Sweetheart 1955 mid century modest time capsule in Minneapolis

mid century modest ranch houseTour-a-Time-CapsuleYou know what’s so sweet about this time capsule: It demonstrates just how a little mid century modest house that looks sort of … innocuous, albeit sweet… on the outside, can contain so many well-maintained delights on the inside. Could it be that even more so than the owners of lavish mid century modern homes, the owners of unpretentious mid century modest homes poured so much love and care into their beloved little castles? Let’s look inside and be delighted.

retro-wood-paneling

Minnesota realtor Tim Kindem has been a fan of Retro Renovation for years — so when he had the chance to list this 1955 retro ranch home in South Minneapolis – he made sure to let us know. Pam and I both immediately drawn to the room above, each recognizing pieces from our own vintage collections.

preway-fireplace-retro

Yup, that light is the same wagon wheel light Pam has in her office — and that retro freestanding cone fireplace looks just like mine. Thanks to some great photos of the property, courtesy of photographer Christopher Rhode from Obeo, we can see all the original features in this home. Plus, it’s clear there were updates in the 1970s — delicious, too!

We’re hoping whoever becomes the new owner loves the vintage style of the house as much as we do.

From the listing:

Price: $309,900
Square footage: 2,292
Bedrooms: 5
Bathrooms: 3

The Mid-Century Modern Palace Of Your Dreams Has Come True!
The Mid-Century Modern palace of your dreams has come true! 2 brick, wood-burning fireplaces, & an orange, free-standing cone fireplace in 3 season porch. Giant lower level rec room. Bedrooms with built-ins. Stairs to garage storage. So much space. So much more. Be amazed!

retro-pink-bathroomOh yeah — take a look at this pretty pink tiled bathroom with a flower power decals on the toilet. The vanity is super cute, and the pink and oak combo is the same thing I’ve got going on in my retro pink bathroom remodel. Those two little doors set into the wall have me wishing for more available wall space to add some in my bathroom. My guess is the top one is for storage and the bottom is a laundry chute.

mid-century-aqua-bathroomThe house also has a blue/aqua vintage bathroom with what appears to be terrazzo flooring — or a terrazzo-like linoleum. Interestingly, the sink seems to be the same one as in the pink bathroom, only this time is is set in a laminate counter instead of tile. It is also fun to note how they painted the trim to match the bathroom.

vintage-basement-barretro-rec-roomMore cool vintage details await in the lower level rec room: a game room/bar area with a fun checked floor, and do I spy a fireplace on the back wall?

Mega thanks to realtor Tim Kindem from Keller Williams for letting us feature this property and Photographer Christopher Rhode from Obeo for giving us permission to share his great photos of the property here with all of you.

Still more to see in our slideshow:

Tips to view slide show: Click on first image… it will enlarge and you can also read my captions… move forward or back via arrows below the photo… you can start or stop at any image:

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Comments

  1. lynda says

    Fun to look at. I is so interesting how some can just keep a house exactly the same and not update. It is a little too retro for me, but really enjoy looking at the time capsule homes. Love all the built ins.

    • tammyCA says

      Rosemary Clooney did that too, to her Cadillac in the ’60s! I remember getting the flower power plastic keychains from Citgo gas stations back then. Gas stations were always giving away fun stuff.

  2. Drew says

    Love it! Great house. The seller seemed to be either a collector/creator of those crafty wooden calendars. I see one in nearly every room and even one above the freezer! One must always know what day it is.

  3. Marta says

    This is exactly the kind of house I hope to find for our next home. All the built-ins, the great bathrooms, etc., are just what I love about so many of the homes of ‘the greatest generation’. They understood and prized utility of function. Living in a smaller home is made easier by having ‘a place for everything’.

    • Jenny says

      I wonder if those are copper gutters — in other words, not turquoise out of quirkiness, but turquoise patina out of the aging process for copper?

  4. Shanna says

    Oh I LOVE it!!! It could never be too vintage for me! My husband and I bought a house that was built in 1969 that had only had one owner . . . nothing was updated! We LOVE it!

    • Jenny says

      Soooo jealous! I’m living in a 1940s post-war ranch that was added onto in 1968 and updated occasionally (but nothing major). I’m only the 3rd owner (and the 2nd owner was my mom and dad), but it’s harder to figure out how to “respectfully” remodel it. Go with the 40s vibe? the late 60s vibe? the 70s updates? or bring it into the 21st century?

