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I'll bet you thought I'd given up. Nope. Not in the least. But the last six months have found me focusing on setting up my law office rather than on sharing the MCM love. And yes, even law offices can be hip. Exhibit A (manufactured back in the day by the Alma furniture company and hauled by a sweaty me from Atlanta to the 'ham this last summer. I know you're jealous):
But I'm back, baby. And I'm committed to showing this blog some love this year.
Let's start off with a look around the 'ham at some mod listings. January 'tis typically not the season for house hunting. But you, brave readers, are exceptions to this rule. I just know it. So if that Womb chair just doesn't look right in the living room of your Hoover townhouse, say no more. Put on your mittens and get in the car. I am here to help you.
315 Linwood Ct. Forest Park. You know this house. You've driven past it for years and wondered what lurked behind the greenery-covered brick walls and the shrubbery. Now you know. After a price drop to $399,000, this Forest Park mod is calling out to one of you. There's an addition I can't quite sort out from the photos (maybe the double-height area?), and part of the garage was taken in to make an extra bedroom, but it's still pretty doggone cool.
If your budget is not quite up to par for Forest Park, just wander a short distance down Clairmont to Crestwood and 5309 10th Court South where this cutie is listed for a mere $190,000. Sure the washer and dryer are in the kitchen. But what price style? And speaking of kitchen, these folks used the same Nexus Yellow-Brown IKEA cabinets that I used. They work well in an MCM home, if I say so myself. Too bad they've been discontinued.
And one for those in the top 1%. 4320 Old Brook Trail is near the Ireland House and the Fritz Woehle house, and is far enough off the road on its 2.5 acres that the protesters shouldn't bother you much. But we at Magic City Modern will bother you. Because we'll want to get inside and touch things and try hard to become your very, very best friends. A mere $1,290,000. But those clerestory windows and the folded plate roof are priceless, no?
Stay warm, mod babies!
White brick, floor-to-ceiling windows, massive granite fireplace, in-ground pool . . . in West Jefferson. Who knew, right? At least now you do. And for a mere $204,000. It sits in the middle of 7.5 wooded acres, a hop, skip and a jump from Corridor X. You know, this used to be one of those areas that you just couldn't get to from here. Corridor X has changed all that. So, if your idea of swank involves serenity now, pack a lunch, drive out there and check this place out.
And a little something in Vestavia. This one's pretty nifty, and only $249,900.
Hardcore mods are few and far between in the Magic City. So when you find one with nice bones and a couple great features, and it hasn't been remuddled or Frenchie-fied beyond recognition, you add it to your list. Here is a new listing in Vestavia that I really like. $319,900, 4/4, big wooded lot, just off Shades Crest. It's a winner:
An entry from the Tiny Kingdom. Some Frenchification, to be sure (hard to avoid in the 35213 zip, but you know this already) but could be really nifty. 5/3 for $368,000 -- that's reasonable in Mt. Brook dollars:
A nice ranch in Crestwood. A little ungainly from the front, and a time capsule inside, it has some nice original features remaining, and is big with a nice big basement for only $209,900.
Sometimes newer houses are cool. Here's a contemporary home (ca. 2002) in Redmont, on Altamont, with a killer view. There's a definite reference to Louis Kahn's Esherick house (or at least I see it) with the peek-a-boo street side and the expansively glassed rear. Swap Kahn's espressive use of wood for more contemporary metal, add in a cool $1.395 mil, I think you'd be very happy here indeed. http://tinyurl.com/3508-altamont
Esherick street view:
Altamont street view:
Esherick inside out:
Altamont inside out:
Esherick rear elevation:
Altamont rear view (no complete elevation shots possible absent a crane or helicopter. But there's a bonus shot of the view as some compensation):
I've featured this English Village home before. At the time, I noted that there isn't much recent construction like this in the 'ham. I can think of only a few homes that are similar. And it appears that the field of potential purchasers is equally small, or smaller, as it remains on the market. But I think it's super cool, even at $699,900, so here it is again:
April 27, 2011.
