35 Responses

  1. maritzaq rodriguez

    Mid-century modern age also brought Eichler x- 100 a steel framed propotype home In the hills of San Mateo, which is still standing. It also brought homes by Wallace Harrison, and marcel breuer.

    In addition it brought household objects, from furniture to lamps and radios. Charles eames for one who created chairs with lots of form and lines along with his wife Ray who was his most critical critic made it a requirement that their furniture became affordable to the average homeowner rather then the wealthy elite. There was also a japanese disigner and sculptor Isamu Noguchi, a giant of Mid-century modern design for both Knoll and Herman Miller. His famous three piece wood and glass table from 1948 has been a mainstay of miller;s catalog for more than half a century,

    When there is talk of mid-century architecuture in Long Island, director Jake Gorst is the highlight of conversation. He made a documentaryin 1980 called Modern Tide on the mid-century modern age homes left in Long Island. The documentation included architects Frank LLoyd, Albert Frey and Wallace Harrison to name a few. This documentation is to bring awareness and appreciation for such architecture. Many have been lost to new construction and natural disaster. An awareness that he hope will save the remaining mid-century homes.

    Mid-Century modern age is not one of my favorites, but the preservation of the remaining homes is a concern it has represents a set of value to many.


  2. maritzaq rodriguez

    submitted my post before typing in my reference site. Which is


    the year 1980 on blog is incorrect the year should be 2012 thats when the documentary was done by Jake Gorst. AN ARCHITECT AND PRESERVATIONIST

  3. Clair Brown

    Midcentury modern has its place in American history with its minimalistic style with colorful accents. I think it is probably viewed by some as comfortable with low seating, soft carpet and a few splashes of wall décor. Colors I think of are white, reds, greens, browns, blues and yellows. There are several neighborhoods and businesses in Titusville that have the similar style. One neighborhood is the Royal Oak Golf community which blossomed in the early sixties. Low angled roofs and geometric columns and accents are still popular and often have renovations that remain true to the style. A couple of years ago, Firestone Auto repair in Titusville relocated from a similar style building which appears to me to have been an original filling station with large front overhangs and very large angled glass front windows. It is now a shop of a local artist who has clearly maintained the original architecture with quite a bit of color.
    I remember RCA radios and tube televisions with knobs for channels and volume. At one time, RCA owned NBC and eventually General Electric bought RCA and acquired NBC. I also remember eating at the Burger Inn in Melbourne in the early 90’s and there is also an original curb service restaurant remaining in Titusville called the Moon-Light Drive-In Restaurant. This concept was part of the original downtown community that favored pulling close up to a business to enjoy the kitchen-bar feel from the vehicle. The look is totally midcentury as the exterior walls of the restaurant are black and white checkered with yellow trim around its curbing.

  4. Bryan Mozo

    Mid-Century Modern design is easily one of my favorite design styles. I’ve always loved the bold colors and dramatic shapes. I especially love the furniture designs, I’ve always been really interested in furniture design in general I really love all the famous designs that were built during the mid-century modern era that are still so very popular today.
    Both of my parents grew up in Daytona Beach in mid-century modern homes very similar to the ones that you described in Satellite Beach. Driving through their old neighborhoods is very much like stepping back into a 50’s-60’s era. My mom’s side of the family actually moved down to Daytona when my Grandfather got a job at the Space Center.
    Speaking of the Burger Inn, I actually have been going to school with the owner’s son since Junior High. Even though we used to hang out and the Burger Inn’s been literally 5 minutes away from my house I still have never eaten there.
    I really love another mid-century eatery down the street from the Burger Inn, Mustard’s Last Stand has been one of my family’s favorite places to eat for years and years now. They have one location on US-1 south of Eau Gallie and a newer location in Downtown Melbourne. They have some of the best Hot Dogs I’ve ever eaten and a very kitschy old Florida roadside eatery interior.

  5. Bill Frondorf

    Excellent article..found this by accident.

    Since I grew up in Daytona/Titusville in the ’50’s/’60’s, I can appreciate the styles and details depicted in the article. We lived in a new home in Titusville of the style of the home with the flag in front…Low pitched roof with no texture, volume ceiling in the living room, a great feature wall built with brick fro the old Capitol in Tallahassee, and of course..TERRAZZO!

    I went on to restore properties in Savannah, Ga. for many years, but have never lost my appreciation for the stuff I grew up with. Having moved to Stuart, I’ve gotten away from the row houses and frame Victorians of Savannah, and have renewed my appreciation of our local housing stock, from Florida vernacular to Bungalows to quirky roadside “kitsch”.

    On of the most difficult aspects of historic preservation is educating the public about its merits. We’re not an old area..Titusville to Stuart developed progressively, first as the boats came down the lagoon, then rapidly as Flaglers railroad and highways made Florida more accessible. Early construction was pretty primitive, consisting of structures built with local materials. Often there was no discernible “style”, and certainly little ornate detailing. This gave way to a succession of styles and materials, including my favorite..”boom days”. Brevard county was fortunate to be the home of “the Cape”, which brought high tech to your once quiet fishing and citrus communities. Intermixed with simple frame buildings on palmetto pilings along the river came tract housing with with modern design and features (and horrid “pullman kitchens”).

