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Endangered: Concrete Association Building in Silver Spring

A brutalist building made of concrete designed to promote the use of concrete is facing the wrecking ball. The Silver Spring headquarters of the National Sand & Gravel Association (NSGA) and National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA) is slated for demolition. The building was designed by John H. Sullivan Jr. and reflects the art of Washington, DC craftsman John Earley and his studio. In the early twentieth century, John Earley developed unique and innovated ways to work with concrete, exposing its aggregate to reveal deep color and texture. His work is found throughout Washington and Maryland including in the walls, balusters, and fountains at Meridian Hill Park and in the bold mosaic on the Scottish Rite Temple on Sixteenth Street. His studio was hired to produce the NSGA and NRMCA Headquarters precast panels, using their exposed aggregate technique. 

Docomomo DC (I serve as a board member) is urging for the designation of the building as a historic site within the Maryland-Washington Regional District’s master plan for historic preservation and opposes its demolition.

“The building [at 900 Spring St.] is a strong example of brutalist architecture that merges mid-century modern corporate design with regional craftsmanship and building technology,” Docomomo DC says in a letter to Sandra Heller, the chair of the Montgomery County historic preservation program. “These three themes are all cast (excuse the pun) in its concrete form. The NSGA and NRMCA Headquarters is an outstanding example of brutalist architecture in the county and region.”
 
 
 

Charles Goodman on 1+ Acre in Potomac – $810K

This Charles Goodman designed mid-century modern is set on a stunning, private 1.23 acre lot in Hollinridge backing up to Watts Branch Park. It is listed for $810,000. (Photos by Tod Connell.) 
Like Marcel Breuer designs, Goodman carried the slate from the outside into the entrance to connect the outside with the indoors of the house, which is a 4 bed/3 full bath with a total of 2,784 square feet.

 
The 1962 design includes Goodman’s signature large expanses of glass and distinctive large end-gable chimney with two fireplaces. Updated, period-appropriate kitchen with Kerf cabinets, Modwalls glass-tile backsplash, Quartzite countertops and Kitchen Aid stainless steel appliances, including induction cook top.

Renovated bathrooms, including master with glass enclosed shower, seamless drain, glass penny tiles and Lenix Shower Panel with bodysprays.

Here is the second upstairs bathroom.

The upstairs level features three bedrooms and two bathrooms, including the master suite directly below.

The lower level includes an expansive den/family room with second fireplace and walls of glass, the fourth bedroom/office, third full bathroom and large light-filled laundry/mudroom room. The house has updated electrical.

Goodman, one of the leading residential modernists in Washington, designed the site plan for the neighborhood for a group of developers that included Robert Davenport, who built Hollin Hills.
Charles Goodman designed a number of the homes in Hollinridge, but the developers later sold lots to individual buyers mandating that they build homes in the contemporary style. In addition to several Goodman houses, you can find the work of Thomas Read More >

Coming Soon: Goodman on 1.23 Acres in Potomac

Here’s a first look for my readers of my latest listing. It will be active later in the week with an Open House this Sunday. It is a Charles Goodman-designed mid-century modern on a stunning 1.23 acre lot in Hollinridge backing to Watts Branch Park. 4 bed/3 bath two-level house with a total of 2,784 square feet. Updated, modern open kitchen with Kerf cabinets. Renovated upstairs bathrooms, including master. The 1962 design includes Goodman’s signature large expanses of glass and distinctive large end-gable chimney.
Goodman designed the site plan for the neighborhood for a group of developers that included Robert Davenport, who built Hollin Hills. Goodman designed a number of the homes in Hollinridge, but the developers later sold lots to individual buyers mandating that they build homes in the contemporary style. In addition to several Goodman houses, you can find the work of Thomas Wright, Arthur Newburg, Richardson & Bruce, Carl Freeman and two prefab Alside homes. The homes are situated on large, wooded lots as Goodman designed the community to preserve the trees and landscape.

Modernist Pre-Fab in Foxhall – $1.775 Million

If you are looking for a new, modernist home in the city, take a look at this one listed by my Compass colleagues The P&rtners. Built using sophisticated aerospace robotics, this innovative pre-fab home delivers unrivaled quality and cutting-edge technology. This extraordinary contemporary home features five bedrooms, four and a half baths, and spacious sun-drenched common areas.

Enter the 4,320 square-foot home from an inviting front porch which opens to a grand foyer and private office. Beyond is a sleek chef’s kitchen that flows into a bright great room with dedicated flexible living and dining areas. A rear glass wall frames the western sky with deep views of Hardy Park.

The second level is composed of three generous bedrooms, one with an en suite bathroom. The third level is devoted entirely to a luxurious owners’ suite, featuring an elegant bathroom, oversized walk-in closet, and exercise studio or additional bedroom. A private roof deck offers expansive views of the Foxhall neighborhood and adjacent Hardy Park.

The home’s lower level is comprised of an additional bedroom with full bath, a modern laundry room/mudroom suite, with utility/dog-washing station, and an airy media/family room. The interior seamlessly transitions into a gracious patio with space for dining al fresco or an off-street parking area.

Sold: Renovated Caspeer Neer MCM in Moyaone Reserve

My private exclusive mid-century modern listing in Moyaone Reserve sold before going on the market. The 1958 mid-century modern with A-frame studio on six acres was designed by local architect Casper Neer, a long time resident of Hollin Hills who graduated from Harvard’s School of Design during the time that Marcel Breuer and I.M. Pei. It sold for $585,000. (Photos by Jaren Drew.)

