Mod Blog

Travelling Through Time Along 23rd Street, Part 2

Posted by on Jul 16, 2018 in Mod Blog | No Comments

by Lynne Rostochil.  Vintage photos, unless otherwise stated, courtesy of the Oklahoma History Center.  “Now” images from Googlemaps, the OK County Tax Assessor, and Lynne Rostochil.

I was hoping to get this series finished before the Oklahoma Modernism Weekend, but since that didn’t happen, we’re continuing it now.  If you need a refresher for the first installment, go here.

Today, we pick up our time travel journey along NW 23rd near its intersection with Drexel.  In 1979, people were up in arms that a business was operating out of this 1930s-era home along NW 23rd:

Obviously, the businessman won his case because there are now dozens of businesses located in these old homes.  The house in the photo remained a business for years — here it is in 2004:

The following year, the Dental Depot next door acquired this and a couple of other homes to expand their parking lot.  Here’s the Dental Depot:

I found another view of the intersection looking northeast from 1947:

Although the location wasn’t identified in the Oklahoma History Center archives, I immediately recognized the duplex on the left because I always fantasized about living there when I was young.  Here’s the duplex today:

Yep, I still love it.  It’s crazy to think that the duplex, which was built in 1940, was just a few years old when the vintage photo was taken.  Soon, Miskovsky Foods would build a modern grocery store on the vacant lot.  That building was designed by Conner & Pojezny and constructed in 1947.  I don’t have a vintage photo of the building, but I do have a matchcover illustration of it:

Very nice!  Here’s the building a couple of years ago when it was a thrift store.

I found another photo of people driving on the ice — this time along Drexel just north of NW 23rd in 1967:

Call me a wuss but I really can’t imagine driving an old car in those kinds of conditions — makes me think of watching “Mechanized Death” in my high school driver’s ed class.  Terrifying!  Anyway, here’s the same general area on a cloudless summer day, which would make for much friendlier driving conditions:

On the southeast corner of the NW23/Drexel intersection, Derby’s was one of the first self-serve gas stations in the metro.  Here’s the manager in 1970 advertising that patrons can “Serv-u-Self”:

Yep, that’s my favorite duplex in the background.  The gas station was demolished when the Northwest Baptist Church on Drexel needed more parking and wanted direct access from NW 23rd:

Next door to Miskovky Foods was Adair’s Tropical Cafeteria, which was built in 1950:

Today, the building is home to the NW 23rd Street Antique Mall:

Just past the parking lot for Miskovky and Adair’s was this view from 1947 of Drexel Cleaners, a cottage-style Mobile station with a Pegasus sign, and Taft Middle School:

Although the gas station was replaced with a more modern example, this view remains largely unchanged today:

And, of course we have to mention the gorgeously Googie Drexel Cleaners sign by Mac Teague — love, love, love it!  Here’s the sign in its glory days:

And now:

We got a teaser of Taft Middle School in a previous photo.  Here’s a detail shot of all of its glorious Art Deco beauty from 1946, when the school was a mere 16 years old:

And another photo taken in 1980:

Today, the trees are so tall that you can barely see the front of this architectural gem:

Although it’s not on NW 23rd, across from the school, there was a C.R. Anthony store where moms could shop while waiting for their kiddos to get out of class for the day:

New Leaf Florist occupies the building now:

On this same side of the street back at NW 23rd and May, this 1950s photo turns back to look at the buildings on the south side of NW 23rd at the intersection:

The cottage that housed the Conoco gas station in this photo later morphed into a sad looking structure…

… before being restored a few years ago — wish they had kept the building with all of the words on it, but alas, it got a boring brown paint job:

Also, in the vintage photo, you can just make out the City Animal Hospital.  Happily, this building hasn’t changed a bit and is still a Streamline delight:

On the north side of NW 23rd and May, the intersection has changed quite a bit.  Back in the 1940s, a Safeway occupied the northeast corner:

Here’s an interior shot of the supermarket after it was robbed in 1949:

The robbery foreshadowed a bleak future for the building; it and its neighbors were demolished sometime in the 1980s and an ugly Walgreen’s occupies the site today:

Travelling further east, our next stop is the Cleveland School, seen here in 1951:

Here’s the school again in 1994:

And today:

The 2500 block of NW 23rd has changed quite a bit since this photo was taken in 1962:

On the left side of the street, all of the buildings in the photo would soon be demolished to make way for Shepherd Mall.  The buildings on the right are, for the most part, still there, but the view isn’t nearly as interesting today:

In 1981, the Jesus is Lord Pawn Shop stood at 2430 NW 23rd:

And, although the name is different, the building is still home to a pawn shop:

As for Shepherd Mall, it was constructed on the land run stake belonging to the Shepherd family and opened at NW 23rd and Villa in 1964.  Here’s a rendering of the mall:

And some photos of just how busy of a place it was for its first two decades:

The mall received the first of many pretty bad remodels in 1982:

And now it’s REALLY ugly and most of the original mod is long gone:

Surprisingly, the Shepherd family house survived the construction of the mall and wasn’t demolished until 1970:

I think I’d prefer a dilapidated farmhouse on the site to what is there now — a KFC:

On the next block is this ’50s view at the intersection of NW 23rd and Barnes:

Too bad that those cute homes are gone:

The corner of NW 23rd and Penn was once THE place to go shopping when the gorgeous and very modern Sears store opened in 1954.  Here are some shots of the store under construction in 1953:

And after it opened in 1954:

The building was demolished in 1993 and replaced with a strip center that is now home to a Westlake Hardware and Dollar Tree with an ever-present McDonald’s in the parking lot:

Across Penn from Sears was Bixler’s Drive-In:

The site is a boring ole pawn shop now:

In 1960, a car crashed into this building at 1704 NW 23rd:

Yikes!  Luckily, no one was injured and the structure, which was built in 1939, is now where Pirate’s Alley is located:

How cute is this mod ’50s building that was once home to Milady’s Dermaculture Studio?  It was located at 1419 NW 23rd, as pictured in this 1963 photo:

Milady’s and the neighboring buildings were demolished in the 1970s or 1980s to create a bigger parking lot that is shared by The Fabric Factory and the Smith-Kernke Funeral Home:

Let’s talk about the Spanish-style Smith-Kernke Funeral Home, shall we?  It’s such a great building and looks like it hasn’t changed a bit since it was built in 1939.

Here are some fun interior shots of the funeral home when it was new:

Kind of morbid but kind of cool all at the same time.  This lovely building is on the National Register and is just as beautiful today as it was when the previous photos were taken:

Another building I’ve always appreciated is the Trinity Baptist Church education building.  Here it is when it was fresh and new in 1954:

Yeah, yeah, this building is technically on NW 24th and Douglas, but I don’t care because it’s such a great building.  Here it is now:

And here’s an even later mod addition to the church:

Nice.

This next photo is a little odd and I’m not sure why someone even took it, but it’s interesting nonetheless so I’m including it.  This is the intersection of NW 23rd and Douglas looking toward Classen in 1948:

See, kind of a weird shot.  Anyway, here’s the same block now:

Pretty unrecognizable.  The 1200 block of NW 23rd has changed quite a bit, too.  I found this 1930s photo of Roberts Rexall Drugs, which occupied what we in this generation know as the Rainbow Records building:

Here’s another view of this building and its neighbors in 1950 — the Rainbow Records building is the last one on the right:

And a more detailed shot of the Rex Westerfield linoleum business, which sold St. Charles cabinets!!!

Wish I could jump into this photo and stroll through their showroom, don’t you?

Anyway, these three buildings are still around and the Rainbow Records building looks pretty much the same today as it did when it was Roberts Rexall Drugs.  The other two received facelifts in the 1960s that covered over the Deco details.  One received aqua, gray, and white panels, which means that, yep, the right building is the recently closed Macias Dance Center.  The left building has been boarded up for quite awhile now.

The Macias building is currently for sale.  I’m going to miss that fun loving sign:

So, the buildings that were home to Rex Westerfield and the Macias Dance Center were constructed in 1950 (which is probably why they were photographed by the Oklahoman).  These structures replaced a sweet little Deco building that housed the Jensen & Smith Construction Company in 1945:

Macias is on the site today, as you can tell from the brick wall and roof-mounted sign that are still identifiable to the right of Jenson & Smith as part of the Rainbow Records building.  See the brick wall to the right of Macias in the below image — just the same as it was in 1945:

Across the street from these buildings was the beautiful and totally mod Beverly’s:

After Beverly’s closed, Jeff’s Country Kitchen took over the space and thrived until Bank One, which was located in the Gold Dome, announced that it was selling the geodesic dome, which would be demolished to make way for a yucky ole Walgreen’s.  Happily, the owner of Jeff’s offered to sell his building to Walgreen’s, and that’s where it was built instead — Jeff moved further north on Classen, where he continues to serve up great mom-and-pop diner fare today.  Here’s the site of the old Beverly’s today:

Okay, that’s it for today.  Next week, we will pick up our tour of NW 23rd with the Gold Dome.  See you then!

 

The 2018 Oklahoma Modernism Weekend Mod Home Tour

Posted by on Jun 28, 2018 in Mod Blog | No Comments

text and photos by Lynne Rostochil unless otherwise stated.

Without question, my favorite part of the Oklahoma Modernism Weekend is the Mod Home Tour because all of the chaos of the weekend is over and we can just sit back and relax in our cozy bus seats while our friendly driver (we had Richard this year) takes us to some of the metro’s most outstanding abodes.  This year, we decided to surprise tour goers and not tell them a thing about the places we’d be visiting, and even with that, tickets sold out in a mere 30 hours!  Thanks to everyone who had faith that we’d show them some beautiful homes, and as you can see from the photos in this post, we did not disappoint.

Our first stop was a new mod owned by Dr. Brett and Jessica Nelson, and I can honestly say that my jaw dropped the second I walked in the door and it did not close again until we left.  Wow, wow, wow!!

