Historic Properties for Sale: Woodsy Modernism Edition

Posted on: July 29th, 2011 by David Garber

"Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. " Sometimes even fast enough to shatter a curtain wall...

"The place is like a museum. It's very beautiful and very cold, and you're not allowed to touch anything."

If you've seen "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" you probably remember the scene where Ferris and his buddy Cameron return the rare 1961 Ferrari GT California that they "borrowed" from Cameron's dad. Cameron is freaking out. Ferris, characteristically, is trying to keep things cool. But it's the location that truly makes the scene: the glassy garage of the 1953 modernist Highland Park home designed by A. James Speyer and David Haid. (That, incidentally, was up for sale earlier this year.)

Now before we let this scene take over the entire post (believe me, if I could, I would), the reason I bring this up is because the house and garage fit perfectly into today's Historic Properties for Sale category: woodsy modernism. Fortunately, we've got a couple listings that bring young Mr. Frye's house to mind.

The Round House - Worthington, Ohio

Situated among mature trees in the mid-century neighborhood of Rush Creek Village just outside Columbus, the Round House is a crisp specimen of the style's affinity for natural materials, simple shapes, and a yielding presence on the landscape. I mean, who doesn't want banquette seating lining their curved living room wall? (See more great photos on the listing.)

18 Twin Pond Lane - Lincoln, Massachusetts

If the above photo doesn't prove the whole woodsy modernism thing, the description of this 1962 home seals it: "The house is a modest wood-framed contemporary; secluded in a wooded neighborhood with proximity to walking trails and permanently protected conservation land." Appears to be a fixer-upper, but who isn't up for a little (or a lot of) DIY?

Where do woodsy modern houses fit on your own list of most-desired house styles? Is Ferris Bueller right about them feeling cold and museum-like?

David Garber is a member of the Digital and New Media team at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. You know, although the style probably wouldn't top his list of all-time most wanted homes (there's a creepiness factor to them), he certainly wouldn't turn one down.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

General, Modern Architecture, Real Estate