      Yeah, I’m (mostly) going with the late 60s vibe :)

  5. Joel says

    I am almost sure that the “Terrazzo” floor in bath #2 is a poured epoxy floor. I just sold a house that was built in 1959 that had a different color of that in the kitchen, bath and basement. i had to replace the bath floor and was surprised to find that the colored chips were actually printed on a sheet of formica like material which was nailed down to a fiberboard underlayment which went on top of the normal plywood subfloor. The seams and nail heads were patched much like drywall and those areas were the only ones that got sprinkled with actual chips. Interestingly, the formica like material was printed on both sides each with a different color combo of chips. (The Kitchen, I found the original floor when I pulled out and replaced the dishwasher) for instance was white base with 2 shades of turquiose and about 15% beige chips, and all the appliances had been turquiose with turquiose ceramic tile counters). Then epoxy with gold glitter was poured over it all to make a seamless floor. You still see something similar in hospital operating rooms. I know I am being overly pedantic, but I figured this group likes to know the details of actual construction. Anyway, when I was prepping the property for the new buyers, the son of the original owner stopped and asked to see the house. It turns out it used such high end materials because it was the 1959 model for a local building company (still in business) in the 1959
    “Parade of Homes” that is held each spring. He told me the name of the flooring and I wish that I had written it down, but he said it was a nationally franchised business, but quite expensive to install, and apparently is just used in commercial applications anymore. I wish I had saved some of the sheeting, as there were random scrap pieces of the chip printed sheeting i found when tearing out the bath floors used to level the fiber board underlayment, and it was interesting to see it before it was top coated with epoxy and glitter. There were pieces with various color combos that reflected 50’s color schemes too, Brick red with beige and hunter green; dark and light pink with white and beige accent chips, dark and light beige with teal and light aqua accent chips.

    • Kelly Wittenauer says

      Thanks for the info. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of those floors, but sounds awesome. As does the original kitchen with turquoise appliances. Too bad it’s not still all there.

    • Mary Elizabeth says

      Joel, never underestimate the retro geek’s interest in vintage building materials and techniques. The floor that is still available is Everlast Epoxy Flooring, and yes, it is only for commercial purposes now.

      Love everything about this house except the 1980’s kitchen (with the exception of the enamel double sink). The reader who said the laminate doors could be replaced is correct, but if the whole cabinet structure is MDF and laminate, that won’t help much. I can imagine a St. Charles or Youngstown kitchen in there.

      My 1950s house also has an extra range in the basement as part of a complete “summer kitchen” with extra large double enamel sink (with Hudee ring), formica countertops, and knotty pine base cabinets. I think the original owners did canning down there. The cabinet shelves would accommodate the canning equipment, jars, etc.

  6. Sandy says

    So fun to look at. Wouldn’t it be nice if HGTV featured at least one program that focused on houses like this one? Other than Rehab Addict on DIY, it’s a wasteland of people who walk into perfectly nice kitchens and gut them because the counter tops aren’t granite or the cabinets are made of oak and who reject any house that isn’t “open concept.” I can’t be the only person on the planet who wants to relax without looking at my kitchen, yet I just had to special order an appliance … because I wanted it in white. Maybe I am an endangered species after all!

    • Carrie says

      Agreed. The other night I watched some great kitchen cabinets get destroyed on that show with the twin brothers. I mean, at least try to take them down and give them to a re-seller so someone like me can buy them!

      • Pam from Madeira says

        Yes Carrie! I cringe everytime I see that show. Why can’t they just do a curb alert on CL or something. It just makes me want to throw up. And then they make stupid comments about being green by using some product made out of recycled whatever; which I’m all for btw, but WTHeck with the destruction & the dumpsters????

        • Jenny says

          So totally *not* green. Any architect worth his salt will tell you that the greenest houses are the ones that are already built.

    • Drew says

      Agreed! Why the lovely ladies that run this blog do not have a TV show of their own is beyond me. We need to make that happen! I can’t watch those shows any more as the term ‘open concept’ is akin to fingernails on a blackboard to me. Drives me to distraction.

    • tammyCA says

      You’re not alone…I like that my kitchen is not RIGHT OUT THERE in the living room…it’s a wrap around concept with walls & great flow which I think is way better. I have white appliances too, (‘tho if I could afford cool vintage or retro colorful ones, I’d do that).

