Mid-Century Modern design is an architectural style that exudes a distinct charm, combining simplicity, functionality, and a connection to nature. This style, which thrived from the mid-1940s to the late 1960s, is still much sought after today. A prime example of this timeless style is a particular home nestled in the heart of Princeton, New Jersey. Designed by the renowned architect Wynant D. Vanderpool Jr., and built for the celebrated mathematician Atle Selberg, this structure is a testament to the enduring appeal of Mid-Century Modern design.
The Significance of the Structure
The home, currently listed for $525,000, offers a unique opportunity for preservationists and enthusiasts of Mid-Century Modern design. The structure must be lifted and relocated, preserving its original form and design. This requirement for preservation signifies the respect and admiration the home commands due to its historical and architectural value.
The Architect: Wynant Davis Vanderpool Jr.
The creative mind behind this architectural masterpiece is Wynant Davis Vanderpool Jr., AIA, a distinguished architect who left a significant mark on the architectural landscape. Vanderpool Jr. was a Princeton University alumnus, where he earned both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Fine Arts in Architecture.
He was instrumental in several restorations in Washington, most notably St. John’s Episcopal Church in Lafayette Square and the Victorian Hall at the National Portrait Gallery. Furthermore, he served as the president of the Foundation for the Preservation of Historic Georgetown. This home in Princeton, NJ, is a testament to his architectural prowess and unmistakable Mid-century style.
The Original Occupant: Atle Selberg
Adding to the house’s rich history, it was built specifically for Atle Selberg, a renowned mathematician from Norway. Selberg’s work in analytic number theory and automorphic forms has made significant contributions to the field of mathematics. He was awarded the prestigious Fields Medal in 1950 and received an honorary Abel Prize in 2002. The home’s practical design and elegant demeanor mirror Selberg’s methodical and theoretical approach.
The house showcases recognizable Mid-century Modern design elements like a flat roof with an overhang and a central chimney block—an explicit display of character. Its generously sized windows allow an abundance of natural light to permeate the interior, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.
The interior layout comprises three well-designed bedrooms, a sunroom that can be enjoyed all year round, a kitchen with a breakfast nook, and a home office with a separate entrance. This vintage yet practical floor plan accommodates the demands of contemporary lifestyles while maintaining its retro charm.
Materials and Craftsmanship
The home showcases a fusion of natural materials that are characteristic of the Mid-century Modern aesthetic. The craftsmanship of the 1950s is evident in the seamless blending of the warmth of wood and the durability of stone in the home’s interior.
The deliberate use of organic materials throughout the house creates a timeless appeal. These carefully selected elements not only embody the Mid-century Modern design spirit but also serve as a testament to the enduring allure of Vanderpool Jr.’s work.
Preservation and Future Possibilities
The home, listed by David Schure and Callaway Henderson at Sotheby’s International, has been well-preserved over the past 70 years. The single-story layout offers a charming and functional format typical of homes built in the 50s and 60s. This listing presents a unique opportunity to bridge the past with the future. Listing: 35 Stonehouse Drive, Princeton, NJ 08540
This Mid-Century Modern home represents a unique opportunity to preserve a piece of architectural history while creating new memories in a location of your choosing. The house stands as a symbol of Princeton’s past, a beacon of design history, and a testament to the enduring appeal of Mid-century Modern architecture.