11.05.2011

Retrovore-Localphile: Vermodernist Holiday Shopping Ideas

It's hard to believe that the holiday shopping season is nearly upon us. With the economy in the toilet, we want to do what we can to support artists, craftspeople and workers here in New England and the USA in any way we can. This year, we're doing our best to try to buy the bulk of our gifts from vintage sellers, local sellers, or independent Etsy sellers. Here are some of Vermodernist's top gift retro-inspired sources and suggestions this year.

1. The Vermont Country Store:  Since 1945 the Vermont Country store has been locally owned and operated by the Orton family.  With physical locations in Weston and Rockingham, Vermont, as well as a robust online business, you can find many New England, local, and made in the USA treasures for the holidays.


There you can prepare for Christmas morning by purchasing some flannel footy pajamas and even buying some Ovaltine to leave out for Santa in your cherry printed ThermoServ tumblers.


Chocolate Lovers Club - 9-month2. ...Of the Month Club: No we're not talking fruitcakes here, but nothing is more retro than an "of the month club" gift.  It's the gift that keeps on giving far after the rest have been returned and it gives the recipient something to look forward to and thank you for far after late December.

One of our local favorites is Vermont's own Lake Champlain Chocolates, Chocolate of the month club.  Available at a variety of price points for different monthly durations this is a surefire hit for the chocolate afficienado in your life. $90 and up.

The Vermont Brownie Company also offers a delicious of the month club gift option.  If you haven't tasted their wares you are missing out! $84 and up.

3. Vermont Teddy Bear Company: Instead of getting the little ones in your life yet another plastic future addition to the landfill, why not get them something made in Vermont that is both cuddly and teaches them from an early age the finer points of style.

15" Mama's Boy15" Playboy Bear15" Accountant Bear
While they have different names under the theme and occupation sections of the site, we like to refer to these as rockabilly bear, cocktail party host bear, and mod tailored suit bear. $80.

4. One Hip Sticker Chic: Sticking with the kid-gift theme, as we know that once you hit a certain age you can often find yourself in the "let's not exchange gifts, you can just buy gifts for the kids" predicament, we'd like to recommend one Quechee, Vermont-based Etsy seller.  OneHipStickerChic's mod-inspired wall-sized decals can save your neice or nephew from parent-imposed Disney decorations or Pixar Plastic knick-knacks.













In addition to getting their imagination going with some mod-monkeys, you can also teach them the importance of monogramming. $25 and up.

5. Custom shirts and suits by Michael Kehoe Ltd. Go retro with how you shop and consider a custom garment. We've written on this blog before about Michael Kehoe Ltd., a menswear shop right here in Vermont. Jen bought Eric a gift certificate for custom made to measure dress shirts last year and he absolutely loves them. And yes, they can seem a little pricey - depending on the line and fabric you choose, the price ranges from about $110 to $250 per shirt, with a minimum order of two shirts. But, it's about value. With the ability to replace the cuffs or collars for years to come should they need it you will have a shirt that has a lifespan far longer than that of any you can purchase off the rack.   Michael Kehoe Ltd. is a locally owned business, and many of their custom made garments are made in the USA (though - full disclosure - some are made by our neighbors to the north in Canada).

6. Wine. Watch an episode of Mad Men and you'd be hard pressed to find a scene that doesn't contain the best supporting actor "Alcohol." Right here in Vermont some very good wines are being made. Shelburne Vineyards in Shelburne, Vermont has a great selection, offers fun, inexpensive wine tastings, and is locally owned and operated. They do not sell direct over the Web, but many local markets and wine shops carry their wines. $14 - $45.

7. A Ski Trip:  Nothing says retro family fun like a weekend of skiing. Help support the Vermont economy still hurting from Irene by taking a ski trip to one of the many old school Vermont mountains!


