Question- What draws us to modern?

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Postby classicsat » Thu May 03, 2007 1:40 pm

It is the architecture and decor mostly, especically period drawings, photos, and advertising printed material.
Not only for the content, but the printing techniques and photography stock.

It gives me that feeling of the past, although I wasn't then.
New York - Leeds- Los Angeles - San Francisco - Toronto
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Postby rockland » Sat May 19, 2007 5:56 pm

when i was 10, i wouldn't let my parents give away our paul mccob planner group and eames stuff.(they upgraded to eathen allen) 10 years ago i bought a warren mccarthur chair and ottomon at a yard sale. no makers tag. i adored it for 5 years until i knew...ebay filled me in. dumpster diving in nyc!? last wed i saved two breuer wasilly chairs. in the garbage!. horribly uncomfortable, but free. 75 emeco chairs, eames shell chairs by the hundreds. (too exhausted to get a truck, i just needed one chair) but i always call a dealer in need.recently saw a bertoia wire chair crushed by a file cabinet. remember, nyc is about brownstones and b&b italia.

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Postby DFWmidmodfan » Fri Dec 14, 2007 2:53 pm

Wow. I just found this topic from a link under the MCM Homes section of this great site. Great topic here...hope it's not too late to chime in!

What was it that first attracted me to modern? Hmm...where should I start? I'd say my parents gave me a good boost, seating me in the canvas and wrought iron butterfly chair out on the patio of our early sixties L-shaped, gable roofed (with generous, flared overhangs) "atomic ranch" Dallas, TX tract house to snap my picture (drawing of it in my avatar). It was no Eichler, Nuetra, or P & K jewel, but it had enough modern flair to fit my parent's homebuying budget and tastes. Orange sparkle countertops, indirect cove lighting in the kitchen, globe pendant hanging over the front door that my father painted an oriental red/orange to contrast against the nearly black trim and grey, elongated bricks. Not bad for a tract house.

Sounds of Dave Brubeck, Martin Denny, Ramsey Lewis, Vince Guaraldi, and other cool jazz and classical music sounds filled the house and my memory from those early days. Dad was an editorial cartoonist in Dallas, and sometimes I'd ride into work with him down Central Expressway in his '65 Chevy Impala Super Sport. We'd pass several cool buildings and signs along the way, stuff that if still around today would be coveted MCM and Googie classics; the Gemini Drive-In, a bowling alley near Lover's Lane that had a cool, butterfly shaped porte cochere, its underbelly ablaze at night with many recessed spotlights (dad played in a bowling league there and even as a wee one that porte cochere left an impression on me), the Rogers Electric sign and building, the Jarrell appliance sign (still exists) with its rotating starburst, the downtown Republic Bank building with the futuristic rocket-like spire near the top. The Glen Lakes Country Club near Walnut Hill Lane (long gone).

Around thirteen, Dad gave me a book of Frank Lloyd Wright's drawings...if I was only mildly a modern fan at that point, from then on it was crazy. Not long after that, had I stuck with how I thought at that age, right now I should be an established architect, picking up where Wright left off. Uh huh... :D

Besides such an inculcation as my youth gave me, what still attracts me to modern design, particularly MCM work, is the optimistic spirit the work almost inevitably displays. It's not the hunker-down-and-seal-in-stick-with-same-old-lame-stuff mentality seen so much in today's McMansion tack. The Eichlers, Cliff Mays, P & K's, Alexanders, Wright Usonians, local Dallas architect Howard Meyer...even my parent's Mahaffey-Wagner tract modern...all of it and more has always had the effect of uplifting my spirit and soul. What better thing can one ask from a structure than that, other than it do so without compromising what a building is for...shelter?

Great topic!
Eric Green's DFW mid-mod site:

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