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August 6, 2008 Virginia

1963 Lakefront MCM in Lake Barcroft – $1.895 Million

Here’s a new listing for a 1963 flat-roof 4/3.5 MCM in Lake Barcroft in Falls Church. The house has water access and sits on half an acre. Looks cool from the outside, but the listing has no interior images.

Lake Barcroft has one of the areas largest concentration of mid-century modern homes, including some designed by Charles Goodman and one by Walter Gropius. The driving force behind the community was Colonel Joseph V. Barger, who bought the 135-acre lake and surrounding 566 aces for $1 million in 1950, according to an interesting 2001 history of the community written by longtime resident Anthony Bracken.

Barger enlisted Gropius to help bring some cachet to the development that was being built (at the time) in rural Virginia. Gropius reportedly mapped out ideas for the development, including designing four 3/2 ramblers in varying price ranges and suggesting that all homes have built-in barbecue pits. In the end, only one Gropius-designed house was built at 6325 Lakeview Dr.

On the other hand, Goodman had the honor of designing the first house that was built in the new community. The house, at 3620 Stanford Circle, was designed for Robert and Ellen Oshins, whose father patented the bobby pin, according to Bracken’s history. The house, with its butterfly roof, was recognized as one of the 20 Architectural Record Houses of 1956, which were “well planned to solve the many problems in building adequately for family living.” The editors said the “butterfly roof [of the Goodman design] gives lakeside house a festive, vacation character.” (The house is the seventh picture down in the left-hand column of pictures. On the second page, Goodman is pictured lower down in the left-hand column of architect images.)