I recently wrote a very short article for the South Land Park Neighborhood Association's newsletter regarding mid-century modern architecture in South Land Park. I hadn't really given much thought about it before I was given this assignment, but after writing the article I realize that this is essentially what I love about our neighborhood -- how much of its original nature is still intact.
In our neighborhood, you just have to walk out your front door to find mid‐century modern (MCM) buildings and homes. MCM architecture (also referred to as "Post‐War Modern") is a style that rose from the post WWII suburban housing boom. Characteristics of MCM architecture include: clean and simple lines; walls of glass; open floor plans that incorporate outdoor space; emphasis on the horizontal plane, and; flat or wide‐angled roofs. Several MCM styles are prevalent in South Land Park.The entire issue of the neighborhood association's newsletter is available in pdf format ("April.pdf") here.
MCM ranch homes are well‐represented in our neighborhood. Features of these homes often include: stunning grand double front doors with ornamental door knobs; large plate glass windows; extra wide eaves; and use of materials such as flagstone, brick, stucco and wood. Occasionally you will spot a large split‐level (think "Brady Bunch") MCM home. Custom homes designed by notable local architects such as Carter Sparks, Grant Caywood, and Dean Unger are sprinkled throughout the neighborhood.
Look no further than South Hills Plaza for examples of Googie architecture, characterized by bold geometric, parabolic and curvy lines. The roof at Vic's IGA (formerly Jumbo Market) with a zig‐zag outline and skylights that allow natural light to pour into the store and the US Post Office’s wavy arches are great examples.
Further south from the Plaza you will see a small group of Eichler Homes built in the mid‐1950s. Joseph Eichler developed neighborhoods in California with practical and affordable mass‐produced homes designed by respected architects. Eichler Homes were cutting edge in terms of their design and inclusion of unique features such as radiant heating and post‐and‐beam construction. The style of these homes was emulated across the U.S. Similar MCM homes built by Streng Bros., a Sacramento building firm, can also be found here.