Back to the Boom
The '50s suburban lifestyle is preserved in a neighborhood on the National Historic Register.
E-mail This Page to Your Friendsx
A link to %this page% was e-mailed
Though half a century has passed and much of the lifestyle is a flickering memory, sharp examples of the period's cutting-edge architecture survive.
The practically pristine homes in Arapahoe Acres, an Englewood, Colo., neighborhood, earned it a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. The development's curving streets are lined with 124 low-slung mid-century homes influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright.
One of the development's original architects, Gerry Dion, still lives by the ideals of the once-new style:
"See the beauty, hear the music, live the joy," the 81-year-old says over the phone from his home in New Hampshire. "That's what I think a house and its expression should do for whoever lives there."
Certainly that's been the case for Dave and Yvonne Steers. In 1999, Yvonne discovered the neighborhood while on a long walk with a friend and then brought her husband to see it.
"It seemed almost unreal because it was just so perfect," says Yvonne, 57. "It was like walking into the past."
Soon they found themselves hurrying out of their quaint Denver bungalow, selling all their antiques and moving into a stark, one-story brick with classic low-pitch roof.
"We like to say the house benefited from benign neglect," says Dave, a retired machine designer. Its interior was still full of the period's signature mahogany paneling, darkly beamed ceilings, plain wood doors and brick.
"Thank God people didn't decide to lighten things up by painting everything white," he says.