Lovers of Mid-Century Modern architecture may be interested in an upcoming online tour/discussion of the Marcel Breuer House that’s located on the Rockefeller estate, “Kykuit,” in the lower Hudson Valley. The Landmark Society has announced this free event which is offered via the National Trust for Historic Preservation program series.
“In 1948, Marcel Breuer was commissioned to design an exhibition building for the Museum of Modern Art to be displayed in the museum’s garden. The House was Breuer’s vision of how the average American family could live in a well-designed, modern, expandable, and affordable home. His design influenced modern residential architecture with its use of glass, wood and natural stone, as well as by its use of distinct activity zones to define the interior and exterior spaces and the motion and flow of space. At the close of the exhibit, the house, which had been slated for demolition, was purchased by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Mr. Rockefeller had it cut into four sections and driven upstate to Pocantico Hills, where it was reassembled as a guest house. From 1950 until 2007 the house was used by various family members.” – The Rockefeller Brothers Fund
174 Golf Avenue in Pittsford, also known as “The Winghouse,” is an interesting time capsule. These 2 photos show how the 1950’s kitchen evolved over the decades. The refrigerator was such a wonderful new convenience and they even had a drinking fountain mounted on the wall by the washer and dryer. Years later, the refrigerator is almost hidden in the back wall. But the interesting layout with the swooping upper windows retains the unique Hershey character.
There is an article in today’s Democrat & Chronicle about Don Hershey and 277 Dunrovin Lane. The photo above shows the original light fixture still above the dining room table. This stunning example illustrates the value of respecting the original features of a Hershey-designed home.
“Any instance where you have a time capsule home that offers a glimpse into [a particular] era of design, something unadulterated and not remodeled beyond recognition, it may not necessarily be of interest to the broader public. But there is absolutely a passionate minority of architectural afficionados looking for a mid-century Modern home like this one with soaring ceilings, heavy timber beams, a fireplace wall that goes to the ceiling and modern built-in furniture.” – Chris Brandt
The current owners of 277 Dunrovin Lane in Brighton informed us that they have put their home on the market. They are moving to Cincinnati. It’s a classic Hershey with an open layout, sunken living room, many built-ins (also designed by Hershey), soaring ceilings and large windows for views of nature. Architect Chris Brandt wrote this article about it the August 13, 2014 issue of City Newspaper. Photos and specifics are posted on Zillow.
Update: As of Jan 27, there is a pending offer of $370,000 (over $100,000 more than its sale price in 2014).
Just heard from Jesse Newman, the new owner of 44 Parker Drive. They are restoring it to its Hershey glory. And improving on a great idea by installing Tapered Insulation that adds a slight slope to the roof and doubles as insulation. They glued down a brand new EPDM (rubber) membrane to cover it all up. See the roof project photos above. They will continue to document their restoration project online at @makingitnewman.
Here is Jesse’s note: My wife Nicole and I purchased the Don Hershey designed home located at 44 Parker Dr, in Pittsford back in November. We were fans of Don Hershey prior to purchasing the home, and we were fortunate enough to be in the market when the Parker Dr home became available. Your website is primarily the reason we became aware of Don Hershey and the work he has done in the Rochester area, so thank you for the amazing website and all the work you put into it. As you have documented, the 44 Parker Dr home was built on a budget and sadly it was not very well maintained or preserved in its recent years. The good news is, that its current state afforded us to purchase the home and we have big plans to revitalize it.
Don Hershey’s son, Donald Alan Hershey, passed away on January 9th, 2020 at the age of 84. He studied architecture at Cornell University and later graduated from University of Rochester and created his own energy management firm. His brother Ken, survives him (their other brother, Bob is no longer living).
Historic Brighton presented a program on Don Hershey in January 2013. After the lecture, Don’s sons Ken and Al shared interesting and entertaining stories of their father. We fortunately caught one on video.
Don Hershey designed many homes in the suburb of Brighton and Council Rock Avenue is just one Brighton street that is overflowing with Hershey gems – House #’s 245, 285, 300, 321, 334, 344, among others. Nearby are other Hershey-heavy streets such as Thackery Road and Georgian Court Road. The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston lives in a Hershey!
835 Allens Creek Road is a beautiful example of the Medina stone homes that Don Hershey designed (including his own at 5 South Landing Road in Penfield). It received the Blue Ribbon award and a was a Hershey favorite.
