Welcome to the New Year

Something new from CA-Modern magazine too—with the arrival of our Winter '22 issue
  Fridays on the Homefront
The new Winter '22 issue of CA-Modern magazine (above) is en route to mailboxes everywhere. Our cover image, of the 'Little Boxes' of the Westlake development in Daly City, sets the stage for a new CA-Modern story covering the 60th anniversary of the provocative 1960s folk song of the same name. Photo: Richard Randolph Rahders
 

Bringing together a range of topics, from the country's very first modern residential developments to architect and artist Paolo Soleri's legendary mid-century wind bells, CA-Modern magazine's new Winter '22 issue certainly doesn't disappoint.

In 'First and Foremost,' an engaging story by features editor Dave Weinstein, we revisit the earliest modern tracts ever built in the U.S. The story brings together architects Gregory Ain, Richard Neutra, future Eichler Homes' architects A. Quincy Jones and Bob Anshen, and other pioneers who were behind the planning and design of these milestone residential developments.

Weinstein demonstrates "how several streams of thought came together at the end of the war [World War II] that would turn the dream of mass modern housing into reality," and discusses the motivation of the developers and merchant builders who shaped America's postwar suburban housing.

Fridays on the Homefront
From 'First and Foremost': Park Planned Homes in Altadena, 1946. Architect: Gregory Ain. Photo: Julius Shulman (© J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute - Los Angeles (2004.R.10)

What's more, he addresses an all-important question that surfaced in the postwar era: "How can we build not just tracts, but communities?" Expertly researched (as usual) by Weinstein, 'First and Foremost' includes period images by photographers Julius Shulman and Ernie Braun, among others.

Another fascinating feature you won't want to miss is the latest installment of 'Art About the House,' which profiles Italian ceramicist/architect Paolo Soleri and his exquisite wind bells, a favorite collectible among mid-century modern homeowners often seen on display in Eichlers.

'Bells of Wonder' explores Soleri's philosophy and the 'ecological architecture' of Arcosanti, "a city built on the proceeds of [Soleri's] wind bells." Cosanti Originals, established in 1955 in Paradise Valley, Arizona, is still in business, producing the ceramic and bronze bells that continue to be popular today.

  Fridays on the Homefront
'Bells of Wonder': they're still ringing loudest in the rich legacy of architect Paolo Soleri. Photo: Cosanti Originals
 

"There's a pink one and a green one, and a blue one, and a yellow one..." If that lyric sounds familiar, it's because this catchy 'ticky-tacky' phrase, from the provocative folk song 'Little Boxes,' may still be haunting you. It also caught the ear of the 1960s generation in a big way back then. Celebrating the song's 60th anniversary, CA-Modern writer Carol Sveilich, who describes the tune as a "catalyst for cultural introspection and change," brings us 'Echoes of 'Little Boxes.''

"If a nursery rhyme and a political folk song had a baby," says Sveilich, "it would be called 'Little Boxes'"—as she takes us aboard the wayback machine, revisiting the political climate of the time, the message behind the song, and the backstories surrounding its creator, singer-songwriter and political activist Malvina Reynolds.

  Fridays on the Homefront
'Echoes of 'Little Boxes'': the provocative folk song that spurned the suburban way of life.