      • Janet in CT says

        Very fascinating house and I couldn’t believe how many rooms there are in that house as it looks small from the front. Tammy, I try to post interesting appliances in the Kitchen forum, usually colored ones. There is a 40″ stove right now in San Diego and I assume that you are in CA. I hope someone snaps it up; the listing says dishwasher and sink too but are now pictured. It calls the color Harvest Gold but is most definitely GE woodtone brown, and looks to be really nice. Don’t miss the great white tile with matching brown trim, which must be stunning with a brown sink. I too cannot understand why they rip out and destroy so many neat kitchens. What a shame but maybe in the future, these people will wake up and realize what they have done! Here’s the link and I sure hope someone out west can pick up this gem. http://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/app/4115560003.html

        • Shari D. says

          It will be interesting to see how long it lasts once they actually put up contact information! And you’re absolutely right about the color. I lived with that horrid (sorry folks – it’s not my taste really) “Harvest Gold” appliances in more than one kitchen (in more than one house) in the 70’s to know that this is NOT IT! That’s definitely some kind of brown – the “GE Woodtone Brown” you mentioned is most like it. Too bad there aren’t photos of the other appliances they mentioned as well. I’m sure once they put up contact information, it won’t last long at all…..

    • Ree says

      HGTV does make a show like that. It’s called House Hunters where new owners gut vintage houses with great glee. Last night a couple bought a very nice MCM house in Houston and proceeded to take a sledge hammer to what they considered a hideous bathroom. It was a beautiful blue tile bathroom with a flower border tile insert runner all around the room. Yep, they were going to replace it with pebbles on the shower floor, subway tile and narrow glass tiles for accent. They wanted to “put their stamp” on the house. I agree with you that HGTV should be able to find enough MCM homeowners who want to show off their houses as the vintage gems they are.

        • Jenny says

          Pam, have you considered pitching a TV show for a “RetroRenovation” version of House Hunters? It would be a show for people like me who read your blog, looking for vintage one-owner or two-owner mostly-original houses to buy, then lovingly restore and live in forever. Wouldn’t have to be all 50s and 60s houses, could be 30s or 40s or 70s houses.

          I would *so* watch that show. And maybe it would get realtors to stop telling their clients how the lovely little ranch houses in great neighborhoods are “teardowns”…

        • Ree says

          Pam, I think Jenny has a great idea about your pitching a show or two about MCM houses. With the renewed interest of MCM houses and furnishings because of the Mad Men series, I think there would be enough fans to justify HGTV producing a show like this. You could be the host/adviser. I’m sure there would be no shortage of home owners who would love to showcase their houses.

          • Toni says

            Yes! Yes! Yes! Do it! Do it!! I can’t even watch This Old House any more. Destroy a perfectly good house that could be restored and turn it into a cookie cutter house. You’d need a GPS to find YOUR house if you came home late at night. When I drive by those subdivisions of mirror townhouses I wonder ………WHY? They must be for people who only sleep there and have their life somewhere else.

          • Shari D. says

            I’m with all of you on that – but for a different reason – we simply cannot afford it! There’s not enough “discretionary funds” available in the bank account for all the BAIL MONEY it would take for my husband to get me out of jail once I go after those people!!

    • Hunter says

      I hate it when they destroy kitchens and baths on HGTV shows. It’s easier to takke cabinets down, set them in the yard and call habitat, they’ll come get them. I sometimes turn the shows off when they start destroying fabulous kitchens and baths. A couple bought a house the other dy, with amazing tile bathrooms and can’t wait to gut them. AAARRRGGGHHH

      • Penny Moran says

        I live in a 1951 Salem, Oregon home that I remodeled with a light hand, simply because I had planned to flip it. It still has nearly all the bells an whistles of the original, but I did re-do the kitchen, only looking for a fast sale. No granite, white apls. and retro-styling where I could. Then the bottom fell out of the market and I am in the house still, working on my 8th year!! It just makes me sad to remember the cabinets I removed! At least most of them were reused, but if I’d known I would still be here I sure would have done things differently in the kitchen. It is a GREAT kitchen mind you and I love to cook in it. But still….And I stopped watching HDTV too. Sick of the mantra “granite stainless steel, granite stainless steel, granite stainless steel” and every designer seems to be under 40. Do designers have to retire at age 40 now or what? Doesn’t anyone have any imagination anymore?

        • Jenny says

          No. No one has any imagination any more. At least, not on those types of programs. Soooo with you on the “granite stainless steel” mantra — I just want to scream. And in some houses, it looks great. But in MOST houses, it’s just wrong, wrong, wrong.

    • Teresa says

      Amen to your idea. Who wants to look at a ( messy) kitchen? The terms open concept, granite countertops, and all stainless steel appliances have become cookie cutter terms. I never needed a “sightline” to my living room from the kitchen, in fact I am happy to shut the door and ignore it at times. What’s the most hurtful on those HGTV renovation shows are the snarky things they all say when they see a pink bathroom or knotty pine walls. Would love to have someone with the sensitivities of the Rehab Addict, except make it for MCM…that would be Pam, IMO!

