami Beach

Lapidus Resurrected

Hiding in Plain Sight (3) – Matsumoto’s Lipman Residence   5 comments

Another one of our favorites here is George Masumoto’s Lipman Residence. Located in Richmond, Virginia, it was built in 1957. This “split-level” was included in the book Contemporary Houses Evaluated by Their Owners (1961). Here’s a pdf of that article: background-of-simplicity-lipman-residence-matsumoto

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