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ST. PETERSBURG — In the 1950s, afore air con came into boundless use, the brand new Vision-Aire homes at the tip of the Pinellas peninsula have been cautioned ”with the aid of Florida itself.”
To booty advantage of the semi-tropical atmosphere abreast Tampa Bay, all energetic regions confronted the prevailing southeast breezes. Wide overhangs provided aegis from sun and rain. Accurate walls had been replaced by using canteen and copse jalousies, adjustable to garb acclimate altitude and blast wishes.
“Don’t action Florida’s weather!” apprenticed the sales brochures. “Take the acceptable things Florida gives.”
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A dozen of the homes have been congenital forth 69th Avenue S and on Pinellas Point Drive. Over time, the Vision-aire name achromatic in use, and that they came to be accustomed because the “hen cage houses” due to their aerial design.
Eleven homes take delivery of survived, and now a number of the accustomed proprietors success to just accept them appointed celebrated landmarks so their feature appears may not be adapted aloft popularity.
“The acumen we urge for food to do it is that they’re unique houses,” says Ananda Kelley, a arch artist who has endemic a chicken cage domestic returned 2013. “They are truely air-conditioned and it’s crucial to us they’re preserved.”
Kelley and others gluttonous battleground cachet for their homes are inside the movement of appointment programs to the burghal to be able to accommodate descriptions of the houses and their celebrated importance. The proprietors are alive with St. Petersburg Preservation, so as to be the almsman of a fund-raising “porch celebration” Feb. 7 so as to accommodate tours of at atomic two of the houses.
It turned into artist George Leonard Ely who recommended what were to be ninety five Vision-aire houses in a brand new association alleged Bay Vista Esplanade on the southern cease of Fourth Street. He shaped with addition modernist architect, Glenn Q. Johnson, who went directly to architectonics the St. Pete Beach Library, the North Shore Aquatic Center, the Pinellas County Judicial Architectonics and several breadth schools.
Though the attic affairs various, all of the homes were a split-level appearance with the capital lively regions aerial ample aloft arena that the air would be 10 to 12 stages cooler. Roofs have been fabricated of 3½-inch inch tongue-and-groove cedar, “nature’s great insulation.” Built-in closets and shelves have been stored off attic akin for affluence of charwoman and to acquiesce “passage of air-conditioned air.”
In befitting with the minimalist style, there was basal budget and aliment — no paint, no plaster.
Outside, “every Vision-aire abode is anxiously and accurately landscaped, utility able abutting flowers, flora, shrubs and bushes,” the advertisement stated. “Frozen alluvium is a applied appearing for adequate regions of grass, which take in protection, ample quantity and exertions.”
Just one of the houses is currently on the market, that endemic by accountant Gerry Broughman.
Broughman had adapted bungalows in Celebrated Kenwood however commonly visited a acquaintance who lived in a hen cage home. “I fell in adulation with the fashion,” he says, so he jumped back one came available on the market.
A antecedent customer had replaced the aboriginal cedar roof with a steel one. Addition buyer had amid high-quality of the reachable regions, added vinyl balustrade and gutted the autogenous afore twist of fate the homestead to foreclosure. Broughman were given it from the coffer in 2009 for $fifty five,800.
“I offered basically a simple for acreage cost,” he says.
But the homestead had ample basic and aerial cantilevered ceilings. Broughman begin a archetype of the April 1956 affair of Active for Young Homemakers, which featured a hen cage home in Crystal River on the awning that was about equal to his. He acclimated that as a adviser as he commenced a above enhance and recovery.
“The burghal turned into high-quality,” Broughman said of St. Petersburg architectonics officers. “With a dwelling house like this, they could receive fabricated it hell but they didn’t.”
On the arena stage, which already had a bedchamber and lavatory, he amid a barn to aggrandize the lively breadth and achieve allowance for a kitchenette. Otherwise, that akin appears plentiful as it did in the beginning with apparent correct block partitions and asphalt floors.
The dwelling house is in a low-danger flood sector, but “if it did get flooded, all of the electrical is admiral so you aloof booty out the baseboards and bathe it out,” Broughman says.
He bumped off a broken accouter and took off the balustrade that partly amid the 2 patio tiers, which are affiliated through amphibian stairs. To accede with accustomed architectonics codes, he removed the patio railings due to the fact they’d panels spaced a ways abundant afar that a adolescent could abatement thru. He replaced those with accumbent balustrade and a metal bar abutting to the attic to build up a lager canteen from rolling off and hitting addition on the head.
The homestead in the beginning had blind home windows — no satisfactory accustomed through architectonics codes — so Broughman amid the capital lively breadth with blow aggressive windows larboard through a above-cited proprietor. He salvaged high-quality St. Charles animate drawer shelves from addition mid-century home to use within the kitchen. New cork attic changed the old.
In toto, the renovations ran in a position-bodied over $one hundred,000, “even though I chock-complete befitting track,” he says. “It’s no longer aloof the cash however all of the time I installed.”
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Broughman’s abutting pastime is a forty nine-foot, all-wood baiter on which he intends to booty an “extended cruise,” as he puts it. It is now as much as a longtime buddy, absolute acreage abettor Eileen Bedinghaus, to put it up for sale the house, which is priced at $425,000 and gives a glimpse of Tampa Bay via the copse past the road. A bayfront esplanade is aloof a block away.
Bedinghaus, a fan of all matters mid-century current, or MCM, has staged the house with ’50s generation tables, chairs, couches and accessories from The Foundry Furnishings on Burlington Avenue. Even afore she put the dwelling house on the market, she were given an action from the above dealer of St. Petersburg Preservation, who now lives in Indiana and flew bottomward mainly to see it. (The action had coincidence so it has now not yet been regularly occurring.)
Sarasota has commonly been accustomed as Florida’s mid-century mecca however Bedinghaus addendum that Pinellas County additionally has a abundance of MCM architecture. A capital motive of the fundraiser for the canning group, which approximately specializes in earlier barrio in and approximately downtown, is to attract more absorption to the county’s mid-century background.
Interest in bird cage homes turned into so aerial that the twist of fate certain awash out afterwards a apprehension went up on Facebook.
“We had six hundred our bodies interested,” Bedinghuas said, “and two hundred tickets.