Characterized by strong horizontal lines, open floor plans and a seamless flow between interior and exterior spaces, mid-century modern homes - built from 1945 to the late 1960’s - are becoming as popular now as they were then.
After World War II there was a sense of optimism and a desire to do things differently than the prior generation. American culture promoted modern residential architecture and furnishings as a new and convenient way to live. You could even purchase home plans designed by an architect from magazines and then have a local builder construct your home. Many of the house designs from that period highlighted the use of natural materials such as stone, exposed wood and large panes of glass.
The KU School of Architecture was influential due to several faculty members who changed the focus of the department from the Beaux Arts style to modernism. Several faculty members had been apprentices with Frank Lloyd Wright. KU was one of the first Universities in the mid-west to teach modernism. Many students later became architects and designed some of the significant mid-century homes in Lawrence. We are fortunate to still have quite a few interesting examples of these homes intact and preserved.
Stephens Realtor, Tom Harper founded Lawrence Modern in 2002 and soon joined forces with Bill Steele and architectural historian Dennis Domer. They spearheaded an extensive two-year survey of mid-century modern houses in Lawrence. After rating 33 homes on criteria ranging from the home’s condition to the spatial relationship of exterior elements, they chose 13 houses -- a “Baker’s Dozen” -- to highlight on their site.
Lawrence Modern aims to raise awareness of midcentury and modern architecture in Lawrence. Their goal is to encourage preservation of these homes which will ensure that future generations in Lawrence will have significant examples to appreciate and to live in.
We invite you to take a few minutes and explore lawrencemodern.com.