Photographer: Michael Biondo

Five Midcentury Modern Mansions on the Market Now

Architectural beauties from East Hampton to Bel Air.

The appetite for midcentury modern homes never seems to abate—at least not according to the real estate agents who sell them. “The midcentury revival is growing and growing and growing,” says Louise Hampton, a real estate broker who works in the MCM-centric market around Palm Springs. “These homes definitely command a higher price.”

“Midcentury modern was one of the biggest home design trends in 2015 but has only continued to pick up steam in 2016,” says Kerrie Kelly, Zillow Digs home design expert. According to a study, homes with "Midcentury" in the listing sold on average 2.7 percent more and 40 days faster than those without.

The Wiley House is located in New Canaan, Conn., a regional hotbed of midcentury modernist design.
The Wiley House is located in New Canaan, Conn., a regional hotbed of midcentury modernist design.
Photographer: Michael Biondo

Midcentury means more than just built sometime in the middle of the last century. It connotes clean lines, a home stretched out horizontally on the land, and big windows that blur the lines between indoors: simplicity, elegance, and naturalism. 

As desirable as they are, even homes by the world's greatest midcentury architects aren't necessarily flipping fast. "It can take time to find the right buyer," says Keith Markovitz, a broker with HK Lane Real Estate, who represents the Elrod House in Palm Springs. 

Palm Springs' "Miami Vice House" was built in 1954 and relies heavily on glass brick.
Palm Springs' "Miami Vice House" was built in 1954 and relies heavily on glass brick.
Photographer: Angie Agostino/AgostinoCreative

That's partly because real aficionados of midcentury modern homes know that keeping up, let alone restoring, a classic can be a money pit. Since they're so unique, there's no blueprint for exactly how much it will cost or how much time it will take to do right by them. Meanwhile, the luxury market has been churning a bit more slowly of late. On the plus side, if you have your heart set on one, now may be the right time to invest in a midcentury icon.

 

Wiley House, New Canaan, Conn.

The four-bed, five-bath Wiley House was designed by Philip Johnson, one of America's most important modern architects. Originally built in 1952 and renovated and expanded by Roger Ferris + Partners, it includes a double-height glass pavilion over a fieldstone base that harks back to Johnson’s famous Glass House, which sits just three miles away. Wiley House is set on 6.33 acres, with a circular pool, original diving pad, and a newly built pool house. Listed for: $14 million. 218 Sleepy Hollow Road, New Canaan, Conn.

Wiley House has four beds and five baths and includes a double-height glass pavilion.
Wiley House has four beds and five baths and includes a double-height glass pavilion.
Photographer: Michael Biondo
Philip Johnson designed the Wiley House in 1952; later Roger Ferris + Partners renovated and expanded it.
Philip Johnson designed the Wiley House in 1952; later Roger Ferris + Partners renovated and expanded it.
Photographer: Michael Biondo

 

Miami Vice House, Palm Springs, Calif.

Because of a preponderance of glass blocks and its Art Deco-inspired curved walls, locals in Palm Springs call this the “Miami Vice House.” The four-bed, five-bath, 4,581-square-foot home is in Old Las Palmas, which real estate agent Hampton describes as “the Beverly Hills of Palm Springs.” Originally built in 1954, it got “Miamified” by designer James Callahan, who added pink neon lighting around the property. It has several patios and roof decks, and many of the furnishings are on offer, as well. Listed for: $2.295 million. 520 W. Via Lola, Palm Springs,Calif.

520 W. Via Lola is in Old Las Palmas, the “Beverly Hills of Palm Springs.”
520 W. Via Lola is in Old Las Palmas, the “Beverly Hills of Palm Springs.”
Photographer: Angie Agostino/AgostinoCreative
The "Miami Vice" house in Palm Springs has dramatic lighting, much of it neon pink, that helped it earn its name,
The "Miami Vice" house in Palm Springs has dramatic lighting, much of it neon pink, that helped it earn its name,
Photographer: Angie Agostino/AgostinoCreative

 

Sedacca House, East Hampton, N.Y.

Charles Gwathmey, another of America’s most famous modern architects (see: the Guggenheim renovation), designed the two-bedroom, two-bath Sedacca House, known in the Hamptons as a “living sculpture,” in 1968.

The 1,200-square-foot Sedacca House, with its dramatic geographical forms, is known as a "living sculpture."
The 1,200-square-foot Sedacca House, with its dramatic geographical forms, is known as a "living sculpture."
Photographer: IMAGEination

Set on almost three acres, the 1,200-square-foot home broke the mold of shingle-style Hampton houses with its floor-to-ceiling glass windows, its spiral staircase, and dramatic geometrical forms, including a curved wall behind the kitchen and bedroom. The original marble dining table is still there, along with built-ins that fit the unique shapes. Hot as midcentury is, this place has been on the market for almost a year. Listed for: $1.995 million. 19 Northwest Landing Road, East Hampton, N.Y.

It has built-ins that fit the asymmetrical forms, including the original marble table.
It has built-ins that fit the asymmetrical forms, including the original marble table.
Photographer: IMAGEination
The Sedacca House was designed by Charles Gwathmey, one of America’s most famous modern architects.
The Sedacca House was designed by Charles Gwathmey, one of America’s most famous modern architects.
Photographer: IMAGEination

 

Earl House, Los Angeles

This 1963 Bel Air home was designed and lived in by architect Robert L. Earl. The L-shaped house, with four beds and three baths, sits atop a 0.61-acre promontory overlooking the city, ocean, and canyons below. It offers an example of one of MCM's most beloved tenets: the seamless transition between indoors and outdoors, manifested in floor-to-ceiling windows and streaming light. There’s a private yard and swimming pool. Listed for: $4.495 million. 1394 Casiano Road, Los Angeles.

Set on a promontory, Earl House overlooks the city, canyons and oceans below.
Set on a promontory, Earl House overlooks the city, canyons and oceans below.
Source: The Agency Creative
The house by Robert L. Earl epitomizes the blending of indoors and outdoors that characterized mid-mod architecture.
The house by Robert L. Earl epitomizes the blending of indoors and outdoors that characterized mid-mod architecture.
Source: The Agency Creative

 

Elrod reportedly told Lautner, “Give me what you think I should have on this lot.”
Elrod reportedly told Lautner, “Give me what you think I should have on this lot.”
Photographer: Val Riolo

Elrod House, Palm Springs, Calif.

The Arthur Elrod house is one of the most splendid of Palm Springs’ midcentury homes. Designed and built in 1968 by a protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright named John Lautner, the almost 9,000-square foot, four-bed, five-bath home includes a circular living room with a concrete dome and an oval-shaped guest wing. Elrod, an interior designer, reportedly told Lautner: “Give me what you think I should have on this lot.” It went on the market on Feb. 1. Listed for: 10.495 million. 2175 Southridge Drive, Palm Springs, Calif.

Elrod House includes a circular living room topped with a concrete dome.
Elrod House includes a circular living room topped with a concrete dome.
Photographer: Val Riolo
The Elrod House is one of the most splendid midcentury modern homes in Palm Springs.
The Elrod House is one of the most splendid midcentury modern homes in Palm Springs.
Photographer: Val Riolo

 

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