Mid-Century Lovers Like Me – This Home’s for You (But You’d Better Move Fast)!

As readers of this blog know, I’ve always been partial to mid-century modern. OK – let’s be truthful – I adore it! The design inspired some of our best-loved architects including Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles Gwathmey, Ludwig Miles van der Rohe, Eero Saarinen and other icons, many of whom were awed by the approach of Bauhaus artists and architects. Many such homes are living sculptures. Their elegant geometry sets them apart, and they are often one-of-a-kind masterpieces that blend beautifully with their surrounding environments.
Mid-Century Home South TampaMid-century modern, popularized from the 1930s to the 1960s, didn’t just survive the decades to remain sought-after today, but it also produced homes that literally shaped the future of architectural home design. That’s one reason they never go out of style.

Given my passion for mid-century modern, I’m always ecstatic when that rare Tampa property falls into my hands for representation as a Realtor. I’m inevitably torn because I’m dead-sure a buyer will materialize to appreciate the home as much as I do, but a part of me is driven to snap up the home myself! I’m holding myself back from this one as, sadly, the timing just isn’t right for me. You’ll see why I’m tempted – read on!

Exceptional Value and Beauty for the Money

Priced at $535,000 and situated in the premier South Tampa area near Plant High School, this home is destined to move fast! Built in 1986, beyond the traditional time period for mid-century modern architecture, this home nevertheless is possessed of all the attributes. Let’s start with curb-appeal – always a good place to begin!

You can see from the street that the design is clean and minimalist, with an angular structure, symmetrical banks of windows and three steps to the front door. The first impression is one of supreme elegance. There’s an attached garage, but it’s side-entry on a corner lot, so takes nothing away from the front of the home. The flat planes and symmetry of design are evident from every side of this solid block, sophisticated white house, including the tiled patio. The lot features equally elegant landscaping to match.4223-W-Cleveland-St.--Tampa--FL-33609

Indoors at 4223 Cleveland, you’ll see the typical mid-century modern use of materials with generous use of porcelain flooring. Banks of glassed doors in clean white frames not only give generous views but also make it easy and tempting to step outdoors to linger over a cup of tea. A three-bedroom, two-bath home, the structure is 1,466 square feet with a spacious feel and updated bathrooms plus a new roof – with the renovation overseen by the owners, one of whom is an interior designer!Modern Homes Tampa

Speaking of designers, the architect is Rick Rados, who studied painting under Hiram Williams as well as earning his architectural degree from the University of Florida. He’s received dozens of awards for design excellence and been featured in periodicals, journals and books. In 2003 he won the Medal of Honor from the Tampa Bay area chapter of the American Institute of Architects. He’s taught architectural design at the university level. And, as an interesting footnote, he designed the house next door to this one, which he lived in before moving to 4223 Cleveland.

Glam Extras to Brag About!

Here’s more to consider: There are hurricane-impact skylights in both bathrooms and modern custom floating bathroom cabinetry by Hafele. The master bath has dual sinks, dual shower heads and a soaking tub. Glam lighted mirrors complete the look. The kitchen features a Bosch dishwasher and Jennair refrigerator. Appliances are stainless steel, with granite counters in kitchen and baths.

Contemporary Homes Tampa

Floor to ceiling sliders on both sides of the home open onto two patios, providing that indoor-outdoor feel. The house is prewired for surround-sound in the living room. With your smartphone app, you can turn on and off the remote-controlled sprinkler system. Reclaimed water is employed with a flat fee for watering the lot’s lush lawn.

South Tampa Modern Home

The security is “smart,” too, with integrated door locks controlled by one panel and smartphone. There are three interior cameras, and a whole house alarm connects every door and window. The Nest thermostat is new, and the AC is new as of 2012. The roof, replaced in 2013, carries a 20-year manufacturer’s warranty.

More About Mid-Century Modern

Never been to one of the Frank Lloyd Wright homes or any other mid-century modern once-private home now open to the public? Don’t assume you haven’t seen and appreciated the style. You may have already admired these architects’ handiwork. Saarinen, whom I mentioned above, designed the Washington Dulles International Airport, the TWA Flight Center in New York City and the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri.

Mid-century modern design is “characterized by a contemporary, seemingly futuristic aesthetic and an emphasis on function,” Kelly Richman-Abdou writes on MyModernMet.com. The architects, just like the mid-century artists, reimagined traditional art and pioneered that new aesthetic, which in the case of many such homes features flat planes and little ornamentation, often played out in monochromatic brickwork.

