Mid-Century Modern Architecture in Ogden Dunes
by Dick Meister
(Prepared for The Mid-Century Modern Architectural Tour on September 10, 2015. This is Part One, published in “The Hour Glass” Newsletter, March 2016)
Indiana Landmarks, a state-wide, not for profit organization, is dedicated to preserving historic sites through educational programs, tours, and the protection of historic sites. One of its most popular programs is the day-long tour focusing on the historic sites of community or an area of the state. These programs draw participants from throughout the state, as well as from neighboring states.
Tiffany Tolbert heads the Northwest Indiana Field Office of Indiana Landmarks. Her office is in the historic telephone exchange building in Miller. Through conversations with her, the Historical Society of Ogden Dunes partnered with Indiana Landmarks to offer a day-long program, “Lake Michigan Modern: Ogden Dunes & Beverly Shores”, on September 19. The program attracted over 110 participants, with most being from outside of Lake and Porter counties. The tour was featured on the web-site of Indiana Landmarks and in an article in September issue of the Indiana Preservationist.
The Historical Society of Ogden Dunes acted as the host for the event with the Community Church graciously supporting this endeavor through making available its Fellowship Hall for the day-long program. It was important and symbolic that the Community Church served as home for the tour. It is a fine example of the Mid-Century Modern Architecture.
The program began at 8:00 with registration and a light breakfast at the church. Barb Homme and other volunteers supported both the breakfast and the luncheon. After a warm welcome by Tiffany Tolbert and Rev. Lloyd Sewdin, the pastor of the Community Church, , Ken Martin and Dick Meister set the stage the tour by providing a historic context for the morning bus tour of 8 homes in Ogden Dunes.
At 9:45 the 110 guests boarded four shuttle buses and two school buses to visit the interiors of five homes, plus a brief walk around three other homes, the Marion and Ed Kratz home at 50 Shore Drive, the Helen and Nelson Reck home (designed by Keck & Keck Architects in 1939) at 58 Shore Drive, and the Nancy and Arthur Gerometta home at 8 Summit. Over 20 members of the Historical Society served as hosts for the breakfast and lunch and as volunteers and interpreters at each site in Ogden Dunes. Ken, Dick, Dorothy Kurtz and Judy Petrou, supported by four staff members of Indiana Landmarks, served as guides on the buses.
The buses returned to the Church at 12:30 for a box lunch and a presentation, “Mid-Century Architecture in Northwestern Indiana,” by Kurt Garner, a historic preservation consultant. The buses, with Ken, Dick, Dorothy and Judy as guides, then left for Beverly Shores for the afternoon tour. We had three stops in Beverly Shores, seeing the exteriors of the five Century of Progress homes near the west-end of Beverly Shores, plus visits to the Kerbis home and Ruzic home. Gertrude Kerbis, a pioneer woman architect, designed a contemporary home for her retirement, including the furniture. The Ruzic home was designed by Edward Masiulis in the 1970s. It sits on a high dune with panoramic views of the lake, the dunes, and the Chicago skyline. The home is very Mid-Century Modern with its sunken living room, asymmetrical tower, indoor swimming pool and a connecting bridge to another dune on which was built the late Neil Ruzic’s home office.
The participants were quite positive about their day-long excursion to two lake shore communities. They especially enjoyed meeting and talking with many of the owners of the homes. The Historical Society wishes also to thank the Community Church, the Town Board and Marshal James Reeder for their contributions to making this event a great success.
What follows is a short history of the five homes in Ogden Dunes that were visited. In the next issue of the ‘Hour Glass Newsletter’ we will provide information of the Community Church and the three homes that the participants viewed only the exterior.
