Around the 1950s, architects, led by Joseph Eichler and Frank Lloyd Wright, introduced the mid-century modern style of architecture in an effort to move away from the ornate Queen Anne and Colonial Revival style that had previously been favored in and around Boston, as well as most of the northeastern area of the country.
Typically more compact in size, mid-century modern homes were characterized from the exterior by their asymmetrical, yet plain facades, flat roofs, and large windows that were intended to bring the outdoors inside. On the interior, slight elevation changes due to small steps doing up and down between rooms, open floor plans, statement lighting, and geometric wallpaper were the norm.
Today, there are quite a few mid-century modern homes in the Boston area, particularly in the city’s outskirts. An architectural style that is coveted by a number of buyers, these houses rarely sell for less than $575,000. To give you an idea of what you can find, here’s a quick look at 10 of the top mid-century modern homes in and around Boston.
464 Concord Ave. in Lexington, MA
Designed and built in 1960 by The Architects Collaborative, this 4-bedroom, 4 bathroom home has 2,907 sq. ft. of living space. Located in the highly desired Five Fields neighborhood, it is your typical mid-century modern home with tons of windows, which is ideal for looking out at the conservation land directly behind it. It is especially unique, thanks to a 2-car garage that is connected to the home by a breezeway foyer with walls of glass sliders. In September 2016, it went on the market for $899,000, but was removed slightly more than a month later.
540 Nichols Street in Norwood, MA
Built and designed by Hayes Kelley in 1960 for his own family, this 3-bedroom, 1 bathroom home has 2,636 sq. ft. The quintessential mid-century modern home has floor-to-ceiling windows, an open floor plan, high ceilings, a step-down living room with a stone fireplace, and an elevated family room that opens to the kitchen, which is accented by a pink back splash. The home was sold for $585,000 in September 2016. Interestingly, this was $60,000 over the original asking price.
75 Robin Road in Weston, MA
Designed by Henry B. Hoover (Boston’s earliest Modernist architect) and his partner, Walter Lee Hill, this home, built in 1958, has more than 3,400 sq. ft. with 5 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. The stunning home features an all glass breezeway that separates the bedrooms from the rest of the home, as well as floor-to-ceiling windows in the main living space (open kitchen, living, and dining room) that provide a glimpse of the Boston skyline. Several bedrooms in the home also have floor-to-ceiling walls with a door that opens to the outside. The home last sold for $1.7 million in June 2016.
171 Grove Street in Lexington, MA
Although this home, which was designed and built by renowned architect William Mello for his own family in 1967, slightly differentiates from a traditional mid-century modern, it is one. This is very obvious when you see the more than 3,000 sq. ft. home’s interior. The 4-bedroom, 2 bathroom home offers ceiling-to-floor windows, a 3-season porch, and an updated kitchen that has managed to retain its original charm. The home sold in August 2015 for $920,000.
5 Demar Road in Lexington, MA
Featuring the Techbuilt design that was created by Carl Koch (guided by Frank Lloyd Wright), this 1955 home has 2,051 sq. ft. of living space, including 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Techbuilt houses, like this one, consisted of four foot wide pieces that could be erected in just a few days. It has a simple shape, numerous glass walls, and is clad in a cedar siding. In 1957, the Techbuilt design was named the Best Development House by the American Institute of Architects. The home sold for $758,000 in September 2015.
38 Peacock Farm Road in Lexington, MA
Designed by Walter Pierce, who received plenty of accolades for this particular design, and built in 1956, this home was recently placed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Spanning 2,100 sq. ft., it includes 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. It features a rock garden that was placed just inside the glass foyer, along with walls of glass to ensure plenty of natural light is always shining through the house. The open kitchen, living, and dining room include a large brick fireplace that is situated right in the middle. It last sold for $805,000 in Aug 2015.
Flansburgh House in Lincoln, ME
Considered a modern icon, Flansburgh House was designed and owned by prominent Modernist architect Earl Flansburgh in 1963. The 2,382 sq. ft., 4-bedroom, 2 bathroom home features floor-to-ceiling windows in almost every room of the house, as well as multiple skylights, 2 fireplaces, and a separate garage that connects to the house via an underground tunnel. In March 2014, the home was listed at $1.05 million in 2014. The final selling price is not available.
319 Farm Lane in Westwood, MA
Although the designer of this 3,250 sq. ft. home is unknown, it was built in 1958 and features a bold crimson exterior. The home includes 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, large rooms (with tons of windows, obviously), a brick fireplace, and an atrium with cathedral ceiling that was added in 2015. It sold for $1,045,450 in June 2016.
24 Lorena Road in Winchester, MA
Built in 1951, this single story home spans more than 3,400 sq. ft. and includes 5 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms. Unlike most mid-century modern homes, it does have a bit of a sloped roof to allow for cathedral ceilings in the main living space. The home includes numerous windows, though only those on the back are floor-to-ceiling, along with a huge skylight and a massive stone fireplace. The home was put on the market for $1,499,999 in March 2016, but it is no longer listed for sale.
607 Main St. in Concord, MA
Designed and built in 1953 by Walter Gropius’s architectural firm, Architect’s Collaborative, this 3-story mid-century modern home includes 4 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms spread over 2,915 sq. ft. Just like the other homes on the list, it includes countless floor-to-ceiling windows and an open floor plan. Additionally, it has tons of built-in shelving throughout the home. It was completely renovated in 2008 using the original architect’s plans and sold for $1,525,000 in September 2015.