In the late 1960s, Sam Ashelman, a Washington businessman, and his wife Martha developed the Coolfont resort and private mid-century modern cabins in the woods just outside the town of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. Today, the iconic Coolfont Mountainside consists of more than 100 contemporary cabins on nearly 400 acres.
After years of looking, my wife and I bought “Half Round” (all the cabin’s have names), a 1975 cabin that is exactly as it sounds. From the front, it has a more typical contemporary cabin construction but the back half of the house is round with walls of glass.
Half Round Cabin Features
The house has 3 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms and a fully equipped kitchen. The open dining-living room area has soaring ceilings, 360-view fireplace and the walls of glass looking out to the deck and woods beyond. We have brought in mid-century art and furniture, including a pair of restored Jens Risom chairs. The house is one level with ramp access to the front door and wrap-around deck, with seating and gas BBQ grill.
You can rent the house through VRBO.
Coolfont Mountainside Community Features
The community in-ground heated pool and hot tub is open Memorial Day through Labor Day. (Year round indoor pool available at nearby Coolfont Resort for $8pp/day.) Other community features include on-site hiking trails, tennis and basketball courts, rec field and tot-lot.
The Berkeley Springs area of West Virginia is less than a two-hour drive from major metropolitan areas such as Washington, Read More >
Talk about a perfect spot for the summer. Take a peek at this custom mid-century modern home designed by Chloethial Woodard Smith. Set on 8.85 acres on Broad Creek in Saint Michael’s, the 1959 sprawling one-level home is nearly 6,000 square feet with walls of glass and has a later added pool and pool house. Check out all of the vintage elements that remain in the house. Smith was one of the country’s premier modernists–male or female–and one of the driving forces and architects behind the urban renewal plan in Southwest, designing such residential complexes as Capitol Park townhomes and apartments and Harbour Square.
Jennifer Martella of the Talbot Spy has the scoop on the history of the house, which is listed for $2.995 million by Chuck Mangold Jr. of Benson & Mangold.
Very thankful to all my clients who put their trust in me. I have been included in this year’s WSJ Real Trends America’s Best Real Estate Professionals list for 2021. Top 100 in the state for individual agents.
To celebrate Women’s History Month, the National Building Museum is hosting an online program on Wednesday March 17 about Chloethiel Woodard Smith, FAIA (1910–1992). Smith was an American modernist architect and urban planner who was an architectural powerhouse here in Washington.
Smith was known for her planning and residences in Southwest DC, office buildings and homes in the suburbs including Pine Spring, Reston and custom homes like my past listing in Somerset.
“She was the sixth woman inaugurated into the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows, and at the peak of her practice led the country’s largest woman-owned architecture firm,” the museum says.
Neil Flanagan, architectural designer and writer, Peter Sefton, independent architectural historian, and Catherine Zipf, architectural historian and author, discuss the career and legacy of Chloethiel Woodard Smith, whose work in the District a study of new uses for the Pension Building, now the National Building Museum. The program is moderated by Susan Piedmont-Palladino, director, Washington Alexandria Architecture Center and consulting curator, National Building Museum.
You can also take a virtual walk of Smith’s work here.
There are currently three Charles Goodman-designed townhomes for sale in River Park. All three units have been listed for more than a month and look like they need work.
History of Goodman Townhomes at River Park
Opened in 1962, River Park is a mid-century modern cooperative housing project of Charles Goodman townhomes and an apartment block built by the Reynolds Aluminum Corporation. It was developed as as a way to showcase aluminum as a building material.
The complex was built as part of Southwest Washington’s urban renewal efforts in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The community was designed by architect Goodman and landscape architect Eric Paepcke, who also did work in Hollin Hills in Virginia with Goodman.
River Park Highlighted
River Park has been highlighted by the likes of The Washington Post, which in addition to calling it “unmistakable,” wrote that “to live under a barrel roof in Southwest is to live in a building of some historical import.”
The New York Times featured the River Park shortly after it was built on the front page of the newspaper, calling the community a “fresh design outlook.”
With so many of this year’s typical home tour events cancelled, Modern Richmond put together a brief, socially-distanced drone tour of the Charles Goodman’s Highland Hills. This mid-century modern neighborhood is located in Central Virginia.
For five years beginning in 1953, Washington’s own modernist Goodman served as a consulting architect for Lafayette, Ind.-based National Homes. At the time, National Homes was the country’s largest prefab home manufacturer.