Many mid-century builders and architects eschewed the traditional methods that employed bulky support walls, instead embracing the then-groundbreaking post-and-beam design that allowed for the massive expanses of glass that enable homeowners to gaze on green leafiness whenever they happen to glance outdoors.

Patrick Sisson, writing on Curbed.com, captures the joyous feeling of the style, calling it “a symbol of postwar American exuberance and experimentation.” He points out that for every streamlined home that has become an icon – think of Frank Lloyd Wright’s homes or Philip Johnson’s Glass House or the Stahl House in Los Angeles – “there are dozens of lesser-known gems by little-known regional architects that often get overlooked or missed.”

This home in Tampa is one of those gems!

If you’re as enthralled with this home as I am, and you’re looking to relocate, size down or size up – give me a call!

Buying or selling a Mid-Century Home in Tampa Bay? Call me to get featured on midcenturymoderntampa.com 813-784-7744

Meanwhile, you can read two of my other pieces on mid-century modern here:

Visionaries to Build Neo-Mid-Century Modern Masterpiece in …


Frank DePasquale Mid-Century Home on the River in Tampa! | Tampa …



Frank DePasquale Mid-Century Home For Sale in Tampa!

Meet the Home that’s Not Just a Stunner but Also an Architectural Prize!

I’m always excited to have a new listing, but this one especially gets my blood going. Two reasons: It’s a classic mid-century modern, a personal style favorite of mine, and it’s also a house with a pedigree. The Puritan Road residence is a (rare in Tampa) Frank DePasquale home – more about this fascinating, accomplished architect later.

Frank DePasquale Mid Century Home in Tampa
Frank DePasquale Mid Century Home in Tampa

DSC_0190 DSC_0305 File Jul 18, 11 33 24 PM

 Frank DePasquale Mid Century Home in Tampa
Frank DePasquale Mid Century Home in Tampa

But first, the house is possessed of more than half a dozen elements guaranteed to take your breath away.

Its location – situated on the widest part of the Hillsborough River – cannot be replicated. As in the iconic works of Frank Lloyd Wright, an architect who greatly influenced DePasquale, the home’s placement creates the illusion that the structure sprang up organically. Like many of DePasquale’s homes both in Tampa and in Durham, North Carolina, where he became a local celebrity in his later years, the structure appears to be an inevitable part of the landscape.

The waterfront location is a launching point for the nine-mile cruise to one of the crown-jewel parks in the region, Lettuce Lake. Many islands can be spotted along the way, complete with osprey-nest-topped trees. Conveniently, a new wooden dock with lift can accommodate a 20-foot boat. A concrete boat carport with 20 foot ceilings makes protected storage a snap.master bed2 living-dinning (2) living dinning2 (1) great room.kitchen (1) master bed

And one more word about the location: Striking cloud-filled skies on sunny days and the occasional late-afternoon dramatic, electric thunderstorm are spectacular to behold from this river vantage point.

Freakin’ Awesome Features of the Mid-Century Approach

If you’re not already sold on the mid-century style, let me share a few aspects that always win my heart. Architects in the mid-century modern tradition were breaking new ground in their time. (This three-bedroom, two-bath home was built in 1961.) A primary pleasure of living in a mid-century home is the way the separation between indoor and outdoor space is made all but invisible. The feat is achieved through the generous use of glass and floor-to-ceiling windows and sliders.

The indoor-outdoor meld plays out in this house, which contains 4,200 square feet under roof, via a raised, covered patio and a giant wall of glass sliders that creates a river-view lookout area from the family and living rooms as well as the kitchen. The master bedroom, too, offers floor-to-ceiling views of the backyard, pool and Hillsborough River on two separate walls.DSC_0326 DSC_0305 DSC_0255 Mid Century Home in Tampa

Did you notice catch the mention of a pool? It offers a striking sweep of curved corners and blue shimmering water in contrast with the right angles and clean straight lines of the home’s design. An ample expanse of pool deck could be the scene of Gatsbyesque parties where the main conversation draw could be the house itself! Even the steps leading to the back patio create a touch of drama and also signal another tipoff to the mid-century design: lavish use of organic materials, including block, brick, stucco and wood.

Incidentally, much of the home’s original, phenomenal design was left intact by homeowners who appreciated the structure’s many well-thought-out details.