  7. LauraRG says

    I am in LOVE!! Love the kitchen/ dining room layout. Would be so easy to change those laminate doors back to something more in keeping with would have been original. And the stove in the basement!!! We had one in our basement when I was a kid… so handy at holidays or when we were trapped in the basement during one of our many midwestern tornado warnings.

    Hope the new owner can appreciate the charm!

  8. Pat Gaylor says

    No, You’re not an endangered species ! It’s criminal what people do to kitchens in the name of ‘remodelling’..cheap, cheezy cabinetry doesn’t look any better with a granite top on it. SO OVER it. Great idea about the HGTV show…what about a very cool kitchen with laminate tops? Techno advances in laminate edges, digital printing and textured finishes make them sooo gorgeous now. AND they’re made in the good old USA.
    And…I’d use that kick-ass range in the basement in the new kitchen !

  9. Jenny says

    OMG this is my DREAM house. Wish I could find one like it in the Detroit area — unfortunately all of the little gems have been “updated” and “improved” (not to my eye, though). Wish I had a good reason to move to Minneapolis — I’d be on this! Hope whoever buys it treasures it and keeps it as original as possible; it would be a shame to “update” those bathrooms.

  10. Jenny says

    Unfortunately that kitchen is NOT original to the house; it’s a 70s kitchen (wrong era). Might have to do something with that since there’s very little charm in the current kitchen (in my opinion).

  11. says

    I hope I find some folks like you on this thread for my next listing, a mid-century modest with pink bathroom! Just gotta get the blue, 1980s carpet torn out and it will be on the market here in Arvada CO.

    • Jenny says

      Joetta, I think there are folks like us everywhere. You just have to find us!!!

      Good luck with your MCM home sale.

    • Shari D. says

      Joetta – Just make sure when you market the house, that you definitely TARGET the folks who are looking FOR a house like it – not that are looking to REMUDDLE a house like that by gutting it with sledgehammers and putting in over-rated, soon-to-be-dated crap to replace it! There are obviously many of us out here who LOVE them the way they are, and will treat them with kindness, restore what needs restoring so that the charm of the original is maintained, and live in them with loving care so that they stay the way they were intended to be.

  12. Cynthia says

    Love this little house. Drooling over the basement.

    As far as size…I’m guessing at least a couple of the bedrooms and 1 or 2 bathrooms are in the basement. There are a lot of houses like that around here…almost a whole other house in the basement. That keeps the footprint smaller, which is necessary on small city lots. Or at least, it used to be. Here in the urban neighborhoods in Denver, a lot of these little gems get scraped and replaced with enormous houses that have a postage stamp for a yard. Breaks my heart every time I see another one go down.

    • Jenny says

      It’s a 2300sf house. You can’t count basement square footage as living space, unless it’s a walkout, which it doesn’t look like it is. A 2300sf house is not exactly small! Our MCM ranch house is 1800sf and we have 4 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms — so I’m pretty sure everything is upstairs.

      • pam kueber says

        I responded to this issue on Scott’s comment (which comes up first in my dashboard). Yes, 2200 s.f. is not MCModest. But I still don’t know what the exact layout of this house is. unclear.

      • pam kueber says

        I just found this house on the mls. I didn’t number crunch everything but I think the s.f. includes the basement space, the porch and two bedrooms tucked on the second floor.

        • Jenny says

          Hm. Well, around here, that’s cheating — the total square footage should only include living space, which (in Michigan anyway) means only the above-ground area. Not the porch, not the garage, not the basement (unless it’s a walkout or has egress windows). And you can’t count a room as a bedroom unless it has a closet.

          But that might not be the rule everywhere.

          • says

            Here in Minneapolis, a bedroom does not have to have a closet in it. There must be a smoke detector within 15 feet of every ‘sleeping room’ I thought the closet rule applied here, but everything I checked online said not so…. They are considering the basement, most likely the pool table room as ‘finished living space’ the laundry area with the concrete floor may not be considered living space… hard to say. South Minneapolis is a great area!
            Also, Pam, an HGTV show on retro renovation would be a great way to start undoing the myths.. as a designer myself, I am an advocate of preserving the original design integrity of any dwelling, incorporating the details into the redesign.

