Midcentury Modern Homes Are Hot

Homes built in the midcentury modern style continue to fetch ever-increasing prices from preservationists and others who love their rich woods and minimalist design.

The Kaufmann Housein Palm Springs, Calif., designed by Richard Neutra in 1946, brought $16.8 million with commission last week at a Christie’s auction.

Marc Porter, Christie’s president in America, said the buyer, whom he declined to name, exercised an option to purchase an orchard adjacent to the property for an additional $2.1 million that includes three cacti that were a present from Frank Lloyd Wright to original owner Edgar Kaufmann, Pittsburgh department store magnate, on his first visit to the home.

The 1960 Esherick Housein Chestnut Hill, Pa. — one of the few private residences designed by the influential Louis Kahn — is part of a contemporary-design auction on May 18 at Richard Wright in Chicago. It is expected to bring $2 million or $3 million.

Many of these homes aren’t very livable. For instance, the Esherick House has only one bedroom and the kitchen. The five-bedroom Kaufmann House comes with restrictions that bar its new owner from making any structural changes.

Source: The New York Times, Carol Vogen (05/14/), and Newsweek, Cathleen McGuigan (05/19/)

Nia Fact: I love midcentury modern- and am a collector of the furniture….however looking at the price tag of these homes, I may need to find a new hobby.