It is a day few of us in Alabama will ever forget.
There isn't much to say that hasn't already been said. The thoughts, prayers and most well wishes of Magic City Modern are with each and every person affected by these unprecedented events.
If you wish to help or volunteer, please consider contacting the following:
It's been a while since I've posted available mods, but here they are!
The Better Homes and Gardens 1955 Idea House. Right here in Vestavia Hills. This was a FSBO a couple of years ago and at that time it was still fairly original. It has had some remuddling done to it, but is still a great place with intact bones. $209,900. That's a bargain, folks. Check out the linked flicker set for the vintage magazine articles and some photos of the Vestavia home prior to the recent remodel.
Flicker Set: http://tinyurl.com/BHG-1955
Vestavia on the other end of the scale. If you've got a cool million in your pocket and an appreciation for saltillo and talavera tiles, this 1987 contemporary could be the thing for you.
A Bluff Park Beauty. This is unusual for the 'ham, folks. Take my word for it. The triple barrel vault and the awesome circular fireplace in the basement rec room re well worth the price of admission. Swap out some of that 1990s tile and you've got a rockin' pad, for sure. And on an acre, to boot, for only $239,900! Heck, if someone wants my place, I'd consider selling to move into this one.
An entry from the Tiny Kindom. This is a Mod in the Mountain Brook "Way". Meaning that it has mod tendencies, but in a nice, Southern way. Play it up or play it down -- your call at $599,900.
A couple of Crestwod Cuties, all on the same street and ranging from $169 to $209K! (personally, I like bachelor number three):
Gardendale. Yep, Gardendale. Not heavy on style, but it has some original features and is HUGE. And for $140K, not a bad commute.
Anniston again. I know, it's not Birmingham, but there are an inordinate number of cool mods over there. I'll attribute it to the military influence over the years, or something. Anyway, for $135K, this is pretty cool, and on a golf course to boot.
There had been some indication that the semi-annual IKEA kitchen sale was to become a thing of the past. Too many people waiting for the sale, which led to slow sales in the other parts of the year, or something like that. But apparently someone saw the light in the Netherlands (no mean feat in winter) and the sale is back, mod babies. So if you have been waiting and pondering and tweaking that planner schematic for the last year or so (I know who you are) now is the time to leap.
Everything is 10% off with a purchase of $2,500. Buy two appliances and the discount increases to 15%. A third appliance gets you to 20% off the whole shebang. Not too shabby.
We can have the philosophical debate of preserving the original vs. updating, but this is really for the folks who have already crossed the line from the land of the strict restorationists. There are some great original MCM kitchens out there, but not in most of our houses. And while I admire the custom work done by Henrybuilt, Kerf, et al., the fact is that I am on a budget. And I know most of you are, as well. That is what led me to IKEA.
You'll recall that this is what we started with back in the dark days of 2009:
And through Ikean elfin magic (with my own sweaty pixie dust and that of the mister and my dad), it was transformed into this:
We purchased during the fall, 2009 sale. All of the cabinets and hardware came in at around $2,600. You really can't beat that. So, there it is. Your IKEA testimony for the day. I don't know that there are a lot of IKEA kitchens in Birmingham yet, but it is totally doable. If you've got any questions about it, shoot them to me. I might even consult with you in return for chips and a bowl of queso. The sale runs through May 1, so hop to it!
Today I've got some shots of random local beauties, to get you all ready for spring. I'll have another post shortly with new listings on the market, and stay tuned for a post or two from our first guest blogger, Alx, who is freshly returned from Modernism Weekend in Palm Springs. Where I'm crazy about the houses, she's crazy about the furnishings, so you all will love her, I'm sure. She and her hubby have a fabulous MCM place, too. I'm going to try to nudge her just right so she'll agree to let us feature it here at Magic City Modern.
