Another newbie saying Hiya!

ARCHITECTURE AND PRESERVATION NEWS for the Los Angeles Conservancy Modern Committee (ModCom) and other Mid Century Modern, Googie, International, Art Deco, 20th Century design

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johnnyapollo
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Another newbie saying Hiya!

Postby johnnyapollo » Sun Dec 12, 2004 7:46 pm

Hi everyone,

I was recently introduced to the site from my friends John and Steph who live in the same neighborhood. We live in mid-century influenced homes in Atlanta, GA - the neighborhood is called Northcrest and is coprised of about 550 homes, about a third are modern including interesting A-frames and uniquely designed houses. The subdivision was started in the late fifties and was built out in three or four phases through the mid seventies (most of the A-frames were built in the later phases).

The development featured some familar design elements including: tri-level or slab construction, tongue-and-groove ceilings with exposed beams, galley kitchens, jack-and-jill (shared) baths and open carports. I've actually bought two homes in the neighborhood, being first introduced to the subdivision in 1997, buying my first house in 1998 and then the current house in 2002. My present house is one of the unique homes in the neighborhood, with interesting asian-influenced motifs, sunk-in living/dining/kitchen, clearstory windows and a full basement (with floating staircase). I've been putting together an historical record online on my website here:

http://www.wildtoys.com/house/

The house was in typical lived-in condition when purchased, with some elements in disrepair, including the roof. There were original light fixtures and one metal gate - I've had to replace some elements and have been updating major systems. The HVAC has been totally replaced with a 4 ton unit, many trees were removed and the roof has been replaced. I'm currently painting and doing cosmetic repairs before updating the remaining clearstory windows (about half were updated in the mid-80s and I'm updating the rest with low-e class). Please excuse the mess as the house is definitely a work in progress.

In any case, I'm looking forward to reading past posts and getting involved in this community.

Cheers! John

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Atlanta

Postby SDR » Sun Dec 12, 2004 9:13 pm

Nice, John -- thanks for the tour(s) of your new house. Is your butterfly-and-a-half roof repeated in Northcrest? The stone veneer is gorgeous -- looks good with the green trim and natural ceiling. The two-story workshop-bedroom wing was added at some point, giving you interior stone walls in those new rooms? I like the level changes, too. (I'm trying to imagine how a rebuilt bedroom deck might connect more gracefully with the rear patio. . .) You have some wonderful plantings; thanks for all the great photos!

Hope to hear more as you go on. Welcome! SDR :cheers:

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johnnyapollo
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Postby johnnyapollo » Mon Dec 13, 2004 3:48 am

Hi SDR,

Thanks for you input and kind words. The house is unique to Northcrest and I believe it's the only one built from stone. The exterior is called "Cherokee Marble" and is actually a white granite mined in North Georgia. Although it looks like marble, there is too much mica in the stone to qualify if for granite.

The bedroom addition was done in the late 80's and is covered in real stucco - the contractor actually did an above average job using very detailed plans (in my possession) to expand the existing master bedroom and add a shower to the existing master bath. The existing bedroom had sliding doors out to a deck so the view from the addition does bring the exterior stone into the room, as well as the room downstairs. My plan is to extend the small deck off the bedroom out, and possibly to wrap the deck to the back of the house - with the ground beneath dug out for garden equipment storage.

For some reason the previous homeonwners decided to finish the ceilings in the addition - there is actually tongue-and-groove under the sheet-rock that I may expose at a later date. When I had the roof pulled off and rebuilt, I fixed all the rot/water damage and added some wiring for lighting (the wiring actually lays unclad on top of the t&g, beneath the pearlite asphalt/fiberglass layers. I then added 1.5" of ISO board for about R10 value insulation. This raised the roof level but has so far decreased both our power bills in the summer and heating bills in the winter. I'm hoping that with the low-e windows being replaced the bills will improve more - however the primary driver for window replacement is to discontinue the tremendous condensation that is currently happening. Water will drip down the walls from the clearstory windows if not blotted up when the exterior temperature drops below 40 degrees (not that it gets that cold very often - but often enough to cause concern with rot and damage - its the high humidity in GA).