8. Midcentury modern iPad Sleeve - Handmade via Etsy. (You can find Kindle cases too!). $15 - $20.



9. Bowery Lane Bicycles - I know that with the temperatures dropping, especially here in Vermont, a bicycle may not be the first thing that comes to mind on your wish list. But soon enough the mercury will begin to rise and it'll be time to get out and start cycling again. Bowery Lane Bicycles are made in New York City. As their web site notes, "Ninety-nine percent of bikes sold in the US are not made in America. We are a part of the 1%. Our bicycles are welded, painted, assembled, packed and shipped in New York City. No big assembly lines, no mass production, no robots. Human hands. American Hands. Our bikes are made with pride by a family owned and operated company that has been making bicycles since 1891." Starting at $595.






Bonus ideas:
Any other vintage or retro inspired gift ideas? Leave 'em in the comments! 

Happy shopping!

11.04.2011

A Little Effort Goes a Long Way

Let us start off by saying that the Vermodernists are in no way perfect when it comes to fashion. Despite most people's best efforts, there are always going to be certain mornings when it's simply easier to throw on something without much thought - a ratty pair of jeans and t-shirt, for example. Or when it's -10 degrees F outside in the dead of winter and function must come before fashion. But the important thing is, more often than not, we at least try. Do we always succeed? No. But we try. If we're meeting for dinner in "the city" (Burlington, that is) after work on a Friday we each try to step up our outfits a bit. This doesn't mean going to extremes - it means dressing like a grownup. We don't necessarily don suits, ties, or party dresses (usually). To be honest we've found that if you simply leave the house and look presentable for a dining establishment where one does not order at a counter, you're already ahead of the game. Call us old fashioned, but we really don't think it's appropriate for men to wear shorts or for women to wear leggings as pants to a mid- to higher end restaurant for dinner. Plenty of men and women in Vermont do - we see them all the time. But, we digress.

Since most of us (the Vermodernists included) can use a bit of help in the style area, we thought we would just go through some observations and make suggestions as to how a lady or gentleman might have improved her or his look to look more professional, appropriate, interesting, creative, and fun. 

#1: Suit Sans Tie - A Missed Opportunity
Eric needs to attend the occasional conference for work. Since he works in the green energy field these conferences are often attended by people who think that dressing up/business casual means breaking out the  black jeans. But there are always a few guys who will wear a proper suit with a pressed dress shirt - and no tie. Most likely they are trying to go for the "dressed down president" look - like when the president gets out there and rolls up his sleeves, sans necktie, and gives a speech to some labor union. But we feel that that look generally backfires. It's a missed opportunity. The guy went to the trouble of putting on a suit and a nice shirt - and then missed an opportunity to make it interesting with a colorful necktie or a pocket square. The necktie and pocket square are often the only ways men have to express their style if they wear a suit every day. Without a tie, a man looks like a grey blob - drab and uninteresting. If you're going to wear fleece and jeans, so be it. But if you go to the effort of wearing a suit, take it one more step and add an interesting tie. It's easy!

#2: Sportswear Daily
Vermont is an absolutely wonderful place to enjoy the great outdoors, no matter the season. Hiking, cycling, skiing, snowboarding, swimming, oh my. And that's great! It's one of the reasons we moved up here from NYC - so we could cruise around on our bikes with slightly less fear of death from traffic. What we've noticed though, is that people tend to wear basically the same performance clothing to work, restaurants, and events as they do whilst cycling or hiking. A walk down Church Street on a busy fall Saturday evening reveals more performance fabric than the Tour de France and Boston Marathon combined. Now, there are definitely some days when due to crazy Vermont weather, you simply need to wear Gore Tex to get around. But those extreme days are fairly few (knock wood). So this winter, instead of throwing on that North Face jacket that you might ski in, guys, try going with a fitted pea coat (about $200, available locally at the Barre Army Navy Store, and made in the USA). And in milder weather instead of just throwing on a hoody, try a shawl cardigan or a Harrington jacket. And ladies, instead of a sleeping bag coat, for those days that are not super cold why not try a fitted pea coat or black trench? Whatever you do, make sure it fits well. All too often people wear gigantic coats two sizes too large, and while this might feel "comfortable" it tends to end up looking sloppy and has the effect of making you look overweight. 