From the real estate listing: Unique one of a kind – Don Hershey masterpiece. One of the rarest homes he built. The exterior is Medina stone. Master bedroom on the main floor with updated master bath, cozy office with fireplace, large dining area and great room totally open with walls of windows to view the beautiful outdoors. This home also has radiant heated floors throughout. There are a total of 4 bedrooms and 2 full baths and the yard has been professionally landscaped with extensive flowering trees and bushes!
Update (Thanks to Sammy Quinn): “This home took nearly a year to sell. I looked at it several times, but the completely tiled floors throughout the home (coupled w/ the lack of parking and small yard) made me pass on it. This must have been true for others, as well, as the house’s price tumbled from $425 to $324,500 (as of April ‘19). It just sold at the beginning of this month.”
3955 East Avenue in Pittsford is on the market. It has many trademark Hershey features such as high, beamed ceilings, large windows, built-in cabinetry, corner windows and a beautiful, Asian-inspired (3/4 acre) setting. The realtor’s description: “Impressive Don Hershey mid-century modern home tucked away off East Avenue. Overlooking picturesque Knowlton creek , the home blends effortlessly into the landscape. Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, Hershey embraced this setting of unparalleled beauty & designed the home to capture the four seasons. Don’t miss the Japanese bridges! The dramatic living room/dining Room with soaring ceilings, wood beams & walls of windows was designed for entertaining… generous cabinetry. The library has warm wood walls, fireplace & hidden wet bar. The first floor master suite is overflowing with walls of closets. The open & expansive walk out terrace level offers 2 bedrooms w/ shared bath, huge rec room and storage galore.”
104 Georgian Court Rd. is being offered at Public Auction on March 4, 2019. To view the details, go to Auction.com and paste the Property ID 2731158 into the search bar.
I don’t know the circumstances of this situation but it’s likely that this Don Hershey-designed home will go for a price below its stated value.
Note (Thanks to Sammy Quinn): “The house did not sell. From the Auction.com listing, ‘Reverted to Beneficiary.’ There is currently a Hunt Realty sticker/sign on the front window of the house, but it doesn’t seem to show up in their listings.”
Note 12-12-19: This home is now “a Fannie Mae HomePath property.”
Don Hershey designed this home in Pittsford for Glenn and Norma Mentch in 1950-1951. It is now on the market and is a classic Hershey that must be seen. Go to this page for more photos and a description and memories of the home from members of the Mentch family. Go to realtor page.
The owners of 148 Huntington Hills South created a model of their Hershey house through the magic of a 3D CAD drawing printed on a 3D printer. The result is amazing! It shows the interesting roof line, chimney, abundant windows and even their dog, Arya, playing happily outside in the side yard as she so often does. You can even see the steps in the back of the house that lead to their screened-in porch.
The main section on the left is the living room and dining room as open space and the kitchen to the right of that area. A front hallway, laundry room and garage continue on the right. There are 2 bedrooms in the top portion and 2 more in a lower portion.
I’m reading “Reckless Daughter,” the Joni Mitchell biography and had Graham Nash’s “Our House” stuck in my head. He wrote it while living in Laurel Canyon with Joni. It caused me to reflect on our Hershey-designed house that we’ve enjoyed living in for the last 14 years. A house is so much a part of you and your living patterns. Caring for it is a labor of love. You take care of it and it takes care of you. We’re getting ready to take down our Christmas lights. But the coziness (Hygge) continues in these winter months.
Don Hershey’s design of 230 Hibiscus for Alfred and Elaine Spagg is featured in the September 3, 1978 Democrat & Chronicle article titled “5 Favorite Houses-These architects like open spaces, soaring ceilings and closeness to nature.”
Democrat & Chronicle’s Upstate magazine asked 5 architects including Hershey to choose their favorite home. Hershey chose 230 Hibiscus. An excerpt: “Elaine and Alfred Spagg wanted to build a house on their wooded Hibiscus Drive lot that was both formal and informal – and that’s what they got. They also got a light and open contemporary home that’s chock-full of storage space. ‘You never lack for storage in Don (Hershey) homes,’ says Elaine.” Click to read the rest of the article.
There was a series of 1940 Democrat & Chronicle articles about 574 Melville Street owner Julius Morrison being mugged while driving his grocery store truck. He owned a store at 2121 East Main Street (now a State Farm Insurance office). Read the whole story here. His Hershey-designed Melville Street home had just been completed and he and his wife were enjoying their first months in it when this episode happened.
