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Fort Worth MCM We Just Bought
Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 10:58 am
I joined this forum a few years back...but never thought I'd be able to join the ranks of those who post their mid-century modern home ownership experiences! My wife and I have dreamed for years of either owning or building a mid-century modern home...back in September we had one almost literally drop into our lap...and we're stoked!
A few things before I post some pics...mid-century modern houses are somewhat sparse in Fort Worth, the "FW" side of the "DFW Metroplex", so finding one for sale, architecturally interesting, and largely unaltered from the original intent is a feat in itself. Dallas, where I resided for many years until two years ago, has many more MCM homes, partly for being the larger of the two cities. There's even a Cliff May enclave over there...haven't found many enclaves here in Fort Worth...except on the street where we bought....we're one of five MCM homes all together.
One more thing then onto the pics...having owned this house for two months now it's clear to me this place isn't like what I often think when I think of the term mid-century modern, which would be Eichler-like homes with post and beam construction, floor to ceiling glass, cool light fixtures, etc. As you'll see in the pics, our place does have many MCM features shared in common with the Eichler and Cliff May styles, such as carports, etc...but I see a bit of Wright influence as well. Anyway, enough blabbing, time for the pics to tell the story. We're still in the process of replacing flooring before moving in completely, so I'll get more interior shots up as we proceed.
House from street.
House from across the street...yes, that's a tree growing up out of the structure! Next few pics will make where that tree is more clear...
Courtyard, patio, and entry door (hidden by the stone wall):
Entry door, courtyard, and patio with one of two sliding glass doors that open onto patio:
And finally, the carport, complete with cool screen block wall!
We (at least me, anyway) are still partially in denial that this wonderful 1959 MCM is ours! But that becomes less so each day, and with each moment spent making it our own. We do not know who the architect or builder was, but we may be on the verge of finding out. There are at least four or five other homes in the neighborhood that have a similar floor plan, but none have the same exact proportions or exterior facades. There is an MCM house across the street from us that is just fantastic. I'll try to get a picture of that up here soon.
Anyway, thanks for looking! Just more proof that mid-century modern fans are everywhere, even in the city known as "Cowtown" or "Where the west begins".
Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 2:46 pm
Congratulations ! Glad you showed us your interesting new home. Keep us posted as you get settled. . .
Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 3:42 pm
What a terrific house. I can't wait to see more photos and not everyone here lives in a name brand house so don't worry about that.
Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:48 pm
oh, another beauty! so many cool houses showing up. so great they are falling into appreciative hands. i happen to love
the misc. odd homes built 55-65 ish. i have one and could take 20 photos that would give the shudder 'ick'. but it has its
charm and many heart stopping qualities as well...to me anyway.
just wonderful really to see a new home experience. it is an odd feeling to drive up after a year and a 1/2 and still feel
like a kid playing 'house'.
i hope lotta living continues to appreciate the 10 million classic beauties as well as the lesser $ classics. i have studied
and love the cliff mays and the eichlers and the etc... their existence led the way to our lesser known homes. i have seen way to many
recent owner a bit shy to have a non-name home. so many great builders carried out the same principles but on a smaller scale.
don't be shy.
it is unique and a pleasure to see so many different home designs.
and i am a total sucker for a fabulous car-port!
thanks for sharing and i want to see more...
Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:21 pm
More pics? Your wish is my command.
But first...thank you all for your kind words re: our house. I agree there are likely many, many homes out there like mine that are not "name brand" per se but are delightful dwellings to see and live in.
My wife and I would someday like to do a photo chronicle of the noteworthy MCM's we know of and have yet to discover in the Fort Worth area. But for now, here's more pics of our place. All of these were taken during our first viewing of the house with the real estate agent. For the sharp eye, you may pick up a few subtle changes we've already done to the exterior in the carport/courtyard/patio area if you were so inclined to compare these pics with my initial post:
Front elevation looking south from street. I really like that the entry door itself isn't honking obvious from the street, like so many McMansion and regular tract homes are. It's obvious from the street where you must go to reach the front door, but you don't actually see the door until you've stepped up inside the structure, walked past the courtyard, and have your progress halted by the stone wall. You then look left and there it is.