    Every day, another simple icon from a past period disappears. Of course we can’t preserve everything, and shouldn’t attempt to, but it’s reassuring that there are others out there who share my concerns about losing all examples of these everyday structures.

    So, the challenge is..developing an understanding in the public about these little appreciated aspects of our economic development. My opinion is..these are our architectural senior citizens, and it is our responsibility to care for them and look after them. Without them, we wouldn’t know where we came from.

  6. coral moyle

    I actually do like the mid- century modern style. I feel it is very unique and different because it’s different shapes, colors, and textures that you don’t usually think to use. When I lived in Palm Bay, a lot of the older homes had the midcentury style. When driving through one neighborhood specifically all the homes were built almost the same long rectangular one store homes, with a carport and small one car garage. Though they all had the same stricter the styles and colors were all unique there wasn’t one house that was the same style as the next one. You had mentioned the Brady bunch which as a child I had watched all the time, and the décor inside is what I would think would be in these homes though there home was a bit bigger than most of the homes I had seen in the neighborhood. But I could see the retro table and lights hanging in the homes, though you can’t judge a book by its cover. I love the furniture that is pictured, its retro but modern still; I think my favorite piece is the coffee table. When I was younger my parents had a similar one with the same shape, but the bottom was a little different. The clock I have seen before at stores, I feel this style of furniture is kid of popular now. The burger inn reminds me a lot of sonic, which I love to go to because it feels like you have stepped back in time with the design and the roller skates and the car service. I feel like it would be cool to go back in to time.

  7. Kathleen Miron

    I am all too familiar with the Midcenutry Modern Era as I watched my mother decorate into the sixties leaving remnants of the fifties to blend. The changing of styles into Midcentury Modern I think were intimidated to some people. We had a modern kitchen in olive green that opened up to the dining room with all the latest, a trash compactor, a built in toaster, a counter with seating on both sides, not a traditional table. We always had company and I remember most people seemed to be afraid or questionable about my home.
    My father served in WWII and as we settled into our home my mother kept a close eye on the existence of Levittown, a nearby community and their growth. We always knew someone who lived there and we visited them. These homes and the people who lived in them were a statement of progress through Midcentury Modern. Levittown, New York is a Post WWII town (1947-1951), the homes were built by William Levitt and sons to offer affordable housing to soldiers and their families when these men returned home from the war.
    After William Levitt and sons finished their project in New York they proceeded to Titusville,Fl. There are some houses around but he did not repeat the communities. I came across the houses in Titusville by accident or almost an accident, They have a distinct style and standing, as I drove down Knox McRae the back and the side of the house caught my eye and I flashed back to New York for a second. I was surprised to see Levitt Homes in Titusville.( He moved here for his parents.)


  8. Saidee

    Nice rendering! I have a respect for those bold innovative and imaginative forms of the tech building types that we see often in Brevard County. It is a salute to a great era that was the engine behind the space coast for so many years during the technological progress. I have many family friends that are original owners in their 1960 homes here in Brevard County and I too enjoy visiting with them within these midcentury crafted homes. I really enjoy the retro bold colors and organics used within the original interior designs of these structures. Many still carry the original terrazzo flooring that were common for these homes and according to our family friends there are numerous homeowners in their neighborhoods that are resurfacing their terrazzo floors to emphasis it into their designs today opposed to covering them up.

    How exciting to learn about the force behind emphasize of the drive-in movies, roller skating and burger joints! Classics! Love, Love, Love them! I have many fond child hood memories of my parents taking us to the Weirs Beach Drive in Movie Theater in NH. All great places to enjoy and I wish there were more of them around today to share with my children. We are actually planning a trip around a Drive In Movie Theater so we can share that experience with the young ones.

    You wrote a great post and I hope more people can get excited about preserving these styles of buildings. There are too many that are standing vacant today in Brevard County and it would be nice to see them revived.

  9. jsartori

    The style of Mid Century Modern began to grow on me during my time in the Brevard Community College Interior Design Program. When something is new to you, it takes time to develop an appreciation for it. I have also seen my tastes change as I get older and have more life experiences behind me. Never fully realizing I had grown up surrounded by the influences of this style; revisiting and appreciating it as an adult has been a trip down memory lane…literally.
    This article brought back some fond memories of my childhood because my first home was in Satellite Beach and my father was one of the engineers for RCA at the Space Center. I can see the influences of the time throughout the old family album. We briefly moved to Fort Lauderdale and then back to Indian Harbour Beach, and into another home influenced by the Mid Century Modern aesthetic. The majority of my youth was spent in this home and it’s evolution could probably be a timeline of architectural/stylistic periods, as my parents were first generation do-it-yourselfers! Some of the features I remember are the jalousie windows, pitched roof, decorative concrete block walls, the infamous terrazzo floors, clean linear lines that were throughout the home and brought into the landscape and pool area and last but not least the era defining color pallet! As I’ve gained a new appreciation for the Mid-Century Modern Style, I particularly like the furniture and the organic simple lines. I think the pieces can be used in different styles to create a beautiful focal point. Although, I am curious to know if the chairs designed by this movement are as comfortable as they look!