            • Shari D. says

              MAYBE – it’s time to flood HGTV with requests for a show like the one everyone’s talking about here, and especially with details about WHY it needs to be done! Explain all the things we find revolting and that bring us to tears when the sledgehammers come out and the cabinets are completely destroyed instead of lovingly recycled to Habitat For Humanity recycle stores, and WHY beautifully done tile bathrooms should NOT be torn out with all the tender loving care of a “bull in a china shop!” And why when they claim to be “green” in their replacement with allegedly “green” items – while their ripping, tearing, smashing and shredding and sending to the garbage dumps instead of taking care of and recycling them is anything BUT “green”!

              I think the show idea is wonderful, but without demand from the viewing public, it’s not going to happen. They can certainly find ways to take up viewing time showing the horrors they claim people want, with the “open concept” (the “fingernails on blackboards” as someone mentioned – it makes me cringe when I hear it because I do NOT want a house like that at all), the totally overdone granite counter tops/stainless steel appliances in kitchens are so copycat, “last year’s 15 minutes” and unimaginative. And NOT “maintenance free” by any means! Every house is the same in the same ways, every inside “open concept layout” is the same arrangement. Heck, even in the days of the Levittown/post WWII suburbs, they managed to make the same floor plans look different on the exterior elevations when they were building so many homes every 15 minutes. Now, the houses on the shows are done one-by-one, and have the time to be individualized, but they stick to the same old same old stuff.

  13. Allen says

    Ok…. Now that we have a BEAUTIFUL!! time capsule to look at all weekend (thanks Kate!!) I just wanted to repost one more time about this wonderful 1972 house for sale in Tullahoma, TN by architects Joyce, Pearson, and Prout. Lee Prout was an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright. The MLS # is 1480303 and here is some information about it.

    http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/104-Short-Springs-Rd_Tullahoma_TN_37388_M85914-25632?source=web

    http://www.architectureforsale.com/printable.php?property_ID=649

    I don’t know if you can feature it on the blog or not but would like for it to be sold to a sympathetic buyer.
    Thanks for the work that you all do!!

  14. Todd says

    Definitely a time warp, minus the kitchen. I don’t think they ever used that fire cone fireplace with the full drapes right behind them. If they ever did, we would be looking at a bare lot listing for sale :)

      • Mary Elizabeth says

        I DID have a laundry chute in my first 1939 house that didn’t go directly into the washer but to a bin right next to it in the basement laundry room! There was a large opening for the chute in the upstairs bath (for bed and bath linens) and also a smaller, mailbox-sized one in the kitchen (for dish towels, tablecloths, napkins, etc.) One time the cat was exploring that little door in the kitchen and whoops! YEOW! But luckily she landed on a pile of towels. And the baby used to throw toys down the chute.

        I don’t know why they stopped making laundry chutes in houses–so convenient and fun for all. :-)

        • Jenny says

          Some codes don’t allow the installation of a laundry chute. I’ve read that it’s because they’re a fire hazard, in that a fire from one level can “short-circuit” all the way to the highest level very quickly via the laundry chute. I have a laundry chute in my house, which we love. It has a smoke alarm at the top of it…

  15. Carole says

    My in-laws raised four kids, and hosted many a family gathering in a 1400 sq ft ranch (built in the late 50’s). They still live in the house (it only had 3 bedrooms and one bathroom when originally built – but the garage was converted to house the master and a second bath). In those days, people lived together, not spread out and apart, and outdoor living played a role in the space that those families shared and enjoyed (although in Oregon that’s a bit more difficult nine months out of the year). Bathrooms were a shared space, regardless of the number of people, and not every child got his or her own room. They shared, until an older sibling moved out. At least that’s how it worked for my husband, and most other kids I knew.

    It kills me that this house is just over 2000 square feet and considered ‘modest’. People need to readjust their thinking.

    All three houses that I’ve lived in as a married woman have been under 1600 sq ft. Not one of them felt small or cramped, except maybe my current one, and we remedied the issue in the main space by opening the wall between kitchen and living room. We also installed larger windows along the entire back of the house. Now the rooms flow from one to the other, natural light comes in, and the house lives like a ranch was meant to live. The bathrooms are another story. I’ve complained about those on this page more than once. Both of mine could fit inside of one in the home above.

    All of our houses have been three bedroom, two bath, and except for our split level, everything was on one floor. From the looks of the basement in the photo, there are no bedrooms down there, just free space. I think this house probably sits farther back into the yard than it looks.

    Ever wonder if those families who lived smaller under one roof, were closer than some of the families who live separately under the same roof? Different times certainly.

