Time Travel to ers' Childhood Homes, Part 1

The answer you ers had to our call to split the homes you grew up in has been wonderfully overwhelming. I have spent a great deal of time reading through all your memories, and I suggest everyone else do the same. If you want to take a break from work or give yourself a reward, then simply sit down with your laptop or iPad and enjoy the photos and stories.

I’ll be doing several installments during the upcoming few weeks so that each story can get its due. They’re in no particular order and include homes in a variety of styles and sizes, in widespread locations. Enjoy!

Detroit. This is one of user ikwewe’s youth homes (she is the baby in this picture, which reveals four generations), a post–World War II tract home at the Brightmoor area of Detroit. Built in 1946, the home had clapboard siding with salmon trimming.

“I grew up in four different houses, a brand new tract postwar bungalow, a leased Queen Anne, a really flimsy older bungalow along with a 1940s colonial,” she says. “The first one was our base family home. My parents put a lot into it at the seven years we lived there, finishing the attic, redoing the kitchen redecorating, placing in new siding. It was just 722 square feet, with two bedrooms, 1 bathroom, a living room and an eat-in kitchen”

She’s “Back in these days, nobody except the people in mansions really had a good deal of living room. Large families were increased in little houses. The huge spaces in houses today are beautiful, there is no doubt, however when all is said and done, all that space is a luxury.”

Philadelphia. “I grew up at a historical trinity home [a three-story home with each floor containing one room] at the Queen Village section of Philadelphia,” says user lindalaska.

“It was probably just about 800 square feet; the kitchen and second bedroom was added on at some point, the fireplace nevertheless had the iron hardware in it to hang baskets and cook, also there were no doorknobs — it still had the black metal beams. To this day I can run up and down turned steps with no problem.

I took this picture last year, and it hangs in my living room today. Coincidentally this home and my current home both have navy blue doors”

Medford, Oregon. “‘Classic charm’ is what the local newspaper said about my childhood home,” says Jane Engel about her childhood home. “As a child I watched it more as an enjoyable place to explore … the open attic was a giant playroom, the dumbwaiter, turned into a wood elevator, was a great spot to put my infant brother and crank up and down between floors (until my mother abruptly put an end to it!) , the cellar was constantly creepy, except for my dad’s workbench which had formerly been a pub, and housed tools that were curious, along with the lawn that seemed enormous as it was my turn to clip on the yard edges, and pick up acorns around all 24 trees! The family that purchased the home after us reside inside and have remained friends. It’s a treat to stop by every few years and feel home again.”

Hawthorne, California. “My grandparents purchased this on a half-acre lot at the mid-1940s,” says user friendliness. “From my understanding, the previous owner tended an orchard. The strangest aspect of the home proved to be a three-sided pantry space just big enough to stand in on a stepladder that beamed through the ground and into the attic. It was known as the cooler. Consequently I’m partial to modest homes on big lots with a great deal of trees”

She describes, “It was located in Hawthorne, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. It was on precisely the exact same road as the diner used in the film Pulp Fiction. The original Beach Boys were from Hawthorne. There was nothing spectacular about the home; my grandpa did most of his own repairs, add-ons etc.. The place has been home to four generations — my two children lived there together with my mom and I. That old home served us well, but she was drained; it was time to let her move.”

Des Moines, Washington. “This is the home of my heart, approximately 1952 at Des Moines, Washington, south of Seattle near at which end of this Sea-Tac runway is currently,” says user Fl!p Breskin. “The home still stands, and I occasionally drive by. Both my sister and I purchased similar houses when we grew up. Afterwards we lived at a ranch in the burbs, but this one was home.”

Breskin included this happy interior shot, saying, “Mom made all the slipcovers for your furniture, and most of the cowboy outfits as well (except that the hats). Our current 1905 home is 1,200 square feet. I believe this one was two bedrooms: one for parents, one for 3 kids. After we moved I was promised my very own room. Imagine my shock when they wanted me to sleep inside all alone by myself!”

Temple, Texas. “I love the home I grew up, because it reminded me of a Frank Lloyd Wright home — open, a lot of glass, built around trees … ” says user cucolo of her childhood home, which was built in 1961. “It sat up on a mountain and felt really personal. The bedrooms were completely different from the dwelling spaces, so the children could be in 1 end of the home while the parents entertained in a different. Loved it!”

Here’s a peek inside cucolo’s midcentury modern home. The architect was Vail Logdson, of Logdson and Voelter Architects.

Pawtucket, Rhode Island. “Here’s the new home I grew up in with my sister and brothers. It was built in 1966,” says er normpo. “That black spot is Laddie, our dog. He was a part collie and part German. He was a wonderful dog! We had fun in that home. My mom still lives there now.”