Time is of the essence, mod babies. Spring brings with it many goodies, like sunny days, balmy breezes, and bountiful foliage. But that means the clock is ticking on that window of opportunity for MCM viewing that we in the Magic City call "winter". So I made the rounds last week to bring you shots of a few fab places that soon will be again seasonally sequestered behind their carbon-based curtains.
But first, a hearty welcome back for the previously shuttered shopping center at 280 and Hollywood/Oxmoor Road. The ill-fated towering condo project abandoned at last, Mexico Lindo will soon be back where it belongs, joining an egg joint (is that a new trend, like all the yogurt spots?), and whatever is going into the newly Dwell-ed up Coffee Kettle. I know the purists will balk at our new retro, but I say we should take what we can get!
A drive into Mountain Brook, on Brookwood, Woodridge and thereabouts, brought these beauties:
See that wall of glass beneath the vaulted ceiling? Yeah, I didn't think so. Stinkin' trees.
This one, when viewed in a sat photo, looks to have two enclosed atrium areas. From the road it appears as a blank facade until you look more closely. The Facade is actually a screen that appears to hide a lot of glass. I'd love to see more of this place, as it looks as though its owners embrace its MCM-ness.
Another lovely on Brookwood Road:
And on Cherokee Road, about the fourth house on the left when you turn off 280, one of my favorites. My photos don't do it justice:
On the other side of Cherokee, tucked up behind Brookwood Village, is a little section of Mt. Brook with some nice MCMs. I'd encourage you to pop in there and drive around on a pretty day. You'll see lovelies like this:
Turning off 280 at the Water Works and heading up Shades Crest and poking down Big Springs leads you to these:
You know those stories about the friend of a guy whose cousin found this great thing one time? This is one of those stories. First you have to know that I was a horse chick in my past.
Go Bobby Bar and me, ca. 1980:
The girl sitting on the ground, to the left, is my dear old friend Suzanne, who is now a dressage trainer in Atlanta. I have come to learn that Suzanne has a roommate who apparently can source any kind of birdhouse you could ever need. Because it is not strictly our own nests that need feathering, mod babies, I direct you to the retro bird feeder, for reasons that need not be enumerated once you see the picture:
And of course in an up-to-the-minute grellow:
And a stark white, for you purists out there:
Go here to acquire these mod nests:
And if dressage is your thing, go here to see Suzanne's Blog. She's got a special way of facilitating communication in the oft-contentious triangle that is horse, rider and instructor. And she had the guts to stay in horses and excel while the rest of us wandered off into engineering, law, and other far lesser callings:
I trust everyone had a felicitous holiday season and a rockin' new year. So while you're dragging yourselves back to work or school or wherever it is you have to go when you'd rather be reading this blog, here are a few things to think about. Mod listings in the Magic City -- nothing really phenomenal right now, but some definite opportunities for those with vision.
This one on 20th Avenue South -- this is in the Diaper Row area, and there is no picture of the front of the house. So it is either really ugly, or fabulously modern -- either one is grounds for the standard B'ham realtor to wave you off and encourage you to look instead at the . . . billiards pit? Well, you just have to see for yourself. The brick paver floor is pretty cool. $247,500:
This one is in Fultondale, which is just north of B'ham, before you get to Gardendale. $450K is a LOT for Fultondale, but you get this ginormous ranch and something like 4 acres. It's traditional, but I think I see some slate floors in there . . .
These next two are in that area of Mt. Brook near the Junior High School (prime hunting grounds for MCM). The first one is $335K with a possible owner finance. That's a good deal for that neighborhood. Get you some Brookie swank on the cheap:
This one is more in the standard MB price schedule, but it's huge. "Five new HVAC units" -- I'm not sure I am equipped to handle such a beast, but maybe you are. Check it out (hit the "voice guided tour" button and you'll catch a glimpse of marble floors and what appears to be a slick vintage Poggenpohl kitchen):
One in Vestavia (thanks Martina for reminding me of this one!). I'm not at all sure what is up with the funkiness on the front, but it looks pretty cool overall. It's a hip mod that has clearly been loved . . . albeit perhaps in a late-night cable kind of way. For $245K, it's a must-see.