Who was DePasquale?

Frank DePasquale, who died in 2010, made a splash in Tampa even though he worked full-time in the city for only a few short years. Two well-known Temple Terrace homes, both on South Riverhills Drive, show his handiwork. His obituary notes that he was the architect behind Clair-Mel Elementary School, opening in 1960, “which was built on such a flat site that it required five feet of compacted fill to create drainage to Tampa Bay.”

A WWII vet and graduate of NCSU School or Architecture and Engineering in the Raleigh-Durham area, DePasquale came to Tampa at the behest of an architect formerly from Durham, Leslie Walker. After Walker’s firm dissolved, DePasquale established a solo practice in Tampa. But during a recession in late 1962 DePasquale was confronted with a drying up of projects. He returned to Durham, where he became a leading architect, making his mark by designing homes, schools and churches. His award-winning structures in Durham include the Durham Arts Council building and the Hayti Heritage Center. He helped create the Historic District Commission in Durham city government.

You can find out more about him, including photos and a personal anecdote, here: http://www.ncmodernist.org/depasquale.htm

A Few More Reasons to Jump on This House

In addition to its classic mid-century modern appeal, this home is unique. You’ll notice that the square feet of heated space is listed at 2,012, but there is more than 4,000 square feet of space under roof. That’s in part because there’s a large bonus room with an AC unit and electricity that could be an artist’s studio or a man- or femme-cave.

Other assets worth mentioning are the whole-house water-treatment system, remodeled kitchen, upgraded electrical panel, hurricane-rated garage door and 11-foot ceilings throughout (and in some places the ceiling measures 15 feet). A new well pump and pool pump mean never having to pay for water. The oversized two-car garage with workshop area has extra storage, with no deed restrictions to hamper your style. The home’s front sports a unique cantilevered porch that jets out from the bottom of the house suspended in air. The lot measures more than half an acre.

What’s not to love in this fabulous, lifestyle-enhancing, historic home with a list price of $425,000? In truth, multiple offers wouldn’t surprise me. If you’re interested, you know where you find me!

Contact me if you want to know more! 

Call Rae Catanese. Click Here


Visionaries to Build Neo-Mid-Century Modern Masterpiece in Riverside Heights

I’ve always loved the clean lines, angled rooflines and artful indoor-outdoor marriage of the mid-century modern style of architecture. Regular readers of my blog are in some sense my family, so I don’t mind sharing with you that this home should have my name on it!

This is my dream home. For reasons I’ll go into at the end of the piece, it won’t be mine. But I’m thrilled to have had a hand in creating the vision, along with two premier Tampa Design professionals and an amazing Tampa builder.

More details about this stunning house in a moment. But first a word about the professionals who shared my vision to create and market this house. Without them, it would never be built.New Century Home Riverside Heights Tampa 2New century modern home Tampa

First, Christopher Joiner, AIA of Joiner Architecture and Alan C. Dobbs of Florida Design Studio – both graduates of the University of Florida who earned their master’s of architecture degrees from the University of South Floridashare studio space,  in a refurbished 1922 brick bungalow renovated by Alan in historic Seminole Heights. Christopher articulates his design aesthetic this way:

“Lessons learned after 10 years of directing design for a large regional developer have influenced our approach to ‘smart design’ strategies as they apply to architecture, the building process, and community design.  The results yield low-impact, environmentally friendly solutions without compromising project goals or design integrity.”

Now for the skinny on the Riverside Heights home.

No one has built a modern house like this in Riverside Heights!

First, the sleek lines are so crisp and elegant, they make me think of think of architectural greats who changed the world – Frank Lloyd Wright and I.M. Pei. There’s no way this home won’t become an instant classic.

From the street you’ll see the classic shed roof, and if that’s not mid-century enough, there’s something called a “tower retreat.” Seriously? Who wouldn’t want a home with a place to hide away that gives one an elevated view of the surrounding neighborhood? Just think what you might sit there and do – read Travel & Leisure magazine, birdwatch by day, enjoy streetscape silhouettes by night!

Before we go inside, consider a couple more features of the exterior. A metal roof reflects use of honest materials and will sing in the rain. A street-side balcony extends the envelope of the second floor loft. And once again there’s the abundant provision of daylight via French doors and large windows.

Now for the inside.

