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April 2, 2014

1964 World’s Fair – The Houses of Good Taste

by Andrea

Today, we’re taking a look at the September 1964 issue of Better Homes and Gardens, which feature a spread on the “Houses of Good Taste” from the 1964 New York World’s Fair.



The description of this exhibit from the 1965 Guide Book:

Three fully furnished houses — traditional, contemporary and modern — display the latest in comfortable living.

Sponsored by scores of building, decorating and housewares companies, the houses are designed to serve as a yardstick of construction and decorating standards. A separate exhibit reveals details of construction ordinarily unseen.

  • TRADITIONAL HOUSE. This up-to-date version of a New England farmhouse is faced with white plastic clapboard and features a sewing nook, a fully equipped nursery, a pool and an indoor barbecue.
  • CONTEMPORARY HOUSE. Reflecting pools, sliding glass walls and a living-room skylight create a feeling of spaciousness. The decor is inspired by Asian designs.
  • MODERN HOUSE. Privacy is the theme of this “inward looking” house built around four enclosed patios. Its central core is an indoor garden under a big glass dome.

Let’s take a look at the houses, shall we?





20140401_111015(click on any of the images above for a larger view)

First up, we have the Traditional House, designed by Royal Barry Wills Assc.  While I am sure this is a very good example of good taste for this style at home – it’s my least favourite.  To me it says 60’s in a fussy way.  I do really like the laundry room setup that they have going on here, though!




Next up, we have the Modern house, designed by Edward D. Stone.  This one is definitely my favourite of the three.  I love, love, love that the house is designed for privacy from your neighbors (which is so hard to come by in suburbia!).  I also love the interior of this house as well, including the furniture.  I could move right in and be totally happy with this house!




Finally, we have the contemporary house, designed by Jack Pickens Coble.  The exterior of this one is quite interesting, with the Asian-styled roof lines.  My grandfather was a big fan of the Asian-styled roof line and used it on some houses that he built – never realized until now that it was probably inspired by this House of Good Taste!  In general, I really like this house as well, the vaulted ceilings, wood usage and all the windows are some of my favourite features.  This is another one that I could move in to and be quite happy!

What do you think, readers?  Are these houses truly examples of good taste?



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5 Responses to 1964 World’s Fair – The Houses of Good Taste

  1. thelmaritter Reply

    April 2, 2014 at 5:06 am

    I love these “glimpses of the future” and how accurate many of them were. A little respite from a night up with a croupy 7 year old. At least the “long long trailer” is on TCM to keep us company too!

    • Andrea Reply

      April 2, 2014 at 10:57 am

      Glad you enjoyed! 🙂

  2. Sara In AZ Reply

    April 2, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Oooooohhhhhh yeah, sign me up for the ‘Stone’ house…..totally FAB! And I am loving that red sofa in the last pic too!!!

    • Andrea Reply

      April 2, 2014 at 10:58 am

      I really liked that red sofa, too! Really unusual colour for the time period, but still pretty awesome!

  3. marissa Reply

    April 4, 2014 at 5:12 am

    I have some articles and a story I wrote about Jack Wilson. He built 2 World Fair house in Dallas. I could post them if anyone is interested. He and his partner built 100 mid-C houses in East Dallas. Bill DeMuth who built my parents house built over 300. I have written about them both.

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