    An interesting look back on homes that used to be the norm. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Cynthia says

      It’s funny…my 2800 SF tri-level is large by Retro Renovation and mid-century modest standards. But in my neighborhood of pops and scrapes, replaced with 5000-6000 SF mini-mansions, my house is considered rather small. ;-)

      Across the street, we have a sweet little ranch that is just about 1400 SF (no basement). It went on the market last spring, and I was very worried that a developer would but it and scrape it. Instead, a young couple bought it, converted the attached garage to a bedroom and bath, and now have a nice-sized 3 BR, 2 BA home. Kudos to them! Love my new neighbors…

    • pam kueber says

      I answered questions re square footage in Scott’s question… Yes, 2000 s.f. would not be MCModest in my book. I was assuming this house was 1100 s.f. up and down….

    • diane says

      My ranch home was built in the early 50’s and has a full basement and comes in just a little under 5000 sq ft! I can only imagine what people must have thought when this home was being built as it is somewhat large by today’s standards. Oddly enough, the couple who built the home had no children but the home has 5 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms!

    • Shari D. says

      Carole – I read your comments about the family with 4 children living in what would be considered a very small house by today’s standards. I grew up in houses like that – we moved around a lot – and I remember it vividly. My I am oldest of 4 kids, and my husband is oldest of 5. I was lucky a few times – being 8 years older than my next sibling, I got my own bedroom most all of the time, but the boys always shared a room, and my sister, because of the distance in our ages – I’m 9 years older than she – got her own bedroom as well. Had we had more kids, I’m sure there would have been much more sharing going on! I had my own room, EXCEPT ONCE – when I was in 8th grade, about 13-14, and my sister was FOUR – we had to share a bedroom in a 3 bedroom apartment. It was definitely a disaster! It only lasted one year – or as long as it took for the lease to run out and for us to get into a 4 bedroom house! But I surely knew plenty of kids in school who were part of larger families in smaller houses and nobody had their own bedroom, until, like you said, an older sibling moved out, or they moved into a larger house. Most of the time though, it was the older sibling leaving the nest. And we all had family gatherings in our homes, no matter how big or small – we made do and enjoyed every minute.

      When my husband and I bought our first – and still only – house in 1990, after 15 years of marriage, two kids and renting apartments. They shared a single bedroom as babies – only 21 months apart – for quite a while.They got their own bedrooms when they were about 4 and 2. That was a 3 bedroom townhouse apartment, where we lived for 8 years, before buying this house. We moved into a 1900 sf ranch house, with three bedrooms, a large living room, an eat-in kitchen with a small closet-type pantry, a utility/laundry room, and ONE bathroom. Each child got their own room of course, since our daughter was in 6th and our son was in 4th grade, However, that single bathroom situation did not change, and has not since we moved in here. The way the house is constructed, there’s no way to add a bath anyplace that would be useful without adding another entire room. It did however, contribute to developing skills in negotiation, timing, self-discipline, and scheduling! Each child had a specific time frame in which to get their bathing needs taken care of, in conjunction not only with each other but with their parents as well who both worked full time day jobs, and if they needed to alter it, it was up to them to negotiate with whoever was interfering with their needs to make it happen. Same with the laundry. When they were each about 10 or so, they were made responsible for taking care of their own laundry. I taught them all the basics of sorting, fabric care, machine operation, hanging clothes out on the clothesline or dryer use, laundry products and their usages, etc. Same thing with the scheduling, negotiation, self-discipline, etc. It certainly didn’t do any of them any harm, as they are long ago grown up, on their own and doing quite well at it. Our son is single and living independently on his own and doing very well at it, and our daughter is married for 11 years, and along with her husband, are raising 5 children in a very small house! The boys all share a large bedroom connected with a “Play Room”, with two large bunk beds. Their little sister, who is 4 – only one girl and four boys but they get along famously – has her own bed and bedroom, but prefers to spend her time (now) with her brothers. We’ll see how that goes as they get older though…..

      I think living together like we have all done has been beneficial for all of us in many ways, but the way that families seem to have split themselves up, even within one house, with everyone having their own room, own TV and computer, own bathroom and such, has made everyone rather self-centered and not dependent on each other for anything. It’s like raising many individuals, but not as a family.

      • pam kueber says

        My father had seven siblings. They grew up and lived with their parents on a farm in North Dakota. This was the late 1930s into the 1950s. The children shared one bedroom, unheated, upstairs under the roofline. There was no indoor bathroom. Talk to them today — and they have wonderful memories of this time. They are all very close.

    • Jennifer in PA says

      I live in a 1600 square foot 1953 time capsule ranch. we have a game room and family room in the basement (have the same pool table shown in this listing), but we always laugh that our two kids, two dogs, husband and I always seem to be in the same room, the living room, within about 20 feet of each other.

