June 4, 2014 Mid-Century Modern

Ken Freeman Designs in Bethesda, Rockville

Ken Freeman was a New York clothing designer who moved his family to Maryland in the 1960s to become a real estate developer. He briefly worked with his brother Carl M. Freeman, who introduced the “California Cottage” to East Coast when his company built an award-winning community in 1947 in Carole Highlands, Maryland, and became a major developer in the DC area.

This house pictured below is located in Lake Normandy Estates in Rockville. It is listed for $795K. About two dozen of Freeman’s designs remain with a few more having been altered or lost.

The vintage house pictured below is located in Bradley Park in Bethesda. It is listed for rent for $3650 per month. Freeman designed and built more than 100 mid-century modern homes in Bradley Park in the 1960s. Most remain but the the neighborhood continues to lose Freeman’s original designs to new, larger homes.

Like his brother, Ken sought to mix things up here in Washington. “He was nontraditional. He didn’t like the brick Colonials in Washington. He said they all looked the same. He said they were boring, very closed-in, old ideas. He just liked houses being different . . . clean lines, simple and tailored. It was like a religion to him,” Freeman’s daughter, Judith O’Callaghan, was quoted as saying in this 2005 Post story on Bradley Park in Bethesda. Freeman also built homes in Mantua in Fairfax.