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  • Location
    Spring Branch
  • Interests
    Atomic-era architecture, smart-growth cities, green initiatives.

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  1. The term 'Googie' was coined from the architectural style of a coffeeshop built in LA named (surprise) 'Googies', which apparently originated this kitchschy style of architecture in about 1949. The coffeeshop is long gone, but its legacy lives on .... Anyone interested in this architectural style should pick up the book 'Googie Redux' - it's pretty current and full of pictures of the buildings and affectations (like the 'dingbats') that go hand in hand with this style.
  2. 25" deep at the bottom (burner drawer), 16.5 " deep at top (oven is shallower) 30" Wide 35" high (unit only); as installed on a cabinet base the top edge would normally be 62" off the ground, but you could install at any height suitable for you.
  3. GREAT Googie Church: Spring Branch Baptist (?) Corner of Long Point and Campbell - folded plate roof on one building on the LongPoint side - as of a few months ago it was for sale Googie Apartments: 'Marquee West' on McCue, north of Westheimer. Classic design, terrazzo public entry, original swoopy lettering on the front. Also, the RoyalGate Aparments at 1711 Gessner on West side - brown&white volcanic rock exterior, interlocking metal circles balconies, interesting angles. Googie Gas Station (now a car lot): corner of Long Point and Gessner. Another one that is vacant: corner of Westview and Witte Googie condos: 'Hillside', on North side of Memorial just West of Shepherd
  4. Ok, Modsters, this is your chance to own a piece of American appliance history .... I have a 1964-ish 'Flair' freestanding oven/range unit for sale. These are very unique, having a slide-out cooktop burner drawer below the upper gullwing-door oven. Both oven and burners are electric, would make a great addition to a vintage mid-century kitchen. These came out in 1960 or so, were originally designed to replace freestanding floor ranges that were common in the day in most houses. They were made by Fridgidaire, which at the time was a division of General Motors - it's built like a Buick, all steel and able to withstand lots of abuse. Parts can be had through vintage parts channels (somewhere I have the name of a website where people sell/give away parts). This one was originally in a 60's era condo here in Houston and was working when they pulled it out. I bought it primarily because I had to have one, thought I might use it but isn't looking like that will happen so need it to go to a good home. These things price out as high as $1700 on eBay, depending on model (single or double oven), accessories and condition. This one, with a single wide oven, is good but needs some cleanup and one little knob. It does NOT have the optional lower cabinet, but these come up for sale from time to time. I also have a manual reprint that shows dimensions and bracing for mounting it onto a standard kitchen base cabinet so it will line up with a standard height countertop. Asking $250 for it, but offers will be considered. Please IM me if you're interested - I have no means of delivery, you will need to pick up.
  5. Love the assymetrically divided windows on that one ... reminds me of the ones used in the Beracah Church (Sage@Hidalgo). Simple change but very effective for a unique look.
  6. At that price, let's hope it's not going to be torn down. The one next door to this looks like it's day's are numbered, and several months back they tore down the one caddy-corner to it (a perfectly kept Wrightian ranch) because the dirt's worth so dang much.
  7. On a positive note ... What's interesting to me is that lately the COMMERCIAL architecture that's going up in Houston has taken a decidely Modern (Wrightian?) turn - lots of natural stone, faux-casement style window details, eavelines that accentuating flat roofs, etc. Even a Wendy's redo in my 'hood is going that route, go figure. Hopefully this trend will infect the residential side and begin to displace the pretentious mostly McUgly-ass villas that a lot of folks seem to prefer right now. But yes, to each his/her own.
  8. A bit of advice to everyone in Houston who feels passionately about preservation: I have a good friend who is very involved in community affairs, and who also happens to work for a department in the City of Houston. She is very in tune with current redevelopment trends, as well as up and coming challenges. Her words: "If your subdivision doesn't have good, strong deed restrictions (with respect to redevelopment), you're done". How this translates: if your subdivision doesn't have good Deed Restrictions AND a review process/committee (aka the Architectural Review Board) who will ENFORCE rules about approval for add-ons, rebuilding, etc., your subdivision has a problem. Love it or hate it, the ARB idea is the only thing that is going to give your subdivision a tool that may prevent another Moonlight from happening. The City isn't going to do it for you - they want the Tax revenue, nevermind their public posturing about 'concern'. What you can do: there is strength in numbers, but it's a challenging road. Attend your Civic meetings, ask questions, GET INVOLVED. The Civic clubs are there for YOU as a concerned homeowner. You have a right to request minutes of meetings, etc. to find out what decisions are being made, what changes are being discussed, or what rules are/are not being enforced. If your Deed Restrictions need updating, be a catalyst for change - push for the addition of an Architectural Review Board or equivalent when changes are made. There is a fine line between growth and stagnation of property values; most people side for growth. But most people today are uneducated about the value of some preservation. If you care about preserving some semblance of the past and about managed growth, it's your job to teach them about it.