Chicago. “My mom, a design nut, worked with an architect on our Chicago area home in the ’50s. It was Miesian in concept but not as strict in its program,” says whalerwoman. “it is a house that would stand up now against any I’ve ever seen. The materials were organic — white oak, rock, brick, cork and glass. The house faced largely south had a open floor planthat was light full of floor-to-ceiling windows, and had the master suite on the floor”

She’s “The wonderful kitchen proved to be a workable galley style, with stainless sink and appliances, brick backsplashes, custom hardwood cabinets and open into the living areas. The entire house was ahead of its time. It’s inspired me for 60 years to love and detect good home design. This home was comparatively small but had everything we needed — only enough space, an abundance of sun and a casual presence.” Unfortunately, this wonderful home was torn down from the ’90s to make way for “a 5,000-square-foot faux-colonial McMansion,” she says.

Tarrytown, New York. “I grew up at a Dutch colonial in Tarrytown, New York. My memories of that great front porch have followed me,” says karenfromkatonah. “There is nothing about a porch!”

Ipswich, Queensland. “I grew up in Ipswich, Queensland, Australia, and this is a standard modest postwar home: large on stilts (better cooling and good in flooding), wide verandas (often later enclosed), latticework, louvered windows and a corrugated iron roof,” says vivapam. “A strong memory is hearing the rain beating down on the roof at a tropical thunderstorm.”

Napa, California. The home I grew up in was built from the mid-1950s at Napa, California,” says er laurajg. “The home is still particularly adored, because the architect has been my dad. Our home was furnished with now-iconic furniture (Eames chair and Nelson benches etc). This beginning definitely influenced the type of design I still adore.”

Here’s a peek inside laurajg’s midcentury modern youth home.

Manhasset, New York. “I have really fond memories of my early youth home in Manhasset, New York,” says Bill Vandersteel. “Having to move away when I was just 10 makes the longing even more fervent. My dad bought it from the original owner, who built it as a summer home in 1929. My mom had it whitewashed, along with also my dad painted the walls in a traditional Dutch routine”

Omaha, Nebraska. “Until I was 9, we lived in a Queen Anne Victorian in Omaha, Nebraska. It was built in 1895,” says user agiesbrecht. “It was gorgeous and wonderful, but was not really big enough — yes, actually! It had just 3 bedrooms, and the area was not safe for children to wander around. We then moved into a lovely oversized ranch on two-thirds of the acre and tons of trees. I overlook ‘the old home’ (as we call it) and its beautiful details — brass hardware, a curved staircase at a tower, tall windows — and now I miss having a bedroom under the eaves. I prefer the Arts and Crafts style today, but the richness and beauty of this old home’s architecture influences my taste in design.”

Tigard, Oregon. “I grew up in my father’s family home on Grant Street at Tigard, Oregon. It was a Dutch colonial that my grandma had made, complete with basement and attic,” says Linda Kurth. “On rainy days, we children had lots of room to play”

The setting also provided lots of fond memories for Kurtz. “Situated on two acres, there was also a small barn which became our playhouse, big trees to climb, wildflowers, picnics in the ‘playground’ and a massive garden. I think my love of Arts and Crafts furnishings and architecture, and the urge to make my own little wildflower retreat are a result of residing in that magical place and time,” she says.

A hamlet near the Welsh border. “In the first part of World War II my mom took us three kids away in the bombing from the London area into some remote hamlet close to the Welsh border,” says user adastra123. “This was taken in 1941 when we kids were 10, 4 and 7 (me!) ,” she says. “What did people eat? Strict rationing was in place, with very large quantities of beef, eggs, legumes, canned products — not sufficient to obtain additional weight on but decent!”

She describes, “Living close to a working farm, we were probably in a better position than many to be the recipients of a few extra rations and fresh veggies. Families with young kids obtained concentrated orange juice along with a mixture of cod liver oil and malt — delicious, I thought!”

“For many years we lived here in Old Church Cottage, so called because it was adjacent to the 12th-century church which still stands today, as does the cottage itself,” adastra124 persists. “There was no running water, no indoor plumbing, no heat, gas or electricity. Lighting consisted of hurricane lamps and candles. The floor of one bedroom has been that the bed had to be propped up to stop it sliding about. My mom fetched water from a well. She cooked on a Primus, and the place was warmed with a kerosene stove which made patterns on the ceiling. My husband and I seen a little over a year ago, my first time back in almost 70 years. The cottage is now a lovingly restored ‘bijou home,’ although not much could be achieved without permission because it’s ‘recorded’ The bedroom floor is still on a tilt!”

Your turn: ers, get out your photo scanners and records and keep them coming! Insert your youth homes and memories into the Comments section below or from the original Call.

Next: Produce a “Forever House” Connection

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