Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour Tickets now available!

You may now purchase tickets for the first-ever Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour. Tickets are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis - act now!

Online tickets are being sold through PayPal -- refer to the "Buy Tickets Now!" icon in the top left hand margin of the home tour's blog. PayPal is an easy way to pay with your credit card.

In-town purchases may also be made in-person at the following businesses: Parkside Pharmacy, Capital Nursery, and Blomberg Window Systems. Cash or check only.

Postcard photograph by Don Satterlee of Satterlee Photo. Postcard design by by Tour co-coordinator Dane Henas of Dane Henas Design.

Hope to see you at the Tour!

Blast from the past -- 1955 Sutterville Shopping Center, South Land Park Terrace

I have always wondered about our neighborhood shopping center -- what it might have looked like over 50 years ago. And today I found this article from the Sacramento Bee dated April 23, 1955 with an artist's conceptual drawing. According to the article, "ten businesses, including a Cardinal super market, will occupy the mart. There will be an interior decorating firm, a dry cleaning establishment, beauty shop, and dentist office."

This shopping center -- originally designed by Karel Kooper & Curtis C. Maybeck of Los Angeles according to my research -- is one of our beloved neighborhood stops that has retained some of its mid-century appeal. I'd like to see more tenants continue to spruce up the center without turning it into a faceless stucco facade strip mall. For example, I still enjoy the fun-spirited remodel of La Bou -- a long time cornerstone of the center. Macau Cafe also joined the center a couple of years ago and remodeled their space nicely.

Recently, I have been impressed with Curtis Popp's interior remodel of Parkside Pharmacy (formerly Land Park Pharmacy). My favorite part of Parkside's redo: the cool dimensional letters on top of the building's soffit!

The largest part of the center is a gigantic grocery store, now vacant. This spot has been a Welco and, more recently, a Prime Supermarket since I have lived in the neighborhood. Trader Joe's was mulling it over, but apparently they may no longer be interested.

I would love to see a local market move in -- Corti's and Taylor's immediately come to mind. Any other innovative ideas for this now empty space?

Calling all (MCM) cars!

Those of you who have been following this blog are probably aware that I am co-coordinating the first-ever Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour. We will also be having a Car Show on Saturday, June 26, 2010 at the Sacramento Executive Airport which will be open to all -- including ticket holders who will be registering for the Home Tour.

Both the Car Show and Tour are presented by Sacramento Modern (SacMod), a non-profit association that promotes, preserves and protects mid-century art, architecture and design in the Sacramento region. SacMod is partnering with the California Automobile Museum to display impressive modes of transportation at the home tour registration site. The event is limited to 150 vehicles, and admission to the car show is FREE (a limited number of home tour tickets are available for purchase).

For those of you with vehicles who would like to participate in the Car Show, take us “Back to the Future” with distinctive, space-aged vehicles representing the modern movement between 1940-1970. All types of transportation are welcome: automobiles, travel trailers, motorbikes, scooters, and bicycles. Think fins…chrome…power…innovation…the future! Please email photos of your vehicles to Tour co-coordinator Kris Lannin Liang using the contact information on the back of the postcard.

The Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour logo, postcards, upcoming tickets, and upcoming guide book have been created by Tour co-coordinator Dane Henas of Dane Henas Design.

Hope to see you at both events!

The Big Build at SMF

Upon its opening on October 21, 1967, Sacramento Metropolitan Airport, according to its website, was:
... the first public use airport west of the Mississippi that had been built completely from the ground up. In 1957, the proposed construction of Sacramento Metropolitan Airport and the purchase of nearly 6,000 acres north of downtown Sacramento was considered extravagant, risky, based on unrealistic passenger expectations, and poorly located. The skeptics were wrong. The anticipated 750,000 annual passengers that seemed so unrealistic in the late 1950's surpassed the one million passenger mark during the airport's first year of operation.
Local architect/aviation buff Al Dreyfuss and his partner, Len Blackford drafted the original master plan for Sacramento Airport in 1963.

I have fond memories in the late 80's of being able to conveniently park in the lot across from Terminal B and simply moseying across the street, leisurely winding past the Eames Tandem Sling Seating and easily catching my flight.

Fast-forward 40+ years from when the airport was originally built and things have considerably changed -- by the events of 9/11 and by the fact and our city has grown. The Sacramento International Airport aka SMF now serves a dozen airlines and between 8 and 10 million passengers a year (see SMF's statistics page for further details). With these changes a need was seen to expand both Terminal A (completed 1998) and recently, Terminal B.

