Famous Mid-Century Homes
There are so many things I love about mid-century architecture beyond the clean lines and simple elegance. Whether it's a celebrity house or a filming location, I love to think about what a house was like 60 years ago. It's like a living time capsule. There's also the unique decisions that architects used to make. Like a home with a swimming pool running through the middle of the living room. Or a house that looks like a flying saucer sitting on top of a concrete post.
Being in quarantine for the past few weeks, I've found myself going through all the links and images I've saved over the years. It's oddly relaxing, and I've been able to distract myself enough by going through and organizing them. It's also given me a few ideas for new posts like this one. These are much easier to put together than my logo posts, so I'm hoping to get more up soon.
Frank Lloyd Wright Houses You Can Rent
This is the only Wright home in Hawaii. Based on plans from 1954, it was built in 1995 on a 3-acre estate. The construction was overseen by Taliesin Associated Architects, which was founded by Wright.
Also known as The Still Bend House, this residence is a pristine time capsule. It was built in 1938 for Life Magazine's "Dream House" competition and is about a mile from Lake Michigan.
Charles and Ray Eames
Ray and Charles Eames moved into their house/studio in 1949 and lived there until their deaths (Charles in 1978 and Ray in 1988). It has remained relatively untouched since.
Paul Rand and Ann Binkley
Paul Rand designed this house with his then-wife Ann Binkley, who studied architecture under Mies van der Rohe. The Rand House and the Eames House both have a wonderfully cozy, lived-in feel to them.
Diamonds Are Forever
Sean Connery was thrown into the swimming pool of this house by two scantily clad bodyguards in the 1971 Bond film. The 9,000 square foot home was recently on the market for $8 million.
The Incredibles 2
Production designer Ralph Eggleston based his design for the 20,000 square foot Parr home on numerous Palm Springs residences and the Sunnylands Estate in Rancho Mirage, CA.
Vienna-born architect Richard Neutra was my first real exposure to mid-century architecture, and this house and the Kaufmann House are still two of my favorites.
Lethal Weapon 2
One of my all-time favorite action movie scenes is when Mel Gibson ripped this house out of the side of a mountain with his GMC one-ton dually. Don't worry; it was all special effects.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
A. James Speyer
The Ben Rose House features one of the most famous scenes in 80s cinema, but the glass pavilion was actually designed 20 years later by a student of his. The property recently sold for $1.06 million.
The Big Lebowski
One of James Lautner's most significant works, the Sheats Goldstein Residence, is owned by eccentric millionaire James Goldstein. No word on if he mixes a hell of a caucasian.
Movies (Science Fiction)
Frank Lloyd Wright
Wright's iconic masterpiece, The Ennis House, has been in numerous films, most famously as the home of Rick Deckard. The temple-like mansion recently sold for $24 million after undergoing an extensive renovation.
If you've ever driven along 1-70 West from Denver, you may have noticed the Sculptured House perched high atop a mountaintop. Deaton also designed several sports stadiums in the early 70s.
Palm Springs Celebrity Homes
The design of Hope's 23,000 square foot residence, which recently sold for $13 million, was inspired by the shape of a volcano. The current owner is grocery mogul Ronald Burkle, who formerly owned the Ennis and Elrod Houses.
The 60s are alive and well in the King of Cool's humble abode, complete with a floating staircase and rumpus room. He lived here with his then-wife, actress Ali MacGraw.
Elvis only briefly lived in this hideaway, dubbed "The House of Tomorrow." He leased it after his marriage to Priscilla in 1967, and it made an appearance in the film Blue Hawaii. It's currently open to the public for tours.
E. Stewart Williams
Sinatra's Twin Palms Estate still retains its Hollywood charm, including his original stereo system in the living room. Sinatra built this house after making his first million with MGM, and it is currently available to rent.
David Tenneson Rich
Chamberlain was the NBA's first big earner and built the ultimate bachelor pad, dubbed "Ursa Major," after becoming a Laker. The triangular-shaped home was recently on the market for $18.9 million.
The San Francisco house of "The Say Hey Kid" is relatively unspectacular, but seeing the original photos from 1963 with the shag carpet, plush drapery, and gold fixtures is truly a sight to behold.
It looks more like a banquet hall than a residence, but that's Dallas for you. The home is said to be a Texas-sized version of Johnson's Glass House Pavilion in Connecticut. It was recently listed for $19.5 million.
E. Stewart Williams
Sam Maceo was an infamous Galveston crime boss in the 1930s, controlling the club and casino scene on the island. The architect for his Palm Springs style estate also designed Frank Sinatra's Twin Palms.
Once dubbed "The most modern house in the world," this saucer-shaped home rests on a single 5-foot wide column. It's been in many movies and was briefly the home of Delorean-driving Troy McClure in the Simpsons.
Bell's Pavillion is a guest house built in 1965 on the secluded Black's Beach outside of San Diego. To get there from the main house, you have to ride a 300-foot tramway down the side of a cliff.