#3: It's a Clog Clog Clog Clog World
Clogs are everywhere! Somehow, like a virus that lives deep in the jungle and one day makes the jump from animals to humans, clogs somehow made the jump from kitchen staff and waiters to the general population. We get it - clogs are comfortable and easy to wear. You just slide them on and you're ready to go. But they have become so ubiquitous and cliche, so overdone - it's time to move on, or at least branch out. Not only are they the norm among many women in Vermont, but they have even made the leap to men's footwear - man clogs! With a whole universe of interesting shoes to choose from, try branching out a little bit more and moving away from clogs. They do serve a purpose - to take the dog for a quick walk or to pop out for a quick coffee on a lazy Sunday. But for going out at night, and for going to work - try something new. For men, there are plenty of great choices:

Clark's desert boots

Still a bit rugged, desert boots offer a slightly dressed up look compared to a pair of hiking boots for when it's wet outside. Clark's have been making these for decades, and they are a timeless classic that will never go out of style.

Cordovan brogues

Brogues, or wingtips, can be worn to dress up dark jeans, and still look quite smart with a suit and tie. The detail of the wingtip pattern provides a visual interest which makes your whole outfit look more interesting, and the cordovan/brown shade are slightly dressed down compared to black. Pictured above are a pair by Loake Shoemakers of England and a pair by Alden, which are made in the USA. Granted, they are not cheap. But think about value - the quality of these shoes is on another level compared to most shoes that are bought for under $100 (and tend to last for about 3-5 years before they are discarded). Properly cared for, a pair of Loakes or Aldens will last decades, and can be resoled multiple times. That's not just a good value, that's good for the environment.

Doc Martens
Enough already said here on our love for Docs. Comfortable, versatile, cool. Get some.

For the women, eschew the clogs and invest in something equally as comfortable as a clog, but with a bit of style. Who hasn't lusted over a pricey yet fabulous pair of Fluevogs?




#4: Jeans: Go Dark
We've all seen them - those "moms [or dads] on the go" with a gigantic Starbucks super Grande Venti triple caf in one hand and pushing a double stroller with the other. Sadly, a lot of times the demands of parenthood make it so parents stop paying as much attention to themselves as they used to when they were child-free, and they throw all their energy into their children. And many times, this results in the wearing of the dreaded "mom jean." You know what we're talking about - those shapeless, light-colored high-waisted blue jeans that should be relegated to the dustbin of bad fashion history along with 8 Ball jackets and acid wash denim. And despite the jeans' moniker, men are just as guilty. Please - eschew those light, shapeless blob jeans and opt for a darker jean - a darker wash is more slimming, modern (yet classic), and offers a more versatile, neat look.


#5: "If you don't have fit, you don't have style" - Clinton Kelly
Vermont is repeatedly rated one of the most fit/most healthy places in the country, but you wouldn't know it by looking at its inhabitants. That's because many people often wear clothes that are too big. If you've just run that marathon or spent your day snowboarding, show off the fact that you don't look like you topped your day off with a supersized Whopper!  Even if you aren't the next Olympic athlete and prefer to spend your afternoon with a pint of porter and a pretzel, wearing clothes that fit (not to be confused with clothes that are too tight) makes you look much better than wearing something Mrs. Roper would wear.

The original mods of the 1960s were known for being obsessed with fashion down to the smallest, most minute detail. They would spend unspeakable sums of money on clothes only to move on to the next fad or trend the next week or month. Despite our love of many of the original mod stylings, following in their footsteps in that manner is not what we're advocating here. It's more about slowly building a wardrobe built on some classics that will allow you to not only look like a grownup, but will communicate your personality and character to those around you.

