Let’s continue on with the Modern movement and discuss the Contemporary style. Like the Prairie style (American Foursquare subtype discussed in my previous post), the Contemporary style, also known as the Usonian, was built on designs by Frank Lloyd Wright. Although both styles are from the Modern movement, that’s where the similarities end. The Prairie usually has a low-pitched, hipped roof and is square in form. The Contemporary styles are a much sleeker design with low-pitched roofs, gable or flat roofs and often asymmetrical.

Identifying Features (click photos for more information)

Built with natural materials (wood, stone, brick, or occasionally concrete block)
Roof beams commonly exposed
Low-pitched gabled roof (sometimes flat) with widely overhanging eaves
Windows generally present in gable ends (or just below roof line in non-gabled facades)
Broad expanse of uninterrupted wall surface typically on front facade
Entry door may be recessed or obscured

Earlier architectural styles generally focused on exterior decorative detail on doors, windows, dormers, etc. Contemporary style is more concerned with the indoor space and it’s connection to the outdoors. The houses look out onto thoughtful gardens and open up to spacious courtyards. Entrances are rather downplayed and the facades typically reveal very little of the house. Exposed rafters are common and overhangs are generally large and open.

Although the Ranch style dominated post World War II development, largely due to the creation of the FHA (Federal Housing Administration), a few successful developers built Contemporary subdivisions. Arapahoe Acres in Englewood was developed from 1949-1957 by Edward Hawkins, a pioneer in modern residential development and construction. Hawkins hired Eugene Sternberg to design eight mass-produced examples for buyers to pick from. After he designed the original eight models, Sternberg ended the relationship and Hawkins designed the remaining 70 homes. Sternberg favored the International style while Hawkins preferred Usonian. Hawkins went on to develop Arapahoe Hills.

Below are some examples of Contemporary style homes either for sale or recently sold in Arapahoe Acres. Please contact me to check one out today!