This is a model of 175 Huntington Hills South being shown at the Rochester Society of Architects annual exhibit on February 12, 1948. The middle woman holds the roof in her hands. When you click on the photo for the enlargement, you can easily see the wraparound windows throughout the house. Two stairways on either side of the garage take you to the two entryways, each with an adjoining outdoor patio. And it is surrounded by 3 acres of flowers, gardens, a pond and trees. Our neighbors have been enjoying this fantastic home for thirty or forty years.
We often walk or ride our bikes along Avondale and have always noticed the “little Medina stone cottage” that is so different than its neighbors. Set further back on its lot and striking in its individuality. But it never crossed our minds that it might be a Hershey. Then, I discovered newspapers.com and was doing some research. There it was advertised in a classified ad in the August 13, 1955 D&C: 170 Avondale: Designed by Don Hershey, Medina stone all around, with upper story knotty cedar, 4-level ranch home over 2800 sq. ft. of living area; screened adjoining porch, knotty pine kitchen, dining room with 12 ft circular panoramic window, circular stairway, etc.
I’m thankful to all those who comment here, offering corrections, new information about houses I didn’t know of before. Such as 574 Melville off of Culver Rd. in Rochester. What a surprise! I will be off to photograph and post the new info. Thanks for your interest in all things Hershey. I look forward to the new discoveries.
This is a house that’s been on and off the market for the last year or so. If anyone knows what this interesting house’s status is, I’d love to know. Other than the strange basement playroom, this is a beauty with 4 acres.
Update: I received word from the new owners of 6 Cavan Way. They are very happy and have embraced the cave room, adding paint to enhance it. Congratulations to them for the spectacular house they now live in!
Keep an eye on this home. It was on the market for months and the price was reduced multiple times. Now it has been taken off the market.
A friend and I went to an open house for this home in May, 2016. One of the standout features of this home is the beautiful wrap around deck overlooking the home’s more than 4 acres. And the sunken living room and adjoining dining room are a beautiful open space with direct access to the deck. There is an interesting and spacious artist studio space off this main floor. My guess is that potential buyers are put off by the basement which includes bedrooms, a game room and a “cave room.” Is this treatment a playful attempt at creating a kids’ space or is it an attempt to counteract water issues? We’ll wait and see when it comes back on the market.
Don Hershey received many awards for his home designs: Don Hershey’s own residence 5 South Landing Road (received Blue Ribbon Award from the NYS Association of Architects Convention, William Kaelber Chairman of Awards Committee in 1949)
Dr. Silas Scinta, 835 Allens Creek Road (received Blue Ribbon Award in 1949)
Ronny McCarthy (for daughter Veronica McCarthy), 85 Crossover Road (received Blue Ribbon Award in1949) (featured in 82 Distinctive Houses from Architectural Record by The Editors, Architectural Record) (also appears in the header of this site)
R.E. Tompkins, Alpine Drive (received the Central Chapter, AIA Outstanding Design Award Certificate in 1949) (and received Blue Ribbon Award in1949)
Milton Kroll, 245 Council Rock Avenue (received Blue Ribbon Award, NYS Central Chapter in1949)
Hale Manor Apartments, 1071 Lake Avenue (received Blue Ribbon Awards at the Chicago Builders Convention in 1950 and was published in Progressive Architecture) (Progressive Architecture named it one of the four best 608 Housing projects in the USA)
After 1961, Don Hershey didn’t participate in any award programs but many of the 300 custom residences were on Smith and Seton Hall Tours, Democrat & Chronicle and Brighton Pittsford Post write ups, Cornell College of Architecture and Rochester Society,
422 French Road is currently on the market. This classic Hershey home sits on 2 acres. Built in 1953, it reminds me of the Wing House and the late Irene Gossin’s Parkview house with the same low slung ranch profile, deep overhangs, reddish brown wood exterior and small multiple windows. They run across the front through the kitchen and a bedroom. The positioning of this home on its lot is really nice. Turning into the driveway from French Road, you’re transported into an idyllic atmosphere and a stunning mid-century modern home.
78 Mountain Road, a stunning post & beam on 1.4 acres, has been on the market since May, 2016 and has been reduced significantly in price. The current owners said they have updated the home’s kitchen and installed an energy efficient roof system. These and other updates were done without compromising Don’s original design. It happens to be next door to #86, the creation and residence of architect James A. Johnson, who passed away in February 2016. Click here to see photos and a description of this home.
Note: The home was taken off the market in mid-November, 2016.
