Mad About Modern: 2013 Mid-Century Modern Home Tour

brochure
It’s back and it’s just around the corner! Historic Charlotte’s Third Modern Home Tour is coming on May 11, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

If you love modern, this tour cannot be missed! It’s the perfect way to appreciate Charlotte’s hidden modernist gems. Also the perfect opportunity to introduce someone who doesn’t quite ‘get’ modern to the joy and livability of this style.

This year’s 8 homes run the gamut from an art-filled multilevel dwelling, to a hip, low-slung atomic 50′s ranch, to a 60′s modern mid-rise condo. All homes have one thing in common, their owners’ passion for preserving their iconic style, while bringing them into the 21st century with thoughtful updates. Whether your thing is classic modernism, clean minimalism or atomic ranch-ism, there’s something for everyone.

Guests at the Design Within Reach Reception Party (2)

The 2013 Mad About Modern Home Tour is dedicated to architect Alan Ingram, who died in 2012. Ingram opened his architecture firm in Charlotte in 1960, designing Mid-Century Modern homes and industrial buildings locally and internationally.

To purchase tickets CLICK HERE. Tour proceeds go to benefit Historic Charlotte.

Would you like a FREE tour ticket? Volunteers are needed the day of the tour to staff the tour homes in half-day shifts. They will earn a free tour ticket, plus an invitation to  DWR’s pre-tour reception on Thursday, May 9. For more info CLICK HERE.

Just in case you need extra enticement, here’s a few details about each tour home to whet your appetite:

(Tour home photos courtesy of and sole property of Cameron Triggs, Triggs Photography)
-benita1
7212 Benita
Designed by Aubrey Arant and built in 1964 for the Mitchum family. I was lucky enough to have been friends with a previous owner of this one-of-a-kind home, and I never used to miss an opportunity to get inside, hang out and soak up its retro 60′s charm. Loads of unique, drool-inducing original features, like the rosewood doorknobs on the interior doors.

 

-benita2
7201 Benita
Also located in the sweet little enclave of Burtonwood. Built in 1956 by Neal Arch Biggs, the owner of the Biggs Camera stores. Biggs adapted the plan for the house from one that appeared in Better Homes & Gardens Magazine. And I’m proud to say, I’ve weaseled my way into this amazing atomic ranch as well,  as a lucky party guest on occasion. Each time I’ve been in this house I’ve been blown away the discovery of yet another totally swank feature. Like the “almost secret” passway between the sunroom and family room. The cool 50′s vibe in this house is addictive!

 

-cloister12101 Cloister Dr
Designed by architect Jack Boyte and built in The Cloisters in 1956 for Hyman Polk. Boyte also designed at least two other iconic Modern residences in The Cloisters. With it’s distinctive long, sloping roof and landscape-hugging silhouette, this home bears his signature touches as well. I know the inside is going to be a treat, and thanks to the 2013 Modern Home Tour I won’t have to wrangle any invitations out of any friends so that I can see it.

 

-cloister22015 Cloister Dr
60′s tri-level, also in The Cloisters. With all that great flagstone on the front, you know the inside going to be sweet as well. This neighborhood is home to some of Charlotte’s best modern architecture. When I die and go to Modernist heaven, my neighborhood will be just like the Cloisters, built around a beautiful pond with Mid-Century Modern houses like this one around every bend.

 

6810 Folger Dr
Located in Lansdowne. First of all, let me thank previous owner Ron Crider for painting the front door chartreuse (his “signature” color). And the current owners for keeping it. We need more lively, in-your-face front doors, and homeowners with the imagination to put them out there. These current owners obviously have the good taste required to properly appreciate a Mid-Century Modern tri-level like this one. A complementary pair of sunglasses is in the mail to all unimaginative neighbors. And you, my friend, don’t have be an invitation wrangler to weasel your way in and see what’s inside, all you need is a 2013 Modern Home Tour ticket. By the way, while you’re here on this tour stop, explore a bit in Lansdowne and discover the numerous other MCM houses in this family-friendly neighborhood.

 

-kimberlee1300 Reece Rd
Penthouse condo located in The Kimberlee, a 60′s modern mid-rise co-op building behind Park Rd Shopping Center. I feel a bit guilty about telling you about this one. Because only a special few have discovered this building and its retro charms. For years it has flown under just about all of Charlotte’s radar and without being stumbled upon by the movers and shakers who would strip it of its MCM character and flip it into something bland and characterless. And to this day, it residents enjoy its great location, city views and uncorrupted modernist vibe. Sometimes life really IS fair!

 

-seward
3524 Seward Pl
Designed by architect Charles Connelly and built in 1953 for the Sinnicks family. One of the few original remaining concrete block houses in Charlotte that somehow didn’t torn down and replaced by, well, it’s just too horrible to say. But somehow this unique home dodged that bullet and acquired an owner who appreciated it enough to make wonderful things happen inside those unassuming concrete blocks. It’s been given new life with a complete renovation, but the charming original black and white bathroom tile was preserved. An official “Thank you!” from all us vintage bath tile lovers. Your complementary can of Scrubbing Bubbles is in the mail!

 

-valencia
2121 Valencia Ter
Located near Southpark in Town & Country, this one-level ranch has one of those wonderfully practical floorplans that only a modernist would be clever enough to design. It’s L-shaped, with the living areas in one leg of the L and the bedrooms in the other. The inside of the L is lined with windows, giving the living room and all the bedrooms expansive views of a backyard oasis complete with pool. I know this because I weaseled my way into this one as well during an estate sale. And wow, the house was quite the time capsule, complete with the owner’s big ol’ ancient Buick parked askew in the carport. But the sale also stands out in my mind because when the Asian-style iron gate opened at 7 a.m., a friend in line with me slipped in ahead and snagged a Nelson-ish bench for himself that I’d had my eye on (Estate sale law: no matter how good the friend, every man/woman for his or her self!).  And while I was grabbing armloads of other stuff to make up for that wrenching loss, I noticed the house was something special. I’ve heard the current owners have done an amazing reno. Can’t wait to see it without a houseful of people fighting over boomerang ashtrays!

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