Retro Travel 

The Historic Wagon Wheel Motel in Cuba MO

If you find yourself in the middle of Missouri – you’re going to want to make sure that Cuba Missouri is a stop on your trip! With it’s retro murals and almost Disneylike feel, Cuba is Americana at it’s finest. And it’s here that you find one of the best kept motels along Route 66. The Wagon Wheel Motel, Cafe and Station in Cuba with it’s iconic sign  still offers travelers a comfortable and picturesque place to stay after nearly three quarters of a century. The Wagon Wheel Motel started…

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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…

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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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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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Architecture 

Mid-Century Photo Friday – Fall home brochure

Some fabulous Fall House plans – for more Mid Century modern house plans, see here. All photos from MidCentArc’s really cool selection of photos. Both photos are found on our Flickr Group – The 1950’s Interior Design and Residential Architecture group with an amazing 2094 members and over 8000 photos! 🙂 (something to do while drinking your morning cup a joe!)

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Architecture Preservation 

Pasadena Heritage presents Pasadena 1940 Forward

This spring, Pasadena Heritage will offer unique programs in a Getty-initiated celebration of the city’s modern architectural heritage through exhibitions and programs at cultural institutions in and around L.A. A leading historic preservation organization founded in 1977, Pasadena Heritage will host a three-part lecture and panel discussion on May 16 and an architectural tour of modern-era homes on May 19. Oral histories will also be recorded and published. Modern Architecture in L.A. is a wide-ranging look at the postwar built environment of the city as a whole, from its famous…

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Retro Travel 

Mid-Century Motel Review: The Canyon Motel and RV Park

Continuing our spring break tour, we were excited to hit Williams, Arizona and especially happy to check in to the Canyon Motel and RV Park! This historic motel was slated to be torn down and replaced with townhouses. It would be gone today if not for Kevin and Shirley Young, a couple of California transplants, who stepped in with a dream of resurrecting this historic property. With experience from a famous hotel chain, the Young’s bought the old fixer upper, classic motel. Williams, Arizona lies on the route of Historic Route…

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New Mexico Mid Century Motels?

We’re in the throws of planning a trip to New Mexico over spring break – mainly to see the Trinity Site (which is only open 2x a year). So, we’ll be staying in Socorro and Santa Fe. I already have a cool Mid Century Motel booked in Alamogordo – anyone have suggestions for Socorro and/or Santa Fe? Kid friendly is great, a pool would be awesome! The Belair Inn (picture to the right) is the “find” from last trip, so we’re hoping to do as well if not better this…

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Do you have questions about the "Mad Men" set design?

I have been hardly able to contain myself for the last month (I’ve been waiting for the new sets to be finished), but in the next couple of weeks, I will be interviewing one of the wonderful people who design the sets on the series “Mad Men”! (insert hysterical screaming here). If you’re into mid-century style, you surely have drooled all over the sets, wondered where they get their inspiration and wondered how authentic they try to be.  Some of you may even have been picking it apart and noticing…

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Don't replace your windows – it's not green or saving green!

I went to a great presentation by our local utility company (rather a guy they hire) who talks about how to save money and help preserve the environment. Great talk! I might email him and see if I can link to his powerpoint on my blog (stay tuned for that). But one point that came up was how replacing your windows is NOT the best for the earth OR your house. Now, I don’t know how many of you have had window guys telling you the opposite on this, but…

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