5 Coolest Mid Century Modern Houses
The five coolest mid-century modern houses include designs from well-known architects. Cool is in the eye of the beholder, but some homes simply take your breath away, regardless of the style. Mid-century modern house is used to describe homes built after World War II and through the mid-1960s. Some folks classify anything boomerang or space-age looking as cool mid-century modern, but technically, that's not an accurate classification since items made in the 1970s may also have the mid-century look. The exact dates for mid-century home design are the source of argument for some folks who need to get out more. Accessories and furnishings give a feel of mid-century, but a house designed and maintained in mid-century styling is the ultimate tribute to the genre. The coolest mid-century structures have kept the integrity of the design, restored the home or maintained the house since it was constructed and, in some cases, the owners have decorated the interior with period items.
- The Shulman House: The late, great Julius Shulman was a photographer who had a keen eye for style and knew his architecture. His own home was designed in 1950 by architect Raphael Soriano, a name to be remembered for mid-century cool. Mr. Schulman died in 2009, but at the age of 98, he had plenty of years to put together and approve the use of his photographs in a host of books celebrating mid-century modern houses. His cool home is a well-known icon of the mid-century home design and at the top of the five coolest mid-century modern houses list.
- The Stahl House, also known as Case Study House #22: The Case Study houses were designed to show everyone else what cool should look like. You'll recognize this house from film and television. Some ad campaigns never enter the house but feature images of the outside and the coolest pool overlooking the LA skyline. It's such an iconic image that Homer Simpson made a pilgrimage to the house in the "Homer the Whopper" episode.
- Eichler Houses: Architect and builder Joseph Eichler developed tracts of Eichler homes. While the square footage and details vary from tract to tract, an Eichler is clearly recognizable from the design. Flat or sloped roofs, exposed wood ceilings and the enclosed home atrium are hallmarks of Eichler's style. There are several famous Eichler tracts in California, notably in Fullerton, Orange and San Mateo, so if you're looking for an Eichler you may need to move to the western sunshine state. For purists who refuse to leave the eastern U.S., there are three Eichler homes in New York State.
- The Booth House: Philip Johnson's 1946 house constructed for the Booth Family was the first official commission of the noted mid-century architect. Johnson studied under architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and held the post of founding Director of the Department of Architecture at the Museum of Modern Art, known as MoMA, in New York City. The Booth House is located in Bedford, New York and was finished in 1946. The rectangular design and windows bring the outside into the cool home, exposing the large trees and greenery around the home.
- The Glass House: This house is another Philip Johnson mid-century classic. It is virtually a house made of glass, thus, the name. This was Johnson's personal residence in New Canaan, Connecticut. The Glass House, completed in 1949, was donated to the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1986 and was opened to the public for viewing in 2007. This house makes many a five coolest mid-century modern house list. The Glass House is well worth traveling to for a visit.
Webb, Michael. "Modernism Reborn: Mid-Century American Houses." 2001.
Shulman, Julius and Peter Gossel. "Julius Shulman: Architecture and its Photography." 1999.