Meet Denver's Mid-Mod Time Capsule
One of the great things about living here in Denver is the diversity of architecture that surrounds us. As a home inspector, I get to see that Denver's neighborhood fabric is actually made up of a patchwork of unique villages - hidden treasures - each with its own character and charm. Driving to a home inspection in Englewood, I stumbled upon a mid-century time capsule called Arapahoe Acres. An enclave of 20 Mid-Modern architectural masterpieces in the style of Frank Lloyd Wright's Usonian vision.
Usonian Style By Frank Lloyd Wright
Edward Hawkins, a local pioneer in modern residential development and construction, was the developer, designer, and builder of the Arapahoe Acres neighborhood. He also designed most of the houses, which display characteristics of Usonian and International Style architecture.
Architects Eugene Sternberg and Joseph Dion also designed houses for Arapahoe Acres. According to Wikipedia, Arapahoe Acres is a neighborhood bounded by East Bates, East Dartmouth Avenues, South Marion, South Franklin Streets in Englewood, Colorado. Built from 1949 to 1957 it provides examples of new patterns developed for residential neighborhoods after World War II.
A Grand Modern Housing Experiment
Walking through the flowing streets, the streets are curvilinear to reduce through traffic, you feel at once transported to an earlier time when experimentation and innovation in housing after World War ll was flourishing all over Denver. Here in Arapahoe Acres, was a grand home development experiment.
Only 20 Homes Were Ever Built
These homes were designed to be very livable and cost-effective housing. They were filled with innovative and forward-thinking design. The houses are oriented for privacy, solar heating, and mountain views. Streets are curvilinear to reduce through traffic. The 20 houses all had the latest modern appliances available in the day. Beautiful fireplaces inside and outside, and used Revere Copper and Brass products for accents.
All This For Under $15,000
When the Arapahoe Acres development was launched there was a Life Magazine article that featured Arapahoe Acres in "Best Houses under $15,000; Eight fine, mass-produced examples show buyers what they can get in low-priced homes." In the end, Hawkins designed all but about 20 houses for the development. But what a treasure it is!
Explore Arapahoe Acres
Take a walk here and see this historic neighborhood up close. Added to the National Register of Historic Places
- Arapahoe Acres can be found in Englewood at Dartmouth & Franklin
- Arapahoe Acres is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is the first mid-century neighborhood in the country to be added to the register.
- To learn more about this neighborhood, visit the Arapahoe Acres Historic District website.