You get a sense of expansiveness from the first moment. The great room and kitchen come complete with café and family dining spaces. And what better than a brick wall to provide a backdrop to the living space? The exposed brick – a mid-century-mod hallmark – stretches from the front porch to the entry vestibule of the “owner’s suite,” ascends the stair tower and penetrates into the loft. You catch glimpses of this warm, down-to-earth wall through the opening directly atop the foyer, which reveals the loft space above with its characteristic sloped ceilings.

What are the specs, you ask?  

You get a lot of home in this 35-foot-wide, two-story, 3 bedroom /2.5 bath space is 2,220 square feet heated and 3,344 total space under cover. There’s a two-car garage. The lot itself is 50 by 120 feet, lush, with access to a 20-foot alley in the back. The home is designed to take advantage of the envelope of the huge, grand oak tree that frames the covered porches in back.

Back to the kitchen – the one room that tops almost everyone’s most-important list! There’s plenty of storage space, as cabinets line the entire back wall. What else are you looking for in a kitchen? Gas appliances? Check. Solid surface quartz countertops? Check. Island and eat-in space in kitchen? Double-check. And, of course, the cabinets are solid wood. There’s a pantry as well.

Buyers will naturally be equally curious about the owner’s suite. No disappointments here, either! Positioned to provide great privacy, it’s located in the back of the home, and you can easily pop outside via direct access to the rear lanai. The bedroom ceiling slopes toward the rear yard, terminating above clerestory windows over sliding glass doors. Tres elegant!

Related amenities: a large walk-in shower, double vanities, a private toilet room and large walk-in closet with optional stacked-washer dryer.

In the family dining room, a 10-foot island is an architectural centerpiece, providing not just storage but also space for a wine cooler. The great room flows into a rear screened porch with a large pocketing sliding-glass door that creates that ambiguity between indoor and outdoor space so central to the style.

Follow the winding stair along the brick wall, and you enter the second-floor loft, a 10-foot by 21-foot retreat with a sloped ceiling that carries into the two bedrooms. Big windows bookend the loft. Cleverly, when opened they allow for cross-ventilation on cooler days. Each bedroom sports larger corner windows and clerestory windows shaped by that dominant sloping roof.

We all worked together to keep the price affordable, so you may be startled that a million-dollar home like this is being offered for $450,000!

I mentioned earlier that this is my dream home. One day I will own it or one like it. If you remember my blog https://midcenturymoderntampa.com/ you know that I had considered buying a mid-century modern home to renovate but then switched to a plan to build something new. As it happened, I chose to renovate a townhome instead. For now, I believe, it is meant for me to be able to sell mid-century homes to people who have the same passion for them as I do!

And just where is this magnificent property? At 808 W. West Street just outside Tampa Heights in Riverside Heights.

If you are curious about the neighborhood, it is close to this amazing project in Tampa Heights: http://purepropertiesgroup.com/project/armature-works-at-the-heights/

Which you can read more about in the Tampa Bay Business Journal: http://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/news/2016/06/15/ambitious-mixed-use-vision-for-tampa-heights.html

And as for the magical mid-century modern house, the one-of-a-kind in Riverside Heights, contact me if you want to know more! 

Call Rae Catanese. Click Here


Temple Terrace Mid-Century Modern Home. Gone in less than 24 hours!

I found this home for a client who was looking for a Mid-Century home in Tampa on a tight budget. It was on the market for less than 24 hours when we made our offer at full price. The offer was accepted, and now she owns this little piece of paradise in Temple Terrace.

The sellers were so generous and left many of the items you see including the fireplace and some furniture.

If you really want this style of home, you must build a relationship with a Realtor who is consistently looking for these little gems.

Contact me if you are looking to form a relationship!


Times are Changing: Mid­-Century Modern Craze meets New­-Century Modern Luxury

Times are Changing:

Mid-Century Modern Craze meets New­ Century Modern Luxury

Part 1: An Original Mid-Century Home in Carrollwood

I became involved in marketing and finding mid-century modern homes last year when I decided to purchase an old 1950s­1960s block home to renovate for myself. I love the open-house concept, clean lines, angled roofs, and the melding of indoors and outdoors with lush tropical courtyards and expansive glass that was used to allow natural light into the home.

What I learned was the homes I found had potential to be spectacular, but no homes were for sale that were already renovated and had the square footage I wanted.

Most original mid-century homes were between 1,100 and 1,400 square feet. The homes could cost anywhere between $150,000 to $350,000 unrenovated, depending on location.  Investors are not buying these homes to flip, and the trend is so new that homeowners who have rehabbed mid-century homes aren’t yet selling them.