When we arrived, Jessica happily greeted us (Terri got this snap of her):

Inspired by several iconic mid-century modern homes in Southern California, the Nelson House was constructed in 2016 and is an ‘L’ shaped, two-story home in the SoSA (South of St. Anthony) district that blurs the boundaries between indoors and outdoors.

Building materials include extensive glass, cedar and Douglas fir beams, steel, elongated brick, and hardy board. The open and spacious central living space regularly hosts live music events and can comfortably sit 50+ people.  Is this space a mod paradise or what?

Off of the main living area is the coolest in-home office space I’ve ever seen:

I could get a lot of work done in this inviting space, for sure.  On the other side of the living room is a giant kitchen/dining room that opens to a private courtyard on one side and the beautiful backyard on the other:

The courtyard:

The backyard overlooking downtown OKC:

This house even has two garages, one of which houses a few of the Nelson’s incredible collection of Porsches:

Back outside and looking toward the house, a large exterior deck and spiral staircase off the master bedroom provide an elevated view that interacts with the downtown skyline.

Speaking of the master bedroom, here she is:

And the inspiring view you’d get to wake up to every morning if you were lucky enough to live here:

Not too shabby!  Off of the master bedroom is a large bathroom and the sexiest closet I’ve ever seen.  It’s the size of a huge bedroom and contains a washer/dryer and folding table so the Nelsons don’t have to run laundry up and down stairs all of the time.  Genius!  Only a woman would think of that, so it’s not surprising that one of OKC’s premier architects, who also happens to be a woman, designed this home — Randy Floyd.

This neighborhood was originally comprised of homes built in the early 1900s.  It was a sad, derelict area when, in 2005, Randy and her partner, Michael Smith, renovated two territorial homes.  Mod didn’t arrive until Brian Fitzsimmons designed his personal residence on a hilltop overlooking downtown in 2010.  A few more modern homes sprouted up in the next few years and then the building boom began in earnest; now, there are over 51 completed projects with many more on the books, and the neighborhood has quickly become a modern architecture mecca in the city.  Randy Floyd’s firm is responsible for several of these projects.

There are two more bedrooms on the second floor – here’s one:

Back down the elegant staircase and you’re back in the large but comfy living room:

Let’s get a close-up view of that to-die-for tri-planter, shall we?

Oh … my … gosh!!  Is it Architectural Pottery?  I don’t know, but it’s certainly one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.  And speaking of cool, one thing I like best about this home is Brett and Jessica’s quirky collection of art.  It’s literally everywhere and adds so much fun and whimsy to the space:

There’s even an original Matt Goad to gawk over:

Terri got a photo of this outdoor sculpture in front:

I love everything about the Nelson House, from the design to the excellent use of color that makes what could be an imposing space both friendly and comfortable.  Love it!

The architecture changed from SoCal mod to perfect vintage Streamline Moderne with our next stop at Dr. Leonardo and Margaretta Baez’s gorgeous Gatewood dream, which was constructed in 1940:

Gatewood was created on land originally intended for Epworth University, which opened its doors in 1904 and was the first institution of higher learning in Oklahoma City. The University offered instruction in law, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, commerce, liberal arts, and fine arts.  Unfortunately, the school closed due to financial woes in 1911 (it was the predecessor to Oklahoma City University and the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center) and that opened up the land for residential development.  The Gatewood Addition was platted in 1922 and homes soon started being constructed.  This home was built by L.M. Rauch, who was the manager of the Victoria Theater on Classen:

Rauch must have been interested in architecture because he opted to design his new place of residence himself with guidance from Chicago architects Glennon and Kern.  Ken Kern would later go on to author The Owner-Built Home, a guide to help others like Rauch design and construct their own houses without the assistance of an architect:

As for Rauch, he designed a steel-framed Streamline Moderne abode that was a real stand out in a neighborhood of much more traditional designs.  The Rauch family lived in the home until the late 1950s, and then Opal Staley purchased it and lived here for over 30 years.  In 2017 after the third owner moved out, the home underwent extensive renovations, which were completed by Leonardo and Margaretta in 2017.  And, in case you don’t know, they are the owners of Midtown Vets and are responsible for livening up the little mod concrete block structure that sat vacant for many years until they moved in — here it is before they bought it:

And here’s the side of the building with two Joe Slack sculptures adding some fun to the courtyard:

Anyway, Leonardo and Margaretta have lovingly named their stunning abode Casa Opal in honor of the home’s longest occupant, Ms. Staley.  Terri took this photo of the couple as they welcomed us inside:

No wonder they look so happy — they get to live in this remarkable, light-filled space:

Every inch of the mostly monochromatic house exudes calm and quiet joy, including the upstairs sunroom:

That daybed!  I could spend hours reading and napping there:

I loved the kid’s room upstairs, too — such an inviting space:

The master bedroom/bathroom isn’t too shabby, either:

The kitchen is, of course, the best hang out in the home:

… and it even has the perfect nook, where you can sit and look out the casement window and sip on your morning coffee — love it!

I love the dining room off of the kitchen, too — those perfectly rounded glass block windows kill me:

Such a zen space, isn’t it?

Outside the zen continues with the most perfect backyard oasis ever:

So far, everything about this house is relaxing and peaceful.  Well, all of that changes in the crazy colorful casita in the backyard:

Woo hoo, it’s a celebration of pattern and color everywhere!  That tile — so quirky and unexpected and beloved by all who traipsed inside to have a look.

Oh wow, check out those uber mod light fixtures that look like they’ve come directly from Woody Allen’s “Sleeper”!

The Baez’s even served Okie Mod Squad cookies — how great is that?!

Terri got this shot of all of the different styles that they had on hand for us:

They tasted just as great as they looked, too.  YUM!

As for the casita, how incredibly fun is this one bed/one bath space that pays beautiful homage to Frida Kahlo’s unabashed love of color?

Yeah, I know, I think we all want to bang down Leonardo and Margaretta’s door and beg to move into this wondrous bungalow.

Back outside, tour goers Vera and Lissa took a break from all of the eye candy to enjoy a relaxing moment by the pool:

And then it was back on the bus, where we headed to the woods of NE Oklahoma City and the home of Cam and Joli Sanders:

Yeah yeah, I know this one isn’t obviously mod, but wait until we get inside.

As a child growing up in Texas, Joli and her father often explored abandoned farmhouses that dotted the barren rural landscape near their home.  On one such outing, they meandered through a crumbling clapboard house that featured a long breezeway dividing the common areas from the sleeping quarters and allowed for easy indoor-outdoor living in the days before air conditioning.  Joli remembered this home years later when she took on the challenge of designing her own version of a farmhouse on a densely wooded lot in Northeast Oklahoma City.  The home, which is an amalgamation of Austin contemporary and modern, features a similar breezeway running from front to back that is the true heart of the expansive house.

Here’s a great detail shot by Terri of the beautifully crafted stairs:

I love this breezeway so much!  You can open the front and back doors and suddenly you’re both inside and out at the same time.

To the left of the breezeway is the giant living/dining room and kitchen:

Here’s a shot Joli took before the tour.  How inviting:

The polished and honed stone fireplace running the length of the living room is one of the most dramatic features of the house.  Here’s a closer view so you can see how interestingly it was constructed.  I love the 3D effect:

The fireplace is definitely the best spot in the house to snap a prom photo or, in this case, photograph the lovely owner, Joli, as Terri did here:

And, if you’re looking for a quiet backyard haven with a charming, woodsy feel, this has to be one of the best lounging spots in the city (Joli took the first two photos below):

Honestly, being so perfectly tucked into the woods, this place feels like it’s a million miles away from the noise and congestion of the bustling city that is, in actuality, just a few convenient highway stops away.  It’s definitely the perfect spot to spend a lazy afternoon reading a book while listening to all variety of birds serenade you to contended slumber.  No wonder Joli looks so happy — she gets to live here!

Back inside, the master suite is a creative mixture of ethnic and mod that gives the room a vibrant and relaxing vibe all at the same time.  Like the rest of the home, it offers a perfect escape from the chaos of everyday life:

There’s another bathroom and an office downstairs and a perfect retreat just for the kiddos upstairs:

All of the kids’ bedrooms are off of this central living space, which makes me love the upstairs almost as much as the breezeway downstairs.  Let’s get another look at that, my very favorite part of the house, shall we?

Maybe one reason I like this space so much because that’s where Cam and Joli keep the wine:

Although I would have enjoyed hanging out and having a drink or two at the Sanders House, it was time to move on.  Our next stop was the Brand-Cook House, a little-known mid-century modern gem tucked away in the Cleveland neighborhood.

Built for shopping center developer, R.A. Brand, this is one of just a few mid-century modern homes in the Cleveland neighborhood and was featured in American Home magazine soon after it was constructed.  C.B. Warr, the local developer responsible for creating his self-named Warr Acres, began platting and building homes in Cleveland in the late 1930s.  These include the beloved Streamline Moderne homes designed by Dallas architect Charles Dilbeck:

The neighborhood was filling in nicely when World War II broke out and halted all building for the duration. After the war, veterans wanted nothing more than to settle with their wives in suburban homes and get back to normal life, so the building frenzy began and the neighborhood was completed around the time this home was constructed in 1947.  Today, with few exceptions, the home is in pretty amazing original condition, starting with the sweet kitchen:

The open dining and living rooms are pretty fantastic, too:

While everyone was touring the place, Ginger, Terri, and homeowner, Marla posed for the camera:

How great are those Oklahoma Modernism Weekend t-shirts, guys?!

Back on the tour, down the hall is a delightful jade green bathroom…

… and three bedrooms.  Here’s a kid’s room and the master bedroom (the third bedroom is being used as an office):

So, you might be wondering to yourself, “This is a very sweet house, but I don’t really get why it’s on the tour.”  Well, here’s why, folks — the living room opens up to this:

TA-DA!!  Now you get it!