Located in Bon Air in Chesterfield County, the 80 or so homes in Highland Hills were developed in the mid-50s by National Homes and featured the designs of Goodman. Highland Hills is the only neighborhood in central Virginia exclusively consisting of mid-century homes.
Looks like Modern Richmond plans to do a fuller drone tour of Charles Goodman’s Highland Hills this coming spring. Can’t wait to see.
UrbanTurf writes about the continuing demand for mid-century modern homes in the Washington area despite Mad Men being off the air for the past five years.
“Mad Men concluded its television run in 2015 and it seemed like people’s infatuation with mid-century modern design went with it,” writes Nena Perry-Brown. “However, interest in the DC area’s mid-century housing market remains high.”
Read the full article here and explore some of the mid-century modern neighborhoods in the Washington, D.C. area.
My listing for this custom mid-century modern in Somerset in Chevy Chase by renowned female modernist architect Chloethiel Woodard Smith went under contract in a week with multiple offers. It was listed for $1.385 million.
Smith’s 1950 “upside-down” house design in the coveted neighborhood of Somerset is unlike any other.
The primary bedroom has walls of glass and looks out to parkland. Photos by Tod Connell.
The house features floor-to-ceiling windows and views from all rooms of the ever-changing landscape of adjacent parkland. Watching the deer, foxes, owls, chipmunks, and array of songbirds, you’ll almost forget you’re walking distance to Friendship Heights metro and Whole Foods. Located a block from Somerset Elementary and the Somerset town pool, this 6-bedroom, 2.5 bath nearly 2,700 square-foot gem was completely renovated while retaining its original mid-century vibe.
The entrance retains the original mid-century materials.
The upper level foyer is flooded with light. The main bedroom has floor-to-ceiling windows facing the park and an adjacent bedroom/study has a brick fireplace.
Two additional bedrooms on this level are located in a separate wing. Two sparkling new bathrooms feature high-efficiency plumbing, lovely marble and glass tilework, and a modern soaking tub.
After descending the elegant wood-paneled stairway you are immediately struck by the expansive view of the perennial garden and forest from all directions. The large living room features windows on three sides and opens to an expansive slate and brick patio.
The original owners, Washington Post Business Editor, Hobart Rowan, and his family hosted many Read More >
Rare opportunity to purchase an expanded Charles Goodman-designed mid-century modern in Hammond Wood on deep .28 acre lot. I just listed this 3 bed/1.5 bath Goodman with 2030 total square feet on two levels. The house is set off street and has a nice flat front yard/patio area. This home is being sold as-is and needs renovation. Here is the MLS listing. Contact Michael for more images and details.
The 1951 Charles Goodman-designed mid-century modern is conveniently located in Hammond Wood, a National Register of Historic Places-Designated neighborhood of 58 homes nestled in a tract of heavily wooded, rolling land.
Owners of property listed in the Montgomery County Master Plan for Historic Preservation are eligible to receive a credit for documented expenses for exterior maintenance, restoration or preservation work. The tax credit is applied towards County real property taxes.
The National Register in its designation said, “Hammond Wood conveys the best of Goodman’s architectural legacy, showcasing his insistence on experimentation, adaptation of European and American modern ideas, and close collaboration with builders. The neighborhood reflects Goodman’s contribution to Contemporary architecture through his ever-evolving floor plans; the use of new and used materials in combination; an abundance of technical innovations; an exuberance in the employment of the window wall; and a spare, yet elegant structural expressionism.”
Featured in the May 1952 issue of Progressive Architecture, Hammond Wood is located just north of Kensington and just over a mile from the Wheaton Metro (Red Line). A Ride On bus stop is just Read More >
I am honored to be named a Top Agent in the inaugural Modern Luxury DC Real Estate Awards. Thank you to all of my clients, DC magazine and the team at Compass DMV.
I bring a personal passion for mid-century modern design and architecture and market directly to buyers seeking mid-century modern, modern and contemporary homes.
Since 2009, I have sold more than $100 million in modern real estate, and have been recognized by the Washington Post, Bethesda Magazine, DC Magazine and other publications as a Top Agent and the go-to source for mid-century modern real estate in the D.C. area.
Contact me today if you are looking to buy or sell a mid-century modern home in the DC area.
Call Modern Capital founder and Realtor Michael Shapiro for your mid-century real estate needs.
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