Again, we are far from perfect, and we're not trying to judge. We just think that the world would be a more interesting place if more people took more care with the way they presented themselves. It's fun! And it doesn't have to cost a lot of money - just ask Giuseppe over at An Affordable Wardrobe. He recently posted this:


Art Blakey playing some amazing drums in a nice suit and tie in 1965. Look how cool he looks! If he can play drums wearing that, surely you can manage a tie once in a while! So throw caution to the wind - put on that bow tie that's been sitting in your drawer for years. Wear that really cool but slightly offbeat vintage dress you snapped up for $25. Leave the clogs, fleece, and sweatpants at home, and wear something that makes you look like a grownup - not a 40 year old man-child!

We'll leave you with a couple of quotes:

"Create your own visual style ... let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others."
-- Orson Welles

"Dressing well ... involves small acts of daily courage."
-- Alan Flusser

-------------

A couple local resources (echoed from an earlier post) for some classics:

Michael Kehoe Ltd. - Great, local menswear shop on Church Street in Burlington. Incredible service, stocks some great classic items and specializes in custom shirts and suits.

Banana Republic - I know, they are a chain, and most of their stuff is made in Asia. That being said, the quality of their stuff is generally very good, and they do offer some nice, classic, versatile items that you can use in your wardrobe. Get on their email list and you'll never have to pay full price - we get 20-40% off coupons almost weekly.

Urban Outfitters - Again, another chain, but they too have some interesting stuff every now and again. Guys can find some really interesting trousers and ladies can pick up some great basics and accessories.


11.01.2011

Tiki-lite: A Hidden Gem in Winooski

Nothing says "retro" like a fantastic Polynesian restaurant or a Tiki bar.  We at Vermodernist have sampled many a Blue Hawaii at Tiki bars from Otto's Shrunken Head in New York, to Hula's in Monteray California, from Kon Tiki in Tucson, to the Tonga Room in San Francisco. Few of these establishments are renowned for their cuisine, but all are noted for their fantastic kitsch and creative cocktails.

As winter approaches in Vermont, folks are more apt to grab a microbrew than an umbrella drink. However, don't overlook a place right here in "Burlington's Brooklyn" for a night that can serve up both kitschy favorites and kitchen delights.

The Peking Duck House in Winooski is housed in the "Old Mill" building that housed immigrant Woolen Mill workers in the mid-1800s. The interior features oak and mahogany paneling with a fantastic Asian touches.

The restaurant serves up classic Chinese-American food along with some recent Thai and Korean dishes added to the menu.  We have long been fans of Bibimbap and are ridiculously thrilled that we can now find it in our own neighborhood and that it tastes just as wonderful as when we've had it other places around the globe.

The drinks are where the kitsch factor truly comes in as you can get a Singapore Sling, Blue Hawaii, a Zombie or even a Scorpion Bowl (beware).

So go on and put a flower in your hair, Hawaiian shirt under your parka, and umbrella in your drink.  A frosty concoction may be just the thing to warm you up in the dead of winter.

Service is great, space is plentiful, and disappointment has never been an issue.

10.04.2011

NYC SKA Legends The Toasters Coming to Vermont!


Attention ska fans! The venerable NYC SKA band The Toasters will be making a stop here in our fair state on Sunday October 16th as part of their 30th anniversary tour! They will be playing at Club Metronome in Burlington with the local ska band Husbands AKA for the bargain price of $10.

A quick look at the Toasters' tour schedule for 2011 illustrates that 30 years on, these guys are not letting up. It's been a busy year for the Toasters. On the road and playing shows every month this year, April saw them play every single day of the month without a day off, and they've been all around the world playing shows in Europe, Mexico, and in South America.

One of my favorites - "Weekend in L.A.":


Put on your suits and skinny ties - see you at the show.