And back to Anniston. For a mere $119,900 you get this sprawling ranch. I'm thinking it could still be with the original owners:
Happy hunting, and don't do anything crazy in the snow! The last time we had snow, it looked something like this:
But 4-8 inches? In Birmingham? Buy that milk and bread now, mod babies, because you're about to be homebound for a few days.
We were in T-town this weekend for the newest grandbaby's christening (welcome, Metyl!) and I did a double take as we drove past this place on the way to a relative's home. MCM, but with reference to the earlier Streamline Moderne style. Probably stucco over concrete block. A family member tells me that it was originally built for a college professor and sports terrazo flooring throughout. It comes up for sale regularly, then doesn't sell, so is leased out again for the school year. It's occupied now so I didn't get too close. Nifty place.
And just because I thought you would enjoy it, something I came across on a trip to the post office a few weeks ago . . .
It's not every day that we in small-town Alabama see school buses in anything but an upright position. And what are those bins across the parking lot?
Why, those are bins for plastics, glass, etc., because . . .
This is the town recycling center. If only all thugs and vandals could be this environmentally conscious.
And here are a few things I love. Just because.
My Sunbeam toaster, a wedding gift to Mom and Dad in 1960. Makes the best damn toast in three counties:
An awesome Chris Craft runabout, ca. 1958. It was for sale at a nearby dealer last summer:
My dad's 1949 Ryan Navion. 'nuff said:
Oh, the Navion is for sale. Let me know if you're interested.
I should be troubleshooting the lighting issues on the Christmas tree, but instead I sit here perusing the greater Birmingham area via satellite images. Man, I love these satellites. As you probably know, or as you have probably seen from prior posts on this blog, MCM architecture in Birmingham is largely hidden from view. It is primarily custom, architect-designed, and built by folks who can afford to sequester themselves among the creatures of the wild. So driving around with a camera only gets you part of the picture. The progeny of Sputnik gets you the rest.
You may not even know Cahaba River Estates exists. But now that you do, you'll realize what a rare gem it is. Turn between Carmax and Wal-Mart on 150 in Hoover and start driving around. These folks have acreage, horses, and many of them are on the Cahaba. Some of it is Jefferson County, some is Shelby County, all is unincorporated. Yes, there are some McMansions back there, but there are some swell mid-century places as well (though of a more traditional bent). Then there is this place:
Honestly, I'm not sure what to make of it. The part of the structure to the rear almost looks like an older, traditional home. But the portion facing toward the river has a definite modern vibe. There are the clerestory windows. And then the three descending tiers of . . . of something I can't really identify.
But it's pretty interesting. Some wandering around on the interwebs tells me that the owner participates in Mustang racing, which probably explains all the parking and what might be a huge garage toward the rear.
Does anybody have the scoop? I'll bet they throw a heck of a party!
OK, you people are letting me down. Don't sit there all lazy in your Eames Lounge chairs and make me do all the work. I begged for your assistance in getting the scoop on a mystery residence once before. This was the place:
Not a peep.
I learned the Cathay cathedral on Drummond Lake was indeed in the Drummond family, but NONE of you have managed to wrangle me an invite. Here's your chance to redeem yourselves. You've seen the gate to this place on Old Leeds road, just across from Regency East Drive. I know you've seen it. I know you've wondered about it.
The gate itself is sort of Roy-Rogers-meets-The-Last-Samurai. So you know something interesting has to lurk beyond. Indeed it does. I just have no idea what it is. Did you know there is a lake down there? Osborn Lake? And this . . . structure. I hesitate to call it a house, because it looks more like a World's Fair pavillion, or perhaps an Air Force Officer's Club. But the parking is limited, so I don't think it is intended for heavy use. Oh, and there is a swimming pool, a wooded statuary garden of some kind, and a decagonal (surely that is a word) barn.