  10. Lana Bonomo

    The mid-century modern buildings are some of my favorite. When I was house shopping these were within my budget. There were some that had been up kept and many that were not. Even though they were built because of the NASA boom they are a testament to good design. With low pitch roofs they have been able to withstand hurricane force winds. They may actually be around longer than newer designs.

    The mid-century modern style was first popular a little before my time but many of my childhood friends homes were still decorated this way as I grew up. My mother has passed on to me her pink, square, cattail patterned, molded dishware set from this time, which I dearly love. It’s interesting that when I use them my guests think they are new and want to know where I got them. Similar types of plastic plates are now found in Target and Walmart. This, “What once was old is now new,” adage can also be found in current fabrics with the bold graphic print, clothing and accessories with peace signs and owls, furniture with similar lines and even seventies music has made its way into current animated movies.

    One store in the Eau Gallie district, Out’ A Space, sells only furniture, art and jewelry from the fifties and sixties. Going into this store is like a blast from the past but I usually leave with something. Other great places are consignment stores, antique warehouses and estate sales, as those who were adults in the fifties and sixties pass on, their children are selling their possessions. Talk about reusing and renewing!

    Kids, the moral of this story is to keep what you love because in thirty or forty years it will come back into popularity again.

  11. Catherine Biegler

    I had never really thought about the mid-century modern style before, but it really does have its place in the history of design and in what should be preserved.

    After reading your post regarding mid-century modern architecture I did a bit of reading and research on the subject. I now have a new appreciation for this style. While I do not necessarily like the ‘modern’ style, what I have read and viewed does give the style a bit more appeal.

    As I was reading and learning about midcentury design the area of Palm Springs, California came up in my search results. I found that architect Albert Frey had done some interesting designs. I learned that he apprenticed under Le Corbusier and was fascinated by modern building materials (1). One of my favorites is the Palm Springs City Hall (located at 3200 East Tahquitz Way, Palm Springs) (2) Another of his designs that I found interesting is the Tramway Valley Station (3). I also learned that Albert Frey has a star on Palm Springs Walk of Stars. (4) He worked on commercial and residential projects throughout the Palm Springs area. During his life in Palm Springs he completed hundreds of projects. When he died in 1998 he donated his home to the Palm Springs Desert Museum, which the museum will open occasionally to tours.

    While I love the nostalgia and many items that are considered ‘retro’, for my own style preferences I am still more eclectic country.

    I have learned so much from reading the blog each week that I plan to continue to check in on it when I can.

    (1) http://www.moderndeserthome.com/index.php/architects/albert-frey
    (2) http://www.moderndeserthome.com/images/stories/dsc00180.jpg
    (3) http://www.moderndeserthome.com/images/stories/tranway_station.jpg
    (4) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGePHmUe31E&feature=related

  12. Alison Carver

    Midcentury Modern is a style I have truly come to love. As a child growing up in the area, I was always surrounded with an abundance of houses and buildings in this style and was never really a fan. I always thought it lacked the character and warmth I associates with the Arts and Crafts era. I guess I felt it was kind of cheap and lazy. I have definitely grown to appreciate the beauty in the clean, simplistic lines of the style. I feel myself drawn to the open floor plans, horizontal lines, and interesting angles. Even in redesigning my own home, I keep looking down to find a sketch of a roofline screaming midcentury modern.

    I think what acted as a “gateway drug” into my love of midcentury modern architecture, was midcentury modern furniture. I have an unhealthy obsession with Charles and Ray Eames. I love both the idea of them and the level of product they produced. I find their work to be innovative, affordable, quirky, simple, yet thought provoking. This obsession led to my exploration into other midcentury modern designers, which I too have grown to love. Furniture by Gio Ponti brought me to George Nelson, leading to furniture by Mies van der Rohe, which led me to his architecture, which was really the end of it all. I was hooked. I agree with the post that this area can be a gold mine for random midcentury modern furniture pieces either being tossed out or sold on Craigslist for next to nothing. My own personal style has evolved into a good blend between clean midcentury lines with more organic, chunkier materials more prevalent in the Arts and Crafts era. But as it turns out, my style is also changing with the times. If 30 something me tried to tell 10 year old me I’d end up love midcentury modern style, I would have laughed and called myself crazy.

  13. Emily Windsor

    I have to admit when I saw the first picture I thought you were going to be talking about the most modern style that is out there now; basically the glass house styles that no one really lives in. Then I read the article and I was pleasantly surprised. I absolutely loved the picture in the middle of the three the one with the neat geographical architecture over the windows. I never knew what this style was called, but it has always been secretly my favorite because of its originality. I love bold colors and then look at that picture that shows the one hotel with that cool looking roof; it is simply awesome. My boss is actually making her house in this similar style; now I am going to have to tell her she has a “mod” inspired house. I did not know that this is when the suburbs started coming around in America. So these “mod” styled buildings are fifty five percent of the United States nonresidential buildings; I can see that because some of these types of designs look better on that hotel or the older dinner than they would on a home. We were just recently discussing in class the historical preservation foundations, good to know that it started in Europe and then spread into the United States. This does not come as a surprise seeing as how European’s inspired most of the architecture in America, it would make sense that the saving of these designs would start in Europe too.

