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Everything posted by GoAtomic

  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!
  16. I never said that. I don't personally have a problem with a 2 story addition, I just think this one could have been done better. My opinion only, but I was curious to hear what others would think.
  17. My reservation would be the risks of backing up to a floodway as this one does. I wouldn't think the Pawn shop view would be that big of a deal, given that the only front facing windows appear to be in the kitchen, and given that the atrium fencing minimizes that view anyway.
  18. I thought about that statement last night and I think that I misspoke about the intent of architecture. If what you were saying is that architecture should not always be unobtrusive, I agree; in fact it is often best when it's groundbreaking, daring and in your face. But in the Guggenheim example, the building is complete in that the WHOLE is startling and fresh, not just one piece of it. If you're going to attach an add-on structure to an existing house in a modest ranch house neighborhood, I would think 'good' architecture would dictate similar rooflines (not gable vs. the original hip), matching ground floor ceiling heights (not 10 ft. vs. 8 ft.) and brick that matches. I don't think that the add-on itself is poorly designed, it's just that it doesn't match. I'm not an architect, maybe I'm missing some creative point to this structure. But I know if that was my house and an architect had proposed this project, I would have shown them the door.
  19. This is not meant to offend anyone, but this add-on .... well, you just have to see it. Check the back and front views too ... http://www.har.com/6471773 Isn't the point of architecture to integrate things in an unobtrusive way?
  20. I'm usually a purist about mid-century houses and like them original, but I really like what they've done with this one. Not so much the individual choices of textures and paint, but how they work together as a whole. Oddly, one of my favorite points is the moonscape finish in the hallway - anyone have an idea how they did that?
  21. Unbelievable. Situations like this make me embarrassed to admit to anyone that I'm a native Houstonian.
  22. I thought that the first time I saw an HCAD value of $100, but learned differently when I started protesting my taxes. That value is simply a placeholder on the Improvement numbers due to the way Harris County assesses land value first, Improvement second. If the land is worth, say $300K (teardown value), but the Tax value is capped (can go up no more than 10% a year for a Homestead) at say $250K, they apply the capped value to the Land first, then to the Improvement if any is left over. But even if there is no leftover for the Improvement they can't zero out that number, so they call it an even $100. It's really confusing, I know. But in a nutshell, if you see a $100 Improvement value, you know you're in a neighborhood with rapidly increasing Land values. Which in Houston, generally means a Teardown neighborhood. Blecch.
  23. VCT= Vinyl Composition Tile. You know, the stuff in grocery stores Actually, I'm actually in the process of installing these tiles in my kitchen, utility and breakfast rooms chosen because ... well, that's what was originally in my 1960 ranch house. I wanted this tile also because it should be much easier on the feet than other flooring materials, and a vintage dish dropped on ceramic or wood doesn't stand a chance of surviving. I bought Armstrong VCT Imperial Excelon brand at Home Depot for 68 cents/sq. ft. (plus glue, which is cheaper at Lowe's), black with white brushstrokes in it, and it is almost a dead match for the stuff seen in a color photo of my parent's 1950 Bellaire bungalow back in the day. Installation - You can install this. First, get professional advice on removing old floor, assuming it's vinyl, and don't let anybody grind off the old stuff. You do not want that dust in the your house from what i've heard. You can wet scrape (what i did) or just float over the existing. Floor has got to be smooth, as the vinyl will mold to any imperfections and show them up. You can float over the existing floor, but these are best stuck to concrete or wood. Since my floor originally had these tiles before I popped them loose, i haven't had to do too much concrete smoothing, but yours may vary. One nice thing is these are thick enough and 12" square laser-cut, so you can quickly layout a test batch w/out glue to see what they'll look like. The accent color strokes on the Armstong tiles run one direction, and tradition holds that you alternate every other tile 90 degrees so you get an interesting pattern in the floor. You can also get really creative and do borders, pop in another color for accent, etc, if you want. Upkeep - after I bought my tiles, I noticed that these particular tiles have a low sheen factory coating on one side, so you no longer have to put polish on them. But you can still polish if you want the terrazzo sheen. I plan to leave mine low sheen for a while once the floor is done and see how they hold up. Also, I chose black tiles because they won't show shoe marks, which White tiles will show almost instantly. For easiest maintenance, go to an estate sale and pick up an old 2 brush floor buffer. They're compact, easily found and cheap, and usually were bought for buffing vinyl or hardwoods back then. (I know, my mom made me buff our floors with one when i was a kid). If you want to see how good this can look, pick up the latest Atomic Ranch mag, with a cover pic of an Eichler house with new black VCT flooring in it. Turns out they used Congoleum brand tiles (www.congoleum.com) and their line has really cool small color flecks in it, possibly gold colored on the black tile. I like that look a bit better than my Armstrong, but the stuff has been bought so i'm not changing now. Hope that helps !
  24. You know, I just have to say - as a native Houstonian who saw the aftermath of the 80's real estate bust (after a big building boom, hello?), I think that recent real estate sale prices closer into the city are completely out of whack. I mean, good economy aside, we're NOT in some 'have-to-live-there' place like San Fran or Seattle or NYC ... and IMO the economy outside our little bubble really isn't that good, lots of job and industry losses, etc. Plus, when you add in the property taxes here, the prices look even more ridiculous. I just think it's emotion buying driving the prices up to artificially high levels. Am I alone in this opinion?
  25. I'm no expert, but I agree with this. The sofa and chairs scream 'minimalist' but those great Heywood tables are early 50's kitsch modern, meant for warmer more traditional homes. But the coffee table with the dark wood works well. I think that sofa is the same one used in the living room of Koenig's Case Study #21, which had a corrugated metal ceiling, white walls, white vinyl-asbestos floor tiles, and a huge glass wall to let in light and a view of the LA valley. In its original form, that room relied on small punches of color and real wood- a tripod fiberglas planter in turquoise and a lamp with a wooden base, for example - to ease the sterility of it. My point - your seating furniture is extreme minimal, and I don't think you're going to get a cohesive look until you work the room around that precept. Assuming you have a picture window opposite the chairs to let in light, I would do the following: relocate the red rug to another room find a really sublime shade of white or barely taupe paint, in Satin finish if the walls aren't rough, and paint ceiling, walls and woodwork with it. This will de-emphasize the doorway and wall interruptions and really kick up the minimal look. This is the SINGLE biggest improvement you can make. relocate the Heywood tables to another room OR if you have a somewhat removed reading corner in this room, start a new furniture group there with the wood tables. Find some minimal tables, perhaps angular powdered metal bases with glass tops, in place of these for this seating area. find some sleek pottery, elongated vases, knick-knacks in startling hues (pale yellow, pink, turquoise, red) and add to the room on the tables already suggested, but define and warm the sitting space with a textural shag rug, white or barely taupe in color. a great focal point addition, if you could find it or paint it, would be a large Mondrian-style abstract painting hanging on the wall behind the chairs. Painting this would be a piece of cake because it's all 90 degree intersecting lines with some of the boxes filled in with bright colors. consider adding an open-style display/bookcase against a side wall in the room to store vases, other objects of color. use horizontal metal (white or brushed steel) blinds on the windows for light control. finally, add some sleek brushed steel free-standing floor lighting (with metal or plastic shades). these will add height to the low furniture, and by using incandescent bulbs you'll add warmth to the room. I would check Target as a great inexpensive resource for vaseware, lighting and possibly a rug and some of the furniture. West Elm is a good source for new tables for a reasonable price; Crate&Barrel is also good but more expensive.
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