[caption id="attachment_33054" align="alignleft" width="400" caption="Photograph by Michael Walmsley"][/caption]

If I was in town this weekend (I'm in NYC), tomorrow, I'd definitely join the Midcentury Modern fangroup Docomomo Wewa—the nickname for the somewhat unwieldy Documentation and Conservation of the Modern Movement, Western Washington—for a $5 tour of the Ryning House in Medina. The midcentury custom home, built by architect Paul Hayden Kirk, stands as a testament to all things MCM, including acres of glass walls, split-level architecture, an open floor plan, lots of wood surfaces, and lots of architectural interplay between the home's interior and the sylvan setting surrounding it. Oh, and it happens to be on the market for a cool $950,000.

According to Docomomo, the home was built by Kirk for The Rynings family—a merchant marine and a homemaker with a mid-century sized passel of four kids—and has remained in the family since its construction in 1953. Kirk designed residential, commercial and office buildings throughout the Eastside and Seattle back in the day, dabbling for a time in the flat-roofed "international" style and then eschewing it for other variations on mid-century themes.

Why's midcentury modern so cool right now? I have a theory: First it was the "Dwell effect"—modern, well-to-do urban yuppies who liked the sleek style and clean lines of the homes. But now, it's the "Mad Men" effect. Ironically, much of the midcentury housing that brings to the contemporary imagination visions of fictional adman Don Draper knocking back martinis with witty mistresses and having epiphanies about advertising jingles was built for families. But these homes have a mystique, suggesting an era when the party began at lunch time and the work day ended at five.

Docomomo Wewa runs periodic tours of area homes that typify classic elements of midcentury modern, and goes activist when great midcentury properties face the wrecking ball. Since I can rarely attend their architectural tours, I have to satisfy myself looking at copies of Atomic Ranch,  a cool indie mag out of Portland, and day-dreaming about stuff I could do to my own non-luxury-level midcentury "raised rancher" in town. If you go, let me know how you liked the place. And send some pictures, OK?
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