If you have always wanted to own one of the roughly two dozen Charles Goodman-designed Alcoa Care-free Homes built around the country, the one in Hollin Hills is being auctioned this Friday (Feb. 21). The auction, according to the public notice, will be held at 11:30 am outside the main entrance to the building housing the Circuit Court of Fairfax County, VA located at 4110 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax, VA 22030. The house is located at 7801 Elba Rd. Goodman’s design to promote the use of aluminum in building was pictured on the cover of Better Homes and Garden in the October 1957 issue.
Alcoa Care-Free Home
During the past several years, I have written about a number of the two dozen Charles Goodman-designed Alcoa Care-free Homes that were built around the country, including the one in Richmond (pictured above) and the one in Miami. I just came across this piece by a woman who grew up in the Care-free home near Columbus, Ohio. Her bosses at Ohio Magazine asked her to write the piece when she interned at the magazine in 1992. She even includes images from inside the house in the late 1970s.
Here’s her lead for the piece, “Back to the Future”:
“It was the residential equivalent of a ’57 Cadillac — sleek, high-powered, brash and thoroughly American,” Eden Casteel wrote. “The first ‘Alcoa Care-Free Home,’ the Aluminum Company of America’s pioneer housing design, was built in 1957 near Lafayette, Indiana. It was a 1,900-sq.-ft. advertisement for aluminum building materials. There was aluminum in the sky-blue anodized roof, in the heavy gold-hued front door, in the textured iridescent purple siding, and in the Spanish-style grilles over the floor-to-ceiling windows. Inside, there were more Space Age attractions: a wall-hung refrigerator, a trim galley kitchen with interior walls that could be moved to create a different floor plan, toilet tanks hiding behind pastel-tiled bathroom walls, and linoleum squares that bordered the carpeting in each room. The walls of the living room and three identically sized bedrooms were finished in brushed aluminum paneling, intermixed with vinyl and cherry panels.”
While the author’s parents may not have hewed closely to Goodman’s original Read More >
Launched nearly two years ago, the “Modern Homes Survey: New Canaan Connecticut” is now available online. The survey catalogues 91 homes built between 1939 and 1979 and has bios on 31 architects who helped turn New Canaan into one of the meccas of modernism in the country.
D.C.’s very own Charles Goodman is included for his design of the Alcoa Care-Free Home, one of which was built in New Canaan. Unfortunately, the 1958 home looks like it has been altered beyond recognition.
“Our goal is to endow the home with a personality … delightful to be in, pleasant to live in, worthy of pleasure and pride in possession.”
–Charles M. Goodman, A.I.A, Alcoa Care-free Home brochure
When I recently wrote about this Charles Goodman Alcoa Care-free house in Minnesota, a reader rightly noted that there is one of the models in Hollin Hills. After the House and Garden Tour on Saturday, I swung by 7801 Elba Rd. to see how our local Care-free stacked up to the one up north. Unfortunately, from the look of the outside, the house (which is not for sale) cannot match the pristine condition of the one in Minnesota.
While D.C. architect Charles Goodman designed more than 1,000 homes in our area, his modern home designs also dot other cities across the country. These include the Alcoa Care-Free Home, which Goodman designed in 1957 based on feedback from the 1956 Women’s Congress on Housing. With Alcoa backing the project (Reynolds sponsored River Park in D.C.), Goodman used aluminum in various areas of the house, including the roof, exterior wall panels and framing for sliding glass doors. Forty of the homes were eventually built in 15 states.
Are you interested? I found one for sale in Perrysburg, Ohio, for $199,000. See the pictures above. Here’s the listing if you are looking for Goodman architecture priced below his homes in this area. Maybe I’ll buy it and start Modern Toledo.
If you don’t plan on moving, you can read about a couple that lives in one of the homes in Grand Rapids, Mich.