    P.S. I love your pictures in every article. They grab my attention and they also keep my ADD attention.

  14. Joseph Hemler

    Midcentury Modern is a very minimalist type of design. There is never clutter in a Midcentury Modern home, everything is very multifunctional. The book case in the center of the room is accessable from both sides. Meaning that you can access books from the shelf on the office side for work, or from the leisure side with the soft carpet and comfy chair for a novel to read in your free time. Soft colors are also a big design feature of MIdcentury Modern, bright colors are not often used. Blues, browns, greys, whites, and black are the main colors used for this style.

    When I first saw this picture I said “I could definitely see myself living there.” This style home is my style since it is easily cleaned and maneuvered through. The use of a sharp red colored chair in a very bland colored room was genius. There are no other reds in the whole room yet the chair seems to fit almost perfectly in with the rest of the furniture.

    Sharp corners are another trait of Midcentury Modern. The whole room is composed of straight edges and 90 degree angles, but the light right in the center adds character to the room just as the red chair is. I think this is a great room and I would definitely do something similar in my home.

    another key characteristic of this midcentury modern room is the fact that there are no pictures on the wall. Almost all styles of interior design include paintings or pictures, but MIdcentury Moden does not use pictures much at all.

    This is one of my favorite designs in this blog and I could definitely see myself using a space like this.

  15. Melanie McAboy

    I am not very familiar with this style so I decided to do a little research to grasp the basics. My research suggests Mid-Century Modernism is a style which is characterized by the use of flat planes, open spaces, and large glass windows. This architectural style is also integrated with nature. Architecturally I like the style of the buildings. I specifically like the idea of connecting with nature while being at home. I’m not particularly fond of the “avocado green interior” (as you suggest in the article) or the decorations that complement it. The history you mention however is fascinating. Establishing connections, for example as you suggest, between WW2, the boom in technology, and how it inspires this innovative modern architectural movement is important to me as I am learning while being exposed to these styles. I’ll enjoy looking at these style homes much more now that I understand something about them.
    The drive-in establishments that parallel during this time are equally fascinating. Indeed you raise another important point for consideration in this article. The need for sustainability is increasing as more and more emissions are being produced. Considering how organizations will conserve these more modern buildings as they do expend more emissions proposes an important discussion. But does this mean we should demolish these buildings? Personally, I don’t believe so.
    DOCOMOMO’s mission statement concludes: “the architectural heritage of the modern movement appeared more at risk than during any other period. This built inheritance glorifies the dynamic spirit of the Machine Age. At the end of the 1980s, many modern masterpieces had already been demolished or had changed beyond recognition”.

    Sources: http://www.frontdoor.com/buy/home-styles-guide-mid-century-modern-architecture/55890

  16. Chelsea Pushman

    The pictures that you take are some of the best pictures I have ever seen. I really like this style of architecture. I have never heard of it but after looking at the pictures with the creative lines over the windows, it is awesome. It is definitely unique and it obviously represents an older time period, fifties. The style makes me think of the tv show, That 70’s Show though. I can totally see the kids sitting on the porch and in the garage with a Volkswagen in the drive!

    It is funny because I did not expect to hear you talk about Satellite Beach. I am pretty familiar with the area. My friend’s home has the same room as the teal house but her mom’s house is twice the size but similar in shape. When I go through the neighborhoods I definitely now can see this style distributed through the different homes.

    As you discuss the burger place and motels at the end of the article, it looks like the Disney movie ‘Cars.’ Before reading this I did not realize what the point of this style was. I just thought it was just another style, but it is designed to attract a specific market.

    Sometimes I wish I could go back in the 50s-60s and see the cool trends in both fashion and architecture. I personally prefer vintage things. They have more character. Today things seem to look the same and homes are literally right on top of each other. It looks tacky and I come to find that we appreciate the exterior less and less. That house in satellite beach, their owners take pride in it. It stands out and for this reason it has landed on your blog!

  17. Daniel MacLeod

    When I see pictures like this, I think of two very different things. Austin Powers and my grandmother’s house, I know a weird combination. But what I can say about this style is that society definitely expressed themselves, some of these items are just so obscure that you have to take a second look. With that said, I feel like the style has never died and never will die. There will always be people who feel like they need to be different or like to have obscure furniture in their house which always keep this style alive. It still amazes me how architecture is a direct reflection of the times in which houses and furniture were built. If I were to just look at these houses or furniture without reading this article or any sort of research, I would say “oh that is just what people were thinking was in or it was just a fad”. Which those are both kind of true, but it was a time of great technological advancement and you can really see that through the house and furniture. It looks like something that you would find on a science fiction show, just think that it looks totally ridiculous, but has some sort of architectural and artistic style to it. I personally do not enjoy the style because of the obscurity and the way that it looks “futuristic”. I do respect the movement and style though because the reasoning behind it, that people were looking towards space adventure and futuristic ideas, and you can not blame society for wanting to advance. In fact that is what we are doing right now and always will do.