17 Ski Hill Road: the Booth, Ahrens, Winkle and Martin Home – “The Anchorage”
According to Barbara Ahrens, “The Anchorage” was built in 1933-1934 in the French Country/Alpine style and it is similar to neighboring cottages along Ski Hill Road. The contractor was R. B. ‘Pete’ Nicholson, who lived in Portage Township and also had property in Ogden Dunes. He built many homes and cottages in Ogden Dunes during the 1920s and 1930s, including “The Hour Glass” for O.D. and Tillie Frank in 1934. “The Anchorage” was built with cement blocks that were made on site with the mortar left “sloppy”. Nicholson also used a great deal of wood, with knotty pine and cypress throughout the interior and wood siding on the upper level of the exterior. In the entry door, is the name of the home, “Anchorage.” The ship theme is found throughout the house, mostly reflecting the contributions of the Ahrens family.
This cottage was built as a second home for Robert and Agnes Booth. They lived in an apartment near the South Shore Country Club. Robert was an engineer and he and Agnes owned other properties in Chicago. Agnes became a charter member of the Ogden Dunes Woman’s Club, when it was founded in 1939. The Booths sold the cottage in 1951 to Edward Hanson, the manager of the Wieboldt Department Store in South Chicago. He turned it into rental property until he sold it to Jack and Barbara Ahrens in the late 1950s. Ken Martin and Kurt Winkle purchased the home in 1999.
The layout is similar to the other cottages built in the same style. On entering the front door you have a bedroom to the left and the furnace room in back. On the right are a bath and the stairs to the upper level. The living room dominates this level. Off of the living room is a small kitchen. The current owners, Ken Martin and Kurt Winkle, significantly upgraded the kitchen and the two baths on the lower level. To the right of the stairs was a very small bedroom, about 7 by 10 feet. It has become a small office with the removal of the built-in bunk beds. Above this room is a small loft that could be a bedroom. In 1965 the Ahrens family added a large addition to the east of the living room. This added a three-season room on the upper level and a recreation room on the lower level. Ken and Kurt converted the recreation room into a master bedroom and added French doors that open to a large patio that overlooks the eastern woods.
In 1962 on an adjacent lot the Ahrens built a two-car garage and an artist studio for Barbara’s mother, Katherine Parker. Katherine, an artist, taught in Chicago at Hirsch High School. Later this building and lot was sold and expanded to make a separate residence, 17½ Ski Hill Road.
Highlights of the Home:
- It is an example of the cottages along Ski Hill that were built in the French Provincial/Village Style.
- The lower level was built into or on the dune. This level sometimes had a one car garage and always had a single bedroom and bath, as well as a primitive furnace and a water pump. Wells provided water until the early the winter and cooler in the summer.
- The upper level includes a large living or ‘great’ room with large windows and a fire place, a small kitchen and sometimes a loft.
- In the “Anchorage” wood is used throughout the house, the lintels for the doors and windows, the wide plank floors, the vaulted ceiling, and the well-crafted book shelves above the lintels.
- Above the fireplace is a pendulum clock sitting on the mantle, a mantle that appears to be a large railroad tie.
- Small details include the carved features in the balustrade in the loft railing above the living room and in the wooden booth in the alcove with its imbibing friars. The latter was added by the current owners.
(For more information see the Sandpiper, 8/15/39; 9/12/51; 5/15/53; George Svihla’s 1992 interview with Sue Mechtersheimer, in The Hour Glass, April 1996; and “17 Ski Hill Road” by Ken Martin, in The Hour Glass, December 2002).
43 Cedar Trail: Armstrong/Peterson Home
Andrew and Florence Armstrong with their two daughters, Anne and Patience, moved to Ogden Dunes from New York in 1939. Andrew had taken a position as art director for a Chicago advertising firm. They rented a home on Shore Drive and then hired Frank Lloyd Wright to design a home for them on a wooded lot on Cedar Trail. It was to be a Usonian home.
Wright created his Usonian homes as a cost-effective, efficient and affordable home for middle-class families. In the January 1938 issue of Architectural Forum Magazine Wright described what he meant by cost-effective. He eliminated unnecessary frills, such as visible roofs, garages, large basements, closets, gutters and downspouts. He also called for radiant heat and the use of cypress, cedar or pine for the interior walls and ceilings in order to eliminate painting. The floor plans for Wright homes called for the hearth, the large fireplace, to be the central focus of the home. Thus the living room was designed to be quite large with the kitchen and dining areas being much smaller. Bedrooms and baths were also to be small and efficient.