When my client bought it several years ago, it was in need of major repair and updating. Her aim was to save the house and she did: from replacing all the glass to the high-end kitchen with Italian Pedini cabinets. The seller redid bathrooms, created a full guest suite downstairs and redid the entire entrance patio area.

The 4 bedroom/3 full bathroom house with full guest suite was originally designed for the Lawless family.  Ben Lawless, an artist at the Smithsonian, hired Neer who was a close friend of Charles Wagner, a modernist architect who did many homes in Moyaone Reserve. Neer’s original design was for a smaller split level with three bedrooms and one bath. His addition, with larger public spaces, including the 45-foot living room with the window walls and many glass sliding doors to the decks, was built in 1965. It also has a separate four-car garage.

The Moyaone Reserve is a community of 180 homes situated along the Potomac River contiguous to Piscataway National Park, home of the National Colonial Farm, and to The Hard Bargain Farm, an environmental education center. The homes in Read More >

Explore the Modernist Designs of Roberto Burle Marx in NYC

The two-dimensional modernist designs by Roberto Burle Marx are stunning pieces of art in and of themselves let alone the how the landscape designs come to fruition in the physical world. Three years ago, The Jewish Museum in New York held an extensive exhibit on Marx, who passed away in 1994. (I took these images at the Jewish Museum show in 2016.)

Now running through Sept. 29, the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) is going further with an actual landscape inspired by the modernist landscape master.
“Roberto Burle Marx (1909–94) was a force of nature in Brazil—through his bold landscapes, vibrant art, and passionate commitment to plant conservation,” the NYBG says. “His powerful modernist vision produced thousands of gardens and landscapes, including the famous curving mosaic walkways at Copacabana Beach in Rio and the beautiful rooftop garden at Banco Safra in São Paulo. Feel his artistic energy and love of plants during our Garden-wide exhibition of lush gardens; paintings, drawings, and textiles; and the sights and sounds of Brazil that inspired his life and work.”
Adrian Higgins has a good piece on Marx and the exhibit in the Washington Post.

New York may not be as exotic as Brazil but you can get a taste of Marx’s brilliance while noshing on some of the best bagels and pizza in the world. Or head down to Miami and see his his work along Biscayne Boulevard.

Fallswood: Funky Contemporary Enclave in Falls Church

Fallswood in Falls Church is a small enclave of funky early 1970s contemporaries with Swiss/ski chalet lines. The neighborhood of roughly four dozen homes right between the Beltway and I-66 was designed by the architect A.G. Mumma and built by R.J.L. Associates. From what I can find, Mumma spent much of his career in the Navy. Here is one house in the neighborhood currently for sale for $749K. It has a very steep roof line with flat-roof carport for contrast.

The Post’s ‘House of the Week’

Kathy Orton of the Washington Post highlighted my listing in Bethesda by award-winning Tom Shiner, FAIA, as the Post’s “House of the Week.” Listed for $1.65 million.  Completed in 2010, the green, modernist house and studio at 4798 Western Ave. in Bethesda were designed was inspired by Scandinavian masters Poul Kjaerholm, who Shiner studied with in Denmark, and Alvar Aalto. (Photos by Tod Connell.)

Constructed of brick veneer and extra thick fiber-cement siding, the two-story house with its separate studio building provides a peaceful sanctuary. Both buildings open onto a fence-enclosed lawn, terraces and gardens situated on a flat 6,000 square-foot lot. The main 1,900 square-foot house has two bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms with an additional TV room/office. The 500 square-foot studio has a full bathroom and can serve as an office, guest suite or exercise studio. It also has a small workshop integrated in the back of the studio.

Green Features
One of the primary objectives of the design was to establish dynamic interaction with the change of seasons; each season invites a slightly different way of using the house. During spring and fall, the house relies on operable windows and a whole-house fan for natural ventilation. Passive solar orientation, shading and use of solar-powered air conditioning counter summer heat. High-performance insulation counters and a high-efficiency gas-fired furnace counter cold in winter months.
Because the plan of the house is open and designed to incorporate a central “chimney effect,” cool air is drawn in from Read More >

Pine Spring

Two Homes Just Listed in Pine Spring

Here are two homes just listed in Pine Spring in Falls Church. The 121-home community was built by the Luria brothers, who also developed most of nearby Holmes Run Acres. The homes in Pine Spring were designed by Arthur Keyes, Francis Donald LethbridgeChloethiel Woodard Smith and Nicholas Satterlee.
 

Sold $35K over Asking in Holmes Run Acres

We just closed on the the Holmes Run Acres renovation by Michael Cook, AIA, of award-winning Cook Architecture. Michael transformed the original 2 bed/1 bath home into a 4 bed/2 bath 1,700 square-foot California-inspired mid-century modern space, including Heath tile and vintage lighting. It was listed for $779K and sold for $814K. Please contact us with questions about finding and renovating the perfect mid-century modern home.  (Photos by John Cole.)
Originally designed by Francis Donald Lethbridge and Nicholas Satterlee, the home is located in the National Register of Historic Places-designated community of Holmes Run Acres inside the Beltway in Falls Church.
 
 

Call Modern Capital founder and Realtor Michael Shapiro for your mid-century real estate needs.
301-503-6171
michael@moderncapitaldc.com

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