Thursday, January 21, 2010

Modern Corner Beauty

I admire houses on corner lots. They have to show well on at least 2 and sometimes 3 sides. But they get a bit of breathing room in the bargain. When it's hard to get a good picture of a corner house in the winter, that's amazing.

I drive a block out of my way twice a week to admire this one in the Winnona Park neighborhood of Decatur. It's a modern in a classic shape, minimal crisp fascia, bands and corner boards, no evidence of rafter tails. I'd guess it's not much more that 2,000 square feet. There are 2 colors on the walls but the light gives it many variations. I'd guess it's an architect's house.

It's a mini-estate, not in size but in self contained, framed separation. It looks good and makes its neighbors look good too. It's on about 1/4 acre amidst an eclectic yet harmonious batch of smallish "English Vernacular Revival, Craftsman bungalows and Georgian Revival bungalows." That's design talk for cute little pre-war houses.

The side street curves around so the back of the house is exposed too.

So how does it manage being exposed on 3 sides? Pretty darn well. The front is grown up with a winding gravel path. See it on the right side where it joins the sidewalk?

A walk through the woods highlights 3 design patterns: 112. ENTRANCE TRANSITION, 111. HALF-HIDDEN GARDEN and 172. GARDEN GROWING WILD.

More half hidden garden: Another set of stairs lead down from the other side of the porch. What is around there?

We also catch a new pattern, 160. BUILDING EDGE, with a modern approach. The entrance is carved out and overhung. To the right: a bump out with the trim band nipping at the top. Very simple, very interesting, and very inviting I think.

The back has a fenced-in courtyard with a bit of mystery.

The 1-story extension with the half-moon vent is not at a right angle and has a low angle roof.
Is it an out building or part of the house?

The garage (left) seems straightforward enough, the roof angle matches the house's. But what's with the building with the steep metal roof? We'll probably never know. But the tall roof hides the 2nd floor windows from the street.

Three roof pitches surround one little courtyard.

A lot design went into this unobtrusive, modern little corner beauty.

terry @

P.S. This is in the same neigboorhood as this corner house:


  1. Hi Terry,
    I agree corner lots are very nice! I like both of these homes. I owned a corner lot home once and it was an all time favorite of mine. It allowed breathing space, and side windows brought in light. However, shoveling snow was a bit of a pain during the Colorado winters.

  2. Love corner lots too. I also would love to get me hands on that garden!

    Nice post.


  3. I love the picture of the last house; it's so inviting.

  4. Very interesting! I appreciate the way this house is able to retain one's interest from all sides... but the other little house is one of my all-time faves!

  5. the house is the mixture of classic modern architecture. i love it.

  6. This is a beautiful place for a family. I love the long yard and the trees makes the place cozier to live in.

  7. Very interesting blog. Thanks for sharing it.


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