As with other Usonian homes, the Armstrong home was relatively small but shared many of the features of Wright’s larger homes, such as obtuse angles for both interior spaces and the exterior, as well as finger jointed brick corners. The Armstrong home was also the first home that Wright designed in the Chicago metropolitan area since the 1920s.
The Armstrong House has a modular multi-level layout, with a carport on the lower level, the shared living areas on the middle level, and the bedrooms on the upper level. A small basement provided room for the furnace. The entrance is hidden as it is in most of Wright’s homes; it is part of his ‘path of discovery.’ At the Armstrong home it is an inconspicuous door off the carport. The home featured a system of radiant heating, similar to what he attempted in 1906 in his Unity Temple in Oak Park. Unfortunately, neither system worked.
The Ogden Dunes Sandpiper, the community newsletter, reported in the June 12, 1940 issue that the world-famous architect was in Ogden Dunes to inspect the almost completed home of the Armstrong family. Wright was very pleased with the topography as being especially suited to the types of homes that he designed.
On arriving in Ogden Dunes, Andrew and Florence immediately became active in the Ogden Dunes community with Florence joining the newly established Woman’s Club in the fall of 1939. Their third daughter, Susan, was born on October 17, 1940. In May 1941 Florence became treasurer of the Woman’s Club. She also hosted the July meeting that featured a White Elephant sale that generated $30 for the new tennis courts. Their four-year old daughter also made the local news that year as her photo portrait, possibly by her dad, was featured in an exhibit at the Esquire Theatre in Chicago. The inscription describing the photo read, “Her name is Patience, and in her eyes is the wisdom of women of all the ages.” The oldest of the Armstrong’s three daughters, Anne, entered 2nd grade in September 1941. In December 1941 the Woman’s Club held its annual Christmas party at the Armstrong home. “A huge, lighted Christmas tree dominated the living room, casting a soft glow on the paneled walls, hung here and there with holly and evergreen boughs.” [Ogden Dunes Sandpiper, May 8, 1942]
In 1942 the Armstrongs sold their home to Paul and Avalyn Thixtun. Paul was an assistant superintendent in charge of industrial relations for a local steel mill. The Thixtum family sold the home in 1947 to the George Garrard family, who sold the home in 1949. After two more owners, John and Pat Peterson purchased the home in 1958. They had married in 1956 and had their first child in 1958, a few months before they purchased the home.
Pat and John Peterson:
How did they find Ogden Dunes? After John completed college and his military service in 1954, he went to work for Standard Oil. One of his colleagues at Standard Oil was Walter Frank, who had built a home at 16 Skyline. Walter, who was a member of the Gary Boat Club located at the mouth of Burns Waterway, invited John to go sailing. He then took the opportunity to show John Ogden Dunes and the Wright home that was for sale. Earlier John’s father had given him advice about buying their first home – don’t buy something that looks like every other house on the block. Obviously the Armstrong home was different. It should also be remembered that this home had a checkered history. Over its first 17 years the home had, at least, five different owners. A likely reason for the numerous sales was the house’s structural problems, heating, the poorly insulated windows, and a leaky roof. And it had only two bedrooms and a carport, not the greatest during heavy snows and below zero temperatures.
In the early 1960s Pat and John Peterson, with their growing family, needed more space. They contacted the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation at Taliesin. This led to hiring John H. ‘Jack’ Howe, architect and formerly Wright’s chief draftsman, to do the redesign of the original space and for the additions. Shortly before Howe took on this commission, he had left Taliesin after 30 years to establish his own practice. Howe worked closely with the family to insure that the home was livable and that the additions were integrated into the original structure.
Highlights of the Home:
- This home, as with all of Wright’s Usonian homes, is organic, that is, grows out of the land, and it is adaptable, that is, can be added to or modified. The original design was based on the size of the lot and its topography. It also took into consideration the relationship of the various rooms in the home to the location of the sun at various times of the day and of the seasons.