  18. Jessica Hook

    This style of home reminds me of the typical Florida house. When I picture the style of Florida homes, this style is the first to come to mind. I like the style because it has been preserved. It was a great time period in America and deserves to be preserved because of the history during this time period. I think that it is so awesome that there is a family that built one of these homes and has continued to maintain this style to this day and will continue to do so. I think it is great because it is so important to keep the things that mean the most to you the way that you like them. You should never change or update what you have just because it is the normal thing to do. If you love your home, then it should never be changed. If you do what you love, at least one person is satisfied. It is great in Florida though because they are not the only ones that have this style of home. This way it does not stick out like a sore thumb. My home was built in 1950. It is more of a ranch style home and fits in very well in the area that I live in. We added a few additions and have changed many things completely. While doing this, we were still able to maintain the same style of the house that it was originally in 1950. I do enjoy older houses like the ones in the blog article as well as my own. I think that there should always be some sort of effort to preserve what the original piece was, whether it is completely preserved to be the same or if there are some changes but the original style will still be maintained.

  19. Brandon Bourne

    This mid century modern style of architecture seems to me like people are either going to think it is really cool or think that its for lack of a better word disgusting. Maybe I’m exaggerating or something but it seems to me based on just the pictures that you have shown here that the style is just so far out there and different than everything else that it would be hard for someone to just think its “okay” There never seems to be any uniformity like you find with other styles of architecture. while not all types of architecture have symmetry they all have some type of form to them that just makes sense where to me when I look at a modern style house its really unorthodox. I’m currently living in a modern house of todays times and I personally thinks its awesome. I like knowing that where I love most likely does not look like any other building out there. For example, items be it a car or a table or a pair of shoes; if the item is not ordinary. it becomes something that is unique and interesting. Well, at least interesting to me. When i go traveling and I buy items for my house I look for lots of hand crafted items that most likely wouldnt show up in any generic furniture store. When people come to my house and say that they like this or like that and ask where I got it, they usually end up upset that they cant go out and get something like what I have because theres only one. Thats how I feel about these modern style houses. They all have there own unique quirky style. I like the last set of pictures you put on your post with the motel. You can tell through these photos that there is not a specific focus point to the building and it sort of forces you to look and admire the whole entire building as opposed to seeing a symmetrical figure where you eyes are mostly going to be drawn straight to the center. I believe that these old style modern houses should be saved. With someone who is good at renovation, these buildings could end up being very beautiful for many years on end. Another things I noticed is that this is not something you usually find that much outside of florida unless your on a coast. I see this type of architecture all over OCMD and the NewJersey shore.

  20. Giovana

    I definitely must say that mid century modern is one of my favorite styles. Actually it was the style that got me interested in interior design. When I was back in Brazil I had perspective drawing in middle school and fell in love with it. Unfortunately when I went to high school I barely had art classes, and my interest in art and architecture never got to develop. Once I moved to the United States and lived with my sister, she used to only watch HGTV, and so I started watching it too and absolutely fell in love with interior design. I just loved everything in transforming a room and making it your own little retreat that would express your personality, mood, and ideas.
    I always liked color – bold, bold colors. I liked to mix different tones of neon and bright colors, and make a unique combination that I knew would represent me. When I saw David Broomstad’s approach to bold colors (through his show called Color Splash) and mid-century modern style I just couldn’t not relate! I remember… The colors, the wood, the metal and the see-through plastics just screamed Giovana. He inspired me so much that I actually took my time to draw a room that I wanted to spend my college career in. So, with the basic knowledge acquired from my middle school drafting classes and basing off IKEA’s website (well, that was the most a college student could afford!) catalog, I designed my own little mid century modern retreat. I saved up around a thousand dollars and gave myself the best gift ever! I bought some key imitation pieces from IKEA that resembled mid-century modern style and attacked yard sales in Florida looking for those older pieces that I could throw some paint and make it “Giovanized”!
    Well, it was a success and people commend me for taking a risk. The room has inspired me to study and to create. I spend a lot of time in there. I also included many graphic pieces from Andy Warhol, like its Marlin Monroe signature piece. I love design, and I can’t wait to graduate, get a job, save up… And go to school again for either interior design or architecture!

  21. Drew Lacy

    I always thought the proper term for the furniture highlighted in so many of these pictures (the curvy glass, plastic and other surfaces) was simply “modern.” I never grouped them into the “retro diner” type of style, and always thought the two were entirely separate things.

    The idea of a style being called “modern” when it actually showed up around World War II is somewhat amusing to me. Anything with a name that implies a current style (“modern” technology, “modern” living) is doomed to stand out as outdated if its name doesn’t change with its age.

    Thankfully, to me, the modern style outlined in the first photo in this article still feels fresh and new to me. It’s a style I absolutely love, both in shape and color. The reds, grays, whites and blacks contrast perfectly, and it’s the kind of look I’d love to have in my own home some day in the future. Of course, it’s a delicate balance to pull off – going too futuristic can actually make you look outdated. What a weird concept!