I've found that the biggest mistake the builder made in constructing these houses was in not considering the high humidity and general wet conditions of the south. There's almost always rot damage associated with these houses in this region from rain, humidity and flooding. The other damage-causing factor has been the wooded properties and high hardwood tree density. Before I removed some trees, I constantly had limbs drop on the roof that would pierce the existing roofing and cause leaks - I think every time we had a storm I was on the roof with a caulk gun to apply roofing cement to penetrations. There were times when limbs would be sticking out of the roof like some obscene chia pet.

I have quite a bit of information about the house and neighborhood, having begun collecting and archiving any available records. The community features a trapezoidal olympic sized pool with tennis courts - quite advanced for the era when primary construction was occuring. At some point during the 70's two pool companies blanketed the neighborhood so there is a high inground pool popluation - over 10 percent of the homes - mostly installed in the later phases. It's my theory that the community pool became inconvenient to walk to from the later phases so many built their own pools.

I hope to have more photos added soon - I've mostly completed the interior painting and am ready for window replacement. After that I'm looking at replacing the exterior doors, especially the sliding glass doors. I'd like to retain the asian aspect of having sliding panels (two interior doors are also sliding pocket doors) but am looking at other possibilities.

-- Best, John

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Welcome

Postby moderns-r-us » Mon Dec 13, 2004 8:45 am

Last edited by moderns-r-us on Mon Dec 13, 2004 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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John's house

Postby SDR » Mon Dec 13, 2004 10:04 am


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johnnyapollo
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Postby johnnyapollo » Mon Dec 13, 2004 11:14 am


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Postby Joe » Mon Dec 13, 2004 11:48 am


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johnnyapollo
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2004 7:28 pm
Location: Atlanta GA
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Postby johnnyapollo » Mon Dec 13, 2004 12:03 pm


Dustyman73
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Postby Dustyman73 » Mon Dec 13, 2004 9:39 pm

Great house, John!! Beautiful setting. What area of Atlanta is that in?

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johnnyapollo
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Postby johnnyapollo » Tue Dec 14, 2004 3:51 am

The Northcrest subdivision is at the outer crux of I85 and I285, bordered by Chamblee Tucker Road on the east and Pleasantdale Road to the north (basically North, north East OTP - outside the perimeter). It's a little-known area that was mostly developed through the late 70's. I've talked to long-time Atlanta residents who remember driving out here from in-town 30-40 years ago - this area was then considered the "stix" - now it's the burbs. Since the neigherborhood is between three municipalities (the cities of Chamblee, Doraville and Norcross) taxes are low and the area has garnered little attention. I've taken on the task of documenting the neighborhood history and will begin listing the MCM houses with any unusual details and photos - these will be available on the web. I have an original neighborhood plot from 1964 that lists the property owners as of that date, along with original phone numbers. I believe that the map shows "phase 1" of the development - I also have a photocopy of the original sales brochure. I'll try to get these up on the web for viewing as I get time to scan and my information continues to grow.

I've started a new website to act as a repository of photos and information: http://www.northcrestmodern.com - it should be active within a day or so.

-- Best, John

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Postby minx » Tue Dec 14, 2004 10:16 am

What a house!
I look forward to seeing more information as you build your site.
And I just have to ask.... what are beauties like yours selling for nowadays?

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johnnyapollo
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Postby johnnyapollo » Tue Dec 14, 2004 11:13 am

There have been several recent sales of fixer-uppers in the $175-185k range in Northcrest. I sold my previous house for a little over 200k. The house next to mine is currently for sale for $245 (but it's huge 4 bedroom 3 bath - it's had two additions). MCM houses in my area are still very reasonable. Now if my house was in town, in a good neighborhood, it would be bordering on the $750k-1M range - it's all about location.

Of course, compared to west coast prices, houses here would appear extremely cheap. A few years ago my company was approached by PayPal as an acquisition - needless to say I began looking at houses in the valley and was struck over the head with sticker shock.

-- Best, John


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