- The main entrance to the home is off the lower level carport. As with most of Wright’s home the door is somewhat hidden. You enter through this door and then go up stairs to the living room.
- On the main level of the home is the large living room built around the large, unique hearth. In the living room is an open stairway to the upper level hallway that allows access to the two bedrooms, both larger than found in many Wright homes. Off of this hallway was another entrance to the outside, one that resembled a traditional front entrance. After the remodeling in the 1960s, this door now opens to a balcony and not to the street.
- The original design also included on the middle level a small kitchen, dining area a small maid’s room that is 10’ by 10’, and a small workspace, darkroom, for Andrew Armstrong.
- In working with John Howe on the redesign of the original space and the design of the additions, John and Pat insured that the home was livable and that the additions were integrated into the original structure.
- In order to build Howe’s proposed redesign the Petersons purchased additional land to the south and west of their home. In 1964 a new bedroom wing was added at an angle to the existing two bedrooms. Below the new bedroom wing was a family room. A year later in 1965 a two-car garage was added at an angle to the bedroom wing.
- The last addition, completed in 1972, provided additional space to the kitchen and dining area and added a screened porch cantilevered off of the family room and overlooking the rear dune.
- Over the last 57 years the Petersons have replaced the windows, solved the leakage problems that are endemic with flat roofs, and replaced the heating/cooling systems
- Many of the furnishings in the living room are in the Wright style with a number of these built by John Peterson, following Wright’s plans. Examples of these are:
- the lighting fixtures, especially the floor to ceiling light by the fire place.
- John designed and built the large mural, created with wood, on the entrance wall.
- Like Wright’s other Usonian homes, the living room had wood paneling. John replaced the original cypress paneling, because it was varnished and had darkened, with Philippine mahogany.
17 Cedar Court: The Buell/Smith/Webber Home
In 1941 James H. and Dorothy Richardson Buell bought a lot near the top of a dune that was between Ogden Road and a not quite developed road that became the Cedar Court. They hired Raymond Stone Kastendieck to design their new home. Kastendieck and Company was a prominent local firm with offices in downtown Gary. Kastendieck, who was born in Missouri in 1894, studied at Washington University in St. Louis. He moved to Gary in the mid-1920s. During his career Kastendieck became a national leader in American Institute of Architects. Much of his and his firm’s work focused on large projects. They designed the Munster Public Library in 1953 and he was associated with the Chicago firm of Graham, Anderson, Probst and White on a $20 million state office building in Indiana in 1957.
The Richardson Family:
Dorothy Richardson (1886-1977), raised in Wisconsin, was the youngest of the four children of Ambrose (1849-1933) and Eliza Porter Richardson (1850-1941). Her father, a bookkeeper, worked for both banks and lumber companies in Winnebago County, Wisconsin. After graduating from Lawrence College, Dorothy taught school in Wisconsin. In 1918 at the age of 31 she married James Harold Buell (1881-1970) in Chicago. Jim or Hal, who was born in Denver, Colorado, became a successful electrical engineer and later a utility executive. He worked in San Diego, Tulsa, Oklahoma and later Chicago. They had one son, Robert, born in 1923. In 1930 the family lived in Chicago, renting a large apartment. A few years later they moved into a home in Flossmoor Village, a Chicago suburb. In 1940 Jim Buell worked as an engineer and Dorothy volunteered as a part-time director of a dramatic society. About that time, with their son, Robert, preparing to go to college, they decided to build their retirement home in Ogden Dunes. Her sisters had owned a cottage on Shore Drive since 1924.
Her older sisters and brother, Olive (1882), Elizabeth (1884-1951) and Newton (1885), like Dorothy, were teachers. In 1917 Newton accepted a position at Emerson High School in Gary. Shortly after that Newton married Lucy Herrick in Chicago. She had been a classmate of his sister, Elizabeth, at Ripon College. They had one son, Stewart, who was born in 1922. In the early 1920s Olive and Elizabeth also accepted teaching positions in Gary. As a result their parents, Ambrose and Eliza Richardson, retired to Gary to be near their children. In the 1920s the parents, along with Olive and Elizabeth, bought a large home at 544 Taft Street in Gary, The home was in an upper middle-class neighborhood just west of the main business district of Gary and south of U.S. Steel.
