When driving through a neighborhood of Bungalow, American Four Square, and Revival houses in Irvington, it completely shocked us to find this rare Art Moderne (Streamline Moderne) house on Bolton Avenue. No, it’s not a former gas station or commercial building. It’s a relic of the Modernist movement of the 1930s. Aerodynamic-inspired features gave this style its name, but this house looks about as aerodynamic as grandma’s attic.

Below is a quick-and-dirty list of features found in Streamline Moderne houses compared to the features found in our WTH house.

-Art Moderne is characterized by horizontal emphasis and is often asymmetrical. In this case, the horizontal nature of the house is overshadowed by overgrown hedges, towering trees, an inexcusable wood privacy fence, and vinyl cornerboards/window cladding in a distinct color from the rest of the house.

-Typically for this style, walls are smooth and typically of stucco finish.  This house is covered in vinyl siding, which for once adds too much detail!

-The style defining flat roof is still present, but the same cannot be said for a coping ledge which most likely capped the walls.

-Plate glass or *gasp* glass block windows are often used in this style. Our example has replaced single-pane casement windows with colonial vinyl and added a bay window. (Dear home owners, changing out your windows will not make your home a Bungalow or Queen Ann Victorian).

“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” – Judy Garland


2 responses to “WTH Weds: Trying to Make Moderne Classic”

  1. Pepper Partin says:

    I can see this house from my property on Julian Avenue in Irvington. Oh, the thoughts I’ve had about what had likely “happened” to this house to make it look the way it looks. I’m glad to know, though, that it was built this way as part of the Modernist movement.

    Thanks for posting the information.

  2. Thomas says:

    This house was just down the street from my childhood home on Julian, and in those long-ago days, it was white stucco with red trim…more Spanish to my mind than Moderne. Momma thought it the ugliest house on the street….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *