Finding a Mid-Century Modern Home in Philadelphia

Mid-century modern homes built in Philadelphia from the 1940s through the 1970s have stood the test of time and remain popular even today. Often, they are easy to identify by their unique architectural features.

Philadelphia homes built between the mid 1940s through the 1970s are often influenced by the mid-century modern aesthetic. This mid-century style evolved in the United States during the post-war period. In the Philadelphia region, these homes have stood the test of time and remain popular even today. Often, they are easy to identify by their unique architectural features. Mid-century styles typically include an open layout, clean exterior lines, and an abundance of windows situated to maximize natural light. An interesting feature in some mid-century homes are rooms described as bomb shelters. Packed with historic charm and appealing architecture, here are just a few of the highlights to look for when shopping for mid-century homes.

Characteristics of Mid-Century Modern Floor Plans

Originally built during the era of Mad Men and Jersey Boys, mid-century modern homes contain certain design characteristics reflecting the lifestyles and preferences of this time period. Simplicity was often a hallmark of these homes, many of which were built with flat roofs and open floor plans. Homes from this period range from two-story structures to split levels with several short staircases. Some were cube shaped. Many one-story ranch homes were also built during this era.

Design Elements

In mid-century homes lighting was an important design element. Eye catching light fixtures were often a signature part of the overall home decor. Another key design element was the joining of outdoors and indoors. Sliding patio doors and extended roofs out over outdoor patios were popular features of mid-century homes, as were walls of windows. Furniture with sleek lines and geometric patterns were popular. Kitchens in these homes were more contemporary in style, with simple cabinetry.


Image Source: Flickr/stacia lynch

Mid-Century Homes in the Philadelphia Region

Homes built in the mid-century period are still found in abundance both in the city and suburbs of Philadelphia. Examples are provided in the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia’s inventory of homes by architectural type. Included are townhomes in Society Hill as well as many other residences throughout the city designed and built in this era. Of particular note are the open layouts and designs favoring natural lighting, features which make these homes a favorable option for new home buyers. Simply stated, mid-century modern style is easy to work with decor-wise, and meshes well with today’s trends in furnishings and home design. Why not check out some of the mid-century period homes available for sale in Philadelphia today?


Jennifer DiGiovanni is a freelance writer and a partner in a real estate investment firm focusing on residential properties. She previously worked in the financial services industry and has earned an MBA from Villanova University. Jennifer enjoys writing about real estate, home improvement and small business.

Subscribe to Blue Matter and get the latest updates

Leave a Reply

Share on Facebook Share on Twiiter Share on Pinterest Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp Share on Telegram Share on Email