The "streamline shot", I call this:
View of carport toward living room and entry door:
The south elevation of the house is completely shrouded in banana trees. For our area of Texas, this is idea for keeping what little sun reaches the south wall away in summer...the overhangs around this house all the way around measure three feet out from the walls!
Another pic of the tree in the courtyard, and that wonderful screen block wall in the carport:
Front door. Look closely...there's a cool brass oriental medallion around the doorknob. I bought some Brasso to hopefully shine up the brass...this is one MCM house where brass works, due to the oriental feel of the architecture. The door itself is begging for a fine sanding and a smooth coat of a similar hue of red paint:
An interior teaser shot...this one in the midst of our bamboo laminate flooring installation project. We have removed every last stitch of carpeting from this house...it is now carpet free, a condition my wife and I have wanted in a house for a long time.
The following pic reveals a surprising find underneath the carpet in the TV lounge. Since the first day of taking possession of the house I got this feeling I should let the house tell me what it was...sure it was an MCM, but like I said before, not like an Eichler or Cliff May or Atomic Ranch. An oriental feel was already becoming evident, but when I peeled away the carpet and saw THIS
on the floor, there was no room left for doubt:
Unfortunately there was no way to salvage this character before laying the new floor. We got some tracing paper and carefully traced it. We have also sought for what it means...what I have heard so far is that it means "the name of a company" from a Japanese coworker...but she could not be any more specific than that. If any of you might know anything different, or know someone who could interpret it, I'd appreciate it...and my wife would REALLY appreciate it...not knowing exactly what it means is driving her nuts!
Anyway, that's all for now. I'll get some more interior shots soon. And I'll be bouncing ideas off you guys as our work progresses beyond flooring in the coming months. I'm a hobbyist woodworker and have lots of ideas floating around, but I want them all when carried out to be sensible and in keeping with the wonderful feel of this house.
Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:42 am
VEEERY nice! An idea for you, if its not too late...could you cut out the bamboo flooring around the character and then place glass over the top so there is no level change? Bad idea? I've had many:] Sorry, I can't help with the meaning.
Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 3:15 pm
Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 3:52 pm
Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 9:36 pm
Posted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 3:51 pm
Congrats on your home! Hard to believe anyone else here in cowtown even knows what MCM means. I know what you mean about Dallas having more because I had an aunt who lived in the Casa Linda area around White Rock Lake in a really cool MCM. I loved to visit her when I was a kid. Anyway, I am wondering if your house is in the Tanglewood area. I live in an MCM over in the Ridglea Hills area. There are actually several MCM style homes over here. I have been here for over two years and I love this house so much more than my previous bungalow. Your house looks really cool. Kudos to you...
Posted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 4:39 pm
It's a good thing it's not in California, I get tired of seeing all those California homes that few can afford. It's just wacky to pay 1-2 million for a 2000 square foot tract home. There is a home that was remodeled in the 60's and has a modern look to it, but is also Japanese style with bamboo and a courtyard, close to my parents home in Miami. It started as a tract home, and the additions are flat roofed with redwood ceilings. There is no lawn just plantings, fountains, rocks. I really need to see if it is still there and grab the camera. I hope that more of these homes are purchased by enthusiasts and not by the investors looking for a Mc Mansion site.
Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 4:15 am
Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:20 am
a really cool house.
I'm just surprised that banana trees even survive that far north.
How bout palms and citrus? I didn't spy any palms when I was last in Dalls but then again I wasn't really looking (maybe global warming?).
Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:18 am
Cold hardy varieties do quite well in Dallas.
I grow Chusan Palms here in DC. After seeing them covered with snow in the Italian alps, I figured why not.
Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:33 pm
Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:39 pm
Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:43 pm
Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:05 pm
I love the concrete block screen wall. You seldom see them anymore, particularly in such good shape. Great home.
Name of architects found
Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 9:22 pm
I know I haven't posted awhile about our house...we've been busy working on it! We're completely moved in now and enjoyed a wonderful holiday time in our new environs. It also drew unanimous praise from friends and family.
We have learned who the architect was for our house. Actually there were two. The names are William Kneer and T.Z. Hamm of Fort Worth, TX. Mr. Kneer has passed on but Mr. Hamm may still be with us. The firm of Kneer and Hamm were well known in town, and have designed buildings statewide, I've learned. Mr. Kneer at one point lived in our neighborhood...my wife and I were able to locate his house and were pleasantly surprised to find it shares many features in common with our own.
