Modern Homes Philadelphia

Community Page

Events and Announcements

Modern Homes Philadelphia is a community of those who love mid-century modern architecture, in order to share and spread wider awareness and appreciation of these homes and to help preserve them.

We invite you to participate by notifying us of events and other related information; through your suggestions for improving our website; by attending our tours, the proceeds of which benefit various architectural organizations; by volunteering to help with the tours; by identifying homes to be researched and documented; by offering your homes to be included on future tours; and by working to promote interest in & preservation of mid-century modern residential architecture.

To date, has had more than over 75,000 visitors. Thank You for your interest and support! 

Modern Home Tour in Chestnut Hill June 1st, 2013!
Sponsored by the Chestnut Hill Historical Society

I will be posted at the Montgomery and Bishop designed home on Waterman Ave from 10-12in the morning.      Please stop by and say hello!
I hope to see many who have come to my previous modern home tours.

 Photos of some of the additional homes to be included are shown below.
      House Tour from 10 am to 4pm.   There is a self guided tour of 5 homes . There is also a docent led tour which includes the 5 self guided houses and the Kahn Esherick House and the Venturi Mother’s house for a limited tour number. 
Click here for reservations


This website is a wonderful resource for information on commercial and residential architecture of the region, with additional background information on architects who have worked in the area. There is an annual fee to use the site.

Architectural Wallflowers
An interesting blog by Betsy Manning focuses on the public and commercial mid-century modern buildings of Philadelphia called Architectural Wallflowers. "Architectural Wallflowers" is also the name of an online exhibit by Temple University's American Studies Program.  The analog version of the images is displayed in a case on the 9th floor of Anderson Hall on Temple's main campus. 

University of Pennsylvania Architectural Archives
For information about the Architectural Archives at University of Pennsylvannia which houses the Louis Kahn Collection:  archives

  The Kahn Trenton Bath House 

 Features of this exhaustive site include a podcast tour of the complex; a timeline which overlaps Louis Kahn's career with the history of the Bath House; and a biography of Kahn, including photos of his work. Cross-shaped in plan, Kahn's 1955 Bath House consists of four square concrete-block pyramidal-roofed rooms surrounding an open-air atrium. The complex was designed to serve as the entrance to the Trenton Jewish Community Center (JCC) swimming pool. In these buildings some historians see the first hints of the use of ancient geometric forms which became Kahn's signature.


  New Canaan Modern House Survey

The "New Canaan Mid-Century Modern House" is a survey by the Philip Johnson Glass House meant to document one of the most important concentrations of Modern movement residential architecture in the country--91 architect-designed properties built in New Canaan, CT between 1939 and 1979. These New Canaan "Moderns" are prime examples of the architectural forms being tested in postwar years as well as tangible evidence of the future-focused optimism that defined an era.
The online Modern House Survey database may be viewed at: New Canaan Mid-Century Modern Houses 


Vacation Photos
On a vacation to Southern California, I went on a hunt for some of the more well known modern homes. To view the photos, click on my Bio in the green area in the left margin. Then scroll down to the photos.--Craig Wakefield


Open House in NEW YORK CITY: Paul Rudolph's Modulightor 

The Paul Rudolph Foundation has recently begun opening the doors of Paul Rudolph's last project, Modulightor, to the public. The architect purchased the property in 1989 for use as his own home. Rudolph replaced a nondescript commercial building with a white steel structure that is an exemplar of the late Modern movement. Building the interior himself, Rudolph created an intricate, multi-tiered spiral of spaces in which the width and height of the space keep changing. Rather than the usual heavy diagonal structure supporting solid steps and risers, Rudolph created a delicate sequence of floating steps which, cantilevered and suspended, dissolve almost invisibly into the fabric of the shelves of the apartment.

Modulightor, 246 East 58th Street, is open to the public the first Friday of every other month, 6:00-8:00 p.m.  $15 suggested donation to the Paul Rudolph Foundation   (Note: The website is not Safari browser friendly.)

Homes of the Times: Website of top design profiles as chosen by readers. Many interesting houses are included: L.A. Times

DOCOMOMO Newsletter  This is the New York Tri-State Letter. There is a new  Philadelphia chapter!! Website soon to follow. The link has info on upcoming tours in the NYC area and fall LA modernism events.




4th Annual TOUR DAY OCT 9TH 2011

Thanks to all who participated to make the event such a big success.  The proceeds from the event totaled over 4000.00. 


some photos of the included homes

architect Arthur Tofanni 1958

architect Arthur B. White 1964

architect Rudolphs Zaprauskis

architect Irwin Stein 1960 with 1968addition photo by Betsy Manning

1957 Edward Robinson remodeled by Paul Bloomfield 2009

!952-!955 Klein Residence by Frank Weise with 2005 Ted Agoos addition


Thank you all who participated!

almost 4000.00 raised for the Athenaeum of Philadelphia

Photos taken during the tour by participants




The 2010 Tourtook place in and around the East Falls, Roxborough and West Mt. Airy sections of Philadelphia.  This year the tour raised almost 4000.00 to benefit the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, supporting their work to save and protect the architectural records of Philadelphia. The ticket price is 40.00 per ticket.  Photos of the five homes selected this year can be seen below. The homes on this years tour varied greatly in size and style and will made an interesting group. It included homes designed by Richard Neutra, Montgomery and Bishop, Frank Weise, Frank Boyer, Norman Rice, Nathan Cronheim, and Oscar Stonorov.

