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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 (link now gone, alas).

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:



      1. Darby says:

        Thanks. I am trying to find out what kind of stone was used for a lot of mid-century fireplaces. Was limestone used? And that pink stone you see so often, do you know what that is?
        Thanks again for your help.

        1. Pam Kueber says:

          I don’t know… sometimes we talk about “roman brick”, which may have been a brick alternative. Talk to local masonry companies to see what they say. It may even be that stones used varied by geography, depending on what was mined in the area.

        2. Chris says:

          The pink limestone often came from Tennessee. Those quarries are now closed as far as I know. Missouri limestone tends to be more white or grey depending on the finish. You can polish, bush hammer, hone, sandblast the same piece of stone and have it appear all kinds of colors.

  1. Gordon Hodge says:

    Anyone know who makes those front door starburst escutcheons and where to find one? We bought a house and it is missing one just like that and have not found anything that size and shape online/ebay/craigslist/sites like this one. Most like Schlage and Kwikset are smaller and not that exact shape. Beautiful house.

  2. Liz says:

    Such an awesome home. Just a tip though. Have the carpet stretched. It will smooth it out and look brand new.

  3. Britt says:

    This house is so AMAZING !!! I can’t even deal !! I want this house, it’s worth living there in that crazy cold whether. Omg…it just brings back amazing memories. It’s so ahead of it’s time. It’s my Jetsons dream house. Thank you for sharing all those rocking, kick butt picks !!!!

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