Musician Manuel Cruz purchased the home for his family in the late 1960s and soon installed a recording studio for himself and his sons, Edgar and Mark, both of whom are well known classical guitarists.  I believe that the family also added this over-the-top and oh-so-fabulous modern den and living area at the same time.  Did you notice those crazy saucer hanging lamps?  Yep, all original and in perfect condition.

The current owners, Marla and Damon Cook use the old recording studio downstairs as a playroom for their child:

I’m sure that all of those handy closets once housed hundreds of records at one time.

Back up the stairs is a friendly lounge area with an exit to the backyard:

But the big money shot is up a few more stairs to the giant, A-frame den that is also incredibly inviting and comfy at the same time:

Yes, that’s a built-in entertainment center that runs the length of the interior wall, and it is BEAU-TI-FUL.  How much do you love the huge round wooden pulls — so much!

And how great is the perfectly atomic fireplace with the dramatically angled ledge?

Yeah, I think I could put on a little Miles Davis, start a fire, and hang out for a long time in this perfectly preserved mod space.  Oh and check out the all-original perforated lights upstairs:

Now you get why we were so excited to have this stunning home on the tour!  It is a true mid-century modern dream and best of all, it is on the market.  If you’re interested in living in this perfectly preserved mod oasis, let me know and I can put you in touch with the owner.  I just hope that the next owner will love this place exactly as it is and continue to preserve all of its mid-century modern goodness.  So long, beautiful Brand-Cook House that even boasts original tile in the entryway:

With everyone settled in their comfy seats back on the bus, I asked our tour goers which house in all of OKC they’d like to see most.  Without exception, they all said this one:

Well, duh, who wouldn’t want to check out what is perhaps OKC’s most well known and unique mid-century modern home?  No, scratch that.  … what is DEFINITELY OKC’s most well known and unique mid-century modern home.  I don’t know what I would have done if they had picked a different house because this one was, indeed, our destination!

Bruce Goff’s only built Oklahoma City design is one of the most distinctive and beloved examples of mid-century modern architecture in the area, that’s for sure.  It is known as the Pollock-Warriner House and is comprised of nine overlapping squares set on an angle, with the apex of each square capped by a diamond-shaped skylight.  Outside, this angular motif is repeated everywhere, from the wood shingled pyramidal roof to the two reflecting pools to, most dramatically, the green corrugated covered terrace above the office. Here are a couple of images of the front of the home and the first pool:

As much of a piece of sculpture as it is a home, artist Laura Warriner and her late husband, Joe, have lovingly maintained this exceptional space since they purchased it in 1966.  The home was added to the National Register in 2001.

It’s such a special space and is a photographer’s dream — literally everywhere you look, a dramatic angle or provocative piece of art beckons and entices you to snap, snap, snap away and that’s exactly what I did:

How can you be anything but effusive about such a standout piece of architecture?

Inside, the home is just as unique and impressive.  Although modest in size (nearly 1,800 sf), the home feels spacious because each room opens to the next, not one square inch of space is wasted, and the light magically dances on every surface:

In fact, Laura said the the light is her favorite thing about the house.  For me, I’d have to say it’s the giant conversation pit anchored by a fireplace on one side and surrounded by light everywhere else.  It can easily seat you and a dozen or more of your best pals:

Also, Laura shared many stories about the house with us, and we were truly an enrapt audience:

Here, she regales us with the tale of her first meeting with the legendary Bruce Goff:

You want to know the story, don’t you?!  Well, I won’t keep you in suspense….

Laura and Joe hadn’t lived in the house for long and they were used to people stopping and taking photos of the home — sometimes, people even crept through the bushes nestled against the house to get better views of it.  One day, two young men arrived and began chatting with Laura about the home and asked to come inside and tour the place.  She obliged and they spent the next two hours chatting about the architectural marvel.  At one point, Laura mentioned that she didn’t know anything about the architect or that the home was significant; she and Joe bought it simply because they liked it and not for its pedigree.  One of the men piped up and said that it was designed by Bruce Goff and he was in the car if she’d like to meet him.  That genius of a man patiently waited in the car for TWO HOURS until he was invited inside!  After that, the Warriners and “Mr. Goff” (as Laura still calls him) became friends and were soon discussing plans to expand the house.

At the time, the home was much choppier and the Warriners wanted to open it up and add a master suite and an art studio for Laura, who was a burgeoning artist.  Goff told Laura that he wanted to get to know them better so he’d know exactly what they’d need in their addition.  Over the next several years, he invited the couple for weekend visits to his home in Tyler, Texas, where Joe and Goff’s mom would enjoy watching baseball together (both were huge fans) while Laura and Goff would discuss art, design, and just about everything else.  Goff even became an artistic mentor to Laura when he heartily encouraged her to pursue her art at a time when she was still insecure and unsure of her talent.

During one such discussion, Goff showed Laura a piece of magnificent green tile that he had picked up in his travels and asked if she liked it.  She replied in the affirmative, and they both agreed that it would make a great floor in her remodeled home.

Finally, after 10 long years and many visits, Goff called the Warriners and told them he had the perfect design for them that consisted of a two-story master suite.  Here are a few photos of the original drawings by Nelson Brackin that Laura shared with me a few weeks ago.  They are remarkable pieces of art in themselves:

Here’s Goff’s idea for the remodeled original house with the green tile floor.  Interestingly, the home had never had a conversation pit — something Goff was well known for — so he decided to include one with the remodel.

Other than the pink trim, the Warriners loved the design.  They and Goff agreed that green would be a color better suited to the surrounding natural environment and Joe and Laura reached out to contractors for estimates.  Unfortunately, the budget they gave Goff in 1967 was less than a third of what they needed to actually get the addition constructed a decade later, so they scrapped that plan and opted instead to update the original house and add a modest studio and the back pool.  Sadly, Goff died at the age of 78 in 1982 as the home was being remodeled, and he never got to see the updated Pollock-Warriner House.

Someday, if any subsequent owner would ever like to add on a master suite, Goff’s approved drawings surely would be the way to go, don’t you think?

Back on the tour, the heart of the home is the open kitchen where, of course, everyone gathered to chat, snack, and have a laugh or two:

The thing I love about Laura’s home is the art, art, art everywhere, which is no big surprise considering she is the brains and heart behind my very favorite gallery in town, [Artspace] at Untitled (which we will discuss more in a bit).  Honestly, there’s something interesting to see everywhere you look, like these modern pottery pieces that are scattered throughout the kitchen…

… the original Bruce Goff painting off of the master bedroom…

… and the nude and her pals that greet visitors at the front door:

In addition to the museum quality art, there are so many interesting architectural details in this extraordinary modern cottage, like the fact that you can be outside and look through a window and have an unobstructed view all the way out the window on the opposite side of the house.  I also love the way each room boldly opens to the next.  As you can see in this photo of the bedroom, it’s not a large space, but because it opens so easily to the gallery beyond, it feels like one giant and yet very practical room.

Here’s the gallery space:

The openness of these areas makes the house feel like one giant room that wraps around the kitchen at the heart of the house.  It’s quite a stunning plan that appeals to those in need of large spaces as well as people, like me, who love to get lost in little nooks.

Laura was such a gracious host, and I know that I’m speaking for everyone on the tour when I say that it was very special, indeed, to get to hear her fascinating stories and spend the afternoon wandering around her marvel of a home.  Although this home isn’t open for tours, you can enjoy more of Laura’s generosity and hospitality at [Artspace] at Untitled.  If you’ve never been to the gallery, I highly encourage you to go by and visit.  The programming is unparalleled with all kinds of beautifully curated exhibitions, film presentations, panel discussions, music evenings, and one of my very favorite events of the year, the very fun Steamroller Festival.  If you like the pottery pieces I photographed in Laura’s home, you can find similar vessels, jewelry, handmade clothing, and all kinds of art in the gallery gift shop, Hive.  In addition to all of this, Artspace runs an incredible mentorship program in which students from under served schools spend time at the gallery working with local artists to learn about, create, and enjoy making pieces of their own.  The gallery is truly a magical space, and that’s all thanks to Laura and the incredibly positive energy she brings to the place.  And that’s my shameless plug for the day….

Okay, well, I think that wraps up the 2018 Mod Home Tour.  It was such a treat getting to tour this varied collection of homes, and we’d like to thank all of the owners — Brett and Jessica Nelson, Leonardo and Margaretta Baez, Cam and Joli Sanders, Marla Cook, and Laura Warriner — for generously opening your homes to all of us architecture geeks.  We really appreciate you.  I’d also like to thank everyone who had no idea where we were going but purchased tickets to the tour, anyway.  Thank you for trusting us!  In addition, the bus driver, Richard, was a great sport and expertly drove us around town.  Finally, a huge thanks to Terri Sadler for working so hard to help me line up the exceptional homes we toured this year.  You’re the best cohort ever!

Hope to see all of you next year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recapping the Oklahoma Modernism Weekend: The Flashback Fashion Show

Posted by on Jun 25, 2018 in Mod Blog | No Comments

by Lynne Rostochil.  Photos by David Saunkheah, Ryan Jonce Humphreys, and Lynne Rostochil.  

This year, several photographers were on hand to photograph the three waves of the Flashback Fashion Show during the Oklahoma Modernism Weekend, and some of the best images I’ve seen were taken by professional photographer, David Saunkheah, who gave me permission to share them here with you.

David wasn’t on hand for the first wave of the show, but he captured these images of the second wave devoted to everything bright:

For the third wave, Debbie Ellis, better known as the Junk Fairy to some of you, featured patriotic fashion.  However, just as the first models began walking the runway, power to the entire building went out.  Suddenly, we had no light, no music, no nothing!  But that didn’t stop anyone.  The fiesty crowd turned on their phone flashlights and began clapping a beat, and the intrepid models continued their walk.