Olive and Elizabeth, as teachers, became fascinated with the Indiana dunes. Almost immediately on moving to Gary they bought a lot in what became Ogden Dunes. They were among the first land owners in the proposed ‘restricted’ lake front community of Ogden Dunes. Elizabeth was one of the 14 signers of a petition to incorporate the town in 1925. In 1924-1925 they built one of the first cottages on Shore Drive.
In the late 1920s the Richardson family’s neighbors on Taft Street in Gary was the Cash family, Arthur Lester and Dess Cash and their three sons, Mitchell, Webster and Arthur H. The Cash family had also purchased a cottage in Ogden Dunes in 1928, about two blocks west of the Richardson cottage. A. L. Cash became one of the major building contractors in Ogden Dunes from the late 1920s to the late 1950s.
The Richardson family cottage at 39 Shore Drive became a destination for the Buells when they came to Gary for family visits. After the death of Olive Richardson, her nephew, Stewart Richardson, sold the Shore Drive cottage in 1970. It was demolished and a new home was built on the site.
Kastendieck completed the drawings for the Buell home on June 30, 1941. Nelson Reck, president of Ogden Dunes, Incorporated, approved the plans on August 5. The Buell home is a 50’ by 32’ home with two floors and is built into a dune. It is located on a lot and a half with the west side of the lots being 100 feet along Cedar Court. The lot is on a high dune that then drops down to Ogden Road. The lower level of the home, as designed, includes an entrance door, a bedroom, a bath, a garage and laundry area.
The main entrance is reached by stone stairs to upper level and is in a screened side porch that faces south, overlooking the dunes and an oak savanna. The entrance opens into a front hall that leads directly to the kitchen which is on the north side of the home. Just before reaching the kitchen on the left side is the stairway to the lower level and the hall that leads to the three bedrooms and the bath. To the right is the large living room, 24’ by 19’. It has a large bay window that faces east. The north end of the living room opens into the dining room. Rod and Lynne Reese, who purchased the home in 1977, added a large family room to the north of the dining room, creating views of the lake (in winter). In 2012 the Reese family sold the home to Mike Webber and Mike Smith. They have restored the home and the gardens bringing out the classic details. By buying the adjacent lot to the north, they have extended, redesigned and maintain the great gardens that surround the home.
Historical Importance of the Home:
Almost from the time Dorothy Richardson graduated from Lawrence College, she became an active club woman and volunteer. She was a noted book reviewer and did dramatic readings before many groups in suburban Chicago and after 1941 in northwest Indiana. On moving to Ogden Dunes, she immediately organized a book club and became an active presenter and officer for the Ogden Dunes Woman’s Club.
Because of her fear that that the Indiana dunes could disappear, given the decision to build steel mills and a deepwater port Porter County, Indiana, Dorothy invited 21 women to meet in her Cedar Court home on June 20, 1952. As a result of this meeting, the Save the Dunes Council was formed with Dorothy elected as chairman of the new organization. Under her leadership the Council had an early victory in 1953, when Dorothy and other members used their own funds to purchase the 56 acre, Cowles Tamarack Bog, near Dune Acres, at a tax sale.
Thus at the age of 65, Dorothy became the leader of a 14-year battle to save the dunes. Her home at 17 Cedar Court became the unofficial headquarters for the battle. Many published photographs document the importance of the Buell home in the battle to save the dunes. These include Senator Paul Douglas’ news conference in 1963 by the living room fireplace; Dorothy and Ed Osann, who provided legal leadership for the movement, on the screen front porch about 1955; Dorothy by large window in the dining room; and Dorothy reviewing strategy with two other Ogden Dunes women, Hester Butz and Florence Broady and Hester’s daughter Susie in her living room.
