A Mid-Century Modern Gem
Designed by architects Highland & Highland and built by Fred R. DeBlase in 1953 as the Carefree House, 160 Maybrooke Road retains a great deal of its original detail, character, and even some original furnishings designed specifically for the house. When it was built, Better Homes and Gardens chose this home as one of five Readers’ Choice Homes around the country, chosen for its unique design as a “home of the future.” During the post-World War II housing boom, architects and builders used many of the modern mass-produced materials created for the war. Simultaneously, the modern movement in architecture popularized clean and simple lines. Meanwhile, evolution of the Prairie Style emphasized a visual connection to nature and use of natural materials. Highland & Highland drew from all of these movements and innovations for their design of 160 Maybrooke Road.
Not many houses come with their own original reference guide, but 160 Maybrooke Road has a 16-page booklet containing detailed information on the builder, interior designer, and descriptions of every room and outdoor space. This guide also indexes suppliers and materials, including Hotpoint appliances, bamboo drapes, Carrara glass, teakwood floors, and Anderson windows. The colors listed in this guide sound like those found now in interior furnishing boutiques – orange peel, curry yellow, green gold, avocado, and chutney, among others. Fortunately, many of the original features and colors remain, including the marvelous Carrara glass in the bathrooms.
As one enters the home there is a quiet room on the right, separated from the rest of the living space by the entrance foyer. This room has an Italian travertine marble fireplace and mantel spanning the west wall. The original design intent of the room evoked a connection to nature, maintained with the warm mahogany paneled walls and windows on either end of the room. On the left of the entrance is the kitchen, open to the large family room beyond. The kitchen was designed with Hotpoint appliances and warm, sunny colors described as orange peel and lemon peel. Much of the original color scheme remains, as do the well-maintained metal-enameled cabinets. In the family room, Giovanni Polizzi’s sculpture, Rhythm, graces the far (north) wall. Furniture designed in 1953 by Rochester interior designer Harriet Thomas remains, including the sofa, chaise, and dining table. As in the quiet room, the design of the family room is meant to connect the interior with the outdoors, providing a sense of unrestricted spaciousness. The rear of 160 Maybrooke houses the bedrooms, baths, and laundry. The baths are exquisite with Carrara glass and American Standard fixtures. Original Hotpoint cabinetry remains in the laundry.
Located off of Winton Road near Brighton’s Twelve Corners, 160 Maybrooke Road has 2,424 square feet of space, including 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and a 2-car attached garage. The list price is $224,900, with $6,371 in taxes. Contact Silvia Deutsch of RE/MAX Realty Group at 585-389-1084, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On April 29th, join the Landmark Society for their 20th Annual Regional Preservation Conference. A special session will be devoted to architecture of the twentieth-century. Visit www.LandmarkSociety.org for details.
Erin Tobin Bearden
Erin is Director of Preservation Services for Historic Albany Foundation and New York State Representative for the Recent Past Preservation Network. She grew up in the city of Rochester.