And here are a couple more that I took during the patriotic wave:

We also are thrilled that photographer, Ryan Jonce Humphreys has allowed us to post his photos of the fashion show.  They are so great, too!

Thank you, once again, to Debbie, her assistant, Tracy Mabry, and Diana at Bad Granny’s.  In addition, thanks to the fantastic and up-for-anything models who weathered the heat and the power outage with complete grace: Josie Pearson, Brooke Taylor, Tamara Jones, Adrienne Johnson, Katie Murray, Alexis Perry, Zhiane Dempsey, Meaghan Syrjala, Nazim Khalidov, Brayson Williams, Ryan Humphrey, and Will Hodges. Finally, thank you to hair stylists Carole Perry and Lacey San Nicholas. Hope all of you join us again next year!

 

 

 

Recapping the 2018 Oklahoma Modernism Weekend

Posted by on Jun 22, 2018 in Mod Blog | No Comments

text and photo by Lynne Rostochil unless otherwise stated.

This year, we felt so lucky to be able to host the third annual Oklahoma Modernism Weekend (OMW) at the iconic Gold Dome in Oklahoma City.  The building didn’t have air conditioning, water, or facilities, but no one seemed to mind a bit because, duh, it was in the GOLD DOME, for goodness sake!  I honestly can’t imagine a more beautiful backdrop for all of the fun events of the weekend….  Let’s take a look back, shall we?

Mod Swap vendors began arriving Friday afternoon to set up their unique wares for the Mod Swap on Saturday.  The place filled up quickly:

Terri took these shots of booths all set up and ready to go.  Here’s the scene at Funky Shway’s booth:

And the goodies for sale by Retrospectiv:

Love the nice set up by remodernOK:

After set up was complete, the actual Weekend kicked off Friday evening with a happy hour hosted by our Mod Squad friend, Koby Click, at his new shop Space3012.  If you haven’t been by his new space, you will love it!  He’s now located at 3012 N. Penn:

Afterward, a group moved on to the Pump for an evening of fun and games:

The next morning, organizers enjoyed a few moments of quiet before the Mod Swap and Wheel-o-Rama opened at 8:00 sharp:

Commonplace Books brought along several mod titles for people to lust over:

As soon as we opened the doors, a steady stream of mod lovers filled in to shop, make some good deals, and have fun:

This quirky bar from Retrospectiv was one of my favorites:

And who doesn’t love a little cat-eye look brought to you by Renee Curry:

We even had my favorite gallery, [Artspace] @ Untitled, on hand giving printmaking demonstrations to curious customers:

But, I can honestly say that I found a lot of favorites at this year’s Mod Swap.  We had a great group of vendors from all over Oklahoma, as well as from Dallas and Amarillo and even Little Rock, and they brought some fantastic treasures that very smart Mod Squadders scooped up quickly:

It was mid-century modern nirvana!

Also, we were so happy that Jennifer and Bren offered to man the concierge desk and merchandise booth.  They were on hand to sell the best OMW t-shirts ever, buttons, and much-needed Okie Mod Squad hand fans:

 

While there was a frenzy of shopping going on inside, the always-exciting Wheel-o-Rama filled the front parking area with all kinds of classic rides:

How fabulous was this vintage Shasta trailer that was for sale for a very reasonable $4,000:

Terri took this one:

Here are a few more car show photos that Terri took:

And a couple by Tim Anderson of the cute little 1962 Austin wagon that had everyone’s tongues wagging:

The event that always thrills me most is the Flashback Fashion Show, and this year was better than ever.  Debbie of the Junk Fairy and her assistant, Tracy of Golly Gee, organized an amazing show, and you can find many of the fashions in the show at their booth spaces at the one and only Bad Granny’s Bazaar in the Plaza District.  This year, Debbie chose a different summer theme for each wave of the show — 1960s tropical, brights, and patriotic.  Here are some of the highlights of the tropical theme:

Love this photo by Terri:

… and this one by Bren.  That’s my cute son, Will, on the right:

Terri got these images of the second wave, which featured brights:

So many people took great shots of the three waves that I’m going to create a second Mod Blog post with them.  Stay tuned for more great vintage fashion!

In addition to all of these fun events, we hosted several presentations.  The first speaker was Karen Oyerly of the OKC Modern Quilt Guild, who discussed the history of modern quilting and showed off several to-die-for examples of the guild’s work.

They are so jaw droppingly fabulous, and you can check out even more mod quilts at their currently running exhibition at Artspace @ Untitled.

Our next presentation featured OU professor, Dr. Angela Person, who discussed Bruce Goff and the American School.

Traditionally, architecture schools throughout the U.S. taught students based either on the French Beaux Arts model, which focused on studying classical architecture, or the German Bauhaus model, which melded industry and abstraction in architectural design.  When Bruce Goff became head of the architecture department at the University of Oklahoma in 1947, he and his colleagues created an entirely new form of study that emphasized individual creativity, organic forms, and experimentation.  Now known as the American School, Goff’s approach impacted not only his students, but modern architecture throughout the world.  OU will be hosting a huge exhibition about the American School in 2020, and I can’t wait!

Finally, I did a presentation of the history of the Gold Dome, which was followed by a tour of the iconic structure itself.  Lots of fun!  The vault was a big favorite:

Unfortunately, we experienced a huge power failure just as the third wave of the Flashback Fashion Show kicked off, and we weren’t able to get to our fourth presentation by Tim Anderson and Nick Leonard about Roadside Oklahoma, but we hope they will return next year to entertain us with their fascinating stories.

Stay tuned for more Oklahoma Modernism Weekend fun with additional photos of the fashion show and also ride along with us on the Mod Home Tour.

 

 

 

Travelling Through Time Along 23rd Street, Part 1

Posted by on May 29, 2018 in Mod Blog | No Comments

by Lynne Rostochil.  Vintage photos, unless otherwise stated, courtesy of the Oklahoma History Center.  “Now” images from Googlemaps, the OK County Tax Assessor, and Lynne Rostochil.

Have you ever driven down a busy inner core street and wondered what your surroundings must have looked like “back in the day”?  Well, I have, too, so I decided to pick a street — NW and NE 23rd — and search through the Oklahoma History Center’s vintage photo collection to piece together its past.  The results were pretty impressive, and I found buildings and street scenes from the road’s beginnings east of Lake Overholser all the way to NE 23rd past I-35.  I’m including these vintage photos, along with “now” shots of the same areas, so sit back and enjoy travelling through time along 23rd!

We will begin at the western stretch of the road in Bethany.

Our first stop is Putnam City West High School as students run a chariot race in 1977:

Now:

Across the street from the high school, you could rent this tiny house for a mere $15 a month in 1981.  It was the cheapest rental in the city, which isn’t too surprising:

What is also not surprising is the fact that the house is gone now:

At the corner of NW 23rd and Council is the DeVille Shopping Center, which was designed by Fred Pojezny and opened in 1964:

It got an ugly remodel in the ’90s, unfortunately, and looks nearly vacant these days:

 

On the 7600 block of NW 23rd is the Bethany Hospital, which was built in the mid-1970s:

The hospital closed a few years ago, and although there were rumors that it would be demolished, it looks like it is still in use in some capacity today:

Down the street is the Western Oaks Elementary/Jr. High complex.  Here’s the gym under construction in 1963 and a photo of students outside the junior high in 1967:

And the elementary school undergoing a remodel in 1984 — the remodel reduced the size of all of the large windows and really uglied up the building:

Here’s the school now:

As disappointing as the school looks with those awful peephole windows, we can rejoice in a structure on the 6500 block of NW 23rd that is a big favorite of the Mod Squad, the Lutheran Church of Our Savior, which was built in 1962.  Here’s the building in the background in 1986 when the church’s longtime minister retired:

And here’s this splendid mod creation today:

I mean, really, how great is this building?!

I’ve always wondered about the little log cabin at 6001 NW 23rd — it doesn’t seem to fit with all of the other, obviously urban, buildings surrounding it, as you can see in this 1982 photo:

It was constructed as the headquarters for Eureka Log Homes, and it still looks pretty good today:

Five blocks to the east is the best fairy tale apartment complex in the city, Olde London Towne, built in 1969:

I don’t know about all of the extra e’s in the apartment name, but I sure do remember being fascinated with that tower when I was a kid.  The complex was renamed the Castle Tower Apartments about 10 years ago:

Let’s drive a little further east to the Windsor Hills Shopping Center at NW 23rd and Meridian, where we can see the dedication ceremony in 1960:

Those cute diamonds on the building make another appearance in this 1965 photo of storm damage to the C.R. Anthony sign:

More damage occurred in 1967 when an Impala backed into the TG&Y:

Ouch!  The damage was repaired and here’s a view of the TG&Y and Hyde’s Discount Drug in 1978:

The same view today shows that the Windsor Hills has received the typical bland and very ugly ’90s makeover:

I found a couple of vintage photos around the intersection of NW 23rd and Meridian, this one from the mid 1960s showing where the diagonal NW 19th is causing more than a little confusion:

Not much has changed in this regard:

And look at this icy mess along NW 23rd looking west from Meridian from 1968:

And the same area now:

The next block to the east was once the home of what had to be one of the best signs in the entire state:

How great is that?!  Here’s another view of the Rancher’s Daughter drive-in from 1961, the year after the drive-in and big time high school hang out opened:

I believe the drive-in closed in the mid 1980s and was replaced with this piece of blah in 1989:

 

Interestingly, the grassy lawn in front and the u-shape drive parking lot look like they belong to the original Rancher’s Daughter.

