How much do you know about Denver’s mid-century modern neighborhoods? If you’re a mid-mod enthusiast or you live in one of these neighborhoods, most likely, you know a lot! Two prominent Denver areas come to mind when thinking about this design aesthetic: Krisana Park and Lynwood. Both neighborhoods were designed and built by Hy Wolff and his son Brad Wolff with architect Frenchie Gratts of Gratts & Warner. The inspiration for these neighborhoods came from an Eichler house Brad saw in California. He brought this concept to Colorado and made minimal changes to the design.
A bit of mid-century modern history:
Mid-century modernism took shape in the late 1940s lasting into the 1960s was brought to life after the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City. Geometric forms and clean lines of the Bauhaus and Danish Modernist movements were introduced into American consciousness by architects Marcel Breuer, Walter Gropius and Ludwig Meis van der Rohe. Most mid-century modern homes display three prominent characteristics inspired by contemporary, ostensibly futuristic aesthetics with an emphasis on function: clean, minimalistic aesthetic, bringing the outdoors in, and the occurrence of angular structures.
Characteristics often seen in mid-century modern homes:
- Exposed post-and-beam construction
- Flat and/or low-sloping A-framed or asymmetric roof lines
- Vertical 2-inch pattern wood siding
- Spartan facades with clean geometric lines
- “Bring the outside in” with sky lights, floor-to-ceiling window with glass transoms
- Minimal front facing or street facing windows; instead house fronts have either small, ceiling-level window or small, rectangular windows with frosted glass
- Tongue and groove decking for the ceiling following the roofline
- Concrete slab floor with radiant heating
- Lauan (Philippine mahogany) paneling
- Sliding doors for rooms, closets, and cabinets
- Entry atriums
- Color palates are natural and warm: olive green, mustard, orange, yellow or pink, grey, turquoise, black
The city of Palo Alto has compiled guidelines that describe the characteristics of homes developed last century by Joseph Eichler. Photo by Veronica Weber.
Renovated Eichler home in Palo Alto, California
Inspiring mid-century design ideas…………