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Tamarack Lodge: 1957

Tamarack Lodge: 1957

August 13, 1957. "Tamarack Lodge, Greenfield Park, New York. Window view from lobby." Baby boomers of a certain vintage may recall the circular air-conditioning diffusers (and inevitable ceiling dirt streaks) as literal fixtures of their childhood, along with the many ashtrays, room-divider planters and Danish Modern armchairs. Large-format negative by Gottscho-Schleisner. View full size.


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Ash Backward

OK - so I'll let you Shorpitarians in on my nifty idea for retrofitting those freestanding ashtrays.

I found one a couple years ago in a junk shop for $20 and bought it and tossed it in the back of the truck to add to the heap of oddities piled precariously high in our garage. For the longest time I couldn't think of what to do with it. It looked cool, very much like those in the photo of Tamarack Lodge, but since tobacco has long since been banned from our house, I couldn’t think of anything to do with it.

Finally, I arrived at one of my better retrofit ideas for unusuals and unusables: I made a custom “remote control caddy” for easy chair enjoyment. I'll snap a picture when I get home and add it to this post, but it was easy.

I took all of the chrome hardware off the top of it and masked off the bowl and gave it a cool retro turquoise and cream spray-paint job. I then attached a simple bag made from black velour-type material to the chrome rim (I got rid of the tray insert) and lined the inside of the bowl with some crumbled Styrofoam nuggets and re-attached the chrome rim/bag assembly. It's big enough to hold a couple remotes, my reading glasses, and a pencil for my crossword.

I like Mid-Century Modern furniture now

I grew up in a development called Country Club Hills in Fairfax, VA (development was named for the Army-Navy Country Club and golf course about a 1/2 mile down Rt. 237). The brick houses were 1950s modern with large picture windows in the LR/DR and short but wide windows in the bedroom areas. I had to climb onto my bed to look out. My parents were never shot down over their house but lived in it 45 years. Those homes are highly desirable today.

My parents also didn't go in for the Danish Modern furniture look but many neighbors did. I appreciate those spare lines and compactness more than ever today. I'm not a tiny person by any means but I hate today's huge, deep overstuffed sofas and chairs. When I sit in them my feet can't reach the floor. Give me the Eames look any day.

I like it now,

but when I was growing up, I hated mid century decor and architecture. I'm still not too crazy about exterior mid century commercial structures, but when I started watching Mad Men, I found myself appreciating the interior shots of the public places of that period.

Oh Yes I Remember It Well

As newlyweds, my wife and I moved into a 1 bedroom apartment in the Bronx. We furnished in "Danish Modern". Everything from sofas, bedroom furniture and accessories was Danish. The only thing we still own is a foot high Dansk Ice Bucket complete with metal serrated tongs. We were married in May 1960. We finally got to Copenhagen in June of 2000.

Mid-century guy

Born just before the turn of mid-century, I grew up in a mid-century house and this decor is as natural to me a a trip to IKEA. My 22 year old daughter wants to buy a mid-century house when she finally gets out of grad school. She'll have to increase the electrical service and the number of outlets in each room. The closets were pretty small, too. I have a pair of stylish lamps my mother bought in the 50s and they don't make them like that any more!

Eames Chairs

Those Danish modern chairs designed by Charles Eames, of which I see four prominent examples and perhaps two more partially hidden on the far right, were ubiquitous to any modern interior in the mid-50's and are quite valuable today. Some where very close knock-offs of which I have one in my own home. I'm slightly older than the baby boomers and my father sold real estate briefly in 1956. I was enthralled with contour chairs and built-in TV's in the new homes and would draw pictures of them in church.

The junk and second hand stores in the 70's were filled with spindly legged amoeba shaped tables and lamps like those in the photograph, but now they've come full circle and are in demand again.

My house, my living room

I live in a mid-century modern house. My living room so resembles this view with the large rake windows and some of the furnishings.

... 16

I've got four table ashtrays, and 12 floor standing.

[I've found a fifth table ashtray for a total of 17. - Dave]

Ashtray Census

12 ... 13 ... 14 ... 15

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