Now, let’s mosey to NW 23rd and Portland, where I’ve found old photos of two corners of the intersection.  On the southwest corner is a 1974 photo showing the newly constructed Kerr-McGee gas station:

This awning isn’t nearly as elegant as the ones George Nelson designed, and although it looks similar today, I think the above station was demolished and a new Conoco with a convenience store took its place:

The really good stuff is on the northeast corner, where the lovely Humpty Dumpty grocery store opened in this building in 1948:

I would go shopping here every day if I got to enjoy such bright and happy surrounds.  This lovely femme fatale obviously felt the same way back in 1951:

All of that caffeine would make me a happy girl, too, but I don’t know about shopping in those shoes — not too comfy.

A TG&Y also shared the building with Humpty Dumpty. I believe this is the storefront for that retailer:

The third and final tenant was OTASCO:

I remember going to OTASCO with my dad when I was little and the entire store smelled like tires.  It was more than a bit overpowering, but it was always so much fun exploring the store and eyeing all of the gadgets and whats-its that lined every shelf.

Here’s the Humpty Dumpty building today — it still looks pretty good:

Our last stop of the day is on the next block of NW 23rd, where we are visiting Fine’s Foods and Veazey Drugs.  The first image is the building right after it was constructed in 1952:

And the interior of Fine’s:

I guess the owners wanted something more dramatic, so they added this fantastically obnoxious sign that could probably be seen for miles at night:

That is one huge WOW!

Within a few short years, Al Fine more than doubled the size of the grocery store when he expanded the building westward on the lot.  At the same time, he updated the exterior to give the building a much more mod feel:

At some point after 1969, the portion of the structure that sat further back on the lot was expanded to create one long building.  It was probably at this time in the 1980s that it also received a pretty sad remodel in which the former Fine’s lost a lot of its lovely windows:

  

It was remodeled again about six years ago.  Although many of its windows were restored, the building isn’t nearly as charming as it was originally:

That’s it for this week.  Next week, we’ll pick up our journey as we cross over I-44 and head east toward OCU and Uptown.

Visiting the Jet-Age Tulsa International Airport in Architectural Record Magazine

Posted by on May 24, 2018 in Mod Blog | No Comments

by Lynne Rostochil.  photos by Julius Shulman.

As the 1960s dawned, jet airplanes were just becoming a thing and one of the very first airports designed specifically for jet travel was the Tulsa Municipal Airport (renamed Tulsa International Airport in 1963), designed by Murray Jones Murray.  Soon after the airport opened in 1961, architectural photographer Julius Shulman came a’calling, and his photos and a detailed feature article about the airport appeared in the April 1963 issue of Progressive Architecture.  It’s a pretty fascinating read:

The major objectives in the design for this terminal were the separation of essential passenger facilities from concessions and the exclusion of spectator traffic from passenger circulation areas.  The architects’ original proposal was to place the waiting room, concessions and dining facilities in a separate building, linked to the main terminal by bridge.  Neither the airport consultants nor the municipal authorities favored this scheme, however, since it would reduce the attraction of revenue-producing facilities.  The scheme was therefore modified to give the restaurant a position overlooking the apron and bring concessions closer to passenger routes.

A two-level passenger circulation scheme, with separate automobile access for arriving and departing passengers, was ruled out for economic reasons.  Separation of passenger and visitor was achieved, however, by utilizing the change in level of the site.

Passengers enter and leave the terminal at an automobile platform on the field level.  Departing passengers pass through the ticketing area and proceed by escalator to the upper level, where they can go directly to the boarding fingers or detour to the waiting and concession area or the restaurant.  It is necessary at present to descend to the field level to board the plane, but the fingers have been designed and constructed to permit second-level boarding ramps in the future.  Arriving passengers follow the same route in reverse, leaving the terminal through the lower level baggage claim area.

The visitors’ entrance on the upper level leads directly into the waiting and concession area and is convenient to the restaurant.  Visitors are given an opportunity to observe ticketing and baggage claim activities on the level below, but do not interfere with them.  A landscaped “island” surrounding the upper-level entrance separates the terminal from the parking area and serves as an outdoor waiting area, protected from the noise and fumes of the aircraft.

The capacity of the terminal is based on the predicted annual volume of 800,000 for the year 1970.  Initially, the terminal provides 15 gate positions out of an eventual 23.

The glass-walled waiting room is protected from direct sunlight by a gold-anodized aluminum screen.  The dark brown terrazzo floor minimizes glare, and the ceiling is of mineral fissured acoustic tile.  The steel structural frame is exposed and painted white on both the interior and exterior.

The steel framing system was selected for its adaptability to expansion.  The need to insulate the interior from the noise of jet planes was met by using double glazing and four-inch precast concrete panels within the exposed steel frame.  The concrete panels cost no more than conventional curtain-wall construction and provide comparable flexibility for future changes.  The building won an award in the 1962 American Institute of Steel Construction Architectural Award of Excellence Program and was the subject of a Workshop-Critique published in the 1962 P/A (Progressive Architecture).

Since the depth of the steel members was limited by the need to minimize floor-to-floor height and maintain a consistent appearance, the members could not be selected solely on the basis of weight.  The cost of the additional steel required was more than offset, however, by savings on wall area and details.

The exposed steel has been painted white on both interior and exterior.  The precast panels have a large green granite aggregate.  Interior walls are covered with neutral tan vinyl, except where accents of red-orange and yellow vinyl are used to identify the two boarding fingers.

Gold-anodized aluminum sunscreens on the sides of the waiting room wing have been placed 10 ft beyond the glass, so that they need not extend below door height.  On the southwest face of the ticketing and baggage area, gray-tinted glass has been used and special retractable vertical blinds have been installed for protection from the low sun of the winter months.

Recessed incandescent lighting has been used for general illumination throughout the public areas.  Luminous ceilings with a high level of fluorescent lighting have been installed over ticketing and baggage claim counters and above the central vertical circulation well.  Work areas and rental spaces have conventional fluorescent lighting.

The control of signs and concessions displays was given special attention.  The graphics consultants designed all signs, including those for tenants.

The final cost of the terminal was $4,250,000, exclusive of landscaping, graphics, furniture, fixtures, finishing of tenant spaces, restaurant equipment and fixtures, and architects’ fees.

Consultants and engineers for the terminal included: David B. Graham & Company, Structural Engineers; Netherton, Dollmeyer & Solnok, Mechanical Engineers; William E. Short, Electrical Engineer; Leigh Fisher & Associates, Airport Consultants; Bolt, Beranek & Newman, Inc., Acoustical Consultants; and Brownjohn, Chermayeff & Geismar, Graphic Designers.

A separate control tower, also designed by Murray Jones Murray, was constructed concurrently with the terminal.

The only enclosed parts of the 157-ft structure are the observation cab at the top, the space for essential related equipment just below it, and the stair and elevator shaft.  The bulk of the equipment and auxiliary spaces are located in a connected structure at ground level, which can be readily expanded and rearranged as needs change.  The white-painted steel frame and the precast granite aggregate in-filling panels are consistent with the exterior of the terminal:

A system of exposed steel tension members braces the lower against 100 mph winds and adds visual interest.

Today, the Tulsa Airport is much bigger, but it retains many original features and still looks like a mid-century modern masterpiece.

 

Endangered Places and Some Fun Saves

Posted by on May 17, 2018 in Mod Blog | No Comments

text and photos by Lynne Rostochil unless otherwise noted.  Riverside Studio photo by Tulsa People.

Every year, Preservation Oklahoma (POK) releases its Most Endangered Places list and I’m both happy and sad to say that a lot of modern made the cut this year.  It’s good because mod buildings are being recognized as valuable and well worth saving, but it’s equally sad that so many landmarks are threatened.  Here’s the mod that made the list and POK verbiage about each entry:

Founders National Bank, OKC:

The Founders Bank building is one of Oklahoma City’s best examples of mid-century modern architecture, and it’s the only known design of the architect and former Bruce Goff student, Bob Bowlby, in the area. Although the building was expanded in the 1990s, it remains a beloved local icon and an incredibly fresh design today.  The Bank of America that was a long-term tenant in the former Founders National Bank building moved out of the space in 2017, and the property was listed for sale that October. The structure sits in the middle of a large undeveloped lot and, the fear is that a developer will buy the building and demolish it in favor of new development.

Westhope, Tulsa:

Westhope is one of only three Frank Lloyd Wright designed buildings in Oklahoma. Built in 1929 for his cousin, Richard Lloyd Jones, Westhope is larger than most Frank Lloyd Wright designed houses, containing over 8,000 square feet of floor space. WestHope was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 Westhope was also on the Most Endangered Places list in 2014.

(This building made the list again because the owner lives out of state and rarely visits the property, and deferred maintenance is an issue.)

Route 66 Signs, Statewide:

Route 66, the Mother Road, has many historic structures along its nearly 375-mile route across Oklahoma. Tourists from all over the United States and beyond travel along Route 66 hoping to catch a glimpse of yesteryear and feed their nostalgic dreams of simpler times. Many Route 66 signs are well cared for by
thoughtful owners, but so many others are being neglected or are poorly maintained by owners who may not realize the joy they bring to passing motorists. Route 66 structures and sites have been on our Most Endangered Places lists multiple times.

Riverside Studio, Tulsa:

Riverside Studio in Tulsa, also known as Tulsa Spotlight Club or Spotlight Theatre was built in 1928, designed by architect Bruce Goff in the Art Deco International Styles. The Riverside Studio was listed in the National Register for Historic Places in 2001 and was included in the Most Endangered Places list in 2015.

(The studio is on the list again this year due to deferred maintenance issues.  The theater group that occupies the structure is poorly funded and can’t afford to properly maintain the 90-year-old building.)

 

For the first time, POK added success stories to the list.  These are buildings that have been on the Endangered Places list in the past and have been restored.  These include:

Tower Theatre, OKC:

Tower Theatre opened in 1937 and is one of Oklahoma City’s last original movie houses, with an auditorium and its neon marquee shining over Uptown 23rd Street district in Oklahoma City. Tower Theatre was an active theatre up until 1989. Marty and Mike Dillon who began renovations purchased the building in 2005. In 2014, Oklahoma City development group Pivot Project stepped in to complete the project. In 2017, Tower Theatre returned as a live music and event venue.