Thanks to Ralph Meranto for his thought-provoking article in the Democrat & Chronicle this past week. Here’s a portion of it:
…A recent article in the D&C Real Estate section explored a Brighton home that owners spent $30,000 to “renovate” while prepping to sell. In the article they discussed painting, removing worn carpet and refinishing hardwood floors. Those moves make good sense because they freshen without destroying original details. But the family also painted their fireplace and original 1950s wood cabinets in the kitchen. These decisions can turn off a buyer looking for an original 50s style and do not hide the fact that the house and cabinets are 60 years old. In my home, a previous owner actually chopped off part of the fireplace hearth to make room for a piece of furniture.
The article also mentioned that the home-owners replaced the kitchen linoleum that “was in vogue mid-century”. Guess what? Mid-century homes are in vogue again. Original-condition homes from this time are selling fast, so your updates could actually hurt chances to sell your home…
Rochester’s Democrat & Chronicle just ran a story featuring Irene Gossin of Penfield. These 2 paragraphs caught my eye:
They built a life together, raising two children. In 1952, they purchased three acres of land in Penfield. The design and construction of their single-family home on Parkview Drive, a long residential street that perched above Irondequoit Creek and its wetlands, consumed Gossin’s attention for years.
The home’s clean lines, open plan and careful situation in a copse of trees atop the bluff, concepts that Gossin said were meant to echo Frank Lloyd Wright, embraced the home’s location and, perhaps, helped inspire Gossin’s ardent defense of the wetlands so close at hand.
I went to my records and discovered that Don Hershey did indeed design their home. It’s classic Hershey – low slung, red and green exterior, oriented appropriately to the landscape amid trees. Irene’s Hershey-designed home inspired her to environmental activism. Today a nature preserve will be named for Irene.
200 Sheldon Road is an instance where the owners drove the project in a different direction than Hershey would naturally go. His philosophy, said AIA President John Unger, is, “Build a house around your client’s idiosyncrasies and not your own.” According to Don’s son, engineer Ken Hershey, who worked alongside his father, Bill Brown wanted a modern home but his wife wanted a colonial style. So they compromised and Don designed a home with a modern back and modern indoor pool in the back and a colonial front with 12 over 12 windows for them. That explains the clubhouse look so unlike Hershey’s usual designs. Brown sold it to Carnegie-Melon and it was later bought by Jess and Pat Williams and then purchased by Bob and Barbara Hurlbut in 1982. Barbara complained about the well water and asked engineer Ken Hershey for advice and a quote to tie in with town water. Their frontage is 1 mile long and he said they would need to form a water district. This would cost $250,000 which they paid for.
Thanks to Cynthia Howke, Architectural Research Coordinator of The Landmark Society of Western New York, who wrote:Located west of Clover St. & Mendon Ponds Park, the 200 Sheldon Road houseis 8,000+ square feet and appears to be the first mid-20th-century “McMansion” in the suburbs in Monroe County. When it was built, it would have been a remarkable anomaly in the mostly-rural countryside that characterized Mendon, which had not yet experienced the many “trophy-sized” houses that were built beginning in the 1980s & continuing to the present. Marcia’s files (Marcia Greenwood at the “Democrat & Chronicle”) state that Don Hershey was the architect for this house. I was quite surprised – as Don’s residential designs look very different from this house. As it turns out, Marcia & I – who both grew up in the Rochester area – also shared the background of family “Sunday drives” – where our families would explore the roadways in the many outlying communities. In discussing this house today, we discovered that, when our respective families first saw this house back in the late 1960s – during a “Sunday drive” – we both had the same reaction: “What, exactly, is this building?!” Its size, scale & appearance made it appear to be more like the clubhouse for a private club, than a single-family residence. And, now that we know Don’s style of residential design – it certainly doesn’t look like any other house he designed during his career. From the newspaper articles on file at the D & C, the house was described as a building “designed for entertaining.” That would make sense, when you see its size, the large “footprint” of the building and the outbuildings on the property. It’s certainly unique in the catalogue of Hershey-designed houses.
Karen Hershey Morrell, the youngest of the late Robert (Bob) Hershey’s girls wrote the following to us:
I wasn’t sure you had captured this anywhere on the site but I wanted to be sure you knew that my grandfather was related to Abraham Lincoln. In fact, he was a 4th cousin! We are related down the James Lincoln line who was Abe’s uncle. My grandfather Don’s mother was named Sadie Lincoln and she married a Hershey. The couple had 5 sons and one of which was my grandfather Don! I love to share that interesting fact with people! So we are related distantly to Milton Hershey (founder of The Hershey Chocolate Company and the “company town” of Hershey, Pennsylvania) but also to Abraham Lincoln! Here is a picture that my grandfather drew up that shows the lineage and relationship to Abe. (Click on the image for an enlargement.)
