Brevard Heritage Council’s Home Tour Focuses on Mid-Century Modern Architecture

Mad for Modern, a tour of five privately owned homes will be presented to highlight the importance of preserving Brevard’s mid-century modern architecture during a home tour on March 8. These homes exemplify the movement that swept the U.S. and Europe when modern thinking revolutionized art, architecture, and technology. Mid-century modern homes were designed around the idea of functional beauty. Look for sleek lines, open floor plans, natural materials and space-age styling.

Brevard Heritage Council offers an insider’s view and understanding of mid-century modern residential architecture. On March 8, visitors will tour five privately owned homes from this era. One is a fully rehabbed 1953 transitioned ranch to split level. This art filled house, designed by Melbourne Architects, Garmin and Thimm, showcases original elements, from broad open beams and cantilevered deep eaves to oversized windows, overlooking the beautiful Indian River Lagoon.

Ann and Thomas Petrosky purchased their mid-century modern home in 1995 after moving to Florida in 1979 from Lancaster, Pennsylvania and first settling in Melbourne Beach.

“The outdoor living spaces and layout of this house were so unique and appealing to us,” Ann explains. “The screened pool at the center of the house, literally a few feet from every room, and the small pond in the backyard, were a nice, serene contrast to the beautiful but demanding conditions we experienced living on the ocean for seven years.”

In fact, the outdoor spaces were so enticing, they were able to overlook the lack of central air conditioning and smaller living spaces indoors – just 1,890 sq. feet. “This rather small house lives big because of the outdoor space.”

The architecture of the home allows for light filled spaces in every room. The windows are generous in size and number. The high, beamed ceiling in the living room visually expands the living space and focus on the private outdoor spaces in the center back of the house. The terrazzo floors and the v-board paneling were finishes new to the Petroskys but turned out to be practical and easy to care for.

“Initially we installed central air conditioning and focused on cosmetic updates like paint and refinishing the terrazzo floors,” Ann said. “For the most part the landscaping is original as is the backyard pond.”

Six years ago, the kitchen was updated to improve the flow and functionality while respecting the existing design style. They removed two walls that separated the kitchen and living room and moved the laundry room to the bedroom side of the house. They also installed hardwood floors through most of the house.

“Growing up in historically rich Lancaster Pennsylvania, historical preservation was the rule rather than the exception to us,” Ann says. “It feels important and natural for us to treat our Florida life in the same way.”

All the homes on the tour have one thing in common, the iconic style, while bringing them into the 21st century with thoughtful updates.

“It is a privilege to open our house to the home tour,” Ann said. “Being situated on the fragile barrier island, the Indialantic community should foster its young history to provide an atmosphere that will teach us about the past and preserve the delicate ecosystems of the land and the integrity of the architecture that we enjoy every day.”

The Brevard Heritage Council is dedicated to preserving, enhancing, revitalizing, and using architecturally significant buildings in Brevard County by uniting efforts of all preservation groups within the Brevard area. For more information visit BrevardHeritageCouncil.org or Facebook.com/pages/Brevard-Heritage-Council-Inc

Mad for Modern Home Tour
March 8, 1 – 5 p.m.
The tour starts at
Indialantic City Hall,
216 5th Avenue, Indialantic

Other Local Home Tours:

March 15
The Women’s Center Kitchen Tour
Tour seven beautiful kitchens located in Suntree, Lake Washington, Eau Gallie, Merritt Island, Turkey Creek, Indialantic, and Lansing Island. Sample bites from local chefs such as Djon’s, Melos, Rum Island Grill, Taproot Lounge, Petty’s of Suntree and The Green Turtle. Take a chance on winning a floral arrangement or treats from local bakeries. The tour begins at 10 a.m. and costs $45. WomensCenterinBrevard.org

June 7
Pond and Garden Tour
Hosted by ACE Hardware in Merritt Island, this tour includes ponds both natural and manmade and gardens throughout the county. Between 15 and 20 homes are featured each year. Maps can be picked up at local ACE Hardware stores beginning the week before the event. Free admission. (321) 452-3484

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