Multcolib Research Picks: Modern houses

Twentieth-century Residential Architecture
Twentieth-century Residential Architecture By Weston, Richard Book - 2002 728.37 W536t 2002 Available in some locations

Annotation:Modern house forms examined in detail, and in comparison with one another: bungalows, prefab tract houses, houses designed to meld with their environments and houses that stand out.

Classic Modern Homes of the Thirties
Classic Modern Homes of the Thirties 64 Designs by Neutra, Gropius, Breuer, Stone, and Others By Ford, James Book - 1989 728.37 F699c 1989 Available in some locations

Annotation:A little history is a good thing, if you ask me -- to get some context for the modern home trends of the mid-century years, take a look at this collection of elegant house designs in the art deco, moderne and Bauhaus traditions of the 1930s.

Small Houses of the Forties
Small Houses of the Forties With Illustrations and Floor Plans By Group, Harold E. Book - 2007 728.37 G882s 2007 Available in some locations

Annotation:These simple, affordable designs are typical of the thousands of houses built in the Portland area during the housing boom of the 1940s. Most of the houses shown in this book are far more down-to-earth than glamorous or space-age, but they definitely have a modern tone with practical floorplans, modern conveniences, simple lines, and a minimum of decorative fuss.

Contemporary Houses Evaluated by Their Owners
Contemporary Houses Evaluated by Their Owners By Creighton, Thomas H. Book - 1961 728.6 C91c Available in some locations

Annotation:“How well does a well-designed contemporary house wear?” In 1961, Thomas Creighton and Katherine Ford asked homeowners to evaluate their own residences. They considered questions like: How does it feel to live in the house? What is it like when we have a big party? Is there a good space for the kids to play? How easy is it to keep clean?

Case Study Houses
Case Study Houses 1945-1966, the California Impetus By Smith, Elizabeth A. T. Book - 2009 728.0979 S6465c 2009 Available in some locations

Annotation:Starting in 1945, Arts and Architecture magazine asked a series of renowned architects to design low-cost, experimental prototype houses for their Case Study House Program. This book profiles all 28 Case Study houses (and two apartments!) with historical photos and drawings.

Eichler Modernism Rebuilds the American Dream By Adamson, Paul Book - 2002 720.92 E34a 2002 In-library use only at this time in some locations

Annotation:The California houses built and promoted by developer Joseph Eichler were the inspiration for our own region’s Rummer houses. This introduction to Eichler’s houses is full of beautiful photographs and interesting historical details.

Western Ranch Houses
Western Ranch Houses By May, Cliff Book - 1997 728.373 M466w 1997 Available in some locations

Annotation:High-end ranch houses designed by architect Cliff May are showcased in this reprint of a Sunset magazine classic.

The Ranch House
The Ranch House By Hess, Alan Book - 2004 728.373 H586r 2004 Available in some locations

Annotation:A photo survey of ranch houses built across California, Arizona, and Texas from 1935 through 1968 -- with interior, exterior, and garden photographs of each house. (But, unfortunately, no floorplans.)

Annotation:Among other things, this site collects house plan books which were originally published 1937-1963. These plan books show illustrations of house facades, floor plans, and occasional interior or garden views.


Mid-century modern house history enthusiasts, this list is for you! These books (and one website) will get you started researching modern residential architects, design features, interior design trends, and more. - Emily-Jane D.