      • pam kueber says

        Humans are extremely social creatures. We like to be near each other. We need to be near each other. We thrive when we are near each other.

  16. says

    Hi Pam and Kate!

    I just sent you an e-mail containing a link to a time capsule you might be interested in.

    Also, I love the basement of this house in MN!

  17. Scott says

    I guess until seeing this I had equated Modest with compactness, probably because of my more to the dinky side square footage of 944. Maybe I have a Very Modest. :-)

    I sure hope the new owners appreciate those beautiful bathroom sinks!

    • pam kueber says

      I am the one who called this a MC Modest — I was thinking it was 1100 s.f. on each floor (that is, full basement). It is really 2300 s.f. on the first floor, yes, that is larger than my definition of MC Modest, which I will now arbitrarily define as topping out at … how about 1,400 s.f.?

      I am still not clear on this house though. Is it 1100 up and down, with a couple of bedrooms in the basement. Or what.

      • Katie says

        I don’t think that square footage is a defining factor for MCModest. To me, MCM is about modest materials, and design that focuses on practicality and livability, rather than style or swank. I may be biased, since most of the houses in my neighborhood are between 1500 and 2000 square feet, but most of them were owned by people who raised 6 or more kids in those houses.

          • Scott says

            Me three.

            Modern or Modest is definitely more about the style than the size. I’m just so happy Pam even figured all this out as knowing what my house is (a Modest) has made life so much easier. I was really stuck on exterior details but once I started comparing similar vintage houses everything started falling into place very quickly.

    • pam kueber says

      I just found this house on the mls. I didn’t number crunch everything but I think the s.f. includes the basement space, the porch and two bedrooms tucked on the second floor.

      • Barbara West says

        I think you’re right.As a Realtor for almost 40 ys I was struggling to imagine WHERE all this “space” was.If this is on mls…someone should be notifying the listing agent that this is incorrect and NOT the sq footage that any appraiser will be using.Main floor space is what is used…the additional is put into OTHER spots.These kinds of mistakes are the things that law suits are made of!

  18. Pam from Madeira says

    Love, love, love this house! Although it looks so quaint from the outside, it seems like there are a whole lot of rooms. The bathroooms are to die for!!!! And the built in furniture, especially that desk!

  19. says

    What a darling house! Reminds me, too, of my childhood where I saw tons of homes like that. The only thing missing in the basement is a shuffle board built into the floor!

    I agree with some others about the new building expectations of granite and stainless. I’m so over that!! Stainless, isn’t. Period! It’s mostly awful. Give me white appliances over stainless. And granite?? Ugh!! I can’t tell you how many times my husband has “lost” a pill or supplement tablet on that stupid, busy, too dark countertop,, and didn’t even know it! You can’t see messes on it to clean them up, either. Dumb! Oh, and now I’ve read that granite, especially the Brazilian kind, off-gases radon! We’ve got Brazilian granite! :\

    We are looking for a MCM house in Largo, FL so we can move from the current flood zone of the barrier island we currently inhabit. Anyone know of anything wonderful in Largo??

    Thanks!!
    Robin :)

  20. Kim Campbell says

    I so love the pink and green in the rumpus room! And those amazing cabinets in the bathroom. Especially the pink one. *swoon* worthy to me!!

  21. Andreas Jordahl Rhude says

    Must love the free standing metal orange fireplace. My parents have one in their house in the third floor living room. House built between 1970 and 1973 and we moved in late summer 1973 (actually some thing never did get finished and are still unfinished today!). My dad designed and we built it. Four story A-frame.

  22. Allison Hallstrom says

    Very cute house. I love the barstools and the bathroom sinks. Is it possible to find sinks like these anymore?

  23. Joel says

    Thanks for the link to the Everlast Epoxy Floor…. that is it… people should take a look at it as it mentions “do it yourselfers” and it would very much be in period for a renovation…. IF you add some gold glitter to the epoxy. That is totally required. Look at the gallery and imagine some of these in a retro renovation- http://www.everlastepoxy.com/project-gallery.html

    Also, I am almost positive that the original cabinets in the kitchen would have been built in place and would have matched the varnished birch vanity in the pink bath. I have flipped several of these era homes and the base cabinets would not be what we are used to now, there would have been a toe kick built out of 2X4″, then a 24″ deep sheet of plywood laid on top, a cleat would have been nailed around the wall, and a second sheet of 24″ deep plywood hung on that to make a fixed shelf and the front framing of 1 X 2 dimensional lumber nailed directly to the shelving and the formica covered countertop added supported by the front frame and another cleat nailed around directly to the wall. Doors and drawer fronts would have been made out of birch or oak plywood with a rounded over routed edge that showed the layers of the plywood unashamedly and covered in clear/amber varnish. It is an easy and inexpensive way to make period appropriate cabinets and they fit the space exactly. I am also almost certain the glass sliding door cabinet is original to the house and has simply been painted to match the (horrid) “every condo built in the early 80’s” laminate and oak cabinets.

