Retro homes from the 40s 50s and 60s: Affordable and increasingly, fashionable

world war II postwar housing 1946 cape

When I started the blog, I of course labored over the name for it. But I immediately latched on to Retro Renovation once I understood that it was a term truly used by contractors — although really just beginning to catch on. The start of a serious trend — which I know we all believe in!

world war II postwar housing 1946I also like the name because (1) it just simply is what the blog is all about… (2) you don’t need to tell people how to spell it… and (3) of course, it’s got that alliteration thing going.

So now, I’m also excited when I see the term pop up in headlines. Here’s one (below) from Grand Rapids, Michigan’s Development News.

I also like this article because it points out the underlying reality that the “American Dream” of the 50s was so much more modest. Today, the small scale usually makes these homes much more affordable… within reach…(and what style, too). Maybe … reconnecting with the ‘original’ American Dream — ala the 1946 jewel boxes shown so lovingly in these ads — is a a pretty smart move?

$750K retro renovation brings mid-priced historic condos to Heritage Hill
By Deborah Johnson Wood

Back in 1962, the eight-unit apartment complex on the corner of Lafayette and John streets was an odd modern element amid the historic mansions of Heritage Hill. Today, 47 Lafayette has been “retro” fitted into eight contemporary urban condominiums.

Grandville-based Plum Ventures purchased the building 14 months ago with the goal of developing condos priced between $124,900 and $144,900 for urbanites looking for a modest residential investment within a short walk of the city’s center.

“We’re hitting a price niche that we feel is vital to the community and ideal for people who want to be close to the action downtown,” says Dave Bengston, a co-owner of Plum Ventures. “The building is modern architecture, and we kept that feel inside and out.”

Buyers can choose from three interior packages, including granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. Each unit has original hardwood floors throughout.

One unit has two bedrooms and two baths, including the master suite. The remaining units are two-bedrooms, one bath, and run from 720 square feet to 850 square feet. Each bath features a jetted full-body shower massage and in-unit laundry facilities.

Amenities include a community patio, a community gathering space on the lower level, and a walkout with secure bike and moped storage. The property has off street parking, including three garages that are available for purchase.

The model unit is finished and open for business.

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