Mid-Century Modern in SLC

During the mid-20th century, people were hungry for homes that were new, simple, comfortable, and distinctive. The architects who built their homes created functional, no-frills designs; the houses were also both affordable and timeless.

Even though their style makes it easy to spot them immediately, many of these homes are still beautiful today, and have a modern feel that is sometimes imitated in completely new homes. One excellent (fictional) example can be seen in The Incredibles; Pixar created a beautifully rendered 1960s-style mid-century modern home for Bob and Helen Parr. Mid-century modern homes were characterized by:

  • Use of natural and modern materials such as wood, concrete, and glass.
  • A tendency toward rectangular, box-like structures with flat or nearly flat roofs.
  • Architectural features that were designed to fill the home with natural light, such as walls and windows of glass, skylights, and glass transoms.
  • An airy feeling because of the clean, simple lines and open floor plans.
  • A sense that there is a blurred line between the outdoors and the indoors. Views from the rooms make you feel as though the view is an extension of the room.
  • A bathroom in the master bedroom (something we take for granted these days).

Many homes were built in Salt Lake City between 1933 and 1965, which means that some neighborhoods are full of many excellent examples. The Utah Heritage Foundation has a Salt Lake Modern branch, founded June 25, 2009, that focuses specifically on some of the best local examples. Check out some local mid-century modern architecture atwww.utahheritagefoundation.com.

If you enjoy walking, you can often see examples of mid-century modern homes, particularly in Cottonwood Heights, Holladay, and Olympus Cove; however, you can also find these homes in other neighborhoods as well.

By Salt Lake Digs Contributor, Susan Morgan

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