Streamline Moderne, also referred to as Art Moderne, was a late Art Deco design style which emerged during the 1930s in response to the harsh economic times of the Great Depression. Its architectural style emphasizes aerodynamic curving forms, long horizontal lines, and sometimes nautical elements. These uniquely-designed homes were built in the Metro area between 1935 and WII; a good sampling can be found around the University of New Mexico.

With the country going through the worst economic times ever, the Art Moderne style was streamlined–gone was any unnecessary ornament. Sharp angles were replaced with simple, aerodynamic curves. Exotic woods and stone were replaced with cement and glass.


The home above has a simple but prominent streamlined flowline accent across the front. Below, notice the flat roof, flow lines, rounded corners, tube railing, corner windows & a simple cantilever porch roof.


Although flat-roofed and stuccoed like many other MetroABQ buildings of that era– like Spanish Pueblo Revival and Territorial styles–Streamline Moderne features rounded corners, cylindrical forms, long horizontal windowing, flow lines, port hole windows and tube railings; also often included are corner windows and cantilevered roofs.


At top, the nautical porthole window is a prominent feature, along with subdued earth-tone flow lines , horizontal windowing and glass block windows. Below, we see the sleek, smooth rounded concrete and glass block of a two-story Streamline Moderne home in Nob Hill. The Streamline Moderne style permeated almost all of U.S. society during the 1930’s, from trains and cars, ships and planes, to large commercial buildings and residential homes.


Below is the UNM Children’s Hospital, a modern take on the Streamline Moderne style. Notice the horizontal windowing, rounded corners and flow lines–to me the top looks like a Streamline Locomotive or Airplane heading east.