April 22, 2012

Mad about Mid Century Modern Homes

Port Isabel, Texas 046

Our Mid-Century Modern Home in 1950

My husband and I are crazy about the architecture from the 50’s and 60’s era, for we love our home designed by Architect John G. York in 1949. It has taken us about 12 years to restore it, and we know this project will continue for as long as we live in this unique home.

The house has been visited by several architectural groups and featured in the November/December 2003 issue of Texas Architect magazine, plus a couple of times in the local newspaper. This house was built entirely with steel, it has a flat roof supported with  H beams.  The home’s design consists almost entirely of large panel windows and a loft-like floor plan. It has heavy, interior, solid wood sliding doors reminiscing of those seen in Japanese designed homes.

Architect Stephen Fox wrote in 2003; the tour focused on the work of Harlingen’s great mid twentieth century modern architects: John G York and Alan Y. Taniguchi. York and Taniguchi responded to the Valley’s hot, humid climate with “L” plans oriented to the prevailing breeze, screened breezeways and open plans.  About our house he wrote: the other was flat roofed, with slender white-painted steel H columns, fascia, and decking, evoking the sort of houses Pierre Koenig designed for the Case Study program in the late 1950’s. ..with sliding doors opening to side or rear gardens. Storage walls of built in cabinets lining corridors, sliding louvered panels instead of fixed walls, and corrugated translucent glass panels demonstrated the lyrical ingenuity characteristic of York’s architecture.

There are still a few homes on the market here in Harlingen that were built during this period. We would love to see them restored and, we hope that whoever purchases them, will restore them to their original glory. There is another article on this blog where I write about these properties, if anybody out there is interested in viewing any of these homes, please comment on this article and we will show you these very unique, and worth a second look, estates.  Featured photograph for article is our beloved / historic home in Harlingen taken by Lupe Gonzales.


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About the Author

Nydia O
A bird does not sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.-Maya Angelou. La Vida Valle is where I write about "la vida" my life in the Rio Grande Valley. From this bi-cultural corner on the tip of Texas, I share my poems and my spiritual and travel experiences. I also blog about the arts, nature and my passion for historic preservation and architecture. But most importantly, let's talk about "la vida" - living our lives - in a vacation state of mind. Contributions and comments are always welcome .


Laurel Park 1950

Own Mid – Century Modernism in Harlingen, Texas

One of the most Avant-garde design eras was the middle of the 20th century, and Harlingen is home to several mid-century buildings and homes. Unfortunately, most homes and buildings have been remodeled and stripped of their his...
by Nydia O




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