    As these buildings “come of age” as it was so wonderfully put in the article, it will definitely be interesting to see how they’re preserved, given our current crunch with fossil fuels. At what point must historic preservation and preservation of the natural environment compromise?

    Florida has never struck me as an especially hip or modern place, both in the sense of being up in the “now” or following the architectural styles shown, but this clearly illustrates that I haven’t been looking hard enough! It makes sense for Florida to have these kinds of styles, as our NASA surroundings have only encouraged looking toward the future.

  22. David Scott

    While scrolling down the blog, I always thought that picture was a picture you took of the living space inside a house. I did not know that it was a 3D rendering that you drew. Excellent work with the concept in the rendering, it agrees 100% with the mid-century modern style. I found the name Mid-century Modern to be kind of unique because I always figured that Mid-century and Modern would be considered as two separate styles. I always wanted to live in a house with a modern style interior design and an interesting exterior architectural design. This is why I agree with you concerning what you love most about the style. The boldness and innovative use of imaginative forms leaves the person experiencing the design space with a sense of tranquility and extra comfort. Some people like traditional designs, but the simplicity and elegance of mid-century modern style could be seen as a trend which was set a few decades ago but still goes on to this day.
    The style’s influences I could bet were due to the trends at that time concerning fashion and design, and also the fact that NASA was a big thing, hence the space age additions. Homes in satellite beach and on the space coast were affected by this heavily as you state in your comments and show with the picture you took. I am very surprised that preservationists to this day are struggling to preserve this modern era building stock because most of the designs being created today are mostly based on the mid-century modern style. As we become more sustainable as a country, other alternatives with implementation of the modern era styles seem to be the norm so I hope preservationists get the help they need.

  23. Dani

    MId-Century Modern- the style that makes my heart skip a beat. Oh how I adore everything MCM- the residential homes, the commercial buildings, the furniture, the fabrics, textiles, and paint colors, the kitchy decor, and even the cars and fashion of the era make me so very happy. Oh how I would have loved to live during those years. I have driven through those neighborhoods in Satellite beach with those mid century homes and have always appreciated that Florida seems to have such an abundance of mid century buildings all over the state. My husband and I will be buying our first home in the next few years, and I am hoping that we will be lucky enough to come across a little mid. century gem- as I am afraid nothing else will do. Now, if only MCM furniture wasn’t so “trendy” right now so I could actually afford more of the magnificent pieces.
    On a side note- there is a very cool cartoon our there that my kids watch called “Willa’s Wild Life”- it is about a little girl who lives with her dad and a bunch of zoo animals- and they live in the most handsome mid century home. And I wont even get started on my love of “Mad Men”…

  24. Danielle Elkins

    MId-Century Modern- the style that makes my heart skip a beat. Oh how I adore everything MCM- the residential homes, the commercial buildings, the furniture, the fabrics, textiles, and paint colors, the kitschy decor, and even the cars and fashion of the era make me so very happy. Oh how I would have loved to live during those years. I have driven through those neighborhoods in Satellite beach with those mid century homes and have always appreciated that Florida seems to have such an abundance of mid century buildings all over the state. My husband and I will be buying our first home in the next few years, and I am hoping that we will be lucky enough to come across a little mid. century gem- as I am afraid nothing else will do. Now, if only MCM furniture wasn’t so “trendy” right now so I could actually afford more of the magnificent pieces.
    On a side note- there is a very cool cartoon our there that my kids watch called “Willa’s Wild Life”- it is about a little girl who lives with her dad and a bunch of zoo animals- and they live in the most handsome mid century home. And I wont even get started on my love of “Mad Men”…

  25. Dylan Serra

    This article sparked my interest as I was scrolling through the many, many that Lesa finds time in her crazy schedule to even write! Mid-century modern has always been a “blah,” area of style in my eyes. The crazy colors, the sharp angled and weird angled corners, even the semi-multi levels in the homes: I never really understood it…until I took on a client that wanted me to redesign her entire “mod” home. At first, I was a little apprehensive due to the fact that I felt I would destroy the original charm or make it look blotchy in design periods, but once I got to the actual home and I sat down with the residents, I found that the home was right up my creative design tree and that we matched perfectly. I was able to revamp the entire homes look and feel while still incorporating the charm and architectural elements of the original layout. The fascinating part about these homes are they are all so different, even if they look the same: they have small features or little tweaks in the layout or design of the home that makes each and every one of them unique. Walking into a home that looks odd and unfocused on the outside and being astonished by the true potential of the inside, gives a wonderful feeling of relief and creativity. These homes are so outstanding and are making a huge comeback into the social market. All they need is a bit of a twist on the original decor and design idea and BAM! They look like nothing else, and wow just the same! What a great article. Truly showcases the potential of these forgotten and abused homes while giving hope and awe to the ones that were taken care of and preserved.