My father Robert Lincoln Hershey (Bob), and his brothers Ken and Alan would be 5th cousins and my sisters and cousins would be 6th cousins, and my kids are then 7th cousins! You are correct on the name Lincoln…..my grandpa’s brother.
I also have a first cousin named Tad (Ken Hershey’s oldest son was named after one of Abe’s sons). So there you have it!!!
So you see….my grandpa’s Great Great Granddad was James who was Abe’s uncle. He had a son named Nathan who had a son named William who was my grandpa’s Grandad. His daughter was Sadie who married a Hershey and had my grandpa along with the other 4 boys.
This beautiful home at 25 San Rafael Drive in Pittsford is on the market. Hershey designed this 4800 sq ft home on a .45 acre lot in 1963. Here is a description from the real estate listing:
“Amazing one of a kind home and setting is a masterpiece! Noted architect Don Hershey designed this home for the original owners and their family. This rare property located in a very sought after and private San Rafael Drive neighborhood in Pittsford is nature at its best!
This Frank Lloyd Wright inspired home is just beautiful! The hallmark of Don Hershey’s design is the expansive use of windows with nature views!
Starting with the foyer, with cathedral ceilings, courtyard views & slate floors! The living room is just stunning with a marble fireplace wall & elevated dining area with slate floors & park views! Just off the living room is a library with wet bar & powder room.
Eat in kitchen has beautiful walnut cabinetry and oak floors along with access to the screen in porch! Family room has cathedral ceilings, oak floors, stone fireplace wall & a wall of windows! Adjacent to the family room is a den or first floor bedroom & full bathroom!
All major rooms take in courtyard views! The courtyard has an oriental garden design that makes you feel at peace!
2nd floor features spacious master suite including a private deck, dressing room with wall of closets & make up area, master bath with shower, soaking tub and sauna! Plus, three other bedrooms & two bathrooms!
The new lower level has a gallery area leading to the media room with cable & HDMI hook ups.
The beautiful and expansive landscaped lot is the ultimate nature setting!…”
Thanks to Jim Weller for this interesting contribution:
In the mid 1950’s, Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower determined a national interstate highway system was needed to enhance commerce and to bolster our defense system. New York State jumped on this idea and utilized the 90% federal money to construct the NYS Thruway. When the need/opportunity and the Federal money came along to connect downtown Rochester with the Thruway, the State of NY and the County of Monroe determined the old roadbed of the Roch., Syracuse and Eastern Electric Railway (the trolley) would be ideal for this purpose. Better yet, this roadbed was owned by the County of Monroe which acquired it after it was abandoned in the 1930’s. The plans drawn up by the NYS DOT called for the old trolley line to be used for the roadbed with additional abutting lands to be acquired as needed by eminent domain. This is where it gets interesting. (click on image for enlargement)
Just east of Penfield Road, the old trolley line ran midway between the houses on Landing Road South and Oak Lane. The story is told that the house at 106 Oak Lane was on the list of several houses whose backyards would be taken in part for the new Rte. 490 right-of-way. The problem was an asparagus patch in the back yard of 106 Oak was tended by an old guy who doted on his asparagus. Old guys are usually not a problem for the DOT. They don’t argue or listen to pleas to spare the land, they just send a form letter stating we are taking the land and the bulldozer will be along next month. This old guy was different. It became known he was not amused by the prospect of losing his asparagus patch. And so the DOT reduced the amount of land it was taking to exclude the asparagus patch and moved the highway closer to houses on Landing. That’s why Rte. 490 narrows a bit and bends a little to the northeast just past Penfield Road and why the Don Hershey house at 5 So. Landing Road now has a sound wall just a few feet from its western edge.
By the way, the old guy who tended this particular asparagus patch was Marion B. Folsom, the architect of the Social Security System and the U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. As a member of Eisenhower’s Cabinet, he sat just across the table from the Secretary of Commerce and other Washington big wigs who approved Federal money for highway construction. Who would have ever thought asparagus could be a planning element in highway design and funding.
I was going through a couple of Don’s notebooks and stumbled on this page (click on the image for an enlargement). He lists his August 1979 meetings for on-going projects with Dr. Koop (Clover Hills Drive) on August 8 with the Spencers (240 Allens Creek Rd.) on August 6, with the Crookshanks (1122 East Lake Rd. Canandaigua) on the 14th and later that day with Dr. Koop. And then August 17… his stroke.
