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Tips to research origins of our MCM

6 replies [Last post]
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Joined: Jul 30 2022

Hi! I'm new on these forums and looking for tips on how to research the birth of a mid-century modern home we recently purchased in the Bay Area (architect, builder...that sort of thing). Here are some details:

  • Located in Pleasanton Heights (a few blocks east of downtown Pleasanton CA)
  • Built in 1956
  • Exposed post-and-beam construction
  • Beams do not extend beyond the eves
  • Tongue and groove ceiling following roofline
  • Originally 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1250 square feet
  • No atrium 
  • Crawlspace

Although there are many houses of the same model near us, most of the houses in the neighborhood are not of MCM design.
Thanks for any tips :-)

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Joined: Jul 17 2003

Two suggestions:
1. Post photos here of your home's exterior and interior for us to see....and ponder.
2. Check with your planning and buildings departments, since they may have information about your home's architect and/or builder.
-- Marty

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Joined: Jul 30 2022

Thanks Marty! I'm not sure how to post images, but here's a YouTube listing of a house that's the same model:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyjlbXOB2c4
There are some obvious modifications (metal panel garage door now, dining area window no longer original style, etc.), but it's a pretty good representation.

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Joined: Jul 17 2003

Interesting...especially that overlapping roof configuration. Does not ring a bell re. builder/architect though, so best to check with building + planning...

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Joined: Jul 30 2022

Thanks for taking a look!

stega's picture
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Joined: Aug 7 2022

Also try looking through your county/city records for past permitting information.  Even back then there should have been  paperwork filed for the original build.  You can glean lots of useful info from that sort of thing:  contractors, deed transfers, etc.  Traditional web searches on the address and any names you find might locate images or even people who lived in the home -- usually the children.  Reaching out to past owners/their children might get you some interesting stories as people are often very curious to see or hear bout their childhood homes.

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Joined: Jul 30 2022

That's super helpful. Thanks stega!

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