9.26.2011

Looking for a Ticket Back to the 60s? Don't Take Pan Am

Like many fans of early 60s fashion, culture, and aesthetic, we tuned in last night for the premiere of Pan Am in hopes that it would fill a hole in our television watching schedule left by the delay of the next Mad Men season.  Unfortunately, the show left us with a feeling akin to turbulence rather than one of a magnificent jet age as we had hoped.

From obvious green-screen affects to an over-polished plot and costuming we felt more like we were being transported to a Lifetime movie of the week rather than a midcentury airport.  While I'm sure the show may have its merits and can serve as a guilty pleasure for those "there's nothing on TV" moments, in our opinion it definitely seemed to miss the runway a bit.

The Playboy Club was another "let's see if we can profit from Mad Men" attempt by American television that didn't even grab our attention enough to watch the premiere. Online reviews of the show are mixed, so for some it may fill the "guilty pleasure" category for nights when even reality television can't fill the void.

One new show that has caught our attention is The Hour from the BBC. As Anglophiles who've been known to get into one too many episodes of Coronation Street simply for a dose of British-isms, we're intrigued by this little gem that may be more Mad Men of the newsage. 


The problem with this one, at least for us, is access.  Hopefully the fact that we live in the age of the Internet may mean we too can partake in viewing this little gem sometime in the not too distant future.

Until then, for us,  it will be a steady stream of Mad Men reruns and perhaps a re-watching of some of our favorites including:

A Single Man:

This 2009 gem directed by Tom Ford is set in 1962 Southern California and stars Colin Firth and Julianne Moore.


It is brilliantly acted, provides a captivating story, and is aesthetically beautiful.  If you don't find yourself saying "I want to live in that house" after seeing that midcentury modern gem on screen, I think you need to rewatch the movie!

Far From Heaven:

Alongside Dennis Quaid, Julianne Moore delivers another brilliant performance in this 2002 film set in 1950s Connecticut.


The sets and costumes are flawless, which act as a perfect counterbalance to the flawed society it is depicting.

To go in a bit of a different direction, for all you Suedeheads out there, there's 1969's Bronco Bullfrog.


You could consider this a "deep cut" compared to the other films and shows in this post. Set in London's East End, it follows the story of a couple of tough council estate-living teens, one just out from borstal, as they bounce around the city, doing small crimes, evading the police. Eric admits, it was a little tough to get through - mostly due to the heavy accents and lack of subtitles. But he enjoyed it more as a historical piece about a subculture that has fairly few films and books about it. It's a bit hard to find, but there are a few Amazon sellers offering copies.

Also to be checked out (but we haven't seen them yet):
SoulBoy
Brighton Rock

Any suggestions from you?

8.14.2011

Reading - The Retro Way

While there are numerous blogs reporting on mod culture, style, and retro design, (check out the links we love list for a few of our faves), we thought we'd take this opportunity to tout some of the paper and ink publications that currently reside on our coffee table and bookshelves.  While obviously not an exahustive list, if you're looking to spend the remaining weeks of summer poolside you can't go wrong with these!

Magazines
Atomic Ranch: Many a drool-worthy mid-century modern home and interior has graced the pages of this quarterly gem.  The current summer issue features butterfly rooves, vintage trailers made-over, and sends out some Palm Spring love. The articles provide property history and thorough explanation of interiors while the pictures have you fearing that your beloved living room will never be up to snuff. If this magazine was at your dentist's office, you'd be actually asking to have a root canal.

New cork floors and furnishings from Modernica, Room & Board and Baker fill the living room of a 1953 Cincinnati ranch. Located in Amberley Village, the brick home has fresh finishes courtesy of its fourth owners, but theyĆ¢€™ve chosen to retain the vintage baths and kitchen. MechoShades on the original metal windows and George on the Split Rail daybed suit the room to a T. Story page 36.