Seriously, what is the deal? Is this some private club for those Eyes Wide Shut parties? Perhaps a hush-hush rehab retreat for the rich and tortured? Just a DIY remodel that got seriously out of hand?
Tax records show that the owner is one Mr. Osborn. (I'm sensing a pattern here with the lakes bearing the same names as the property owners -- I'm insightful that way). Mr. Osborn apears to be a real estate developer, and there is some reference to a private club. So somebody sponsor me, already. I feel like having a cocktail and maybe taking a paddleboat out for a spin.
This is the kind of thing that happens to you when you're preparing for an Atomic Crash Party. The house is clean, the beer and wine are bought, and then . . . CRASH!
I may use this as an excuse to never again mow the lawn. Clearly, I am not qualified. It may be part of some grand biennial plan, as the same thing happened to the Mister back in 2008. he got the one on the end. So, by 2014, we'll have new 49" x 78" windows across the entire north side of the house. Just another day at the ranch. People in glass houses, and all.
But, if you're still in the mood for something with windows, try this one. This is a Henry Sprott Long home in Mountain Brook. And, surprisingly for the zip code, it hasn't had a groovectomy. $548,000 might be a bit high in this market, but it is 5/3 on a fairly private lot.
Go forth and populate!
We held a zone conference in Huntsville on Thursday, 23 May at the Huntsville Stake Center on Sparkman Drive.
|Huntsville Stake Center with the mission cars ready for an inspection|
|Elders Kaupert and Romero|
|Elder Tyler conducting the safety training for our missionaries in Huntsville on Thursday|
|Elder Munns conducting some training in Huntsville on Thursday|
|Sisters Hazelgren and Decker conducting training on Thursday in Huntsville|
|Taking a little break on Thursday in Huntsville|
|Elder Romero conducting training on Thursday in Huntsville|
We broke into groups for a Preach My Gospel activity.
The Huntsville Relief Society sisters presented us with a beautiful quilt (see below).
|Sister Calderwood (RS President), Sister and President Vaughan (stake president) |
|Lunch was prepared by these faithful Relief Society Sisters|
We drove to Bessemer to teach with our missionaries.
|Elders Dalo and Neilson|
|Our missionaries arrived to the appointment on their bikes|
|Elders Zundel and Gebert|
Our missionaries continue fulfilling their purpose in the "Great Commission" (see Matthew 8:19-20).
|Elders Winward, Taveuveu, and Johnson|
|Sisters Coleman, Butt, McDowell and Stock|
|Sisters Osorio and Rose|
|Elders Whitaker and Ingersoll|
|Elders Hendersson, Larssen, and Weight|
Sisters Casperson and Duncan
|Elders Matson and Bergman with Sisters Hernandez and Krause|
One of the blessings our missionaries enjoy is to witness the temple sealing (Sealing Defination
) of a couple one year after baptism.
|Elders Anderson and Epperson witnessed the sealing of a couple the taught and baptized|
One of the great blessings our missionaries enjoy is associating with local members and leaders. The members and the leaders of the local wards and branches shower love upon our missionaries with meal appointments, rides, help, support, and friendship. We are a blessed mission with wonderful dedicated, faithful Latter-day Saints living good lives and making a difference in their families, community, and the world.
|President and Sister Pettus (she is battling cancer) hosted the Tupelo zone leaders at their farm (near the Tennessee border hours from Tupelo and Starkville) for a planning night and breakfast the next morning (Elders Ojelade, Andoh-Kesson, Lundeen, and Forbes |
Elder and Sister May help missionaries keep their apartments organized and cleaned. Here is a recent example of what can collect in and around an apartment after a few years!
We received a photo of Elders Chance Bearnson and Shay Forbes taken during their senior year--competing against each other on the basketball court. Later, they both ended up playing on the same All-Star team in Utah!