  26. Doreen Muller

    I recently purchased two reproduction mid-century modern molded plywood chairs and a coffee table. I chose a bright red for the chairs to enhance my otherwise neutral space by supplementing in a burst of color and the coffee table is wenge. I bought the reproductions because just one original Charles Eames molded plywood chair will cost you about a thousand dollars and that is too much for my budget. They are extremely comfortable, even for a reproduction.
    I fell in love with the design a few years ago. I love the clean lines of the smooth surface. The material itself is strong and resilient, and it is resistant to shrinkage/warping. It is light weight and easy to clean. The only problem I have noticed so far, is that a lot of mid-century modern style furniture is low to the ground and it makes it difficult to incorporate it into today’s furniture. That being said, my couch in not to scale with my newly purchased furniture.
    I had the pleasure to research Charles and Ray Eames for a school project and they were a pretty incredible couple! They worked together as a team and they created some of the most iconic furniture of the twentieth century made of plywood, fiberglass, and wire, from tables to chairs, and even unique storage units that were designed as a self-contained sleeping and living unit. That included closets, a desk, partitions, and even a bed!
    I have never been in an original mid-century modern home, but if it flows as smoothly as Charles Eames molded plywood chairs, I would love to see it!

  27. Corinna

    This was a wonderfully well written post. I must say that I never really knew the term mid-century modern until I was in high school and since then have been taken away by the clean lines, bold prints and colors used. I agree that HGTV and the show Mad Men have made the style much more popular and it upsets me when I see so many couples on HGTV buy an older home and completely renovate it from top to bottom losing the integrity of the building. I have always loved HGTV but the further I go with the program the more that I realize how wasteful the industry can be because many clients want the same thing- open concept, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, etc. and do not want to reuse anything.

    Anyways that’s my spiel on HGTV, but back to mid-century modern design I find this era to be so compelling in so many ways because so much was going on in the world.
    I had written a paper awhile back for another class about plastic and how much waste we’ve created since the 1950’s and it’s just interesting to me that these polymers gained popularity at the time because they were easily attainable, inexpensive to make and played a major role in the war effort. The 60’s is when many synthetics were used a lot and plastic was brought into many furniture designs. The style was psychedelic, funky and bold and I love it all- I would absolutely love to tour a home that has maintained the design, original appliances, fixtures, etc. because I’ve grown fonder and fonder of these “older” buildings and style.

  28. Jennifer Scites

    Mid-century modern buildings and design are some of my favorites. With the use of bold colors, and especially the multi-functional furniture that this style has to offer, it’s eye catching to see. As a kid, I grew up watching the Brady Bunch, so I remember how retro the houses interiors looked. These days we call it mid-century modern. It is one and the same however, with the use of simple lines, bold colors and to me the clean look it gives. The neighborhood I grew up in here in Palm Bay was full of houses like the pictures listed. I never truly appreciated this style until later in my life. I remember thinking, why would someone put that mint green type color paint on the house, but now I can understand.

    A business trip brought me to appreciate the Eames chair and many others like it. I was ready to purchase an Eames chair after one hour of sitting in it. When your article turned to speaking of The Burger Inn and drive-in movie theaters, my thoughts went to where I was born in West Virginia. To this day they still have drive-in joints and one of them is called Frost Top. It is built with the same concept as The Burger Inn. The workers are always friendly and they deliver your food on roller skates and the tray attaches to your window. I am so glad places like Frost Top and The Burger Inn are still up and functioning so we can appreciate their concept and beauty. Sadly though living in Brevard I have never been to The Burger Inn, but I think after reading the post, I will try it out.

  29. amna murshed

    I must say that the mid century architectural style, or “retro style”, is one of my favorite architectural styles. Because in the 1950’s was when the United States has just started to bloom in creating technologies, inventions, and innovations that time can’t and will not forget. The first man landing and walking on the moon was a start of a whole new era and generation of new technologies.
    New materials were used for residential and commercial use such as laminate, metal, plastics, polyester, and plywood.
    Just looking at some of the pictures I remembered a show that was called ”that 70’s show”, a comedy sitcom. The interior design of the set was mid century, retro, style. Also, the Nelson Ball Clock seems very funky, and fun. I believe during that time designers and architects wanted to make new and create things from materials that has never been used before for home décor. For example, sitting on a furry chair. That was cool and hip then, but not now. Designers and architects had a blast creating new things whether it was furniture, or houses, from new materials. That’s BOLD and original in my personal opinion.
    Since I have moved here 3 years ago, I have visited some historical places in Florida. The old houses in downtown cocoa are very beautiful. Also since I live in Brevard County I have to visit the Burger Inn and relive the midcentury modern age that built that place. A place that is both beautiful and meaningful to the history of American style.

  30. Justin Champion

    From the clean yet funky lines to the loud use of colors and form, Midcentury Modern has always been my favorite style of design. I don’t know why it’s my favorite, maybe because I love anything that is different and strange or maybe because I love that sometime you just have to stare at it a while to take it all in but I do know that anything from this era of design I love and want. I came across a shelving system from an estate sale that is from this era. It is made of Lucite, chrome and white laminate, the lines are clean and many of my friends say that it really belongs in the Apple Store. I love the way that the unit incorporates chrome with the clear Lucite and really brightens is with the white laminate with hidden lights to really make it pop. I want to find some awesome Eames chairs or maybe an egg chair to finish off the room mid century modern look.
    I have driven by the building in Satellite Beach many times and always said that if it ever goes for sale, I want to buy if and make it my home. I love the dramatic burst ceiling design and the way the building looks. I do wish they would change the color as I feel that the color does not match the building as it seems to pastel for the mid century modern look. But I am glad that they chose to reuse the building rather than tearing it down and rebuilding.