Modernism: This mid-century design magazine has a focus that goes beyond the home and includes jewelry, decorative items, and profiles of public spaces and architecture.  Also a quarterly publication, the summer issue profiles Saarinen's Miller House, 1960s British fabrics, and a few modern mod architects.


The Modernist: For the Anglophiles among our readers (and really...who isn't) Eric discovered this little gem and was able to have a subscription sent to us in the States. The Modernist focuses on 20th century architecture and design of the Northwest England.  A small 2-color publication it features well crafted stories, book reviews, and a little bit of history that can be digested like a scrumptious biscuit along with afternoon tea.

Books:
MOD a Very British Phenomenon by Terry Rawlings: Sticking with our British theme, this large coffee table book provides the history of mod culture in both words and pictures. A bit of music, a bit of scooters, a dose of fashion, and a lot of backstory illustrated with vintage photos.  You'll find yourself thumbing through this one again and again.


For those readers interested in British tailoring - especially of the bespoke variety - Bespoke: Savile Row Ripped and Smoothed is an interesting look inside the world of bespoke tailoring told by Richard Anderson. Anderson went to work on the Row as a teenager in the early 1980s and never left. He learned every aspect of the business, but focused on becoming a cutter - cutting patterns and fabrics for coats and trousers of suits that can cost upwards of $15,000. After 19 years at Huntsmans - one of the old school Savile Row tailors - Anderson struck out on his own and opened his own shop - Richard Anderson Ltd. Anderson's writing is sharp and enjoyable and he holds your interest the entire time. 


Guide to Easier Living by Mary and Russel Wright: Originally published in 1950 and re-released in 2003 this little gem provides guidance on everything you could potentially want and need to do in and around your home to make it run most efficiently. It talks about furnishing, lighting, decorating, cooking, cleaning and even provides sample suggested schedules for both full and part-time housewives. While some points are simply a lesson in how far we've come others stand the test of time with a little laugh. 


Robert Doisneau: Palm Springs 1960: This hardcover photo book offers up beautiful photos of a mid-century modern mecca, Palm Springs.  The color photos instantly transport you to the lush and luxurious life of 1960 Palms Springs where cocktails, golf, and a day in the sun were all you had to worry about.


Mid-Century Readers
If you're planning to do lots of reading "the old fashioned way" without the aid of your iPhone, Laptop, iPad, or Kindle's "zoom" features, make sure you have your reading glasses on.  These are a few of our currently in-stock favorites!



Happy reading!

7.21.2011

How to Be Simultaneously Summer Sporty and Retro-Fabulous

This time of year in in the great state of Vermont you'll be hard pressed to find a car driving by that doesn't have a bike (or three) on the roof next to their kayak, canoe, or camping gear.  However, just because one's car looks like it's equipped to live in the woods with Sasquatch, doesn't mean that you have to look that way too. While we understand that many outdoor summer activities require the wearing of "performance" gear, it isn't an excuse to dress badly or give up your retro flare.  Here are some retro fabulous finds to help spruce up your next summer adventures:

Cycling:
If you're just looking for a beach cruiser to roll around town on, Paul Frank offers some fun ones. Unfortunately the Paul Frank MOD cruiser bike is no longer available, but we did locate one or two on craigslist so they definitely can be found.
Mod and retro-inspired bike helmets are easier to find. We personally love Nutcase helmets that come in a variety of fantastic styles.
If you love to be mod and retro, but appreciate more modern conveniences in your cycling gear (like multi-gear bikes!) then don't be afraid to show your retro-love in the form of a fantastic bike jersey.

For women, LL Bean (which is often a purveyor of fashion offense) sells a great Limoncello jersey by Sugoi and  Retro Image Apparel has a Rosie the Riveter Jersey that may inspire you to get up that hill.


For men, the Fred Perry cycling shirt is the gold-standard of the Mod world, but if price and availability make it prohibitive, Retro Image Apparel offers some great options like this 1952 Vuelta Cataluna Jersey.


