The moment a private home goes on the market is a precarious one - there is always the chance it could be sold to a developer, or to a homeowner who plans to make big changes. The goal of our real estate round ups is to connect modern properties with the right stewards and to show real estate agents the value in these historic homes.
Chicago's Famous Helstein House
5806 S Blackstone Ave, Chicago / $1,930,000 / 1951 / Designed by Bertrand Goldberg in 1951, the Helstein house is one of 12 homes designed by Goldberg, who is best known for his Marina City and River City projects in downtown Chicago. The open floor plan and modular structure pioneered by Le Corbusier is central to Goldberg’s design, which is composed of four cylindrical columns supporting three concrete slabs. The exterior structure enables three levels of light-filled space, as well as a two-car garage. The structure facilitates a connection between interior and exterior on an unusually large lot with both front and side yards. The sellers are hoping to find an owner who will steward the home, even as it needs some restoration. Restoration is eligible for financial incentives under the statewide Property Tax Assessment Freeze.
Panoramic Views with Midcentury Flair
159 Cove Neck Road, Cove Neck, NY / $8,500,000 / 1955/ Sitting on Cove Neck with wide angle views of Oyster Bay Harbor, this spectacular home takes cues from the linearity of Frank Lloyd Wright’s prairie style and combines it with iconic, midcentury design features. The home’s striking form can best be seen from above, where fractural shapes extend in all directions, taking full advantage of the viewshed and enabling a sense of privacy for each wing of the home. The light-filled interior is perhaps best encapsulated by the hexagonally-vaulted living room, which is joined by a skylight and a massive two-story fireplace. The home retains a strong sense of architectural integrity from the midcentury and would be made complete with only minor updates.
Two for the Price of One
100 Ogden Street, Siesta Key, FL / $6,800,000 / 1948 / This property is not one, but two different residences. The historic residence, which was designed by Paul Rudolph and Ralph Twitchell in 1948, is known as the Revere Quality House, a prototype commissioned by the Revere Quality Institute and Architectural Forum to demonstrate the creation of an attractive, durable and affordable residence with industrial materials. It was fully restored in 2017 and is currently used as a private guest house for the main home, a 4,755 square-foot home built in Rudolph’s spirit by the acclaimed architect Guy Peterson (though anybody reading this would probably think of reversing these roles). Both homes feature striking views and light-filled open spaces, each with their own compelling architectural integrity. You might have trouble deciding where to spend your time!
Rudolph's Hidden Gem
628 East Stamford Ave, Auburn, AL / $399,000 / 1940 / Though certainly the most modest home on our list today, don’t let appearances fool you. Built in 1940, this single-story home was designed by Paul Rudolph when he was only 22 years old. Hidden in that center wall is a spectacular fireplace, and one of few remaining murals created by Rudolph. Check out the full listing to take a look at a sketch of the mural. This is a particularly unique opportunity to own a fantastic piece of architectural history at an affordable price.
New Caanan, CT / $8,000,000 / 1956 / Wright called this estate Tirranna, 14 acres of protected land blending geometric complexity with nature’s flowing curves. Tirranna is one of Wright’s largest residential properties and one of his last designs. He used it personally, as a retreat while building the Guggenheim museum. The house is 7 bedrooms, 8.5 baths and 7,000 square feet, packing every one of Wright’s architectural motifs into one building: concrete masonry blocks, Philippine Mahogany, custom furniture, cozy corridors that lead into soaring spaces, spectacular integration of the native landscape, every fenestration imaginable. The Wright enthusiast could spend a lifetime in this home admiring every detail in constant and perpetual delight.
The Celanese House
New Caanan, CT / $4,700,000 / 1959 / Featured in the real estate section of our previous newsletters, we are including this home again because it is so unique and fantastic. Built in 1959, Edward Durell Stone created a home that is truly filled with light and yet extremely private and comfortable. It’s hard to describe the otherworldliness of this home: the exterior skin, the pyramidal skylights, the manicured linden trees and rolling lawns. Its floorplan is open, and yet organized by the repetition of the skylights and partition walls. It rests in a forest clearing as a spaceship landed for only a limited time. It is a wonderful sanctuary for those who wish to suspend the world around them for a restful reprieve.
The Howenstein Residence
2083 Hanscom Drive, South Pasadena, CA / $1,799,000 / 1943 / Remodeled by R.M. Schindler in 1943, this beautiful property is located in the Monterey Hills area of South Pasadena. Perched on a promontory, the home offers awe-inspiring views from nearly every room. Perhaps the most compelling trademark of Schindler, a triagonal corner fireplace architecturally anchors the living space, which is oriented towards the most compelling of the peak’s views. The home is at once minimal and rustic, cozy and extraordinarily light, modest and yet stylish. Become the homeowner who will keep this architectural history alive and well.
Phillip Johnson Lakefront Timecapsule
314 Point Road, Willsboro, NY / $3,500,000 / 1949 / On the western shores of Lake Champlain, an nearly-untouched work by Johnson is ready for new owners. Designed and constructed concurrently with the famous Glass House, the home is built around an extensive living space, flanked in glass and engaged directly with the pearlescent waters beyond. Flow-through views allow a direct passage between the front and rear of the home, so that lakefront views will never be missed. The main structure is linked by an open-air walkway to a summer wing with six additional bedrooms and four full bathrooms. A relaxing summer getaway or a forever home on the shore, this is a rare opportunity to own one of Johnson’s few domestic constructions.
Sarasota School Modern with Private Beach Access
820 Cincy Street, Venice FL / $799,000 / 1959 / Located on the Floridian Island of Venice, this home was built in 1959, at the apex of the Sarasota School of Architecture. One of several regional schools of architecture in postwar America, the Sarasota School was defined by the work of Ralph Twitchell and Paul Rudolph. The home retains original features such as three-quarter-inch-thick tongue and groove vaulted wood ceilings and walls, light-filled clerestory windows, a dramatic living room fireplace and Ocala block walls. As a bonus to owning such a unique home, it comes with Golden Beach private access to the Gulf of Mexico.
Peaceful Home in Peacock Farm
28 Peacock Farm Rd, Lexington MA / $1,300,000 / 1956 / Maintaining the home’s original features and thoughtfully updated throughout, a midcentury split-level rests in the wooded neighborhood of Peacock Farm, minutes from Cambridge. The home, and the neighborhood at large, was designed by Walter Pierce in the mid-1950s, who was attempting a modernist experiment in Massachusetts, now included in the National Register of Historic Places. Pierce was influenced by ideas of efficiency and affordability circulating within the Harvard Design School (led by Walter Gropius), and MIT, intending to design a place that would appeal to the aesthetic sensibilities and budgets of young couples. The home incorporates a spacious and modern design with a reciprocity between the indoors and out, a tranquil and inviting space beneath the canopy’s dappled light.
A California Home in Massachusetts
69 Conant Rd, Lincoln, MA / 1967 / $2,300,000 / Designed in 1969 by Joseph A. Schiffer, a home with sweeping views is located in one of Lincoln’s most desirable locations. Particularly inviting is the warm-honeyed glow of paneled ceilings under the home’s central skylights. A massive hearth ties together the open living space, while light and greenery pours in through wall-length windows and patio doors. The first floor features a master suite with an office loft, full bath and walk-in closet. A total of 5,037 square feet, the home features four additional bedrooms and a guest suite as well as a three car garage and an expansive kitchen for entertaining.