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March 28, 2013

Another AMAZING 1950s Time Capsule Is Only A Distant Memory

By Sara In AZ

I will warn you ahead of time…you may want to scratch your eyes out when you are done reading this post….or run screaming and ask “Why, why, why????”….I would totally understand either response. Luckily I do not have many pictures to show, only old pictures that are from past real estate listings when this house was up for sale, so we’ll just have to imagine how awesome the entire house must have been.

We only accidentally came across this house while driving around and looking at neighborhoods with older homes. This house was not for sale when we drove by, but I noted the address because it looked SO amazing on the outside I wanted to see if I could dig up any info on it.

Here are 2 pictures of the exterior from old real estate listings, though the pictures do not even do it justice….it’s SO much more amazing looking in real life.




The house was up for sale in the Fall of 2006 and closed in October 2006 For $500, 500. This house sold at the peak of the housing market – at least for Phoenix prices – and the price for this house has plummeted in the years since….though now prices are quickly making a comeback.

This house was built in 1955 and has 4 bedrooms 2 bathrooms and 3,124 sq feet.

Here is the listing description of the home:

Step BACK IN TIME as you enter this 1955 Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired home. It’s hard to find a vintage home in this condition w/a double lot & circular drive. Featured as a Home of the Future when built, this ‘MID-CENTURY’ beauty has been maintained in excellent condition by original owners. The storage is fantastic w/original built-in linen, china, & cabinetry and even a walk-in closet, which were considered state-of-the art in its day. Huge rooms are decorated w/ 1950 s-style furniture which has become the LATEST IN-LOOK IN HOME DECOR. The cedar-shake roof is 3 years old & the appliances have been updated (except the oven).

Honestly, to read this listing just about kills me, especially with what I know now. I can only  imagine how the original owners must have cherished and cared for this home….it seems like it might have been a “showcase” home if it was billed as a ‘Home of The Future” ….so I’m sure they were only that much more proud of it.

Here are the few pictures that were in the original listing from 2006….maybe it’s a good thing we don’t know what the original bathrooms looked like…………………..

The backyard looks sooooo peaceful!


Here is one of the bedrooms…………..LOVE that pink!


The awesome original kitchen…..AND original VCT floor!!!


The formal living room…don’t you just adore that furniture! I would have begged them to let it stay with the house if we  had a chance to buy it.


Lastly, maybe this is some sort of sunroom? Lord, that floor just kills me! LOVE it!!!!


Soooooo, from what I can gather this home sold to house flippers in late 2006. They mostly gutted it and then re-listed in mid 2007 with an asking price of $750,000. By then the housing market had crashed and burned and I am shocked they even tried getting THAT much for it. I’m sure you can guess that  the house never sold and it was removed from the market. I think the current owners  may have rented it out because when we drove by there were people living in the house.

Here is the description from the 2007 listing:

Historic 1955 custom home on a double lot.Great Mid century style throughout the home,from the circle drive, to the custom copper front door.Copper quartzite flooring flows into the kitchen, office, and formal entry.Hardwood flooring in the living and dining area. Kitchen has new Viking appliances,large walk in pantry, and breakfast area that opens to the back yard patios.Formal dining room is great for gatherings.New paint and 24 new commercial grade windows.The new master bath has solid marble flooring,floating teak cabinet,and Contura tub.Private yards w/custom gates,block fence,2 car garage + workshop! Its a ’10’

And here are the few pictures that were with that listing.

Don’t get me wrong – I do like that hardwood, but it just always feels SO wrong to see big tiles in an old 1950s ranch.


Looks like they ripped off the mantle…you can just barely make one out in the old listing picture. It just look so plain and institutional now doesn’t it.


The new kitchen with all the new Viking appliances. I’m glad they saved that brick wall….I can just picture a vintage GE wall oven in there!


I am not 100% if these windows are original or if they added them in during the remodel………..I guess I will give the house flippers that – these windows are cool.


Lastly, the new bathroom……………it’s just SO wrong in SO many ways….those large tiles on the walls…………and that wall hung toilet…..ugh.


I can just imagine how amazing the original bathroom must have been!

I only wish this house could have been saved………………………………….

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23 Responses to Another AMAZING 1950s Time Capsule Is Only A Distant Memory

  1. Debra Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 6:41 am

    The house was so fabulous! We live in a mid-century & are so happy the 3 previous owners left it alone for the most part! Thank you for sharing with us 🙂

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 28, 2013 at 1:33 pm

      It really was fabulous………….I only wish more people would preserve the mid century homes around here Debra…you are SO lucky your home was left in tact!

  2. Desirae Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 9:45 am

    It doesn’t matter how many times I see modern remodels, I never get used to it. It breaks my heart every time.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 28, 2013 at 1:37 pm

      Totally so true Desirae…………I feel sick to my stomach every time I know a house has been gutted………..it’s just SO sad. ugh.

  3. Eartha Kitsch Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 11:00 am

    I think it’s pretty nice now but of course seeing the “before”, I’d prefer the before of it all. Dear Jeez….when will it all end???

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 28, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      I agree that it does look nice now Eartha, but seeing those original shots of the house just about kills me. 🙁 Yes, when will it all end???

  4. Andrea Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Boooo. The house was so cute to start!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 28, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      I know Andrea…..it WAS my dream house!!!

