Lifestyle 

Review: It’s a Mod Mod Mystery! (or two!)

We’re behind on our book reviews and yet we’ve read some fabulous ones lately! If you’re a cozy mystery fan and love to dream of fabulous mid-century decor and fashion, Diane’s books are for you! I already reviewed her first book in this series “Pillow Stalk” but haven’t had a chance to tell you about the next two in the series! “That Touch of Ink”,  (as usual the title is a spoof on a Doris Day movie “That Touch of Mink”! 🙂 ) puts our heroine, interior decorator Madison Night…

Read More
Architecture Preservation 

Googie and neon sign preservation and museums

One of our favorite mid-century things are Googie signs. There are plenty of photos out there, but one thing is certain and it’s that they’re a dying breed and ripe for preservation efforts. In case you’re not familiar with the term, “Googie” architecture, approximately from 1950-1970, is a futuristic or ultramodern derivative of art moderne and International Style architecture, originating in California in the late 1940s. While using the materials and design vocabulary of other contemporary styles, its jaunty forms and bold streamlining evoked a highly optimistic aspiration to an…

Read More
Retro Travel 

The Historic Boots Motel, Carthage, MO

If you’ve been a regular reader, you probably remember our articles in 2011 about saving The Boots Motel in Carthage Missouri. Save the Boots Motel In 2011 the bank put the property on the market, and it was snapped up by the current owners, sisters, Debye Harvey and Priscilla Bledsaw. Fans of old Route 66, they had been talking about purchasing a motel and running it as part of their retirement plan. Update on the Boots Motel – Saved On the exterior, in 2012-2013, they raised money to removed the…

Read More
Preservation 

Newton Iowa, a midcentury historic downtown

The Newton Downtown Historic District has been entered in to the National Register of Historic Places, effective September 22, 2014. In 2009, the Newton Historic preservation committee looked within the proposed district of 87 properties. Fred Chabot, chairman of the historic preservation committee, said they began by researching the history of those buildings for the required site inventory forms. The committee’s research showed the best way to move forward was to pitch downtown’s mid-century architectural aesthetic, which was influenced by the success of the Maytag Company and the city’s preparation for…

Read More
Retro Travel 

Phoenicia Lodge is retro fun in the Catskills

Phoenicia Lodge has been on our  Mid-Century Motel directory for a long time – so when we planned a trip through upstate New York, we knew we had to stop and meet up with Brian and Sara who have lovingly restored and cultivated a fabulous Lodge in the gorgeous Catskills! The town of Phoenicia is small and quaint and a lot of fun. We had dinner at Tavern 214, an excellent restaurant there,  and enjoyed walking around the cute stores in the small downtown. As far as the Lodge goes,…

Read More
Retro Travel 

The fabulous retro resorts of Wildwood New Jersey!

Our summer trip began with a place so fun and unique that my 12 year old son now counts it as his favorite place ever. Beaches, amusement parks, restaurants, activities and some of the most fantastic Mid-Century Resort Architecture and Googie signs anywhere! Where do you find all of this? New Jersey! The Wildwoods began developing as a resort in the last decade of the 19th century. Of interest to Mid-Century fans is the building boom began in the 1950s, due partially to the construction and completion of the Garden…

Read More
Preservation Retro Travel 

Usonian Inn, Wisconsin, for Sale

We love to spot great preservation efforts, and in this case, The Usonian Inn LLC, originally named the Rest Haven Motel, is already on the National Register of Historic places, however, what a deal: Location: E5116 Hwy 14, Spring Green, WI 53588 $655,900 Turn key operation, excellent investment. Spring Green’s first original Taliesin inspired Inn. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright’s apprentice, J.C. Caraway. Green cert., 11 unit motel with prime Hwy 14 frontage. All units tastefully remodeled with the Frank Lloyd Wright dcor. Integrated 3 bedroom living quarters with private deck…

Read More
Retro Travel 

Retro Roadtrip: The Blue Swallow, Tucumcari, NM

We have had the Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, NM in our Motel Directory for a long time.It’s as much of an icon along Route 66 as the WigWam Motels. Owner Lillian Redman, a legend along Route 66 ran the motel from 1958 to 1997.  By a stroke of luck, owners over the years after she sold the motel managed to restore instead of modifying (and thus destroying the charm) the old motel.  The rooms have been “modernized” but only to accommodate the comfort of guests and going to great…

Read More
Lifestyle 

Koop Kooper, the swank meister of the airwaves

A week ago, I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Koop Kooper of Cocktail Nation, if you haven’t checked out his podcast and radio show, I suggest you hop right over and check it out, there’s a list of stations his show is available on and you can listen to back episodes on his website. As you sit around an listen to his show, you can also thumb through his book of interviews. Included in the interviews are great chats with El Gato Gomez (one of my favorite artists…

Read More
Retro Travel 

Retro Roadtrip: The Historic Route 66 Motel, Tucumcari, NM

The Historic Route 66 motel was built in the International Style that was enormously popular in the mid 20th Century.  In typical Palm Springs fashion, each room except the suites feature curtain wall, floor to ceiling windows. You can just see Don and Megan Draper pull up out front for a 60’s weekend away! The lobby is probably one of the most distinctive mid-century modern (MCM) public spaces in any small economy motel built during the 1950’s and 60’s.  Minimalist in design, the motel is a fabulous example of early…

Read More