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LottaLiving.com • New Member - Trade Secrets house in Tulsa and Trim ?'s
Page 1 of 2

New Member - Trade Secrets house in Tulsa and Trim ?'s

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:09 am
by ModinTulsa
Greetings all! Long time lurker, finally registered.

So, my wife and I purchased our home last September. We knew it was early 50s, ranch, and would fit well with our budding MCM style. Our Realtor told us that when the house was built it was a big deal and our local paper wrote an article and the public was charged admission for the 5 week open house. But for 7 months we didn't have the article, so we were in the dark about the history.

I've done some research and was able to find information about (who I thought) were the builders and title exchange history etc. But the newspaper article really shed some light on the house.

The house is definitely a LIFE magazine "Trade Secrets" house. a link to the article written in the Tulsa World ca. April 1953.

So, finally having some history of the design and resources to explore that is great.

But, right now, I have a more specific question. What to do with our interior trim. We have trim around all of our windows and sliding door on the interior. It's currently white. We have painted (non-period at the moment, I'm going to change that soon), but I don't really care for the trim remaining white. We also have these strange vertical slats (part of the 'trade secrets' prefabbed interior walls) on our walls and those have been left white (b/c we weren't sure what to do with them).

So, I've searched the board, and found the prevailing thought is definitely paint the trim on the exterior the same color as the body of the house...but not a lot of info on the interior trim.

In an MCM home, should you accent your interior trim, paint it the same color as the wall it's on, strip to wood (I believe it is redwood), or pull the trim off?

and, bonus, here are pictures of the trim in question:


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Below is a test to see how the trim would look painted the wall color
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Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:53 am
by Joe
congrats on your house!

if the trim is original, paint it the wall color to blend in (interior and exterior). painting it a contrasting color, as you said, is not period. rather beckons to earlier styles. Plus it's harder on the eyes. You want to reduce the color pallet.

My advice, hunt down the Life magazine which features the house. Ebay is a good place. Good chance they will show you some interior images, possibly in color, that might inspire your restoration/renovation. Do this before buying a bunch of paint and spending the time painting.

welcome to LL :wink:

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:00 am
by Stephen
I agree with Joe here. In most MCM houses, you want to look through the windows rather than at the windows. The shadows created by the trim will provide a much more subtle distinction to the trim.

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:51 am
by jesgord
Is this the same design as the 'Operation Trade Secrets House.' shown in "Before You Buy a House" or do they both just use similar names?

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Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:48 am
by ModinTulsa
Thanks guys! Yeah, the trim is original. I was already leaning toward painting it the wall color, just as Stephen and Joe said, so that you are looking through the windows, not at them.

Jesgord - Yes, it is a (operation) "trade secrets" house. The article I linked to shows a pic with the "LIFE Trade Secrets House" temp fence built around the front to keep out the public before viewing and the article details the "trade secrets" concept. My floor plan is identical to this:

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only it is a mirror image and the fireplace is on the long wall joining the living to the dining room and my back door is on the wall where the fireplace is in this plan. And, the carport was enclosed to a two car garage and enters from the front, instead of the side like this plan.

We're planning on putting down wood flooring, we have white painted slab now (wall-to-wall carpet came out day one). We went a little crazy with paint when we moved in, doing the main living areas a dark chocolate brown, and the long wall with the fireplace the blue you see in the pictures.

I like the colors, but as far as being period, they are too vibrant and saturated.

I'll post some more pictures soon and show off some other unique features. In they article they touted the 3.6 ton A/C, Touchplate lighting, electric appliances, etc as cutting edge extras. ;)

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:53 am
by ModinTulsa
One more question, what about the ceiling and baseboard trim? I have trim at the tops of the walls that is white, and my baseboards are white too. Should we treat these as trim pieces and paint as well, or leave them white?

Argh...and around the doors too. It's a lot of trim....but it's definitely original.

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:10 am
by wwilber

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:21 am
by hood
I will see if i can't track down the life magazine and scan in the article and post it.

It never ceases to amaze me the amount of national spec homes built in Tulsa.

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:44 am
by hood

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 12:36 pm
by rockland
I don't see photos and the link does not work. Just me?

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 12:51 pm
by Catman
No

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 3:22 pm
by hood
yeah the images up above look like broken links to me and the link the Tulsa World went no where. Anyways here are the images of the Life magazine.


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Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:57 pm
by moderns-r-us
We have a few of these here in KC!

LL member Udo Min lives in a variation of the home that has been discussed here

http://www.lottaliving.com/bb/viewtopic ... e&start=30


Here is another Trade secrets Home in KC

http://www.lottaliving.com/bb/viewtopic ... rets+house

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:10 pm
by moderns-r-us

Posted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 6:22 am
by Udo Min

Posted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 6:37 pm
by SDR
The first two colored photos above are of a model of the house. Pretty snazzy. Above that is a photo of a carpenter straddling (doing gymnastics ?) above the open roof. The interesting thing to me is to see roof trusses assembled with nuts and bolts. . .


SDR

Posted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 5:21 am
by Udo Min
SDR-
You have an eagle eye. I think the kits for these house came delivered to the site including the nuts & bolts. I should check down the street & ask Jonas to get some attic shots for us. I remember the builder mentioning that this one of the first houses he built with the pre-made trusses so maybe the bolts on the trusses came pre assembled.
How is retirement?
E-

Posted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 5:45 am
by rockland
Great photo. The small type under states, 'workman swings himself to center of precut, prebolted roof
trusses to nail peak in place'. And later, 'roof trusses are assembled on the ground and quickly hoisted up...'

Terrazzo floors. Eureka! Would love to find that under old carpet.

Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 1:27 pm
by Joe

Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 1:34 pm
by SDR
You know what ? Those interior color photos above (also on the cover of house + home in Joe's link) are of a model, too !
Look at the thickness of the "glass" Noguchi table top. . .


SDR

Thanks!

Posted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 9:27 am
by ModinTulsa

Posted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:35 pm
by hood
hey no problem

glad you came back to the site, I was afraid you were gone. So imagine how I awesome I thought it was that your house was right across Yale. Cruised by on my way home today. Really great. We are starting to build a really nice community of sweet modern houses here in Tulsa, each with their own pedigree.

Now my question is did Nuckolls really use the trade secret house as a model for the other houses he built here in town. I would try looking at the address on the map posted below(if you can read it): There is an arrow in the middle that locates a model home off of Sheridan. Maybe 58th street?
There is line of 3 modern homes completely out of character with the rest of the neighborhood on 58th street like the Lortondale model homes in Mayo Meadow. One street to the north on 57th street is the Popular Mechanics house of built-ins.



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1960 Popular Mechanics House of Built-Ins (more pics later)
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Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:38 pm
by ModinTulsa
Shane - yeah, can't read the map, BUT, seriously, where are you getting this stuff?! I've done immense research on the Nuckolls, and even found out my mother used to work for Jim's ex wife, lots of house research, etc, and haven't been able to find anything but some fleeting references to the Nuckolls, a couple of pics from the Beryl-Ford collection, etc. I was aware of the LIFE article, and have been looking for a copy (could get one for $30 online, but am convinced I can find one in town for much cheaper). I'm good at researching this stuff, and you just pull out a Nuckolls Royal Homes brochure out of nowhere!

As far as I know, Nuckolls did use the plan for the later houses. My house was the first "Trade Secrets" house built in Tulsa, and according to the (link fixed btw) in the Tulsa World it sold for $22,500 new because of all the "extras" included because it was the model home.

The article goes on to state, perhaps erroneously, that the house Jim and Bob were going to build en masse would be 1,100 square feet larger than called for in the original "Trade Secrets" plans, but sell for $14,500 plus lot costs. I don't think the later houses were 1,100 square feet larger, but I haven't seen any of them. Seems like an awful lot of space increase and price reduction to boot.

I would love to see that brochure and get some addresses to check out. My wife and I like to go stalk MCM homes on occasion. The blue decorative cement block house in Johannesburg Acres comes to mind.... ;)

Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:49 pm
by hood
yes that blue block house is nice.

I actually got the Royal homes stuff from the Beryl Ford collection. I am interested in knowing which house is the model house as there seems to be a couple of options.

Most the stuff i find comes from lucking out at estate sale, flea markets etc. i have been able to find quite a few older oklahoma magazines that have modern architecture in them. Odd little pieces of ephemera.

I am also teaching right now so I have been able to have the library track down ever article concerning Tulsa Architecture from the mid 40's to the mid 70's and make me copies.

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 4:08 pm
by mansheima
I also live in a Jim Nuckolls house. Awesome!

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 4:42 pm
by hood
Amanda,

Your house is a Jim Wilkinson house

Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:30 am
by mansheima
Krikeys. I thought Nuckolls was the builder, Wilkinson the architect.

Huh?


Either way, neat house. Neat history, neat pictures, Mod! Any updates? :)

Posted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:58 pm
by Jennie
Here's a Jim Nuckolls ad from 1956. Modin Tulsa, is the 1952 Trade Secrets yours, or is this a different house? I wasn't quite sure, but I thought this might be of interest anyway.

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Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:16 pm
by ModinTulsa
Jennie - Yes! The '52 Trade Secrets House is INDEED mine! Awesome! I would love a high res copy of that if you have it. Do you have the original?

The carport has been enclosed to a 2 car garage, and that little tree you see just to the left of the pole behind the house is now HUGE.

::sigh:: I've been too busy and haven't checked here in a while, glad I did! I've got another post I'm going to do soon asking for opinions on a bunch of stuff in the house.

All you Tulsa / Lortondale folks will have to come over and check out our restovation in progress. I had a great time at the Living in HiFi tour of the Lortondale houses. Can't wait to get on a tour when we're done (or close).

I've been able to find some stuff on the history of the house, but not as much as I'd like to.

I had what I thought was a GOLD MINE, but it panned out to not helping at all. The woman that was married to Jim Nuckolls in the 60s and built homes with him used to be my parent's boss at a restaurant in the 90s, but after contacting her she said she had no info and no leads to give me.

I'm rambling now...it's late. But, thanks for the pick me up! It always gets me super excited to see more history relating to my house! Anyone else have anything about the LIFE Trade Secrets house in Tulsa, or Jim Nuckolls? You guys are awesome!

Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:42 pm
by Jennie
I have the original ad. It came from the 1956 Parade of Homes plan book, which was handled down to us through the original owner of my house. Our house was in the Parade of Homes in '56. My husband and I are the third owners of the house, which has been kept mostly original through the years.

We're near Lortondale and Mayo Meadow, in the Wedgwood neighborhood. The 1956 Better Homes and Gardens Idea Home that Jim Nuckolls built is across the street from us. Nuckolls was one of the original residents of Wedgwood.

I started a website a couple of weeks ago called
. Part of the Parade of Homes plan book is posted on the site now, and the whole thing will be posted within a few weeks. It's 150 pages long, so I'm posting it in segments. There are very short bios of Jim and Bob Nuckolls in the Patrick Henry section. There are also descriptions, drawings, and floor plans of the homes they had in the parade. In the Wedgwood section is the Idea Home that I already mentioned.

We went on the Lortondale tour, too. It was a lot of fun.

ModinTulsa, PM an email address to me and I'll send you a high res scan of the ad, plus another Nuckolls ad that is in the plan book.