  5. Joyce Wagner Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    So sad…it WAS such a beautiful home. If only Realtors would realize what a large market there is for time capsule homes. And HGTV – someone please take that channel and blow it up! I’ve been searching online for a house and all the wonderful 50’s homes have been renovated inside, especially the bathrooms and kitchens. I hope the previous owners of this house never have to see their beloved home the way it is now. 🙁

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 28, 2013 at 11:07 pm

      Oh Joyce….I SO agree – can someone PLEASE take HGTV off…or at least do a show in appreciation of mid century for petes sake! I really feel your pain on the house search, we have been looking for years for a time capsule that is not stripped bare…..and well, we’re still looking. 🙁

      • Desirae Reply

        March 29, 2013 at 9:34 am

        I think that if the a big cable channel like HGTV started having shows showcasing midcentury homes, or even a show on how to get the mid century look, more people would follow and not be so quick to rip thing out. Though the result of that would be higher prices (like we don’t have those already).

        • Sara In AZ Reply

          March 29, 2013 at 1:50 pm

          HA! So true Desirae……it would be a double edge sword – MC houses would be saved, but more people would be clamoring for them. eek!

  6. tammyCA Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    The new bathroom is the worst…could it be an ancient Roman vomitorium? eww. And, the fireplace looks like a hole in the wall and nothing more.
    Why would they describe it “great Mid-century style” when it isn’t? Mid-century doesn’t mean stripped naked of all character.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 28, 2013 at 11:12 pm

      Lord, I know Tammy…………..that bathroom is BEYOND horrible isn’t it. eek!

      It is funny that you mention the description of “great mid century style” as I have seen that before in real estate listings for MC homes…..I get super excited thinking it’s going to be a time capsule house – until I see the pictures and realize it’s just ANOTHER 50s/60s house stripped of ALL it’s character by house flippers. 🙁

  7. MissC Reply

    March 29, 2013 at 7:50 am

    Yet another sad example of someone with more money than taste or sense. They turned a silk purse into a completely pedestrian sow’s ear.

    There was a post recently on Apartment Therapy where some idiot did the same thing to a 100 year-old farmhouse. Maybe you like knotty pine, maybe you don’t. But why would you buy something that is totally knotty-pined and rip it all out. I just don’t get it.

    All I can think is why? All that money and trouble to change something different and with character into something that looks like what everyone else has.

    And yes, the bathroom is bad by all standards old or new. If I were going to buy the house, the current owners would have to take all that mess with them.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 29, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      Oh man Miss C……………….I just looked at the the Apartment Therapy link and what they did to all that KP is just a sin. I love KP and would LOVE to have it in our house one day (hopefully we’ll find one soon!), I think it’s really beautiful wood.

      You are spot on when you said they turned that place pedestrian when it had SO much going for it in the first place….that kind of seems to be the running theme now a days doesn’t it – turning a place pedestrain….with that AT house and with the house I’ve shown here. It’s just really, really sad isn’t it.

      I once saw a show where this lady INSISTED everything in her house look like a Pottery Barn catalog…..uggggghhhhhhh….seriously could that lady turn into anymore of a decorating zombie!?!!?!!!

  8. Eve Reply

    March 29, 2013 at 8:51 am

    Flippers are the worst. They have to cut corners on cost to ensure they make a profit–nothing they did will last 10 years, let alone 50. That’s what is so special about mid-century homes, many of them were built with quality for people who took care of them, not people who are going to sell them in a couple years so they can “upgrade” to a McMansion. /rant

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 29, 2013 at 1:43 pm

      So true Eve, so totally true. The flippers come in and rip out everything that has lasted the past 50 or so years and install cheap crap that you KNOW will fall apart in the next 10 years………uuuuggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I’ve seen SO much of that in my retro house hunt these past years it’s enough to make a girl physically ill!

  9. Lassie Reply

    March 29, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Naught to do with this house, but…there’s an old, elegant tree-lined neighborhood in the city lined with interesting old houses. One of them was torn down, to many people’s great distress, so a new Ronald McDonald house could be built. I’m torn. The house torn down was old, but not really of historical value. And the RMcD house is certainly needed. But it looks just awful. It looks horrible. It looks like a Days Inn, only taller. Stands out on the street in all its hideousness. Well, you can’t possibly not find it now!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 29, 2013 at 1:47 pm

      Oh wow Lassie, that really is a tough call isn’t it. I can understand that the RMcD house would be needed, but it seems like they definitely should have built a place more in line with the looks of the neighborhood. I can’t imagine what the home owners with houses that directly surround this “Days Inn” are thinking….I’d be mortified – and I’m sure it will affect their property values. 🙁

  10. Chaucea Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 7:46 pm


    There are fewer and fewer homes out there that have been unmolested!!

    Its SO frustrating to look at real estate listings and too many of the kitchens and bathrooms (and other rooms) in homes from the mid-century have been remuddled with that gawdawful builder yellow oak and granite crap.

    It breaks my heart to see so few places that have retained their original features. 🙁

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 31, 2013 at 3:04 am

      Chaucea…..I know – every time a look another 1950s home listing on the real estate market my heart just breaks because what WAS a super special MC house has been turned into a wasteland of Home Depot commercialized blandness. 🙁

  11. Toni Reply

    April 3, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    Sadly, my mom was advised to modernize her home in prep to sell. http://www.openhouseok.com/OK/Norman/2518%20Hollywood%20Ave/showhome.oht

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