We have also learned who built the house...Paul Groves of Nojo Construction. Apparently his wife's name was Norma Jo, so he named the company after her, Nojo. Concurrently we've also learned Mr. Grove built and lived in a house one block north of ours. It is a gable roofed MCM structure and quite handsome. At some point I will need to get pictures of both structures and post them here. Same goes for getting some interior shots of our own place posted, now that the bamboo laminate flooring project is completed. Wow...what a wondefully HUGE difference that flooring has made for the inside of this house! For the first time in my life I feel like I'm living inside a piece of architecture vs. a house cobbled together from boilerplate plans.
Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 9:40 pm
Congratulations. Good to hear things are going well. As for the research, isn't it a joy to solve puzzles and tease out facts ?
Do let us see the results. . .when you can. Best of good wishes !
Posted: Fri May 09, 2008 4:44 pm
I know I haven't posted anything about the house lately, but I thought I'd post a few SketchUp shots I did of the house and the proposed woodworking shop/garage, which I hope to build this summer. My goal with the shop/garage is to have it closely match the architecture of the house.
Here's the pics:
Shot of house as is from west:
Shot of house and proposed shop:
And a shot looking into the carport just for grins:
Oh, and a parting worm's eye shot...
I just started using SketchUp on Wednesday. There's a few mistakes in the model, but overall it's an incredibly intuitive program. I tried to learn 3D modeling years ago with AutoCad R13...talk about no joy. This program makes it fun. Enjoy!
Posted: Fri May 09, 2008 5:20 pm
Geez -- beautiful. I'm in awe of your 'instant' mastery of SketchUp. And the addition of a satellite structure that matches the house gets my applause, too. Good work !
very nice - glad you are keeping things close to 'stock'
Posted: Mon May 12, 2008 9:28 am
Posted: Mon May 12, 2008 4:05 pm
Posted: Mon May 12, 2008 7:14 pm
I loved Sunset magazine when I was a kid...back then the stuff featured in the pages was not "retro" or considered "mid-century" modern...it was just modern!
"Working class MCM"...I like that. Our house is not grand in scale, as some MCM structures are, but it sure feels grand to us.
I have been adding some greenery to the patio/courtyard area recently. I hope to get some pics of it this weekend and then upload them here. Also some discreet shots of the bamboo flooring (wife is in middle of file reorganizing project right now) we put down late last year, and the shop/garage plans, perhaps. Thank you SDR, and Slim & Gabby, for your warm and positive comments regarding the proposed addition. It was my intent from the beginning that the structure should complement the house as much as possible. Having already built one freestanding shop building at my last house, I'm confident I can reach that goal here. A lot of hard work, but the payoff is great.
Patio's Ready for Memorial Day...
Posted: Sun May 25, 2008 8:39 pm
Thought I'd take a few outdoor shots of the house today, being that we've made some progress with the patio. I went on a hanging plant binge recently, once seeing hooks in the beams over the patio left behind from the last owner. The additions of the plants changed the feel of the patio, softening the lines of the house somewhat and making sitting out there feel almost like being in a greenhouse.
We've also had a few pleasant evenings when we doused all the lights and lit the seven tiki torches placed in the courtyard and side yard near the patio. On Friday I installed a pair of outdoor speakers over the sliding glass door. My wife and I sat out there this evening, eating dinner and chilling to Pat Metheny music while admiring our wonderful find of a house.
We're having friends over tomorrow for BBQ and fun...life's good; remember our troops and those who tomorrow is for.
Here's some pics...
Oh yeah, and the banana trees are making a comeback after being cut down last winter when bitten by a frost...
Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 10:03 am
looks great! I see that ol' Sunset vibe a shinin' on thru!
I really like the hanging plants. Your breezeway feels very authentic. Love it. Glad you are enjoying it....that's what all the work is for, right?
Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 10:39 am
Is there a reason you are not removing the wrought iron low fence? Does it keep in dogs? Did it keep in dogs or kids for the previous owner? In any case, if you need it, here's what I did: wired bamboo fencing to both sides.
Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 2:02 pm
Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 10:42 pm