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.
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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.”
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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.
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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.
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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 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.
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With the biennial Hollin Hills House and Garden Tour postponed from this past spring until next year, you can get a fix of the mid-century modern neighborhood during Docomomo DC’s Virtual Tour Day on October 10 at 2 pm. The event will feature an introduction to the neighborhood, designed by architect Charles Goodman for developer Robert Davenport and constructed between 1949 and 1971. Participants will also view video tours of the ALCOA “Care-Free” Home—one of only 24 built nationwide and currently undergoing renovation. Another tour will explore a two-story atrium house constructed of prefabricated panels. Docomomo DC Board member John Burns, FAIA, also will discuss Goodman’s other work in the Washington area. This event provides AIA credit (1 CEU). You can register for the event here. Docomomo US/DC is dedicated to increasing public awareness, appreciation and protection of Modern architecture, landscapes, neighborhoods and sites in Washington D.C. and surrounding areas in Maryland and Virginia. Through education, public programs, documentation and advocacy, Docomomo US/DC works to ensure that the rich legacy of the Modern Movement in the greater Washington, DC area is preserved for future generations. The chapter partners with local and regional organizations, universities and governmental entities to advance its mission.
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I am honored to be recognized once again as a Washingtonian Magazine Top Agent. Thank you to all of my clients, family and friends who have supported Modern Capital for the past 14 years. Please reach out if you are thinking of buying or selling a mid-century modern home. Happy to meet and discuss today’s modern real estate market.
A guest post on sourcing mid-century modern furniture from our partner, ATTIC. Nothing completes a beautiful mid-century home like furniture and decor drawn from the same aesthetic. The simple, sleek lines of MCM furniture pair up perfectly with the modern, open and airy feel that make mid-century homes the gems that they are. The following post provides some inspiration, whether you’re just starting or continuing to furnish your home. We’ll focus on two spaces: dining rooms and living rooms.
We’re also going to introduce you to ATTIC, a one-of-kind resource that will help you find the best mid-century furniture from stores of the DC and Baltimore regions. After all, who wants to buy a “forever” piece of furniture without ever seeing or touching it? ATTIC makes that process so much easier. ATTIC is now available in cities throughout the country, but is owned and operated by a small team based right here in Washington, D.C. Its mission is simple — to make it easier for consumers to shop from small, local businesses.
Dinner is Served, In Style Whether it’s with family or friends, the importance of meal time transcends culture. As such, dining rooms and breakfast nooks are often visual focal points in modern homes. And with pieces like those pictured here, it’s no wonder why. Rectangular, round, “boat-shaped”…small, grand, or expandable…mid-century dining tables come in a vast array of options. Likewise, some of the most famous furniture designs in history are those for mid-century dining chairs.