Stunning, spectacular 1961 mid-century modern time capsule house in Minnesota — 66 photos!

mic century modern house 1961Tour-a-Time-CapsuleFor this 1961 time capsule house, by architect John Polivka just outside Minneapolis, I’m pulling out all my favorite adjectives, this house is: Stunning, spectacular, amazing, jaw-dropping, drop-dead gorgeous. Thanks to selling agent Jacob Smith of Sotheby’s International Realty for giving us permission to feature this house, and to reader Dan, who sent us this tip! Pictures tell this story, so move along, we worked overtime this Friday night to load up a slide show 66 beautiful photos — taken by Mike McCaw of Spacecrafting — who clearly had immense fun capturing the gorgeous linearity of this house on camera.  

mid century modernmid century modern minneapolis housemid-century-front-porch

According to the listing, this house was built in 1961. Covering just over 4,100 s.f., it has four bedrooms and fours baths. It sits on fully recreational Sweeney Lake and is just five minutes from Minneapolis. It is for sale for $1.25 million. A hefty sum, yes, but just keep lookin’ and you will understand.

Alas, we have rushed these photos to the blog so fast that we do not have information on the architect. The house seems to be a study in linearity. It also appears to have been impeccably maintained.

Update: Thanks to Retro Love Affair, who told us that the architect was John Polivka – you can read his biography here.

Take a look at a quick selection of shots, then head to the gallery below:

mid century modern entry way

mid century modern entrywaymid century modern family roommid century modern fireplacebeamed ceiling

Note the restrained palette — a rich warm brown brown, light colored brick, black slate tile and beams:

slate floor

mid century modern living room

mid century modern dining roommid century modrn kitchen

mid century modern kitchen

And pay attention — the two kitchen photo aboves — that is LIGHTING underneath all those beamed panels on the ceiling. This lighting design is repeated in bathrooms and throughout the house — that is, minimal use of “ceiling fixtures”, upstairs especially. The vintage refrigerators are Revco, I’d guess — see this story.

And, oh my my, take a look at the staircase: Again, linearity is the rule of the day:

retro modern staircasemid century modern staircase mid century stair case

In the bathrooms, note the use of small square mosaic tiles — this is EASILY REPLICATED today!

sunken tub bathroom mid century modern bathroomretro bathroom vanityThe house is situated to enjoy the vista across Sweeney Lake:

mid-century-house-ranchYes, we like to show lots of mid century modest houses here on the blog — because they are wonderful, too, and we do not want them to get lost in the shuffle of the seemingly ever-onward aspirations in our society today. That said, we ADORE a gorgeous, architect mid-century modern masterpiece as much as the next person. Golly heck, we adore this house!

Repeat of link love:

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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  1. Dana says

    This house is on the market again! A friend of a friend of mine is the agent (Andy Asbury) and posted on facebook that there’s a pre-market open house tomorrow. Wish I lived a little closer!

  2. KeyPal says

    Gorgeous home! Love love love!!! Do you know what actual paint colors were used on the exterior decking and door? And the interior walls?

  3. Linda E. says

    This is probably the most beautiful home i’ve ever seen in my life. Whoever buys it is one incredibly lucky person and shouldn’t touch a thing in there – besides checking the condition of the electrical if it’s safe and maybe installing new carpet because that shows some wear due to age. Other than that, this house truly is a luxurious time capsule that needs to be preserved.

  4. Andrea says

    I hope the new owners don’t change a thing! Love it! What is that stone flooring called? Is there anywhere I can get something like it today?

      • Grandma says

        My son, the tile setter, says it’s slate, but he hasn’t ever seen white grout used before on black slate like that. We have a black slate kitchen floor w/black grout (it was already here) but it never seems clean to me for some reason. I’m sure that house was professionally kept clean, though!

  5. J. JONES says

    Was BERBER carpet even around in the early 60s???? The house is wonderful, but BERBER is from the 1980s. Wasn’t tile flooring the thing in the 50s-60s?

    • pam kueber says

      There was wall-to-wall carpet in the 50s and 60s…. It was very desirable in key living areas.

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