  9. Welcome, Steph. I've spent 6 years immersing myself in mid-centuring info; I don't own a true MCM but do own a decent 1960 California Ranch with some eclectic mid-century character. A few thoughts for you based on my experiences ... 1) The oven must be a Frigidaire Flair - I have one sitting in my garage. Keep it at all costs! There are sites of enthusiests out there, try googling 'Frigidaire Flair'. Someone will have parts .... 2) Inside painted brick - you can strip it, or you can repaint it. If you are fortunate to have original stained paneling around it, an appropriate and cheap change to help the look would be repainting the brick a semigloss white shade with some Neutrel Toner mixed into the paint. 3) Paneling and wood cabinets - stained paneling was common and desired back then - DO NOT PAINT IT if it's original. Yes, it's dark, but with the right light and light colored furnishings and the right flooring, it can be a very cool look. One correct re-finishing option is Amber Shellac, gives a neat glow to the wood. But if it's painted ... try a darker brown paint with reddish orange tones to emulate the original look. 4) Floors - wood, cork or VCT tile for living spaces, carpet OK in the bedrooms. Light maple wood looks especially good against darker cabinets or paneling. 5) Lighting - try Rejuvenation lighting for reproduction period fixtures. If you're lucky to have cove lighting (flourescent strips behind a valance) you can warm up the room by changing away from 'cool white' bulbs. 6) furnishings - think low to the ground, slim profile, period colors such as chartruese or sage green, orange, aqua. Hope this helps
  10. Not to take sides, but these points are dead-on. Sure there are some benefits to teardowns, ... but, there are definitely negatives.
  11. I am planning to move soon, and need my garage space back. I have no choice but to let go of my 'collection' of mid 50's vintage colored porcelein 'fixtures' (i.e. vintage commodes). These would be nearly impossible for a serious house restorer to find on demand. Had planned to install in my house but not now. I have 3 of these very cool American Standard one-piece (tank and bowl formed as one) low profile 'quiet' units, in Pink, Gray, and Beige. They are date-stamped from 56-57, have original brass valve mechanisms in the tank and still have the original color-matched seats. They would be awesome in a mod house and are in excellent condition. Please IM me if you're interested, you'll have to pick them up (I'm in Spring Branch north of Memorial City mall).
  12. Well, if anybody is going to nominate MB, national or otherwise, they'd better hurry the hell up! Out of 7 active listings for MB today on HAR, 3 are for new construction (nearing the $1 million mark) and the cheapest one of the others (at $265k, with an Option on it) is attractively advertised as an " ... ideal opportunity to tear down and build'. Ugh. I think someone pointed out in the newest Atomic Ranch that once too many original houses in a neighborhood are replaced, the area is considered too 'modified' to be protected. Ironic, isn't it?
  13. I cut through the Eastern section of MB a few weeks ago, and to my chagrin there was a monster McMansion going up on a corner lot near Memorial, Butterfly I think. Bleeechhh. That's too bad for such a unique neighborhood. From what I remember Michael posting a while back, there was a split in thinking of the residents about strenghtening the deed restrictions to prevent this, with a lot of residents just accepting that teardowns as inevitable and electing not to pursue a change to prevent it. I'm no expert, but I personally question the whole argument that restricting the type of rebuilding will harm property values - if people want great schools and a good location, and unique 1 story ranch houses are all that is available to buy, there will STILL be buyers out there - basic Supply and Demand at work, prices will still go up. The way I see it, about their only hope to save MB at this point is to try to have the neighborhood designated for National Historic Register status.
  14. Ok, I have a suggestion: it's actually a church but I think it kind of fits your description. First Church of Christ, Scientist, Downtown - combines some mid century mod-ish ideas with sort of a Mediterranean twist to the detailing (especially in the courtyard area archways, etc). Main @ Jefferson, see pics in my previous post here ... Mod Church Hope it inspires you ...
  15. armchair - early 1950's Viking Art Line. I have 3 of these and they come up for sale pretty often, although I've never seen one with those style armrests. Wish I had made it to that Estate Sale .... PS - love the vintage floor tile in those pics!
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