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Beautiful Mid Century Modern Home in Maryland

This is a very interesting Mid Century Modern house on Gibson Island, Maryland. Originally listed for sale at 2.3 million in September of 2012, it is now down to 1.3 million.

1.3 million seems pretty reasonable for a beautifully designed Mid Century Modern home on a gated island, nestled on the Chesapeake Bay. It was designed by renowned architect Ulrich Franzen in 1962 for a Bethlehem Steel executive. It does have its drawbacks, though. It seems strange for an indoor pool to be in the same space as built-in shelves (an office area?). The bedrooms look a little claustrophobic. This house is only 2826 square feet. And despite the fact that you are on a fairly small island, there are no water views. Just trees, as far as the eye can see.

Still, it’s a beautiful example of a mid century modern home, and it seems strange to me that this house hasn’t yet sold.  I guess not everyone appreciates the modern aesthetic. It does make me wonder, though; why did this type of home design never catch on for the rest of us? There are plenty of kitschy 1950’s to 1960’s MCM houses in the lower priced range, but none of them share the floor to ceiling windows. None of them seem to have the open floor plans. Could a house in this style be built more modestly? I suppose it’s the materials: the glass, the steel, the natural stone. It seems like homes built from the 1980’s onward are an uninspiring mix of cheap drywall and plastic siding. I always marvel over the fact that homes in my neighborhood have nice brick facades, but go into the backyards and all you see is ugly siding. It’s like we put so much into the curb appeal, but then neglect the view that we have when we are in our own backyards, relaxing.

Sadly, I think this modern style is now considered dated, and houses like these are left only to be appreciated by design nuts. Being a design nut myself, I would consider buying this house faster than you can say Brutalism, if only I had the resources. I can just picture setting up an easel in the corner and painting those trees, or using it as a photography studio. Someday, perhaps.

 

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