In 1968, two years after the battle to save the dunes (at least, a portion of) was won, Dorothy’s son, Robert, convinced his parents to sell their home and move to California, where he lived. James Harold ‘Hal’ died in 1970 and Dorothy in 1977. She and James are buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Neenah, Winnebago County, Wisconsin, about 70 miles north of Milwaukee.
6 Aspen Road: The Woods/Ricci Home
- Clarke Woods developed plans for a speculation house at 6 Aspen Road in 1955 on an odd shape lot along a dune ridge that has a steep drop to the west. The lot measures 120 feet along Aspen Road, 132 feet on the north side with a steep drop, and 103 feet on the south side. Woods, a building contractor, took a number of years to finish the house. A number of iterations of the plans exist; the first shows a two-story home with no balcony. The final design is for a three-story home built in the dune with the top floor being at street level along Aspen. The main living areas on all three floors face the west with wonderful views of the dunes, the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan. The home is approximately 47’ by 30’.
The home is constructed with cement blocks and faced with limestone. On all three floors large windows face the west. The floors were concrete, flexicore and terrazzo. On the west side, the roof extends over the 6’ by 50’ balcony that opens to the second floor. The top or main floor includes the one-car garage, the front entrance and the family/common areas. The large living room with a fire place covers the north half of the top floor; the dining area and open kitchen are on the west side just south of the living area. The large windows provide great views of the lake and dunes. The central stairway leads down to the middle floor which now has a large family area on the western half of the floor with a fire place and the balcony. [In the plans this area was to be the master bedroom.] Two bedrooms with closets and baths are on the east side.
The plan for this floor included a 9’ by 10’ storage room that is under the front porch/entrance. However, it was intended to be a bomb shelter. It is now a relic of the ‘Cold War’ and used as a closet for the master bedroom. The shelter’s walls and ceiling are covered with ½ inch, large steel plates. The entrance is behind a steel door in the bathroom, hidden by a large steel, moveable bookcase. A smaller steel door from the shelter to another bedroom was added, possibly in 1972. The 1st floor or lowest level includes the furnace and laundry facilities, as well as a bedroom and bath on the dune side and another large family area and fireplace with large windows looking out over the outside patio.
When the home was completed, it included a great deal of finished steel, with heavy steel shelves surrounding the fireplaces in the three living areas and the closets. The Spanish motif dominated the large living room on the 3rd floor with decorative wrought iron used to separate the living and dining rooms. The original floors were terrazzo.
After taking a number of years to complete the house, it was rented until Theo and Shirley Kayes purchased the home in 1966. They lived in the home for nearly 30 years. They sold the home to Al Mussman, an Ogden Dunes resident. He with a friend, a Chicago architect, renovated the house. They nearly gutted the house, transforming it into a 21st century contemporary home with great views. They removed walls, redid the bathrooms and created a ‘house beautiful’ kitchen. Out went the heavy steel book shelves and the decorative wrought iron. Their intent was to modernize the home for resale. They also built an open, light steel stairway, called the “stairway to heaven’, to the new roof deck. The deck provides a 360 degree view of the lake and dunes. In 2001 David Ricci and his wife, Laura Kofoid, and their children purchased the home.
Highlights of the Home:
- The large, open living areas characterize all three levels of the homes. These areas on the west side of the home have great views of the lake and the wooded dunes.
- The innovative stairway to the roof garden was added in the renovation. The garden covers about half the roof and provides 360 degree views of the dunes and the lake.
- The layout of the lower two floors is similar to the upper floor with large family rooms on the west side and bedrooms/baths on the east side. The 6’by 50’ balcony is off the middle floor.
- What was listed as a storage room on the original floor plans for the middle level became the ‘bomb shelter’ reflecting attitudes during the Cold War. Today it is located off the master bedroom suite and is used as a closet.
- David and Laura have made the house into a 21st century home through their furnishings and decorations.
7 Summit Road: The Bauman/Mason Home
In 1958 Richard and Ellen Bauman hired Schutt-Haley Associates, a local architectural and engineering firm, to design a new home for their growing family on the newly opened Summit Road. The home is situated on a large lot, approximately 130’ by 160’, on the south side of Summit not far from Diana Road. The home is a prime example of Mid-Century Modern Architecture.