Finding what I wanted became a real struggle.

First, the neighborhoods where most of the mid-century homes were located were not in areas I personally wanted to live, near the urban core of either Tampa or downtown St. Pete.  You can find more inventory in Temple Terrace, a suburb of Tampa near the University of South Florida, but the majority of homes are in Pinellas, in neighborhoods like Lakewood Estates, The Pink Streets, Jungle Prada and Gulfport.

Location not the only problem

The second obstacle I ran into was that if a mid-century modern home was located in a flood zone – such as Ballast Point or Beach Park in South Tampa or near water in St. Petersburg – I could spend only 60 percent of the home’s current depreciated value on renovation. That “value” is determined by the property appraiser.  By city rules, you are restricted in the amount of money that you can sink into a flood-zone home.

Most of the homes’ depreciated values were coming in low – very low, between $60,000 and $80,000.  It hit me that I would not be able to do the renovations I wanted per county guidelines.

Builders were telling me that it would take somewhere between $60,000 and $80,000 to do a whole-house renovation, a figure I found reasonable given that I’ve already got one or two home renovations under my belt. Most of these houses would need new windows and doors. Kitchens would need gutting, and bathrooms would need to be completely redone. What’s more, it’s a rare homeowner who would not wish to expand a mid-century home’s square footage, because the master bedrooms and bathrooms are too small for current-day tastes.

Experience also told me that even the $60,000 and $80,000 estimates might be low. First-blush estimates are sometimes unrealistic because problems are discovered with older homes once you start the renovation. Anyone who watches HGTV knows that old plumbing, wiring, and a host of other factors can significantly increase the cost and blow your budget.

Building a home that adheres to current building codes, even if in a flood zone, will allow you to do almost anything provided the home will fit on the lot. Insurance costs on a new home can be lower, and of course modern, energy-efficient building materials are used from the get-go – and all of that can add up to big savings.  I’m getting quotes as low as $400 a year for flood insurance for a 2,900-square-foot brand-new home in a flood zone. Homeowners insurance is running about $1,500 a year as well. You might have to shell out double or triple that amount on insurance costs for older, smaller homes – they’re just not built to withstand hurricanes and probably fail to meet today’s building codes in other ways as well.

This is the main reason new construction of these new-century modern homes has taken off in a big way.

I became part of the new trend

I decided that building a new home was going to be the best bang for my buck!

Once set on that course of action, I was on a mission to find a home builder who could construct a new-century modern home. It is a term coined to describe architecture reminiscent of the classic mid-century modern home, yet utilizing current materials, color palettes and architectural theory.

I met with several builders of Modern Homes in Tampa Bay Their vision was in line with what I wanted, and we shared the same passion for modern architecture: A blend of the old mid-century with new-century modern. Many of  the homes resemble the famous mid-century modern architect Joseph Eichler.  After World War II, Eichler built some 11,000 single­ family homes in California.

Many New-Century Homes are located in unlikely places, such as Historic Kenwood in St. Petersburg.  Sometimes finding larger lots in the urban areas is difficult, but these designs don’t necessarily need large lots.

What they look likemid century modern home tampa

The design is simple and low profile, having open spaces and interiors that open up to views of landscaped courtyards. These lines really allow you to have viewpoints from the inside of the home out – something to look at while you sip a glass of wine and relax while still maintaining privacy.

The homes are visually handsome, clean, and the open spaces make the home feel larger than it really is. There’s no wasted space.  No two homes he builds are exactly the same because he is appealing to a sophisticated buyer who respects quality and uniqueness. He understands why people are moving from cookie-cutter suburbs back to the cities.

As a licensed Realtor, I decided to start a new website, https://midcenturymoderntampa.com/ . Please consider it your resource if you are looking to renovate or build a modernistic home.

You may also reach me at 813-784-7744 or send me an email here

To learn more about me: http://thetamparealestateinsider.com/about/


Mid Century Modern Homes in Tampa, St. Pete and Clearwater

What’s the Typical Style of a Mid-Century Modern Home?mid century modern home tampa

Details indicative of the Mid-Century Modern period include: flat roofs, angled supports, a concrete grill facade, diamond-shaped roof patterns, cantilevered concrete overhangs, and metal and glass panels (particularly those colored aqua green or turquoise blue).


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