Our Favorite Mod Blogs of 2014
by Lynne Rostochil
December 31st is usually a time to reflect on the past year, so we thought it would be fun to look through the Mod Blog and pick our Top 10 posts of 2014. In no particular order, here they are:
1. On the Market: The House of Good Taste: The history of this Edward Durrell Stone design is fascinating, but the best part about this article was that the home found thoughtful new caretakers in Lindsey and Mike Deatsch.
2. Mod Squad Tour: The Barnes House: Not only did the Mod Squad get to tour Robert and Cara Barnes’ beautiful home in the heart of Nichols Hills, but we also learned the fascinating history about its designer, Marie Troup, who was one of the first female real estate brokers and contractors in Oklahoma.
3. Never Built Oklahoma: It’s fascinating to think how much more interesting Oklahoma’s already stunning architectural landscape might look like had these buildings been completed.
4. The United Founders Tower and the Architecture of Hudgins, Thompson & Ball: Thanks to Joe and Jonita Thomas, the Mod Squad was very lucky to acquire an original model of the Founders Tower in 2014, which we celebrated with this post and a gathering at the Fitzsimmons Architects annex showing off the model and telling all about the history of the building. The model is now being restored and will be on display again once we get it back.
5. A Real Southwestern Welcome Awaits You at the Thunderbird Inn: This was definitely the most amusing post of the year that involved a twice unlucky police officer, a runaway kitty, a big snake, and the Thunderbird Inn. Good stuff!
6. How Much MCM Can One Town Have: A Tour of Enid’s Architectural Marvels: We devoted two blogs to Enid’s vast array of mid-century architecture, thanks to Kingkini and John Arend and the incredible tour they put together for the Mod Squad. It was a memorable day of ogling at jaw dropping architecture and meeting new friends. Look for more tours coming up in 2015!
7. Remembering Jerri Bonebrake: Although losing Jerri was such a sad loss, relating some of her hilarious and always entertaining stories of her years with Bruce Goff at OU was a real treat. (We also lost Ada architect Ray James this year — you can read our 2013 interview with him here.)
8. From Civil Rights to The Who: A Look at Wedgewood Village Amusement Park: Designed by Sorey Hill Sorey and located on the west side of town along NW Expressway, Wedgewood was home to quite a bit of modern design and saw several historical events in its scant 15-year history.
9. The Dr. James Cole Dental Clinic and the Architectural Offerings of John G. York: Thanks to Robyn and Dr. Cole’s son, Robert, for providing such an interesting history about this small clinic bordering the OU campus. Based on their information, we learned a lot more about Texan John G. York, who headed the Architecture department at OU in the 1960s and designed several buildings in the Metro. We’ll post more of his work in 2015.
10. The Mid-Century Modern Playground: From rocket slides to burn-your-butt climbing gyms to equipment straight out of “The Planet of the Apes,” mid-century playground toys were both innovative and kind of crazy, and this post highlights some of Oklahoma’s still-intact playgrounds where you can see these long-treasured gems.