For photos of houses from the 2008 and 2009 tours, scroll to end of page.

       Complete Authentic Restoration

2nd Annual Modern Home Tour

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Despite the rain, 191 people participated in the tour. Thank you volunteers and all who made it possible. The tour, "Modern Through the Decades: 1934-2009," was a  fundraiser for the Lower Merion Conservancy, our co-host for the event.    

Below are photographs of some of the homes included on the tour:

  Frank Lloyd Wright  more information on Frank Lloyd Wright


William Lescaze 1934 (more information on Lescaze); Martin J. Rosenblum 2009 addition


 Harry Sternfeld (more information on Sternfeld)

 Charles Dagit

 Edward Bernstein 1955 (more informaion on Bernstein)


The loss of area homes continues. In preparation for the Lower Merion Tour mentioned above, I went to photograph a home on Mallwyd Rd. Sadly, as seen in this photo, I was one day too late.

                                1st ANNUAL MODERN HOME TOUR 

 October 25th 2008    

The tour was a great success, with more than 80 people attending and an additional 20 volunteers. Thank you owners, volunteers, and participants.

This first annual "Mid-Century Modern Home Tour" featured historically significant & unique homes in Montgomery County, including a wide range of examples in terms of style, age, and size.
The tour of these private residences offered participants an exceptional opportunity to view both exteriors and interiors.  An information packet with maps was also supplied including additional homes which could be viewed while driving. Proceeds from the $25.00 ticket price were donated to the Architectural Archives of The University of Pennsylvania.

Below are photographs of some of the homes included on the tour: 

Thomas Mangan 1961: Jack Dolphin House ( more information on Mangan)
This home in Stotesbury, built in 1948, features an exceptional collection of mid-century furniture.


Alan Berkowitz 1955: "Mon Reve" personal residence for 20 years (  more information on Berkowitz)

Irwin Stein: "The Golden Residence" (more information on Irwin Stein)

Irving Maitin 1953: Maitin Residence (more information Irving Maitin)


 Frank Weise 1951: built for his brother, Bernard (more information on Frank Weise)
 Louis Kahn 1942: Oser residence, his first constructed design (more information on Louis Kahn )

 Norman Rice 1949 (more information on Norman Rice)

Additional points of interest on the self guided driving portion of the tour:
    Frank Lloyd Wright 1953-57: Beth Sholom

Wright sought to evoke the image of Mt Sinai. The tower is constructed of glass and metal. On the three ridges Wright placed stylized seven-branched Menorot, a central symbol in the ancient tabernacle. ( more information on Wright)

The self guided tour passed by the following homes: 


Frank Weise 1969 (History Page 10)               Joel Levinson: "Arbor House" (History Page 9


The guided tour passed this 1934 home built and designed by Robert Montgomery Brown for his family. In the black and white photo from 1935, the original 12- inch redwood boards can be seen. The architect signed his name in the terazzo surrounding the metal front fireplace. A tunnel runs between the main house and the studio/greenhouse. 





Overview of Philadelphia Area Mid-Century Modern Residential Architecture  (below on this page)   Photo overview   followed by brief written overview of Philadelphia mid-century architects  .

Time Line  of area modern homes from 1930's to today
 Mid-Century Modern Homes
Architects Who Designed Mid-Century Modern Homes in the Philadelphia Region    
 photographs of the regional homes designed by each architect are included

 Allan Berkowitz  Louis Kahn  George Nakashima
 Edward Bernstein  Vincent Kling  Richard Neutra
 Robert Bishop  Thaddeus Longstreth  Norman Rice
Frank Boyer  William Lescaze  Paul Rudolph
 Marcel Breuer  Joel Levinson  Galen Schlosser
 Armand Carroll  Thomas Mangan  Harry Sternfeld
 Albert Clauss  Irving Maitin  Irwin Stein
 Nathan Cronheim  George Mebus  Oscar Stonorov
 George Daub  Ehrman Mitchell  Frank Weise
 Kenneth Day  Newcomb Montgomery  Frank Lloyd Wright
Agoos/ Lovera LaVardera, Greg Re:Vision Architecture
Bloomfield and Associates M. G. Leach Rosenblum, Martin
Bower Lewis Thrower Metcalfe Architecture Stanev Potts
Culbert, Doug McDonald, Tim/Onion Flats Tarantino Studio
Erdy McHenry Moto Design Shop Verner, Steven
Interface Studio QB3 Webber, Brett
Jibe Design Michael Ryan Architects Wesley Wei Architects
Kieran Timberlake Rasmussen/Su Wesley Architects
Krieger & Associates
Wyant Architecture




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