Happy New Year! We are so excited about 2021, not only for the obvious reasons, but because we are officially in a NEW real estate market. We anticipate great activity this year – interest rates are still fantastic, and there is a backlog of listings waiting to hit the market because of last year’s ‘stay at home’ orders. Will there be the perfect house for me, you ask? The cincinnatimodern team has identified over 2,000 midcentury modern and newer modern homes in and around the Cincinnati area (and countless more midcentury modests and contemporaries), from the very affordable to the extremely extravagant, with market values from under $100k to well over $3m.
Many of the higher end MCM homes in our market were collaborations between our beloved midcentury master local architects and their wealthy clients. The movers and the shakers as we like to call them. These intrepid folks were early adapters of the modern movement, and are credited with founding and or supporting the CAC (Contemporary Arts Center). They talked the talk, walked the walk, and were among the first to live the life. They supported the arts and progressive programs. They were influencers long before social media.
Of these many notable homes (with equally notable families), here is a spotlight on three from three different eras of the modern movement are The Rauh House, The Corbett House and The Weston House.
The Rauh House | 1938 | John Becker, architect
This synopsis is from the Cincinnati Preservation Association website after the Rauh house won an Ohio Historic Preservation Merit award in 2015 following a lengthy restoration funded by Emily Rauh Pulitzer, daughter of the original owners: One of the first International Style residences in the state, the house was designed by Modernist architect John Becker for insurance executive Frederick Rauh and his wife, Harriet. Both architect and client were part of a dynamic community that advocated for the arts, civil rights, the benefits of contact with nature and the thoughtful treatment of food. In fact, later in life Becker retired from architecture and joined his wife, Marion Rombauer Becker, as an editor of her best-selling cookbook, The Joy of Cooking.
The Corbett House | 1959 | John deKoven Hill, architect and Thomas Landise, Jr Cincinnati site architect
This 1960 House Beautiful Pacesetter House of the Year offered tremendous advertising opportunities for Patricia and Ralph Corbett’s company, Cincinnati based NuTone (you know, ding-dong – the first doorbell with two tones). The company was at it’s peak in post war America with many innovative products helpful to the average homemaker including: the NuTone Food Center; stainless steel and copper range hoods, bath scales & toothbrush holders that fold into the wall, and their stalwart bath exhaust fans. In turn, the Corbett Foundation funded generations of arts programs and venues in Cincinnati.
The Weston House | 1986 | Carl Strauss + Ray Roush, architects
The last known house designed by the dynamic duo of Carl Strauss + Ray Roush, this 1986 grand masterpiece of International Modern is on a quiet urban cul-de-sac perch with sweeping views of the Ohio River. Here the architects clearly earned their business nickname of a “hillside firm.” But the planning went back many years while Alice and Harris Weston searched for their perfect view. Legend has it that once the land was found, they constructed scaffolding on the site to see what kind of fireworks views they would have from the proposed build height. They nailed it.
With the recent passing of Alice (Harris passed in 2009), the Westons have become legends of giving and their impact will be felt for generations to come. So many Cincinnati arts and civic organizations have benefited from their generosity including the Contemporary Art Center and Cincinnati Art Museum (recipients of much of the Weston personal art collection) and The Jewish Federation, which recently received one of the largest legacy gifts in its 124 year history. You may also recognize the Weston name from their namesake gallery attached to the Aronoff Center. The tradition of these very generous and giving *modern* families is part of why Cincinnati has so many thriving arts organizations for us all to enjoy. Influencers indeed!
While these homes are fascinating to learn about, you cannot always count on one of them being on the market. Or can you? Maybe you are more in the market for a ‘starter modern,’ or a modern fixer, or perhaps a destination home in one of our well established midcentury neighborhoods? First step to realizing your dream is to contact us and let us know what you are looking for. We are THE experts at bird dogging for our clients, and making MODERN DREAMS COME TRUE! Together, we can make 2021 one to remember for all the right reasons.