As far as architectural trends go, the midcentury modern craze has had a long run, with the staunchest of midcentury fanatics vying to own a home actually built during the era. For vintage obsessives who've been holding out for a modernist home straight out of the '50s or '60s, there are currently two spots for sale in north suburban Riverwoods designed by noted architect Edward Humrich.
The two houses, located at 72 Treasure Lane and 2875 Arrowwood Trail, showcase a distinctly Midwestern take on modernism. Their earthy colors and glassy walls help them blend in with their environment — a design concept popularized in part by Frank Lloyd Wright's distinctive brand of Prairie School at the turn of the century.
“Humrich homes are generally always on at least one or two acres and feature a low-slung midcentury modern look,” says listing agent Honore Frumentino of Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices KoenigRubloff. “He was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian homes, [specifically] the simplicity of design that lives harmoniously with nature.”
Built in 1969 on a two-acre lot, the Treasure Lane home includes 16 pieces of original furniture designed by Humrich specifically for the house. The previous owners described the glassy home as their “treasure box,” says Frumentino. The 3,300 square-footer is listed for $799,000.
Despite its architectural pedigree, the home on Treasure Lane has also seen some major updates, including a kitchen overhaul in 2006. The property also boasts garage parking for three vehicles, an outdoor pool, and a pool house.
Over on Arrowwood Trail, a 2,600-square-foot home built on 1.75 acres also features Humrich’s flavor of Prairie Modernism, with long rows of windows offering panoramic views of the wooded property. Listed for $599,000 and originally built in 1950, the house features an angled great room with a large fireplace at its center — another stylistic similarity to Frank Lloyd Wright's work.
“The quality was evident,” Frumentino says of both listings. “I’ve sold my share of Humrich homes, and sometimes, when they’re not brought up to modern standards, they can feel obsolete. But these are very up-to-date and high-end.”
Frumentino adds that the wide-open living room at Arrowwood Trail is similar to those found in en vogue contemporary homes with open floor plans. In this case, though, you’re getting a distinctly retro flair.
“The house could be in Mad Men,” Frumentino says.
Surrounded by brick walls, timber ceilings, and towering windows, it's hard to argue with that.