Tulsa World Article

26 Jan

I was recently contacted by Kim Brown of the Tulsa World to visit about Modern Tulsa. I am quite flattered that she would seek me out. The article is below discussing Modern Tulsa as an entity with a focus on modern homes in Tulsa, in particular Lortondale. The picture I dig.

The Mod squad
Group adores retro look of Lortondale


By KIM BROWN World Scene Writer

Dustin Thames (left) and Cole Cunningham in Thames' Lortondale home. "This neighborhood is like living in a painting," he said. "It's a way to apply design to your living style." Said Cunningham: "Neighborhoods like this in L.A. are coveted." Stephen Pingry / Tulsa World

Dustin Thames (left) and Cole Cunningham in Thames Lortondale home. "This neighborhood is like living in a painting," he said. "It's a way to apply design to your living style." Said Cunningham: "Neighborhoods like this in L.A. are coveted." Stephen Pingry / Tulsa World

Flat roofs, sleek lines, wood paneling. What some might consider outdated is in high demand for Modern Tulsa.

When Tulsan Cole Cunningham decided to move back from Phoenix a little more than a year ago, he created a Web site to locate like minds who appreciate mid-century modern architecture and other modern styles. And what he found was an enthusiastic and excitedly eclectic following.

Members of Modern Tulsa are architects, designers, Realtors and home owners who like the design and aesthetic of the 1950s and 1960s homes built in many Tulsa neighborhoods, such as the Lortondale neighborhood near 26th Street and Yale Avenue.

“There are a lot of nice little neighborhoods in Tulsa, and Lortondale is probably Tulsa’s biggest and most noteworthy,” said Cunningham, who works at Winston Media. “There’s a great collection of homes and most are still intact. Neighborhoods like this in L.A. are coveted.”

Lortondale was created in the 1950s by builder Howard Grubb and architect Donald H. Honn to provide modern, affordable homes for families during the Baby Boom. Some of Modern Tulsa’s members live in Lortondale, such as Dustin Thames, a Realtor. He purchased his home because he’s been “into mid-century stuff as long as I can remember.”

“This neighborhood is like living in a painting. It’s a way to apply design to your living style.”

Thames has taken mid-century modern to heart.

From the vintage furniture he purchased at estate sales to the authentic wood paneling and cabinets in the house to his dishes designed by Russel Wright, Thames’ home is a throwback.

“It hasn’t been what I like to call, ‘Home Depot-fied,’ ” he said. “This is good for a guy like me because it’s my first home, but it’s a value.”

He’s had to put some work into it, like pulling out the carpets and installing stainless-steel countertops in the kitchen. But keeping it authentic hasn’t been outrageously expensive.

“Is it feasible? Absolutely,” Thames said. “The hardest part is doing it. But there are forums and magazines have pages dedicated to restoring these places.”

But Modern Tulsa isn’t limited to just mid-century. Cunningham said the group is also interested in urban modern and more current styles. He met Thames through the group, which has had a few events since forming. Networking and education are also goals.

“I don’t claim to know it all,” Cunningham said. “On the weekends I get out and explore and take photos. That’s how I find a lot of people.”

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3 Responses to “Tulsa World Article”

  1. Waylon Summers, Lovetts Gallery 26. Jan, 2009 at 4:40 pm #

    Nice! A little attention never hurts!

    Btw, I just ran across the magazine Atomic Ranch…awesome!

  2. cole 26. Jan, 2009 at 4:49 pm #

    Hey Thanks, Waylon!

    Yeah, Atomic Ranch is great. The magazine is quite focused and I like how many of the homes they feature are “attainable” as opposed to so many of the dwell homes or other high-brow publications that I could only dream of owning. Those are real deal.

  3. Waylon Summers, Lovetts Gallery 26. Jan, 2009 at 4:52 pm #

    I feel that. The wife and I are in talks over remodeling our ‘54 Ranch or to move further North and West…I am obviously a fan of the rennovation!

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