The 2017 Oklahoma Modernism Weekend Mod Home Tour, Part 1

text and most of the photos by Lynne Rostochil.  Other photos are credited below.


This year’s Mod Home Tour was another great Oklahoma Modernism Weekend event, and I thought I’d share photos of the homes we toured for those of you who couldn’t make it.  I’ve included a little history about each home and its neighborhood.

Papahronis House
Edgemere Park
Designed by John Bozalis

Edgemere Park was developed by Leon Levy and lots began selling in 1928.  Levy wanted the neighborhood to be a “garden city” so he included 20 acres of green space and a park with rolling hills, mature trees, and the Deep Fork Creek running through it.  This was one of the first examples of community planning in OKC with winding streets and boulevards surrounded by lots and homes of all different sizes.

Site prices began at $1,050 – almost $15,000 today.  Small homes averaged around $5,000 – about $78,000 today.  Edgemere Park contains 300 homes, with just a few examples of more modern architecture sprinkled among more traditional styles.  Lots along Broadway weren’t bought in the first wave of development – they were finally developed after World War II and included several quaint apartment buildings — I found a photo of this block of buildings in a 1949 edition of the Oklahoman:

Interestingly, a resident on the block, Keith Pouder, caught this image of a lightning strike on the nearby WKY and KOCY towers the night before:

If you go to Historical Aerials and type in NW 36th and Broadway, you can find an aerial view of this block in 1954 and 1969.  The block was demolished when I-235 was expanded in the 1970s.  As for the rest of Edgemere Park, it was added to the National Register in 1980.

In 1954, Johnny Papahronis, owner of the iconic Lunch Box in the heart of downtown, hired architect John Bozalis of Bailey Bozalis Dickinson & Roloff to design a new home for him and his family.  The result is this L-shaped, low-slung beauty that features an open-plan living and dining room — here’s the space with current owner, Matt Goad, chatting with tour goers about the history of the house:

The living room is anchored by a stunning flagstone fireplace:

Matt, who is just the second owner of this beautiful space, told us that the tri-colored sofa came from an office at the Tulsa Airport — very cool.  As for the dining room, the wall of windows overlooking the backyard make for a very inviting space:

(Kelly Moore)

Love this pass-through to the kitchen and that dreamy, honey-colored paneling:

Matt painstakingly remodeled the kitchen, but it looks so perfectly vintage that no one would ever guess it’s not original:

Even his collection of Russel Wright matches:

Matt has done an excellent job of enhancing all of the home’s amazing original features with his exciting modern furniture and art collection, including vintage album covers that adorn the walls in his den.

(Bren Johnston)

(Kelly Moore)

Morey House
Architect unknown

One of OKC’s best kept secrets is the hilly Wildewood addition.  The neighborhood sprang to life in 1955 after brothers Lamar and Med Cashion bought up 220 acres of untamed woodlands in the northeast part of town.  Unlike most of flat-as-a-pancake Oklahoma City, this area looked more like the eastern part of the state, with rolling hills and canyons containing winding creeks and tall, mature trees.  Wisely, the Cashions decided to capitalize on the natural wonders of their newly acquired land and advertised that the development they named Cashion’s Wildewood would be filled with “large palatial homes for families who like a blend of modern living and nature in the rough.”

Lots in the exclusive neighborhood would run from $5,000 to $10,000, depending on location and size, and various local architects and builders were invited to design and construct custom homes that would range in price from $20,000 to $100,000 — from $178,000 to nearly $900,000 in 2017 dollars.  Soon after the first announcement that land was being cleared for the neighborhood’s scenic, twisting streets, new homes started popping up on the hilly, tree-studded lots in Wildewood.  By 1957, the first phase, including this split-level delight, was pretty much complete.

This flagstone stunner takes full advantage of its hillside site with this light-filled, split-level plan.  Upstairs, an expansive living/dining area overlooks the wooded backyard:

Current owners, Matt and Cara Greenhaw, recently completed a very sensitive re-do of the kitchen, which is a vast improvement over the ’70s-era yuckiness that was there before:

(Kelly Moore)

A spiral staircase in the formal living room…

… leads to a comfortable den with wood paneling, rock floors, and flagstone walls that ground the home on one side…

… and, on the other side, sliding doors that lead to a giant deck overlooking the wild expanses of the hilly wooded lot beyond:

Originally designed for developer Jimmy D. Morey, the distinctive home is being thoughtfully updated by Matt and Cara, who are making some pretty fantastic design choices, I think:

Morgan House
Designed by Brian Fitzsimmons, AIA and Mike Morgan

This neighborhood located south of St. Anthony’s (thus its name, SOSA) was originally comprised of homes built in the early 1900s.  It was a sad, derelict area when, in 2005, architect Randy Floyd 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.

Homeowner Mike Morgan stepped into dual roles of design collaborator and general contractor to create the perfect home for him and his wife, Lea.  Here’s Mike welcoming tour goers:

The home sits on an elevated corner with prime views of downtown Oklahoma City…

(Kelly Moore)

… and features two cozy outdoor spaces on the first level where you can sit and enjoy all of the surrounding architectural eye candy:

Inside, the first level is home to Mike and Lea’s extensive library and art collection:

An exciting surprise awaited those who trekked to the garage:

Upstairs, an open-plan living, dining, and kitchen space makes full use of every square foot of space and serves as the perfect backdrop for more of the Morgans’ amazing art:

(Kelly Morgan)

Corten steel, wood, and brick mix to create a warm, almost cabin-like modern home, and the natural landscaping in front further adds to the homey ambiance.

Next week, we will finish the tour with a look at a home in Bush Hills, one in Nichols Hills, and two in Quail Creek.