You see them sometimes sprinkled among traditionally constructed Ramblers, Ranches and Cape Cods, with their flat roofs, more windows than walls and funky shapes. It’s that mid- (20th) century modern look that came on strong after World War II and lasted several decades.
It’s a style probably best known in Palm Springs, Calif., (where this year’s Modernism Week festivities begin Feb. 13), and it’s definitely OK to dislike this kind of architecture, because if any type of home construction could define the phrase “it’s not for everyone,” this particular style often screams it.
But for those in the D.C. area who want to explore a true postwar architecture movement, a few neighborhoods are worth a look and might even throw you back in time like a good Dave Brubeck or Bill Evans jazz recording.
The interesting shapes and sizes are worth seeing on a nice Sunday drive. If it’s the type of house you’re in the market for, let us know and we’ll give you up to $2,000 if we help you buy the place!
One of the area’s most popular mid-century modern neighborhoods is Hollin Hills, located just a few minutes south of Old Town, Alexanria. Part of its great appeal is the wooded and hilly backdrop on which most of the homes sit.
For those looking for ease to reach the north side of Washington, D.C., don’t miss the Carderock Springs neighborhood in Bethesda, Md., a great alternative.
Hammond Wood is a great place to check out Silver Spring, Md.’s contributions to the mid-century modern look, also with its heavy woods and modernist appeal.
For some, this type of architecture might be an acquired taste. For others, it’s just some really cool-looking houses. Overall, they were built by some creative cats who took a form and put their own stamp on it.
Speaking of form, stamps and creative cats, check out Bill Evans performing in what appears a mid-century modern living room in Finland around 1969. And here’s Dave Brubeck offering up this mid-century hit.