Atomic Ranch Open House, May 6, 2012

Ladue Estates is the first mid-century modern neighborhood in Missouri to be added to the National Register of Historic Places. This is such an accomplishment that it even got the attention of Atomic Ranch magazine, who feature the subdivision in the current issue (also marking the first time they’ve covered St. Louis, period).

To celebrate all these milestones, ModernSTL and the fine people of Ladue Estates are throwing an Open House on May 6, 2012, from noon – 3 pm.

6 historic ranch homes will be open for your inspection and amazement.
Me and the photographer – Bruce Daye – of the Atomic Ranch article will be at the ticket tent to sign copies, if you’re so inclined.

$20 for 6 homes in this atomic neighborhood, $10 if you’re a member of ModernSTL. You can join ModernSTL on the day to get the discount.

Here are more details and photos about this event.
This includes a map to Ladue Estates, parking and ticketing information.

Here’s the Facebook invite.

If you are MCM ranch home-inclined, you will love meeting the homeowners of Ladue Estates.
If you are a die-hard Atomic Ranch reader, you will love having the pages come to life.
If you’re a regular B.E.L.T. reader, please stop by and say “hello.”

Yours Truly in Atomic Ranch Magazine

Like many of you, I am a subscriber of Atomic Ranch. It was especially cool to have the Spring 2012 issue land in my mailbox because it verified that I actually did something I’d always longed to – BE in an issue of Atomic Ranch.

The only way to be in an issue is to have an AR-worthy house (and I don’t have that – yet) or contribute a story or photos. I wrote a story and edited photos by Bruce Daye about Ladue Estates, the first mid-century modern subdivision in Missouri to land on the National Register of Historic Places.  It’s a first for me, and as was pointed out by a faithful AR reader, it also marks the first time any St. Louis home has been featured in the magazine.  So, St. Louis was late to the game, but then we overachieved with an entire subdivision. How’s that feel?

It feels great!

In 2003, a black & white photo of mine was printed in the letters section of dwell magazine, which had me bouncing around like Navin in The Jerk seeing his name in the phone book.  Shouldn’t be hard to imagine how majorily I’m dorking out to a feature article in Atomic Ranch.

Because I wrote about Ladue Estates in the past, I’ve had the great pleasure to become friends with the neighborhood trustees, and they are the ones who asked me to write the piece for Atomic Ranch. So big bear hugs with sloppy kisses to them for making this personal milestone moment possible. And I’m thrilled to be a small part of the legacy of this amazing atomic age subdivision.

I am also a board member of ModernSTL (as is one of the Ladue Estates trustees!) and we will have a Ladue Estates Open House and magazine signing event on Sunday, May 6, 2012. We’ll share all the details once we have them ironed out. But if this piece of news made a little part of you tingle, mark it on your calendar now.

Inside Ladue Estates

Ladue Estates
Creve Coeur, MO
May 7, 2011

Modern StL teamed with the residents of Ladue Estates to present an Open House & Tour of their neighborhood. It turned into a gorgeous spring day, and over 75 people came out to tour the inside of 5 open homes and take guided and self-guided tours of the entire subdivision.

Click for event photos of the people and the homes of Ladue Estates.

“The Kitchen” (as it’s come to be known by anyone whose ever seen photos of the original GE teal blue metal kitchen in #3) was a major draw, to be sure. But the comments from those who toured all 5 homes was about how completely different each home was, and how beautifully it highlighted the eternal allure of the post-war ranch house, a thoroughly American architectural style.

One of my favorite comments was, “$10 is way too cheap for this event. I’ve been to other home tours that charged way more for a lot less. You shoulda charged $20, at least.” (It was $5 for Modern StL members; if you wanna take advantage of this kind of savings in the future, become a member!).

The Ladue Estates trustees – Mario Conte, Lea Ann Baker and Suzanne Walch – knew long ago how special their subdivision was, being untouched by tear downs and McMansions, and that it had a certain magic that made it a real world paradise. With Lea Ann leading the charge, they spent 3 years working on the application that would land Ladue Estates onto the National Register of Historic Places in May 2010. This is the first mid-century modern neighborhood in Missouri to make the list, and one of very few in the United States.

The induction ceremony in October 2010 was a milestone moment that made one hopeful that mid-century modern architecture might be spared the callous and rampant destruction that took out far too many turn-of-the-20th century buildings in St. Louis (and nationwide). Watching the genuine enthusiasm and joy of the tour attendees was a sweet moment, fanning the optimism that there are plenty of us around who “get it,” and that our newest – and last – wave of historic homes will be cared for and loved for decades to come.

A day of appreciation like this is one of the reasons Modern StL formed in the first place, less than a year ago. There are many other worthy MCM StL neighborhoods that deserve an event like this; we’re lucky to have them and hope to feature them in future events.

As for Ladue Estates, I had the pleasure of working with the Trustees on a feature article for an upcoming issue of Atomic Ranch magazine. I’ll be sure to let you know when that’s available. And they are already contemplating throwing another event like this in the future. Imagine these beauties decorated for Christmas….? It’s a thought!

May 7, 2011: Ladue Estates Open House & Tour

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Modern StL is teaming with the Trustees of Ladue Estates to present the first ever Open House and Walking Tour of the first-ever Missouri mid-century modern neighborhood on the National Register of Historic Places!

Saturday, page May 7, 2011
10 am – 2 pm
Ladue Estates, Creve Coeur MO 63141
$10 admission – $5 for Modern StL members

Facebook Invite

5 Homes Open To You

#1, 2, 3, 11 and 14 West Ladue Estates Drive are opening their doors.  See an original teal GE metal kitchen.  See how excited we are to be able to share these 5 gorgeous homes with you!

Guided Walking Tour

At 11am, noon and 1 pm, two Ladue Estates residents (Lea Ann Baker – who did the Historic Registry application – and architect David Connally) give a guided tour of the homes on West Ladue Estates Drive.

Self-Guided Walking Tour

The other 2 streets that make up this historic neighborhood are open for you to swoon through. With a paid fee, you will receive a brochure with neighborhood highlights.

Parking

This is a thriving, private neighborhood, so please respect their homes and park only on the East Sides of the 2 streets shown on the map above.

Ticket Table

The tour begins at #2 West Ladue Estates (shown as X on the map above), which is also one of 5 homes open to you. Pay the fee here and begin your journey into an atomic-age wonderland! $10 fee the day of the event – $5 for Modern StL members. Rain or shine.

Read more about this groundbreaking St. Louis mid-century modern neighborhood.