Modern Snapshot: Usonia, New York
The Washington area currently has six mid-century modern neighborhoods listed on the National Register of Historic Places: Carderock Springs, Hammond Wood, Holmes Run Acres, Rock Creek Woods, Tauxemont [I originally forgot this one. See comment below. Thanks Kim.] and the five Charles Goodman-designed homes in Takoma Park. Hollin Hills is on track for the designation as well. Other neighborhoods around the country have made the list, including Arapahoe Acres in Denver and Ladue Estates near St. Louis. Another is Usonia Homes in New York. Usonia was built the late 1940s and 1950s as a cooperative community and designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright designed the overall community plans and three of the homes; his disciples designed the remaining 44. The homes are tucked into a 100-acre wooded site in the Town of Mount Pleasant in Westchester County. The land was originally purchased for $22,000.
”I think there was a great surge of idealism after the war, which gave us a freedom to do what we wanted to do,” Aaron Resnick, who designed 12 of the homes and lived in the community, was quoted as saying in the New York Time in 1981. ”We were united on several concepts: we wanted natural or organic houses, we wanted a sense of community spirit and we needed homes that could be built inexpensively. And, of course, we were all admirers of architect Frank Lloyd Wright.”
Here are few shots of my recent drive through the neighborhood, which gave me the feel of Hollin Hills although there is only one-tenth the number of homes and they are more secluded on one acre lots.