We’ve all heard them – horror stories of gorgeous mid-century designs being spoiled by trendy, tasteless updates. Here’s a few examples of mid-century remodels gone terribly, terribly wrong.
Case Study House 17A
One of the most famous examples of a heart-breakingly indiscriminate remodel is the story of Case Study House 17A. The home was designed as part of Arts & Architecture‘s Case Study House program by Rodney Walker in 1947 and was a beautiful example of forward-thinking mid-century architecture. Since then, the home has been rendered completely unrecognizable by “21st-century updates.”
That Time Gregory Ains Got Stuccoed
This would-be lovely residence in Altadena’s Park Planned Homes tract was designed by the one-and-only Gregory Ains in 1948. Since then, the only parts of the house that stood the test of time were the walls of glass and clerestory windows. The rest is so completely smothered in layers of textured stucco, it’s hard to see its original mid-century simplicity.
The Henbest-Birkett Residence
While nothing by Pierre Koenig could ever be rendered ugly, one would think that a bonafied architect would be a little more sensitive when updating one of his masterpieces. The Henbest-Birkett Residence – designed by Koenig in 1966 – had been surprisingly well-preserved until 2011, when a contemporary architect decided to strip away all the original finishes and interiors. Still a pretty house, but a shame all the same.
1957 Waterfront Atrocity
This waterfront residence in Washington was probably a breathtaking example of mid-century architecture, if its barely-visible bones are any indication. Now however, it’s like a mahogany-bedecked nightmare.