The mid-century modern movement of the 1950s and early ‘60s is hot (thank you, Mad Men). Homes with sleek, clean lines of wood, brick, and stone siding and walls of glass were the “cat’s meow”. But not all homes built in the mid-century were necessarily modern – just plain, old-fashioned mid-century. Some of us (or maybe just me!) want to celebrate the quaint “Average Joe” mid-century homes (not the Eichler’s or Neutra’s of the world).
Post-war neighborhoods were expanding beyond their urban borders. Cities’ rural “outskirts” soon became in-city hotbeds for builders. However, in many cities like Seattle, these builders did not have the luxury of large swaths of land to build upon. Parcels were divvied up to accommodate post-war population growth, and modest homes built for families who wanted close proximity to jobs and shopping (e.g., Northgate Mall for all you Seattlites).
Mid-century homes, built between 1945 – 1965, modestly emulated the modern architecture’s mantra of “living within nature.” No walls of glass like their suburban counterparts, but large windows to bring in the sunlight and brick exteriors for energy-efficiency made mid-century homes a “dream come true” city dwellers.
So, are you mid-century (the Cleavers) or mid-century modern (the Jetsons)?