By Adrian Kinney
Long before Denver Mid-Century Modern Homes were labeled, they were just new homes on what was then the outskirts of the city. Maybe they were modest homes technologically by today’s new-home standards but these homes were different and unique. Mid-Century Moderns were and continue to be architectural masterpieces.
Denver Mid-Century Modern Home Neighborhoods
Denver Mid-Century Modern homes neighborhoods are located in the neighborhoods known as Harvey Park, Krisana Park, Arapahoe Acres, Lynwood, and Arapahoe Hills. So, when so many young families were moving to in the mid-1950s, they could not have imagined that 60 years later, a whole new generation would be clamoring to live in the same houses. Nevertheless, a lot has happened in those 60 years. As ideas have changed in the same way politics has changed and fashion has changed. Consequently, the makeup of these neighborhoods has changed too. Through all of that change, one thing has not changed, the homes are the same.
“Mid-Century Modern” (MCM) homes are particularly special. They are sometimes called “California-contemporary” houses. California -contemporary was the only term for them in the 1970’s to 1990’s and now they are predominantly known as Mid-Century Moderns.
Harvey Park, Krisana Park, Arapahoe Acres, Lynwood, and Arapahoe Hills have become so known in the Denver Metro area and on the national Mid-Century Modern stage. That’s because these enclave neighborhoods represent a great risk taken by the builders to develop an entire tract of houses in a contemporary style. Most builders in the ‘50s would offer a contemporary model or two among a set of more traditional offerings. By being willing to take this risk, the builders built something architecturally unique and rare. Because of their rarity, well-preserved neighborhoods of MCM houses have become treasured places among fans of modern architecture, and of buyers who are looking to live in a neighborhood of MCM style. Like-minded enthusiasts flock to these particular neighborhoods.
People’s enthusiasm for Denver Mid-Century Modern homes is a reflection of the big ideas behind these houses. The modern architects of the time believed that by focusing less on the style of the architecture and more on ideas of form, space, and order, that they could improve life for everyone. Advertising for the Holiday Homes-in Harvey Park- boasted of houses that were “less formal, more recreational . . . more functional . . . making living a freer, happier, experience . . .”. The HB Wolf Homes in Krisana Park and Lynwood were described as “3-D Contemporary Homes”. However, in both cases, the builders passed over discussing features. Instead, they talked about how these houses were designed to materially improve the lives of those who live in them.
Buyers loved the style then. And, that style is why they are in such high demand today. Denver Mid-Century Modern home buyers are seeking-out these houses and they will wait for the right one to come on the real estate market. Some characteristics of MCM homes include informal living, a blurred connection between indoor and outdoor living spaces. The fences that surround the “Cliff May Homes” are meant to be like outdoor living rooms.
Also, these modern homes have ample natural light, high ceilings as well as low-slung roofs to maximize natural light and to minimize the impact of the houses on the street. In addition, there’s a feeling that the house was designed to improve the human experience. So, why are so many homes seemingly Mid-Centruy Modern today? Well, it is because it always has been since the 1950’s. This style, design, and general way of life have all been given a stamp of timelessness. It really is here to stay.
Also, Denver Mid-Century Modern home buyers want to be part of something special. They want to find well-preserved enclaves of MCM houses. As a result, buyers are willing to pay a premium for this timeless style in part because they want to enjoy an MCM community.
Find Out More About Mid-Century Modern
Lastly, if you want to learn more about these homes and where they are located in Denver, please contact me on this form below. I love to talk about Denver Mid-Century Modern homes as well as those neighborhoods that love them.