CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/30/2014
"For nearly 40 years, Cape Cod was a melting pot of innovative architecture. Now the Cape Cod Modernist House Trust is attempting to preserve this legacy from the threat of demolition." Wall Street Journal writer Carol Kino contributes a major feature on Cape Cod Modern: Mid-Century Architecture and Community on the Outer Cape.
ABOVE: Hatch House, designed by Jack Hall for The Nation editor Robert Hatch and his wife, Ruth. Photograph by Raimund Koch.
SAVING MODERNISM IN CAPE COD
By Carol Kino
ON A BRILLIANTLY SUNNY morning, the architect Peter McMahon is taking me on a tour of a subject dear to his heart: Cape Cod's endangered modernist houses. We've spent the past three days driving up winding dirt roads in his all-wheel-drive SUV, getting out and tromping on foot when the trail thins out, to see dozens of glass-fronted summer homes raised on stilts in the woods, often soaring above ponds and coves. Now, having visited houses designed by everyone from self-taught bohemian woodsmen to modernist masters such as Marcel Breuer, we have arrived at the place where, in 2006, McMahon figured out how to draw attention to this overlooked moment in American cultural history and preserve it for the future.
As we pull into the driveway—this time, luckily, the road reaches the house—McMahon reminisces about the day he first saw the building. Uninhabited for almost a decade, and "all covered with mold," he says, it "looked like an electrical substation" from the driveway. But as soon as he'd rounded the side and spotted the dramatically cantilevered deck and the long, uninterrupted glass walls, he could see clearly that it was a midcentury modern home—a poignant souvenir of the avant-garde architectural scene that started springing up on the Outer Cape during the Second World War.
For nearly four decades, the area was a haven where two different sets of designers—European modernists and local nonconformists—found common ground, working hard during the daytime, then repairing to each other's houses for cocktails and bonfires at night. Continue to the Wall Street Journal.
Hbk, 8.75 x 10.25 in. / 272 pgs / 130 color / 200 b&w.
$45.00 free shipping