    • Jenny says

      Joel, what you wrote is interesting to me, because I love that style of cabinet. Is it really an easy and inexpensive way to build cabinets? Because I need new cabinets in my (old) kitchen, and I can’t find anyone around here (Michigan) who is willing to take on such a remodel. Just want it to look original to the house; that’s all I’m asking! (I hired a local carpenter to build a period-appropriate vanity for the bathroom, and he seemed to have no clue. Ended up with a very attractive but NOT period-appropriate vanity. (Wah!)

  24. Amy in Sacramento, CA says

    Wow — $309K for 2292sf? Kinda pricey in that climate. LOVE the bathrooms, though! I hope the right buyer finds this house. It is always upsetting when I go through a period/time capsule house, only to find a “sold” sign followed by a full dumpster outside of it months later. :( Can’t more people love a house for what it is?! Like your motto, Pam: “Love the House You’re In!” ;)

    • Jenny says

      There was a fabulous mid-60s house for sale in the campus area of our town, that went for a song because it was “in need of TLC.” I mean, way less than 100k. It was adorable and quirky, with cedar siding and a recessed doorway. The existing door was one of those six-panel wood-grained steel doors. It was a house in need of a Crestview door if you know what I mean.

      Drove by it recently and the owners had hung a new door on it. Yay! A Home Depot special; more fake wood, but Victorian in style, with oval etched glass. Boo. So completely and diametrically opposed to what the house wanted. Still, I’m relieved the house itself didn’t get torn down, but what will people who hang a Victorian door on a MCM house do next? They’re sure not going to honor its integrity.

  25. Toni says

    Why do people buy a house and then destroy everything about it? Why not just buy a house that’s what you want? It can’t be entirely about money. It’s not cheaper to tear it apart and rebuild it than it is to just buy what you like in the first place.

  26. Nancy says

    I live about 5 minutes from this house. I’ll have to see if there is an open house. It’s near a great park and elementary school. I hope it sells to someone who will appreciate its retro charm.

  27. nina462 says

    Minneapolis & the surrounding suburbs are full of MCM houses. I lived there for 15 years & had a MCM townhouse. Somewhere in my stack of retro stuff, I have pamphlet about making your MCM home your own by changing the floor plans. I must look that up and send to you.

    And yes, please get a show on TV! I’d love to watch :) and please do an episode on keeping original windows – just having them repaired & not replaced! I even have the perfect contact person for that (he teaches how to repair windows here in Kazoo.) That is the one bad mistake I made on my current MCM house.

    • Shari D. says

      I used to drive past this home several times a week when we lived in Indianapolis. It’s just as pretty and well-cared-for now a I recall it being 20 years ago. The photos of the inside are pretty spectacular in some ways. There are 3 fireplaces, 2 of which (family room and basement) are wood burning and made of Indiana Limestone, the other in the living room is gas. If you’ve never seen it (or think you haven’t) you must go look. (It’s been used in major construction projects of now-historic buildings of national importance since the late 1800’s.) The hardwood floors in this house absolutely gleam such that I have never seen – they look like they are covered in inches of reflective ice! The woodwork is beautiful, as are the all original kitchen cabinets. The rooms are quite large – for instance, the Master Bedroom is 18X14 and the next smaller bedroom is only one foot smaller in each direction. There are no pictures of the bathrooms, which I had been looking forward to seeing! There is a breakfast room (11X15) off the 12X12 kitchen that looks like its walls are done in 12″X12″ floor tile! It’s almost as big as my whole eat-in-kitchen! The basement has one of the wood burning limestone fireplaces – the kind that go floor to ceiling for a whole wall – right beside a lovely wet bar! The laundry room in the basement is painted all white, well-lit, looks dry and tidy as can be, like the rest of the house. Oh – it’s currently pending, and the price on the listing is $149,900, and the semi-annual taxes for 2013 were $979! It’s on a double size corner lot as well. Oy such a deal!
      Too bad I have no intentions of ever moving back to Indianapolis, particularly the East side (although this neighborhood has always been ok, being populated with very similar homes.)

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