Look Magazine 1962 – The Article


This is the actual magazine that the Alside Homes are included in. Published on January 16th, 1962, it features a 10 page spread on the future of housing with homes made from: plastics; laminated woods; concrete block; reinforced concrete; asbestos cement [we know how that one turns out]; steel and glass; porcelain-enameled steel; and aluminum.


An exceprt for the article –  “Some are homes for the venturesome clients. Others are research houses. All demonstrate that new building materials, suited to mass production, will advance housing from the craft methods of the 19th century to the industrial techniques of the twentieth. The next 25 years will reflect these changes. In excellence of design, performance, cost and appeal, our homes will match America’s best machine-made products.”


And below is the write-up on Alside Homes Corporation …. 


This modern lightweight metal combines easy shipping, which attracts manufacturers, with easy maintenance, which delights homeowners. The research-minded alumium industry has sponsored many experimental houses. But the nearest thing to a mass-produced aluminum house is this one by designer Emil A. Tessin II of Alside Homes Corporation in Akron, Ohio. Floors, roof and solid walls are of refinished aluminum panels, with insulated cores, like the one Tessin sits on at the left. Along with aluminum-framed sliding glass window walls, they are fitted onto a steel frame in a choice of floor plans. Alside’s year-end aim: 200 houses a day. This is a 1,500-square-footer will sell, erected for about $12,000, plus lot.

Publisher: Look Magazine
Producer: John Peter
Photographer: Phillip Harrington

Look Magazine 1962 – Phillip Harrington

A mid-century modern home designed by Emil Tessin

In January 1962 Look Magazine did a story on what the world would be like in 1987, the headline was ‘The next 25 years’. There were many features and interviews with famous people like the Kennedy’s + MLK to drop a few names. Anyway, in that edition one particular story was on the future of housing, where Alisde Homes were featured as homes being built from aluminum would be the norm, how amazing is that [we promptly snatched up two copies from eBay], unfortunately the prediction was off, but nonetheless it was fun to see our prefab home mentioned. The photographer Phillip A. Harrington, was sent to photograph the homes designed by Emil Tessin. Phillip has an extraordinary story himself, he worked as a professional photojournalist from 1940 until about 1990 when he retired traveling across America and internationally.

His son contacted us, Evan Harrington, he was researching Emil Tessin to find connections, and found us. He reached out to see if we would be interested in the ‘outtakes’ from the shoot, of course we purchased them – they are remarkable, and we are excited to be sharing them with you here. What is more exciting, if you are interested in other fabulous photographs of architects like: Carl Koch; Oscar Niemeyer; Louis Kahn; Craig Ellwood, to name a few, or Hollywood stars & famous musicians like: Elvis; Audrey Heburn; Esther Williams; Sean Connery the list goes on – did we mention the Kennedy’s? Please check out over 1600 of Phillip Harrington’s photographs here, they are for sale too. We are looking to add some of these to the walls at the Frost House soon … which ones do we choose? That is our problem… so many great photos.

A mid-century modern home designed by Emil Tessin

A mid-century modern home designed by Emil Tessin

A mid-century modern home designed by Emil Tessin

A mid-century modern home designed by Emil Tessin

If you want to see more of Harrington’s work click here “Notably, Harrington photographed Elvis Presley early in 1956, a critical year in Presley’s career. In 1957 Harrington traveled to Communist China in violation of a United States edict banning American journalists from entering China. In doing so, Harrington stressed the importance of the freedom of the press, and later won the prestigious George Polk journalism award for his photographic essay, published in Look Magazine.” You can read more about Phillip who passed away at the age of 88 in 2009 here.

Emil Tessin

Emil Tessin

Emil Tessin

A mid-century modern home designed by Emil Tessin

Sept. 11th 1962 – Patented


We were not kidding when we said our home has a patent. It was filed on Dec. 6, 1961, with the Serial No. 67,814 for a ‘MODULAR HOUSE’, submitted by –  Emil A. Tessin H, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, as an assignor to Alside Homes Corporation, a corporation of Ohio. It wasn’t until September 11th 1962 that the patent was granted with a term of 14 years. So the patent is now expired, but how marvelous is it – that the design was unique enough to warrant a patent.


Floor Plans – Alside Homes 1962


These floorpans and images came within an attached booklet to the sales brochure we recently shared. We are slowy discovering the location of these homes across the Mid-West, there are more that are in existence: Michigan City, IN; Grand Blanc, MI; Kankakee, IL; and Urbana IL. We are still trying to locate one in Akron, OH where these homes were manufactured. Endless google-map street view searches and so far nothing – but we are not giving up. So far we are at a count of 6 homes, with one other being a similar layout to our home. Do you know of a home that might be an Alisde? We would love to hear from you, please sends us an email through the contact section.


The model above is very similar to our layout. We have a basement, so the stairs are not represented, and our bathroom layout for the guest bath is a little different, it is still essentially our layout. The Model numbers represent the square footage of the house.

screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-1-27-09-pmscreen-shot-2017-01-04-at-1-27-17-pmThese split-level homes with walk-out basements are amazing, and the raised decks are dreamy. The gentleman that shared these images with us from the brochure he procured lives in one of these models. He kindly shared a few snap-shots and WOW – amazing.


And check-out the floorpan below – this one is an art-lovers delight. Loads of natural light and interior gallery space, *sigh* another Alside Home we would have loved to have met. screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-1-27-38-pmscreen-shot-2017-01-04-at-1-27-45-pm

Industry First – Manufactured Aluminum Home

Missed it by *that* much! This sales brochure recently popped up for sale on Instagram, kind followers tried to reserve it for us, but another Alside Homes owner ‘ducked’ into the store and snatched it up. Lucky bugger! Although, we missed out on owning it, we are excited to learn of another Alside Home in Urbana Illinois, and we are thankful for them being willing to share the sales brochure with us.


We pretty much have all this Knoll furniture in our home, and it is all in it’s original coverings. There were even silk plants in the same location as the picture above. We have been inspired to recreate the tablescape for a dinner party sometime soon. So fun …. Check-it out!

screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-1-24-24-pmscreen-shot-2017-01-04-at-1-24-34-pmscreen-shot-2017-01-04-at-1-24-48-pmscreen-shot-2017-01-04-at-1-25-14-pmThey state that the image below is a ‘Typical Patio Scene’ – we better get onto that this spring when we add a patio off the guest bedrooms – we always had a thing for banana lounges. Does anyone have a good source for vintage ones?


Alside Home – Prefab


When we purchased the home, the original owners had this ‘Sales’ brochure to share with us. It is within its pages that we discovered that the house was a prefabricated design by Emil Tessin, with interiors by Knoll and Paul McCobb. We have so much to discover and research to learn more, this has given us a great head start and an understanding of some of its importance. We did learn from the family, that when they moved into the house – it was furnished. All the built-in units are by Paul McCobb, and all the furniture is Knoll. We purchased the home with many of its original contents. This is where we begin our preservation journey. Next stop, Indiana Landmarks – we want to make sure this home continues to live long after we are done with it too.