Preservation 

Century 21 domed theater is worthy of being listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

We’ve written about the endangered domed theaters in California in the past, and a small victory was won this April by the State Historical Resources Commission agreed that the former Century 21 theater in San Jose is worthy of being listed in the National Register of Historic Places. In an article from the Eichler Network, the owner of the Century 21, however, has opposed the listing and wants to tear the dome down. Being named to the National Register doesn’t guarantee that the building won’t be destroyed, although it can…

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Retro Travel 

Retro Roadtrip: The Sunset Motel

This motel came as a recommendation from two different readers, Jim Ross and Jerry McClanahan with the EZ66 guide.  We added it to our stays along Route 66 in New Mexico. This little motel is a bargain, clean, updated (good or bad depending on whether preservation is a priority or modern comforts) and family owned and operated. Most rooms have have a flat screen TV and free wireless access. They serve a small continental breakfast in the office and there are microwaves, refrigerators and coffee makers in each room. The…

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Retro Travel 

Ghost Towns of Route 66 – Glenrio and Endee

While traveling the mother road (also known as Route 66) over spring break, we were fortunate enough to find out about a side road – well, it used to be Route 66 proper, but as Sally said in the movie “Cars”, “The town got bypassed just to save ten minutes of driving.” and that couldn’t ring more true with the towns of Endee and Glenrio. Both are still fantastically picturesque but in a sad haunting way – you only wish you could picture them the way they had been. Using…

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Lifestyle 

Review: Pillow Stalk, Mad for Mod Cozy Mystery

We haven’t done book reviews on Mid-Century style yet, but perhaps that’s because we didn’t know “Pillow Stalk” was out there.   Written by Diane Vallere, this book is custom made for Mid-Century fanatics who enjoy a good cozy mystery! Born on the same date, Interior Decorator Madison Night has modeled her life after Doris Day, but when a killer targets women dressed like the bubbly actress, Madison’s signature sixties style places her in the middle of a homicide investigation. The local hunky and mysterious detective connects the new crimes to…

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Architecture Retro Travel 

Mid Century Time Capsule in the Oklahoma Panhandle

Traveling over the holidays, we made a point to stop at the  Cimarron Heritage Center Museum & Information Center in Boise City, Oklahoma.Why you may ask? The primary draw at the time was that it houses the largest collection of dust bowl memorabilia in the United States. With photographs and even some of the amazing dust (really, you have to touch it, it’s fantastic). What we didn’t expect when we got there was the vast collection of mid-century collectibles and architecture. The 1949 Bruce Goff-designed home serves as a greeting…

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Architecture 

Modernism Week: Man about Modernism Series

Grab a martini, old fashioned or a gin and tonic and settle down for some fabulous modernism viewing. If you’re like us and didn’t make it to Modernism Week in Palm Springs this week, this  YouTube channel is almost as good. Stephen Collins (Property Envy) hosts Man About Modernism with a handsome command of the screen and wealth of expertise in all things design. Collins will be your guide through this expansive and unique mid-century treasure trove. Relish in sophisticated old-Hollywood glamor and experience how the rich and famous play, stay, and sway….

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Retro Travel 

Two story trailer

This is a pretty fabulous two story trailer, built in 1953, in 1957, she and her sister were too big to sleep in the second bed, her father bought the parts from Spartan Aircraft and built a second story. Be sure to go on the tour, there are some fabulous details there!

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Lifestyle 

Raising Retro Kids: Pedal Cars

Pedal car history goes back to the 1890’s when toy makers took their cue from real cars on the road. At the turn of the century, the cost meant  that these cars were playthings for only wealthy families especially with many families reeling from the financial devastation of The Great Depression. No pedal cars were produced in the mid-1940’s when all metal production was directed to the World War II effort. Pedal cars experienced a comeback in the 1950’s to 1960’s with chain-driven models. With postwar prosperity in the 1950’s,…

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Preservation 

Futuro Houses

After having this picture (on the right) go viral on our Facebook page,  we decided to conduct further investigation into their history. There are several sites dedicated to tracking the whereabouts of current houses as well as the history of them. Here’s what we found in brief: The Futuro, or Futuro House, is a round, prefabricated house designed by Matti Suuronen made in the late 60’s and 70’s. Completely furnished and could accommodate 8 people, it was originally designed as a “portable” ski chalet. It was constructed entirely out of reinforced…

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