It is situated, not in the dune, but on a dune that was part of an oak savannah. Because it is sited near the rear of the lot, it is surrounded on three sides by oak trees and ravines. Its location provides for an expansive front yard and a driveway to a hidden garage. The double-door entrance and the large, picture windows, combined with vertical wood siding and the large front lawn, provide an image of unity between home and nature. The smaller back yard is surrounded by oak trees and deep ravines. It should be noted that when the home was built, it also had large oak trees in front. As these died, they were removed and replaced with grass and flowers.
The home stretches nearly 100’ across the lot. The west wing of the home, the bedroom wing, has a large bedroom that slept the Bauman’s four sons and two smaller bedrooms. Below the bedrooms are the family recreation room and the garage. Thus the bedrooms are a half flight up and the family room a half flight down. The center section of the home includes the entrance with a television room to the right off the entrance. It has an Indiana limestone wall with an interesting fireplace and charcoal grill built into the wall. A three-quarter wall separates it from the kitchen and dining room. These rooms overlook the dunes and woods to the south. A large living room is to the left of the entrance and extends from the front of the house to the rear with large windows on the north and south sides. It also includes a large fireplace, as well as an Indiana limestone wall. The master bedroom suite is on the east end of the home, off the living room. Just off of the living room and master bedroom is a large screened porch that overlooks the oak savanna to the east and south.
In 1950, shortly after their marriage, Richard and Ellen Bauman moved to a new home at 16 Aspen Road in Ogden Dunes. He worked for Standard Oil Company, later becoming chief purchasing agent. They became active in the Ogden Dunes community as they raised their four sons, Richard Jr, born in 1951, Robert in 1955, Douglas in 1957 and David in 1960. Richard served as chief for the Indian Guides in 1957, while Ellen was active in the Woman’s Club, serving as secretary in 1954. Richard later served as vice president when the Lions Club was established in 1959 and as chair of the committee that brought water to Ogden Dunes in 1961. In 1970 the Bauman family sold their home to Dr. Earl and Penny Mason. They maintained the integrity of the original Mid-Century design and upgraded when necessary to insure its interior beauty.
Highlights of the Home:
- The home was built in 1958 and has architectural characteristics of Mid-Century Modern and the Prairie Style of Frank Lloyd Wright’s homes, especially the Armstrong House. The Bauman family was quite familiar with the Armstrong House. Richard Bauman and John Peterson both held management positions at Standard Oil.
- The exterior of the home is Mid-Century Modern with the large, double door entry (only one opens), the wood, vertical siding, and the low roof lines and the geometric layout of the major living areas of the home.
- The common areas of the home merge into the dunes and the oak savannah, through the large windows, the height of the living room and the use of wood and limestone in the common areas. Fireplaces are in the living room and the TV room.
- The large living and dining rooms in the center of the home merge into one another, as well as into the kitchen. In turn the kitchen merges into the TV room by being separated by only three-quarter high wall.
- The back yard provides a sense of privacy and solitude as it is surrounded by oak trees and the deep ravines. Over the past fifty plus years the views of the dunes to the south have disappeared, except in winter, due to the growth of trees. Also what makes this home different from most homes is how the garage is hidden by having the doors on the west side.
We recognize that in planning for the Mid-Century Modern home tour in Ogden Dunes, we had many great homes from which to choose. We also wished to select homes that showed both the history and the architectural diversity in Ogden Dunes. This resulted in limiting our selections. Among the many architects who have designed significant Mid-Century Modern homes in Ogden Dunes one stands out because of the number of homes that he designed. That is Fred Collins. Though Fred headed a large architectural firm that specialized in designing large commercial and institutional projects, he lived in Ogden Dunes for nearly 50 years. During that time, he designed or redesigned nearly 40 homes. Major examples of his work are 72 Ski Hill Court, 1 Sky Line Drive, and four homes near the western end of Shore Drive.
In the next issue we will provide information on the Community Church, the Kratz Home, the Nelson Reck Home, and the Gerometta Home.