  31. Sandra Fox

    I liked the article on Identifying American Architectural Styles: Mid Century Modern. I think this is a much unappreciated time period in design. Even though as stated in the article the design technique is over 50 years old and technically considered a historic design it is still a new enough concept to be directly associated by some as childhood feel good memories. The orange kitchens? Yes, had one. The shag carpets that needed to be raked? Had that also. The spindle clock? Who didn’t have one of those in their living rooms in the 1960’s? I live “beach side” in a home built in the 1950’s so I can personally attest to the quirky style of the times. The most fascinating find in my home is a ½ wall in the garage located next to the washer and dryer. It has an outlet in the wall presumably to plug in an iron? That is what I use it for, but what makes it so retro is there is a switch to turn the outlet off and on. Now that’s not something you see in today’s houses. As you drive through Satellite Beach the by gone era is heavily present. The cinder block homes with very prominent geometric shapes still exist everywhere. The low lying homes with large picture windows and attached carports are a staple in this small town. Kitschy store fronts are all up and down South Patrick Drive that remind me of a time of my childhood. These homes and store fronts are the comfort foods of architecture to me.
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  32. Sarah Blackburn

    Mid-century Modern. Just looking at the words put together makes them seem a little odd and you don’t really know what to do with them or what they look like. Not quite modern, not quite vintage, I feel like it becomes a slightly fuzzy gray area in interior design that was pushed aside and forgotten for a long while. Personally, after some exploration into the style I don’t care for the look, but I do recognize the significance. We would not be where we are technologically or design wise without this time of curved lines or man-made wood. The strange shapes and bright eye catching colors are proof of the excitement of the time. Those same people that gave us curved chairs that don’t let you sit quite straight helped us get to the moon. The buildings with flat roofs or angled overhangs reaching to the stars have staying power past the time of I Dream of Genie into today. They built a lot of it too, every town seems to have its own old drive-in something, a theater, restaurant, or some other creative way to maintain these structures so intricately involved in our history (in my case the aqua-ish colored building that houses Complete Air and Heat building shown in the article, which has also been a dry cleaner and Thai restaurant). This style isn’t even just from the past that we can forget other than driving past these buildings, Mad Men also seems to have made this a chic look again and I bet IKEA loves it.

  33. Veronica Tarducci

    I was never a fan of this style growing up, but I have grown to love it more and more the older it gets. My parents tried to convince me to buy a midcentury modern home out in Palm Bay when I was house shopping about five years ago, and I instantly turned my nose up at the idea. I had always seen that style as outdated, considering it was technically my grandmother’s style. But I have come to love and appreciate the sharp angles and bright eye catching colors that were designed to draw people into establishments like Burger Inn located off of US-1, which is shown in some of the pictures. With the growth that Brevard County has seen over the last 50 plus years, it’s almost hard to imagine the classic muscle cars, motels, drive-in theaters, and diners that used to take over highway US-1 so long ago. And it seems as though everything was built around the booming automobile industry, from the buildings themselves, which were literally decorated with the same type of materials found in cars built at the time, to the layout of their design which were intended to keep people “on the road again.” The times have definitely changed since then, but mid-century modern is still very much a part of Brevard County today, where traces of its existence can be found up and down US-1 and in the cute little old neighborhoods close to the railroad tracks. Although I was only saw it as outdated, I can now appreciate the excitement that this style brought on to American’s when it was in its prime.

  34. Tiffiny Ruehman

    Through my studies in interior design, I have formed a love for Midcentury Modern designs. While growing up in the 1970’s and 1980’s I have come across some excellent pieces and some terrible ones. I have never been a fan of avacado green or harvest gold, but this era had much more to offer. My all time favorites of this er are Eero Saarinen, and Charles and Ray Eames. My favorite project so far was in pictorials class when we learned how to design the Eames house (both hand drafted and CAD drawings).
    Due to the growth and popularity in Brevard County alone, I can undrrstand that preserving these buildings as they “come of age” is very difficult. What I do see a lot of in this area is vacant and neglected properties (both commercial and residential). I realize that the materials that were previously used may be the issue, but it is still very difficult to look at a structure that once had once had a glory day to a shameful day.
    I am all about preservation, and sustainability especially when it comesto our natural resources. Today I see so many trees being taken down to make new commercial buildings, while so many old ones are left to decay and forgotten. As I have said before, newer doesn’t always mean better. I believe these buildings just need alittle TLC to become great again and it will also help to maintain a good “green” factor for future generations.
    It would be very nice to preserve this era of time, because it reminds us of a simpler and prosperous time in America when we were living the dream.

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