July 2017 – Pool and Garden Progress

We are making some progress on the pool and landscaping project, we still have a long way to go. We have the ‘fake-glass’ fence to be finished installing [rain delays], then we can finalize grading the land. Once we have the grading sorted out it is onto new irrigation systems and then some additional hardscaping, all that has to happen before the landscaping can go in. We are exhausted just thinking about it, we hope to have to finished by the end of Summer, so we are good to roll next Spring with pool parties and maximum pool enjoyment. Here are a few pieces of drone footage of the progress to date [thanks neighbor for the fly-bys.]

The Design Files – Australia

Thank-you ‘The Design Files’ for breaking your own rules to feature our little house [a non-Australian home] on your ever stylish pages. We often refer to our house as the IKEA version of the Farnsworth House. Our prefabricated home was meant to be affordable design for everyday living. It is not meant to be the fanciest house, just good design that made living simple and easy, and in a eye-pleasing package. Every-time the Frost House is featured we are so humbled to be gracing the line-up of incredible homes that are insane eye-candy, with equally creative residents. So thank-you for sharing our story, and our home, and most importantly for thinking it was worthy of putting it in front of your design conscious readers.

To view the complete story click here.

Point-in-time: July 2017

Mother nature sure knows how to turn it on. A few days ago, after a summer thunderstorm rolled in through the night, we woke up to sunshine and ‘god-rays’ that stopped us in our tracks. The Frost House truly is in a park-like setting, across the street is a forest preserve that is densely wooded and gives us green for days in the spring and summer months. Come the fall, again mother nature puts on a show and an incredible display of color.

Snow Day

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Snow Day. We were so excited for Mother Nature to return for another blanket of snow, it was welcomed in our house, we had missed it this winter. There is nothing better than a dusting of snow to create the perfect back-drop for the architecture of the house. None-the-less it needs to be cleared, but the leaf blower was not exactly a great idea, so out came the snow-blower, I guess the name should have made us wiser.

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Knoll Inspiration

Humbled doesn’t even begin to describe how we feel about our little house being featured on the inspiration pages of the Knoll Inc. website. Look at us featured along side Richard Wright – that alone is amazing.

Through instagram and our #knollfordays / #myknoll tags we managed to grab Knoll’s attention. Curious, Knoll did some digging into their archives – and they too had reference to Knoll’s involvement in the Alside Homes. When they asked if they could do a story we agreed without hesitation. And then they wrote such a beautiful piece on the house – check it out via Frost House | Knoll InspirationThank-you for the fun experience Knoll Inc., and for the love you have given ‘The Frost House’. 

Point-in-time: January 2017

Pure magic. We couldn’t wait to see what the house looked like under a blanket of deep fluffy snow, and we were not disappointed. With floor to ceiling glass panels, the snow gently piled up the sides, and as we sat toasty warm inside feeling like we were in a snow globe.

Banksy our dog was also delighted at the experience, after all snow is his favorite form of weather. It was hard to keep him inside.

Oh! don’t mind out new fence, we will be painting it black in the spring and adding new plantings to the garden beds, planning is in the works.

Although we love the garden, and enjoying time in the screened porch – what we call the ‘aviary’, we really were hoping for a few more snow days than what we have received two far this season. Bring back our ‘snow globe effect’ – just one more time – pleeeease!

Alside Homes – Where are they?

NOTE: Since writing this blog post we have found many more homes. For the latest listings click here.

This advertisement that we found for Alside homes in a newspaper online is fabulous. It claims that if you live in an Alside Home it will save your marriage and make you happy. The article states – “How to be happy, even though you’re married. Buy and Alside home … We won’t go so far as to say that Alside Homes will revolutionize your married life exactly. But they do create the kind of climate good marriages thrive on.” We would have to say that statement has some truth.

Anyway these articles appeared in many newspapers across the mid-west and east coast. The only thing that changed was the authorized builders name. These advertisements are helping us locate other Alside homes that are still around. That and some sleuth work from friends of ‘The Frost House’ – like Trystcraft a purveyor of fabulous mid-century furniture finds [a million thanks]. Here are a few other examples in print:

SO WHERE ARE THEY? 
We are currently at a count of (9) (11) (12) (15) seventeen (17) [update 07-21-17] Alside homes, with 16 still standing, as one lost to a fire.  The homes are stretched across Seven [7] states we have found: six (6) in Illinois; three (3) in Indiana; one (1) in Maryland; three (3) in Michigan; one (1) in Ohio [were Alside was based]; two (2) in Pennsylvania; and one (1) in New York. According to a House & Home article talking about the demise of Alside Homes Corp. that was published in Sept 1964 on page 17 we believe there were 94 built [thanks ModernSTL for tip-off]. So that is 17 down and 77 to go.

