Late Spring

Introducing the MetroABQ Mid Mod Home Tour:


Five Unique Mid-Century Modern Homes
Spread Out Across The City
Open For A Day...


 

The 1st ABQ Mid Mod Home Tour took place a week ago & it was an amazing event! Created by Modern Albuquerque, a less-than-a-year-old organization that "promotes the presence of modernist architecture in Albuquerque," this self-guided tour took us to five MetroABQ Mid-Century Modern homes, in no particular order.

One stop included a large dignified home, built in 1964, & perched high in a corner of Four Hills, seen above. The open-slatted roof & recessed entry is typical Mid-Century. The floor-to-ceiling wall-of-windows is another recurring style in Mid Mod homes, seen below, which includes a view looking north along the Sandia Mountain chain.  

The Modern Albuquerque creators, under Retrograde Tours, provide guided walking tours of Mid-Mod-style residential & commercial buildings throughout the city; I'm looking forward to taking the Hairpin Legs & the Retro Risque Walking Tours.  

To receive the five exclusive addresses featured on the tour, participants checked in at St. Paul's Lutheran Church on Indian School Rd, west of University Blvd. The Flatow & Moore-designed building is itself a stunning Expressionist-style Mid-Century Modern work of art, with a swooping façade seen for miles, & a three-sided inner gathering space. The designers utilized post-tensioned beams, which create a strong structure & unimpeded views in the sanctuary, image below. The building alone was worth the price of admission, & we hadn't yet started the tour...

The event was supported by folks who clearly enjoy MetroABQ architecture: AIA ABQ Executive Director Jen Fenstermacher provided info at the ticket table, & Thea Haver, one of the Mid Mod Home Tour organizers & one half of the Modern Albuquerque team, checked in regularly to make sure it was all going smoothly (it was). 

 
Directly above is the St. Paul's Lutheran Church, seen here, too; below is a serene scene from the church Sanctuary. See more of this architecturally unique Mid-Century Expressionist building here, including some excellent preserved Mid-Century carved wood furniture.
Next stop was to a discreet home nestled in the Mossman neighborhood near Sandia High School. There are numerous pocket neighborhoods in that area, with great mid-century details. According to Albuquerque Modernism, builders Mossman & Gladden created over 7500 homes in the NE Heights during the MetroABQ post-war housing boom. Above is the Mid Mod Home Tour brochure entry; below is a perfectly-described "interior garden sun-room," an inside courtyard from that home. 

Notice the Mid Mod 'open screen' brick design encompassing the interior wall in the Lutheran church two images above, & the recessed brick design immediately above & below. Brick building materials were very popular & used creatively during this period--more examples of unique brickwork follow...
The next stop was to a Netherwood Park Mid Mod home designed by Art Dekker. Netherwood is home to some great Mid-Century enclaves, including the two residential streets--Lafayette & Notre Dame--that end at Netherwood's Urban Forest Park. Netherwood Park itself is a fun destination: the link to the North Diversion Bike Path links there, & the food trucks roll in for Wednesday's Bite, seasonally & already-in-progress weekly dinnertime gatherings in the park... 

Above is the façade of the Netherwood Park Mid Mod. The open roof is sleek, with only one connecting beam defining the courtyard space; in contrast, the courtyard walls are adorned with dozens of vertical wood slats. Below are pristine period pieces: a wall clock & wall sconces, plus an original brightly-toned door.

Click for more North Campus/Greater Altura Mid-Century Modern images & info.
The fourth stop, a North Campus neighborhood near Indian School Road, featured a stunning home & property: to get inside, you cross a steel bridge over a rather utilitarian moat, seen above. The folks crossing & hanging out on the bridge provide good context for the size of the moat. 

Below are three scenes facing the home from the garden-terraced backyard & one from in the living room; more floor-to-ceiling windows & wood ceiling beams. There is great perspective in the fourth image, below, which shows the dual-levels of the home; the person standing in the middle of the image on the right-hand-side provides context for the enormity of the space.
The frenetic bathroom wallpaper design, above, & the cool elevated window succulent garden, below, were some interior design features that stood out. Another was the unique wood inlaid into a cork flooring design, two below. 
Near the entry, more wood-beam ceilings, & a great pendant globo hanging above the stairwell, below, with alternating window textures that frame the tree outside, below.
The final house on the ABQ Mid Mod Home Tour was in the Parkland Hills neighborhood, adjacent to Ridgecrest; an area with numerous parks & greenspaces. The home sat discreetly behind dense vegetation & opened up architecturally once inside. The classic Mid-Century hairpin-leg stands at the top of the water garden feature & supports the shady overhang, seen above, with a roofline that juts out further than most other styles.

The Mid-Century Mod House Tour reminded me of the futuristic cartoon television show The Jetsons, which aired in the early 1960's & is a Mid-Century Modern enthusiasts dream: to be thrown hundreds of years into a future where Mid 19th Century Modern styles rule the land, & the skies, too. Below is an image from The Jetsons--Mr. Spacely's "old fishing cabin," a futuristic Mid Mod delight--taken from Smithsonian.com.
www.ChrisLucasABQ.com
 
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