Page Woodson/Douglass High School, OKC:

Page Woodson serves as a success story for redevelopment and is now home to affordable housing and apartments. Page Woodson, former Douglass High School, was purchased in 2013 by a development group led by Ron and Jason Bradshaw, after being vacant for 20 years. The Bradshaws garnered community support, working closely with the JFK neighborhood where the building is located in Oklahoma City. Page Woodson was originally Lowell School in 1910, an all white school, before turning into Douglass High School, an all-black school, in 1934.

 

The unveiling of this year’s list took place at the newly rehabbed Page Woodson, which is more beautiful today than it has ever been:

To see the entire 2018 Endangered Places list, go here.

The Tower Theatre and Page Woodson aren’t the only historic buildings that have been saved recently.  The iconic Owl Courts motel in old downtown Britton has sat derelict and nearly vacant for decades.  It was originally a gas station and when Route 66 was routed through Britton in 1931, the owner added the motel and cafe (opened in 1932). It was at this time that the rock was added to all of the buildings. I found an ad in the Oklahoma listing the cafe for sale in 1936:

The motel was built with garages, which were later converted to rooms.

On a sad note, a Colorado trucker named John Aughinbaugh rented one of the cabins for the night on a cold winter night, February 2, 1956. It must have been very cold outside because he turned up the stove all of the way and went to sleep. The next morning, he was found dead, a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning.  Poor John.

In the 1970s, the motel was converted into apartments.  There are rumors that it also served as a brothel during these sad years when the town and Route 66 fell into decay much like the motel itself, and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to learn that’s true.  When John Dunning purchased the Owl Courts at auction in 2004, it was in sad shape, indeed.

John did some restoration work, and here’s the Owl Courts office in 2008 with a fresh coat of paint and looking better than it had in decades:

Over time, however, the place became too much for just one man to restore, and Owl Courts looked sadder with each passing year.  Finally, the city council added the decaying motel to its delinquent and abandoned list, paving the way to have the complex demolished.

That’s when a group of men determined to finally rehabilitate the Owl Courts stepped in.  Investors and developers Thomas Rossiter, Marcus Ude, Brad Rice, Rusty LaForge, Tyler Holmes, and Marc Weinmeister are intent upon saving the historic complex and converting it into restaurant and/or retail space.  To help brainstorm restoration ideas and possible uses for the buildings once they are in good condition, Marc and the other owners invited engineers, architects, historians like me, and Rock Cafe owner Dawn Welch (who rebuilt her eatery from scratch after a devastating fire there in 2008) to tour the property.  Here are some photos of the place in its present condition.  The office building looks pretty healthy:

The motel rooms are, to put it nicely, a big mess.  Owners have spent weeks cleaning them out, but they still have a long way to go.  As I wandered through small rooms with crumbling walls and ceilings, I didn’t see the ghost of John Aughinbaugh, but I could easily imagine what this place could look like with a little imagination and a pile of cash:

The old cafe and residence at the front of the property are in equally bad condition:

But can’t you just imagine this tree-canopied space being an outdoor eatery/biergarten?

Yes, a TON of work needs to be done to save the Owl Courts but the people I met on my tour of the place are determined to make that happen, and I can’t wait to see this place evolve into a fabulous hang out in the near future.

The final building that now has a bright future thanks to a forward thinking owner is the beloved Villa Teresa complex in Midtown.  After the school, which was in operation for 79 years at this location, closed in 2012, its fate was quite uncertain.  Luckily for us, preservationist extraordinaire, Marva Ellard, purchased the 3.5 acre property in the heart of Midtown and intends to rehabilitate it, much as she did the glorious Seiber Hotel down the street.  With her at the helm, Villa Teresa faces a bright future, indeed.

Every quarter, the Oklahoma City Foundation for Architecture (OCFA) hosts a tour of an iconic OKC building, and this time the entire Villa Teresa campus was open for a rare glimpse into these historic buildings and the incredible plans for them — go here to learn more about the OCFA:

The first structure we wandered through was the administration building and convent:

Originally, this glorious mansion was the home of Frank E. Anderson and his family.  Anderson was one of the founders of the Anderson Clayton Company, a cotton brokerage firm that was founded in OKC in 1904 and morphed into a food products company over the years.  Anderson’s brother, M.D., was also a founder and the internationally renowned M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston was named in his honor.

As the business grew and became more successful, it was relocated to Houston, but Frank decided to remain in OKC and constructed this grand Georgian mansion at the edge of Heritage Hills.  It was completed in 1917 and soon became a social hub for the family and their friends.

All of the fun ended in November 1924, however, when Frank’s appendix burst and peritonitis set in.  He died three days later.  I believe that this branch of the family soon joined the others in Houston and by 1931, this house was rarely used and was becoming a huge maintenance and tax burden.  So, Frank’s son, James donated the house to the Carmelite nuns in 1933, and it became Villa Teresa.  Other than a dorm addition on the back of the house, the nuns left many original features of the mansion intact for over 80 years, like the grand staircase and library:

Here are more original details:

How nice is this sunroom?

I’m sure the Andersons hosted many a soiree in this cheery space.  The kitchen isn’t original but it’s AQUA!!!

Even the basement laundry room is cool and not creepy at all:

The nun’s quarters, which were constructed in 1967, are compact but sweet:

And I love the tile in the shared second floor bathroom:

Back in the living room, plans for the development of some of the empty spaces of the grounds were on display.  Fitzsimmons Architects is bringing a little modern fun to the Villa Teresa campus:

And before you get upset, know that just one current structure, an ugly temporary building, is coming down to make way for the new condo construction.  As for the original buildings, three will be converted to multi-unit housing, and Frank’s house will become a boutique hotel.

Speaking of Frank’s house, here it is after Villa Teresa took ownership:

And today:

The next building on the tour was the Nursery:

Like the convent, the Nursery began life as a private residence.  I believe that Frank had it built for his son James when the young man wed in 1919.  Nice wedding present, aye?  When the last owner, druggist Paul Westfall, died in 1946, Villa Teresa acquired the property and converted it into classrooms.

My favorite part of the house is the slide fire escape:

I can just see a gaggle of tiny butts getting stuck half way down the scorching hot slide and nearly catching fire themselves, can’t you?  Still, I hope that it is kept as the Nursery is renovated because it’s just too cute and more than a little funny.

Back inside, the upstairs rooms are HUGE and will make beautiful living spaces:

The downstairs living room is pretty gorgeous, too:

Next up is the only building the nuns constructed from the ground up, the main school, which was completed in 1951:

Like the other structures, this one will make for very desirable housing with its large, light, and airy rooms:

I love the happy graffiti — this was certainly a place of positivity and love.  And, how cool would it be if the architects keep some of these vintage chalkboards (hint, hint)?

The green terrazzo flooring throughout is pretty spectacular, too:

And check out the lunch tables that slide out of the wall, making the cafeteria a multi-functional space:

The office:

And I found the A/V room with old film strips — woo hoo!!

Such a fun building!

Last up is the stucco mansion.  I believe it was built by R.W. Dick sometime before 1922, but it was known for generations as home to the Lowrey family, who lived there from around 1930 until 1970.  That same year, I believe Villa Teresa purchased it along with a house next door that the school demolished to create the playground.  This building became home to the pre-school:

Like the other mansions on the block, this one retains many original details:

But, by far, the very best part of this house is the crazy stalactite-stuccoed-ceiling room in the basement.  It’s crazy, man!

With the safe built into the fireplace, surely this was a gambling room or friendly neighborhood speakeasy during Prohibition, don’t you think?

I can just see W.W. Lowrey and his corpulent, cigar-puffing pals hanging out and playing poker, drinking hooch, and maybe enjoying the company of lovely ladies who weren’t their wives in this space, can’t you?  In other words, I doubt this was a nun hangout.

After Villa Teresa closed in 2012, a popular Tulsa restaurateur purchased the property and said that he would save it, but rumors soon swirled that the lovely, park-like campus would be demolished.  That’s when, just like Wonder Woman, Marva Ellard swept in and saved the day!

I can’t wait to see the transformation of the Owl Courts and Villa Teresa, and I hope that, in the near future, we will be cheering the rescue of all of the buildings on the 2018 Endangered Places list, too.

 

 

Highlights from the 2018 AIA Tour

Posted by on May 3, 2018 in Mod Blog | No Comments

text and photos by Lynne Rostochil.

One of my very favorite days of the year is the annual AIA tour, where architecture lovers from all over the city get to meander through inspiring interiors of local homes and businesses designed by some of the state’s best architects.  Before the tour, I always think that this year’s stops can’t live up to the previous year’s, and every single year I’m pleasantly surprised — 2018 was no different.  So, let’s start with one of the biggest hits of the tour, the Streamline Moderne Jones House in Nichols Hills:

This home in the heart of Nichols Hills was designed by Rue Berlowitz & Commander and constructed in 1948.  The modern design was such a standout in Oklahoma City that the home received a full page ad in the Oklahoman, which dubbed it “Tomorrow’s Home.”

The home was built for a member of the Harter family, who owned the Harter Concrete Company, so it’s no big surprise that it was constructed mostly of that material.  In the last few years, another owner painted this glorious Streamline home pink and teal:

I guess they were big “Miami Vice” fans.

A few years ago, the Jones family purchased the home, which was still structurally sound but needed a lot of love.  They hired Gardner Architects and Brent Swift to do a sensitive remodel of the house with incredible results.  Spaces were brightened when exposed concrete block was plastered a soft white, and formerly closed off rooms were opened up — the living room, kitchen, and den now flow much more organically and provide stunning vistas of the remodeled backyard by Brent Wall of LAUD:

The beautiful hallway with its long horizontal windows remains the same, which I was very happy to see:

The hall leads to a large playroom/guest suite with its own kitchen:

The office has such a great view of the backyard — I’m not sure how anyone can get any work done when that enticing pool quietly beckons:

The guest bath is pretty great, too:

On the other side of the house, there’s a kid’s room and the lovely master suite:

Yeah, this is truly a dream home!

