TU real estate reporter Leigh Hornbeck has started a monthly column, “Architexture” that describes the hallmarks of different styles in residential architecture. November’s focus was Mid-Century and here’s what she had to say:
Mid-century modern architecture is characterized by flat planes and open space. At the time, post World War II to the 1960s, these homes were referred to as “contemporary,” a term now reserved for houses under construction and built in the last 20 years. The ranch design was introduced during the time, but the houses made popular by Frank Lloyd Wright, called Prairie houses, are rare in the Northeast because of their flat roofs. Mid-century modern contrasted sharply with its predecessors because of its simplicity. Victorian styles celebrated ornamentation, but the architects that designed the new post-war style wanted simplicity, homes that could be built quickly and blended with their surroundings.
Prominent architects include Wright, Edward Durell Stone, who designed the uptown campus of the University at Albany, and Philip Johnson, whose colleague John Johansen designed 222 Juniper Drive in Rotterdam (below).
Wright’s Frederick C. Robie House on the campus of the University of Chicago is a famous example of mid-century modern architecture. Albany has a few examples of Lustron houses — prefabricated steel houses that illustrated the drive in the United States to build simple houses, quickly.
Places & Spaces, Leigh’s blog on local real estate is at: http://blog.timesunion.com/realestate/