September 15, 2010 Mid-Century Modern
A Mid-Century Modern Summer Road Trip
Summer time is for road trips. Cycling. Swimming. And eating lots of ice cream. In my book, seeing mid-century modern architecture is definitely part of the mix as well. So on the family’s recent trek north to Vermont and New Hampshire, we made sure to include some mid-century modern sightseeing to the typical summer itinerary. Beyond our main modernist destinations (Empire State Plaza in Albany and Philip Johnson’s Glass House; look for future posts), it was fun to spot mid-century modern architecture and design along the road in the small towns that we passed through. On my train up to meet my family at the beach in south Jersey where we would start the journey, I read a fascinating piece in the latest issue of Modernism on Milo Baughman and the sidebar on Hudson, N.Y., which has an extensive selection of mid-century modern vintage stores.
While prices were steep for the most part (the town is a haven for New Yorkers on the weekend), a few stores had some more affordable items. My wife and I picked up a vintage aluminum floor lamp with a Saarinen-style tulip base and globe top. We even at ate several mid-century diners, including Clark White Diamond for Jersey sliders (wish I had gone there when I was growing up in Jersey) and the Blue Benn Dinner in Bennington, VT, a vintage 1940s diner car from where else, New Jersey.
There was a nice stretch of road around Troy, NY, that had many mid-century modern commercial buildings.
I liked the vintage hanging globe lights at this Stewart’s convenience store in Bennington.
A few more shots of mid-century modern buildings in Vermont.
I spotted this 1966 synagogue in Norwich, CT.
The next post on the trip will focus on Wallace Harrison’s modernist Empire State Plaza, a treasure trove of modern architecture and art in upstate New York.