One of the things I love about the original Terminal B is its classic Mid-Century modern style. I am saddened it will be razed, but remain optimistic with the progress of The Big Build. According to their website, "Nationally recognized aviation design firm Corgan Associates, Inc., in association with Fentress Architects, leads the design team for Sacramento International Airport's new Central Terminal B. The collaborative design process includes stakeholders, community members, passengers, and airport tenants who provide valuable input. The team is supported by over a dozen local architectural and engineering firms assisting with design of the various program elements. Those firms include Lionakis Design Group, Dreyfuss and Blackford, Kennedy/Jenks, Capital Engineering, TTE, Hatch Mott MacDonald, Enovity, and Lea+Elliott." Also according to The Big Build website, Central Terminal B's design "is reflective of the central valley between two mountain ranges and the canopy effect of the tree-lined streets."

Another exciting aspect of the new Terminal B is the inclusion of work by internationally acclaimed and local artists. The largest piece will be a 56-foot red rabbit by sculptor Lawrence Argent.

"Other marquee names selected to install art in this space include 2009 McArthur Fellow Camille Utterback, Christian Moeller, Mildred Howard, Donald Lipski, Joan Moment, Suzanne Adan, Ned Kahn, Living Lenses (Po Shu Wang and Louise Bertelsen) and Lynn Criswell.... A preview of what it will all look like is on view at the Center for Contemporary Art, Sacramento through May 16.  The show (In Public: Designing Art for the Sacramento International Airport) consists of architectural drawings, models, video presentations and original paintings. The paintings, by Suzanne Adan and Joan Moment, will be translated to glass teserae mosaics by Franz Mayer of Munich, widely regarded as the world’s leading fabricator of glass for contemporary art installations."

It's amazing how much our city has grown. I'm excited to see Sacramento being the home to another wonderful terminal with such modern architectural, design, and art elements.

Another lovely Carter Sparks-designed Streng-built home recently on the market

This great home has a pending sale but I am posting this just to show if you are currently looking, they're out there. Built in 1968 with river access!

Agent Jay Feagles describes this 3 bedroom, 2 bath:"Carter Sparks designed semi-custom home is a mid-century modern delight.  Original owner has preserved and pampered this architectural gem. Dramatic vaulted wood ceilings enhance the clean structural lines. Light kitchen opens to redwood paneled family room. Situated on a double lot, there is plenty of space for entertaining and gardening.  Majestic oak tree in front is a neighborhood landmark.  Just around the corner is ... access to the American River."


Very nice! For the record -- I'm not a real estate agent nor affiliated with one -- I am passing this information along as a public service to those who are interested and love MCM design and architecture as much as I do.

Moving in day: The Kaleidoscope House

Our 5.5 year old daughter was finally able to use the doll house that was a gift from her Aunt M and Uncles J & M when she was born. We've been stowing this away in the basement waiting until she was old enough. Last weekend, Auntie M, armed with patience and persistence, drove 2 hours from San Francisco to assemble this fantastic dollhouse.

The Bozart Kaleidoscope House was the collaborative design effort of husband/wife/parents: artist Laurie Simmons and architect Peter Wheelwright. You can read more about this dollhouse in an October 8, 2000 NY Times article.

Per the insert literature that came with the home, the designers wrote: "The Kaleidoscope House came out of our shared interests in domesticity and in particular the changing practices of home and family. Our individual work in photography and architecture has focused on these issues...."

Our daughter clearly loves playing with the house and at this point doesn't care that it is loaded with furniture and designs from the likes of Karim Rashid, Jasper Morrison, Ron Arad, Dakota Jackson and others. What I love is the way the light from colored panels interact with each other and that it's fun.
The house has since become unavailable (Auntie M did know best to buy it 5.5 years ago). However, there have since been several other great modern dollhouses produced. You can find out more about them via a post by The WebUrbanist.

Sneak Peeks: Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour

We're still working very hard and behind-the-scenes to bring you the first-ever Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour. Check out the tour's blog for a glimpse of some of the fantastic homes scheduled to be open on June 26, 2010.

Not only do we have several amazing Eichler Homes, we also have homes designed by prominent Sacramento architects and builders. Check it out and stay tuned for more details. Hope to see you there!