The next stop was equally impressive for very different reasons.  Squirrel Park, located at 1226 NW 32nd, is a four-unit complex of shipping containers centered around a communal garden and fountain:

Architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris did a fantastic job of modding up these containers and creating very open, livable spaces that feel much larger than each unit’s 1,400 sf would suggest.  On the main floor, an open-plan kitchen overlooks a large living room with sliding glass doors that open to one of two outdoor patios:

Can I just say how thrilled I was to see some COLOR in this place?!  It was so exciting to walk in and not see greige everywhere.  The upstairs shower between the two large bedrooms is also yellow:

Yeah, if I ever decide to give up on being a homeowner, I’m moving to Squirrel Park, for sure.

Another multi-unit community on the tour was the beautifully designed Classen 29 at 1419 NW 29th St.  Designed by Common Works Architects, the project was “developed by the Jefferson Park Neighbors Association seeking to provide an affordable for-sale housing product while improving vacant or dilapidated properties.  Two existing properties with distressed houses were cleared and combined into a single development parcel to allow for the construction of six new single-family houses,” according to the AIA tour brochure.

The development is still under construction, and the six homes — two one-story and four two-story examples — face a common sidewalk and feature large porches and small private yards.

Inside, the common areas are ample and open to each other to maximize space:

How cool is this unusual mid-century modern stereo cabinet in the living room:

This poster is pretty great, too:

Yep, good decor!

Two bedrooms, a laundry area, and a bathroom make up the top floor of the two-story home.  Here’s one of the bedrooms with nice light and a vaulted ceiling:

These two lovely people are Cate and Mike from Australia.  They were in OKC on vacation and stumbled upon the tour at the Jones House.  We chatted for a bit, and I became their chauffeur and tour guide for the day.  We had a great day together, and they were very impressed with all of the good design happening in OKC.

Anyway, the decor in this bedroom is great here, too, with architectural models on the wall and shelf:

And, I think I could spend all day in a rocking chair on this beautiful porch reading a book and chatting with my neighbors:

From Classen 29, Mike, Cate, and I took a little detour and visited a Midtown condo that realtor Monty Milburn was showing, and I have to say that it was as stunning as the rest of the goodies we looked at that day.

Check out this three-story living space:

The view from the stairs:

Pretty dramatic, aye?  If you get tired of climbing all of those stairs, you can always take a break on the landing and enjoy the view of the living room:

The bedrooms were very nice, too:

But the best part of the whole place was the jaw dropping rooftop deck:

What a great view of downtown:

Mike and Cate enjoying the view:

Okay, back on the tour, our next stop was 323 in Midtown, which was once part of the Swanson Tire complex and is now home to Gardner Architects:

At merely 2,000 sf, 323 isn’t a huge space, but the former four-bay garage has been designed very thoughtfully to take full advantage of every square inch of space.  The open design studio consists of a large workspace and library flanked by floor-to-ceiling doors that allow for a ton of natural light and make the space look much bigger than it is:

These work tables are on casters, so they can be rolled out of the away or together, depending on the need:

The conference room is a great space, too:

And check out the funky tile in the kitchen:

Fun stuff!

Next up on the tour was Saxum at the Heritage.

The former Journal Record Building was constructed in 1923 as a Masonic lodge and then became an insurance company headquarters and theater before the newspaper moved in.  In 2016, Heritage Wealth Management purchased the east part of the building (the western wing is home to the Oklahoma National Memorial & Museum) and renovations began.  Saxum occupies the fifth and sixth floors — the sixth floor is the newly constructed penthouse level.  Check out the great view from the lobby area of Saxum:

And check out this great waiting room:

HSE Architects had a few challenges designing this space, namely what to do with the dimly lit fifth floor, which was originally the building’s giant mechanical area.  The solution is pure genius.  Five holes were cut into the penthouse floor and giant, 12-foot-long polycarbonate and glass lightboxes were installed over them to create a multi-use work space on that floor while letting in much-needed light into the fifth floor space.  Each lightbox boldly announces one of Saxum’s core values: Brave, Original, Lively, Driven, and Bold:

Here are the lightboxes upstairs:

We’ll check out how this affects the downstairs in a bit.  The penthouse level contains several offices and meeting rooms, a kitchen area, and a conference room with unparalleled views of Automobile Alley and Midtown:

The common spaces are relaxed and friendly:

Next to the work area is a leather-clad meeting/lounge/party room:

Back in the work area, a grand, award-laden staircase leads down to the fifth floor:

And here’s the effect of the giant lightboxes downstairs:

The fifth floor now has an abundance of natural light that makes this a happy and friendly work area:

Who would ever think that a warehouse could be sexy?  Well, Deatschwerks is all of that and even more!

Formerly the home of the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco), the expanded 36,000 sf warehouse now houses Deatschwerks, a manufacturer of aftermarket, high performance fuel systems for some of the fastest cars in the world, including “OKC’s Street Outlaws, Ford’s factory drag car, the Cobra Jet Mustang, and many of the top competitors in Formula Drift,” according to the AIA tour brochure.

The facility has its own media department:

And a wall of offices lead to the development/quality control/storage areas in the warehouse:

Here, co-owner Mike Deatsch talks about the development of Deatschwerks’ powerful products…

…while one of the company’s smaller 3D scanners is busy at work:

Some of the fuel injection systems ready for quality control:

What a fun space and such a fascinating look at one of the metro’s most interesting businesses.

Unfortunately, by this time in the tour we were running late and had to skip seeing the M. Dewayne Andrews Academic Tower at the OU College of Medicine, but I’ve heard that it’s a very impressive space and will check it out soon.  The last stop of the day was the Mediterranean style, 7,700 sf Sundial House, which was constructed in 1919:

The home was built by John Sinopolous, who, along with his brother, Peter, developed OKC’s first amusement park, Delmar Gardens in 1902.  He also owned several theaters around the metro and could well afford to build this lovely Italian villa in the heart of the prairie.

According to the National Register nomination form (the home was added in 1978), “John G. Sinopoulo was born in Greece, came to the United States in 1890 and arrived in Oklahoma in 1903. Not known specifically for his wealth, he was better known for his contributions to entertainment and culture in the Oklahoma City area. He built Delmar Gardens, a popular amusement park, with picnic facilities, train rides, refreshment stands, theater, Ferris wheel and other carnival rides which was enjoyed till it closed in 1910.”  (The Delmar Gardens site is now home to the Farmers Market complex):

“He built the Lyric Theater, and was part of the organization and management of many theaters and vaudeville houses in the area. Mrs. Sinopoulo was an artist, who painted throughout her entire life. She died in 1976, followed by her husband in 1977, at the age of 101. John Sinopoulo also built many buildings and cultural things in his hometown in Greece, and was knighted by King Paul of Greece. He was inducted posthumously into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1995.”

The AIA tour brochure states that, “Katherine Sinopolous was one of the first women to graduate from the Chicago Fine Arts Academy and was responsible for the construction of a cardboard model used by the architect, John Eberson, when designing the Sundial House.”  Here’s a photo of the home soon after it was constructed:

The same general view of the home today — that’s the pool pavilion on the right:

Architect Eberson was known primarily for designing grand movie palaces.  His only OKC theater design was for the Mayan-themed Midwest Theater, which was demolished at the height of Urban Renewal in 1975.  Here’s the theater in its heyday:

And here it is shortly before it was demolished:

Finally, here are the sad remains after it was taken down:

So heartbreaking.  While many of his theaters met the same fate as the Midwest Theater, there are a few of Eberson’s palaces still around, including the beautifully preserved Majestic Theater in Dallas…

…and the Lakewood Theater, also in Dallas:

This incredible home is a true time capsule from the days of Prohibition and partying flappers, as you can see from the second you walk in the front door and are greeted by the dramatic staircase:

With a house like this, you have to have a great room, right?  Well, this one has one of the greatest great rooms ever:

I mean, really!  What a space.  Every single thing in this room is original, including the lighting:

A second story landing overlooks the room:

And heavy wrought iron gates lead into the expansive dining room:

Yep, that’s another original light fixture over the table:

On the other side of the dining room is surely the most magical room in the entire house, the awe-inspiring sun room:

This room!  I just can’t stand it!  Everything about it exudes tranquility and complete perfection, from the tiled fireplace on the opposite wall:

To the gorgeously tiled floor…

…that borders a long-disused-but-still-spectacular fountain:

The fountain is framed by an atrium of paned windows:

What a truly glorious space — it makes me feel like I could easily time travel back to the halcyon days of The Great Gatsby.  I can so easily see this space nearly 100 years ago decked out with exotic palm trees surrounding the delicately streaming fountain and white wicker fan chairs perfectly placed around the room.  On matching wicker tables rests large tumblers beading with sweat and brimming with yellow lemonade mixed with unidentifiable bootlegged intoxicants.  There’s a card table in the corner with a man in a perfectly pressed white linen suit seemingly playing rummy with a beautifully coiffed femme fatal.  She’s wearing a thinner-than-air, flowy chiffon dress capped with a floppy summer hat that dips in front to create a mysterious and oh-so-seductive half-face.  Of course, she’s in soft focus and the late afternoon light expertly bounces off the brim of her hat to catch the twinkle in her only-exposed eye that leaves her ardent suitor unable to concentrate on anything but her.

You can see it, too, can’t you?

If not, here are a couple of images to inspire you:

Yes, I know I’m mixing my Great Gatsby’s, but hopefully this gets you into the spirit of the fantasy that the gorgeous sun room inspires.

