October 8, 2013 Marcel Breuer
Breuer-Designed House Highlight of MoCo Modern Tour
I am posting a few photos for those of you who missed the Montgomery Modern Bus Tour this past Saturday. The tour was organized by the Montgomery County Planning Department’s Historic Preservation office in partnership with the American Institute of Architects Potomac Valley Chapter. As part of Docomomo’s Tour Day 2013, the tour focused on mid-century resources in Friendship Heights and the western side of Bethesda. You can view the excellent tour booklet with more information and pictures of the sites explored.
We started off at the GEICO headquarters in Friendship Heights. The 26-acre campus was designed by architect Victor Kling and first built in 1959. The taller office tower was added in 1964. GEICO has approved plans to demolish the whole complex and build new office space and housing, although there is no set date for such work to begin.
The tour also included visits to two Keyes, Lethbridge & Condon neighborhoods: Potomac Overlook and Carderock Springs, one of Montgomery County’s four National Register of Historic Places-designated modern neighborhoods. In Carderock Springs, we saw three models, including one of the rare flat-roof Atrium homes pictured below, and toured the community club house.
Participants also toured the 1965 River Road Unitarian Church by Francis Donald Lethbridge and had lunch compliments of KONST, a kitchen and interior design firm based in Bethesda.
The highlight was a private tour of the 1958 Seymour Krieger House by Marcel Breuer, with landscaping by Dan Kiley. The house, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008, has been owned since 1990 by architect John Katinas and his wife Katie, who were gracious hosts. John grew up across the street from the Krieger House in a home designed by Hal Esten, whose own house in Hammod Wood I listed a few years ago. The Esten House looks like it was strongly influenced by Breuer’s design for the Krieger House. Hal must have admired it as he was working on the Katinas House just across the street.