Anyway here are the images we have been able to find, via google or real-estate listings:

ILLINOIS (6) 

The below listing was also provided by Trystcraft, they came across this listing when moving to the Mid-West and looking for a mid-century home. The kitchen, and many aspects of this house are similar to ours. It is a 2 story home with a fabulous entry area. The colors are more muted than our home, and we can now confirm that our bathrooms have had an extra cabinet added above the sinks, which we suspected.

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This house [seen below] is also a pitched roof version, and was sold in 2015. We are hoping to get to visit this one in person soon as we have connected with the home owner.

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The following images are of three Alside homes clustered together in Urbana. The directly below has had some major renovations and modernization. It appears to be similar to our floor plan, with some additions made above the garage and altered roofline to increase the ceiling height inside. We would love to see these in person.

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Here is a two stored version with the original color [we are guessing] on the panel. We really do like this muted yellow, it is more like the yellow that is in our kitchen vs. the sunshine bright yellow exterior of our house, that continues into the master bedroom and bathroom, along with the guest bedroom.

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We did connect with the owner of this one via Instagram. Apparently it was once a duplex with two separate addresses and entrances. The owner shared some Flickr photos, and it has some lovely original baked enamel panels in a burnt orange.

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Right around the corner from the above three homes is yet another Alside, Urbana is a ‘hot-bed’ for these homes, I would love to discover who the builder is, they appear to have had some luck with getting these pre-fab homes some and built. We received an email from the homeowners about this one and they provided the photographs. Thanks for the tip, and so great to connect with other Alside homeowners. This one is hard to determine what model it original was, as it has had some renovations done to it over the years. What is interesting about this, is neighbors claim it was built in 1967, although Alside went out of business in 1963, this could have been some repurchase panels that didn’t get built right away – would love to know more.

INDIANA (3) 

This is our neighbor, it is another pitched roof version, that has been painted and an addition added to the back, but has the original windows, along with most of the bathroom fixtures.

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And this is our other neighbor, another pitched roof version, it looks similar to the one in Akron, Ohio and in Kankakee, Illinois. It comes with 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, as it has a finished basement. It also has an in-ground pool surrounded by a glass fence. The kitchen and bathrooms have been remodeled, yet they have the original windows and fireplace.

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MICHIGAN (3) 

This one we found through some old newspaper ads for Alside Homes. The address for the model was listed in the Port Huron Newspaper from 1960 and the minute we googled it – it popped up. What this image doesn’t show is that it sits right on the water and is a short swim to Canada.

Someone on Facebook was friends with the family that once owned this number in Grand Blanc. It is our model flipped and with some modifications to the roof due to leaks, and an extension looks like it has been added on too.

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This listing was also brought to our attention by Trystcraft [the crafty sleuth]. It is a beauty. I think they may have painted over the walnut veneer panels and the kitchen cabinets, but lots of original elements, including the same light fixture as us over the dining table, and let’s talk about that inviting pool. And interestingly enough, this one has operating windows and sliding doors..

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MARYLAND (1) 

The most recent find [March 8th 2017] is another pitched roof version, and appears to be two stories / split level. This was found by researching newspapers.com for articles / advertisements for Alside Homes. The sales model was added in 1963, and here it is still standing today with a fabulous collection of classic cars.

NEW YORK (1) 

With the Frost House appearing in Dwell we received a few emails giving us tips to Alside homes. This one came from someone who as a child had admire the home, and even contemplated buying it as an adult, they lived behind the house. It is a similar style to our model – flat roof and similar layout.

OHIO (1) 

First off, this pitched roof version [seen below] is what we believe to be one of the first homes built. Likely in 1961-1962, this location was referenced as the show house and was found through google street view.

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PENNSYLVANIA (2) 

These two also came to us as a result of the Frost House appearing in Dwell. A realtor gave us the address and details to these two listings. They were both in the same area, and we say were, as one burned down recently. The first home that is still standing has been changed dramatically, with brick veneer added and vinyl siding to the exterior. The interior built-in units and kitchen cabinets have been victims to the DIYer. The home that burned to the ground, had our kitchen and a single section of the bookshelves in the living room [oh if we could have had  saved elements for spare parts for our home].

DO YOU KNOW OF ANY ALSIDE HOMES?
If you come across any Alside Pre-Fabs please let us know by sending an email to info[at]thefrosthouse[dot]com. We would love to learn if there are more of these houses around the country. We believe that they sold somewhere around 200 homes, but don’t think that many were actually built.

We are keeping our eyes peeled for more …..

UPDATES:
February-28-2017 – Two (2) additional homes found in Urbana IL
March-07-2017 – One (1) Sales model located still standing and occupied in LaVale MD
June-22-2017 – Two (2) additional homes found in Meadville PA & One (1) in Kingston NY
July-16-2017 – One (1) additional home was located in Urbana IL
July 21st-2017 – One (1) additional homes was found in Algonac MI