I didn’t really want to shake off the magic of this enthralling space, but the upstairs beckoned so I had to leave Daisy and Jay behind.  I’m happy to say that I wasn’t at all disappointed to climb that lovely staircase…

…and stroll to the landing overlooking the great room:

The landing is actually a cozy reading room/den:

Off of the reading room is the all-original master suite with an orange tiled fireplace that will make you squeal with awe.  I think my not-so-quiet gasp of delight was heard throughout the house and likely even awoke the ghosts of Daisy and Jay in the sun room downstairs.  I mean, LOOK AT IT!!

I can barely contain my enthusiasm just looking at this photo.  This gorgeous thing is right here in Oklahoma City — can you believe it?!  Nope, I can’t, either.  With the sun room downstairs and this stunning artifact, I really didn’t think things could get better — and then I stepped into the bathroom, which begins with this sweet vanity area:

The vanity area leads into the bathroom:

Look, more great tile!

And dual Art Deco sinks:

Yeah, I know, it’s just, just — I really don’t have the words, it’s so good!

A flight of stairs off of the master bedroom leads to a private studio surrounded on all sides by windows.  This was Katherine’s studio and was added to the house in 1929:

I feel like a five year old because all I can come up with to say about this is a kid-like and very enthusiastic “Wow!” and “Golly gee!”

Okay, before I completely revert back to a drooling toddler, let’s get out of this grand palace via the beautiful stairway…

…and go outside where I can regain control of my brain and leave the lovely fantasy world inspired by the Sundial House.

Unfortunately, that’s not going to be so easy because there’s an unexpected and very crazy rock-framed pond out back that is pretty spectacular, too:

All of the rocks are porous coral in all shapes and sizes:

There used to be waterfalls cascading down rock ledges into the pond, which overlooks the house:

Can’t you just see Jay and Daisy standing on the arched bridge and looking longingly into each other’s eyes?  Of course, they are beautifully backlit so they are almost glowing, and even more frustrating for us mere mortals, they don’t even come close to breaking a sweat or getting wind blown in the unpredictable Oklahoma weather.

Darn them!  Well, at least I got the right Great Gatsby team this time….

Also, several of the walkways in the yard are composed of old tiles and materials from movie theaters that were torn down during Sinopolous’s lifetime.  He gathered them from work sites and placed them in his yard to remember them by:

The final treasure of the backyard is the covered pool next to the house:

Like the rest of the house, it needs a lot of love.

Sinopolous’s heirs lived in the home until 2001, when they sold it to the neighboring Mount Olive Baptist Church.  The home was on the market again in 2015 when OU architecture students used it as their yearly project and came up with several proposals that are very interesting — you can view them here.

In 2016, Keena Oden bought the Sundial House and is slowly renovating it.  The carpet was removed and various structural elements have been restored.  Also, the bad ’70s kitchen and drop ceiling have been removed.  I hope she’ll be able to make it a magnificent showplace once more and new generations will find it as magical and captivating as I did.

So, after all of that touring, Mike, Cate, and I were a bit parched and headed to R&J’s Lounge for a little pick-me-up and for more good conversation.  Here we are, sated and happy, after what is always one of the best days of the year:

Thanks to the Central Chapter of the AIA, all of the volunteers, and the home/business owners for another great tour.  Can’t wait til next year!

 

On the Market: The ’70s Come Alive in Fountaingate

Posted by on Apr 27, 2018 in Mod Blog | No Comments

by Lynne Rostochil.

As many of you know, I’m a sucker for 1970s contemporary homes — I mean, how can you not love all of the wood, rock, and vaulted ceilings that are common in designs from the era?  For those of you who love these homes as much as I do, a great disco-era time capsule just hit the market in fancy Fountaingate that you’ll definitely want to check out.  The two story, 3,200 sf, three bed/two and a half bath home is listed for $247,777 and is so spacious and dreamy.  Let’s start outside with the beautiful rock entry and all-original light fixtures:

 

The double front door is pretty cool, too:

After passing through a small rocked entry…

… the house opens up to a giant living/dining space with, of course, the quintessential ’70s vaulted ceiling.  The whole room is anchored on one side by a dramatic rock fireplace with a copper patina surround:

Oh, and yes, that is a custom-built sofa in a cozy conversation pit in front of the fireplace.  I’m not too crazy about the bird fabric, but the couch is in perfect condition and could easily be recovered in something fun and funky.  Here’s another view of this magnificent room:

I love all of the light, don’t you?  There are three sliding glass doors that let in a ton of light and lead out into the cute backyard.

And check out the gorgeous fireplace:

And, yes, there’s a fab sunken bar in the room, too:

Behind these wallpapered panels are a fridge and ice maker — far out!

Off of the living room is a HUGE master bedroom that runs the entire length of the living room on the other side:

There’s another rock fireplace in this space:

The double doors lead into another large space, the master bathroom and closet area:

Someone put in some really ugly ’80s floral wallpaper at some point that definitely needs to go, but the rest of the room is very original.  Mirrored closets surround the tub, and there’s a walk-in closet as well.  And if you’ve always wanted a bidet, you’ll find one in this house:

Um, yeah, I could live without that myself, but a lot of people like them.

Back through the living room and past the formal dining room …

… is the kitchen/breakfast room that hasn’t changed one bit since the house was built in 1977.  To some, that may be a bad thing.  To me, it makes me giddy with delight.  I mean, how great are the orange Formica countertops and all-original appliances, lighting, and shades?

I know that some people would love to greige up this space, but the realtor said that all of the appliances … even the intercom … work fine, so why muck it up?  It’s so fun just the way it is.

There’s a nice-sized and matching laundry room on the way out to the garage:

And upstairs, there are two bedrooms that share a sky-lighted Jack and Jill bathroom:

There’s another half bath downstairs with some really groovy foil wallpaper:

Geometric patterns and foil — wallpaper doesn’t get any better than this!

So, if you’re interested in having a look at this ’70s dream, give the listing agent, Linda Almaraz at Bershire-Hathaway, a call at 209-4254.  Then, after you buy it, install a disco ball in that massive living room and let the party begin!

On the Market: A Captivating Cutie in Venice

Posted by on Apr 16, 2018 in Mod Blog | No Comments

by Lynne Rostochil. photos by Robyn Arn.

It’s not very often that a nearly perfectly preserved mod comes on the market, but that is certainly the case with a very sweet and well cared for example in the much desired Venice neighborhood.  Sadly for the Mod Squad (and for me personally), founding member Robyn Arn is leaving us and moving to Arkansas and, in the process, is selling her charming abode.  Because she really wants another mid-century mod lover to get the home and protect its originality, she’s giving the Mod Squad a sneak peek and buying opportunity before she lists it next week, and I’m telling you, if you’re in the market for a sweet bungalow with tons of original character in a great location, this is the house for you!

Cute, cute, cute!  I’m a complete sucker for flagstone, and this two bedroom/two bath bewitcher has it in spades:

The charm continues once you step inside the door of the 1950 home and into the spacious, light-filled living room, complete with original hardwood floors:

And, no, none of Robyn’s stunning collection of furniture is for sale, darn it.  But, this shows you just how perfectly mod works in the space, doesn’t it?  Oh and did I mention how bright the space is?  So light and airy and happy!

Dividing the open concept living and dining rooms is a sweet built-in partition/planter that I’m SO in love with:

It lights up, too!!

The formal dining room on the other side of the divider is as bright and open as the neighboring living room and can easily hold a large table and china cabinet:

I mean, really, could this space be any cuter?!  Off of these common areas are the more informal rooms of the house — the open plan kitchen, breakfast room, office, and den.  Let’s start with the kitchen:

This space has seen some sprucing over the years, but the kitchen still maintains much of its character because the layout is the same, with original cabinetry and the peninsula still in place.  And look at all of that storage!  To the side of the kitchen is a darling built-in banquette for more informal meals:

Both the kitchen and breakfast area overlook the den and office, which are separated by a two-sided flagstone fireplace.  Here’s the den:

Yep, that’s a built-in bookshelf you see along that beautifully panelled wall next to the kitchen:

I love every single thing about this room, from the giant fireplace to the panelling that cozies up the space so perfectly.  Here’s the office on the other side of the fireplace:

Pure perfection!  If I had this as my office, I don’t think I’d ever leave the house.

Just off of the office is a half bath:

Also off of the office is a very generous laundry room and two-car garage.

If you have a few cars or need extra storage, you will find all of that in abundance with this house.  In addition to the attached garage, a previous owner constructed a detached two-car carport and storage room in the backyard.  So, there are all kinds of possibilities with these two spaces.

While we’re in the back, take a look at the sweet patio area.  Is this the perfect space for morning coffee/summer dinner/reading or what?

Yeah, I’m SO in love with this place, can’t you tell?  Just wait, it gets even better back inside with the all-original and totally to die for PINK bathroom:

Woo hoo, pink!!  If you don’t already have goosebumps and heart palpitations, this next feature ought to do it for you: the bathroom even has a separate built-in vanity area:

Yeah, I know.  I KNOW!!!  This place is so stinkin’ cute!!!

Off of this darling bathroom are two surprisingly spacious bedrooms — here’s the master with yummy grass cloth wallpaper:

There’s even a second closet in this bright and happy room:

The second bedroom is just as airy and bright as the first:

And the hallway offers up extra room for even more storage:

I have been madly in love with Robyn’s sweet house ever since I met her and would jump at the chance to buy it from her if I could.  I mean, how often do you find a beautifully cared for, three-owner home in such a great neighborhood that hasn’t been mucked up?  Not often at all, as you likely know.  So, if you’re interested in being the fourth owner of this gorgeous time capsule, you can tour Robyn’s abode this Sunday, April 22nd from 2pm-4pm, for a Mod Squad-only open house.  Here are a few last particulars:

2715 NW 33rd
OKC 73112

1,958 sf
2 bedroom/2 bath
$225,000

If you’d like to chat with Robyn about the home before Sunday, you can message her through Facebook.