The Kaufmann House: The Reason for Mid-Century Modern Resurgence

The Kaufmann House: The Reason for Mid-Century Modern Resurgence

If you've ever wondered why mid-century modern design and architecture has become so popular as of late, it's not because of the success of Mad Men. Well, maybe Jon Hamm's baby blues did have a little to do with it, but if you'd ask an architect, she'd probably say it's because of The Kaufmann House. The 1946 Richard Neutra glass, stone and steel work of art was commissioned by Edgar J. Kaufmann Sr., the same gentleman who commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to build Falling Water about 10 years earlier. The Neutra creation, located at the edge of Palm Springs, was to be Mr. Kaufmann's winter retreat from cold Midwest winters.

After Mr. Kaufmann's death in 1955, the house stood empty for a few years and then began changing hands. 'Improvements' were made that disrupted the original design, but ultimately--and fortuitously--the property fell into the hands of Brent Harris and Beth Edwards Harris. The couple decided to return the home to its original glory, and with the help of architects Leo Marmol and Ron Radziner, they did just that. This painstaking restoration is seen by many as the impetus for the renewed interest in mid-century modern homes and design. 

For more information about the property, including images (many of which by Julius Shulman), visit this slideshow at the NYT.



Tagged: , ,