Water sports:
If your summer fun involves a combination of water sports, beach time, or other fun in the sun pool-side lounging there's no need to go down the ordinary route for swimwear. Modcloth offers plenty of options for ladies of every size.  Here's a sample of a few they have to offer:




For men we're fans of Ben Sherman swimwear which is actually available on some discount sites for reasonable prices.
General:
No matter what your sport or activity is, if you're out this summer a great pair of vintage sunglasses can definitely enhance your look.  As you may know (shameless plug alert), we operate jeneric Vintage Eyewear.  Pick up a pair of vintage frames, add sunlenses and even your most Sasquatch of summer activities will suddenly become much more fashionable.  

Vintage 1960s Raybert Cateye Glasses: Sophisticated SparkleVintage Unisex 1970s Glasses:  Tortoise Shell Statement EyewearVintage 1960s Mens Hornrimmed Glasses: Must Have for SummerVintage Women's 1950s/60s Cateye Glasses: A Classic With a Twist
We don't claim to be style experts, but with a little effort even the hottest summers can be retro cool!

6.26.2011

Midcentury Modern Architecture in Vermont

When Jen and I arrived in Palm Springs, CA for vacation this past February, we could barely believe that a place abounding with so much incredible architecture could exist. Down every street, and around every corner, another incredible midcentury modern design greeted us. From residences, to office buildings and banks, to fast food and retail buildings, Palm Springs bursts with the MCM aesthetic, and is has been lovingly preserved.


After we got home we started wondering if there were any MCM buildings in our own backyard that we hadn't discovered or simply didn't notice. Of course Vermont is known more for its quaint 1800s farm houses and generally a more Colonial style, but we had noticed a few gems here and there. We frequently drove by and admired what is now The Spot on Shelburne Road in Burlington:




There's been some objection lately to The Spot's wind turbine. Once a gas station, it is similar in style, though perhaps a bit less grand, to what is now the Palm Springs Visitor Center - also a former gas station:




Wondering if there were more buildings from this period, Jen did a little digging and found Devin Colman's incredible site, vermontmodern.com. Devin is a Historic Preservation Review Coordinator for the State of Vermont and researched and put together vermontmodern.com in the mid-2000s as part of his graduate studies at UVM. His site is an incredible resource for modern architecture enthusiasts with an interest in Vermont. We decided to check out a few of the buildings he mentions on his site, and after a few adventures around the area, we found some others that are worth noting.
One of our first stops was the Heywood House:



According to Devin Colman's site, this residence in the Hill Section of Burlington was designed in 1959. Over the years different owners had altered it significantly - including one owner who constructed "a makeshift shed roof constructed on top of the original flat roof." Luckily, the present owner removed the roof and other alterations and restored it to its original design.

While biking last fall on the wonderful bike path near the lake in Burlington, we stumbled upon a neighborhood north of Burlington in Colchester with a few really cool homes - mostly MCM-looking ranches.




Love the clerestory windows. 


This one:

somewhat reminded me of the "Swiss miss" style homes we saw in Palm Springs:


Fewer palm trees in Vermont, obviously :)

I've admired the drive through roof of the Key Bank on Bank Street in Downtown Burlington. 


I don't know any history behind this, but it sort of has that almost kidney shape that was popular in the 50s. 

Another 1960s style building in Burlington is the Burlington Electric Department headquarters on Pine Street. Built in 1969, its style does have some elements of MCM.




I love the font. Do people still drop off their electric bill checks via the drive-through? 

Finally, the University of Vermont's McAuley Hall, a dormitory built in 1957, is a great example of midcentury architecture. They are doing some construction work on it, and this photo doesn't do it justice.


Unfortunately we can't all live in Palm Springs and be constantly surrounding by midcentury treasures designed by the giants of architecture. But if you take a closer look at your city you might find some hidden gems worth checking out, and worth preserving. 

Know any other really cool midcentury buildings in the area? Drop us a line!