It looks like he took some time off and then jumped back into his projects. The following list is dated 2/10/1981 and enumerates aspects of the Crookshank project on Canandaigua Lake, his last full home project.
We noticed that the current garage did not appear in the photo from that book. But the addition was done to perfectly match the home’s style. A breezeway now exists between what used to be the garage and the added-on garage (see left side of both photos).
Notice the overhang detail and the olive green/redwood color scheme Hershey homes often have. The setting is beautiful. Even though there are many more homes around than in the fifties, the wooded area still retains its cozy charm.
We were in Pittsford this week and decided to drive by some Hershey homes there. We began with Stoney Clover Lane with its huge lots and the large homes. Hershey designed 4 on this street. Number 2, built in 1966 for Mylin (Duke) Cramer, is the first house as you turn onto Stoney Clover from Stone Road. It’s hard to see the home due to the number of trees but the corner windows and large overhangs are there along with the interesting orientation of the home to the street. It is 3,000 sq ft and has an indoor pool.
The next house, number 4 was built in for Dr. J.B. (James Barry) Henshaw in 1962 on a 2.5 acre lot and has 3,105 sq. ft.
Further down is number 18. Billionaire Malcom Glazer hired Hershey in 1967 to design this sprawling home for him. It was one of Don’s favorites. And quite large – 5024 sq. ft. on 2 acres.
We suspect that number 14 is the fourth home although we can’t be sure since Hershey didn’t indicate a number in his books. He did note that Robert Dickerson hired him to do an alteration to a home on Stoney Clover Lane in 1958.
There are signature Hershey built-ins galore in 115 Summit Drive – cabinets, shelves, drawers – but the most unusual one was the built-in couch in the living room. It is in the corner by a corner window with recessed lighting above. If you look closely, you’ll see heating vents at the base of the couch.
Directly beneath in the basement rec room, there is a similarly configured built-in couch with natural light from above illuminating it.
There is another open house at 115 Summit Drive this coming Sunday. The weather has probably kept people from venturing out of their own homes to experience this great house. At last Sunday’s open house we wanted to walk down the hill to explore the pool and hot tub area but deep snow prohibited it. But, we could view the Bristol Hills in the distance from the abundant southern facing windows and glimpse portions of the pool down the immediate hill.
The windows are classic Hershey – corner windows, bow windows, large floor to ceiling windows, glass block – and, as a result, a flow of sunlight.
Yesterday we went to the open house at 115 Summit Drive in Brighton. What a spectacular house. Light streams in the back of the house through the southern facing windows. There are bow windows in the kitchen/dining area and in the master bedroom above. And a third set are in the basement study just below. The 3 sets of windows look spectacular from the back yard.
You can see a deck to the right of the windows. This is accessed off the master bedroom. There is another balcony/deck in the front of the house that is accessed off the living room. They both have very modern looking railings that are probably original from 1939. Additionally the, stairway on the west side of the house features original glass block on the wall going floor to ceiling.
Here is a 2-sided letter that Don Hershey wrote to the 2nd owners who must have been inquiring about the plans.
Kathy Krupp just let us know that 115 Summit Drive in Brighton is on the market. The asking price is $434,900*. Don Hershey designed this home in 1939. It’s incredibly modern looking and a real showpiece. Here’s the real estate listing’s description:
Designed & Built in 1939 by Renowned Architect Don Hershey, this Historic Rochester Home Exhibits Modern Design & Remarkable Character Throughout! Purposefully Created to Maximize Southern Exposure, Light is an Ever-Present Detail that Floods Every Room! You’ll Discover Five Bdrms. & 4 Full Bths., a Cozy Library w/ Wood-Burning Fireplace, Three Porches, In-ground Heated Pool , & Hot Tub! Bright, Eat-In Kit. Features Gorgeous Granite Counters, High-End Appliances, & Glass Backsplash! Open & Expansive Lower Level not Included in Total Square Footage! With Surprising Details Around Every Corner, this Unique Property is w/in Walking Distance to Highland Park!
Click here to see more photos of 115 Summit Drive.
Here’s a link to the real estate listing. (Open house March 1, 2015 from 1-3pm) * Now reduced to $414,900
Glenn and Norma Mentch were longtime Hershey clients. In 1942 they hired Don to design their home at 80 Wisner Road in Irondequoit. Then, in 1950, as their family grew, they asked him to design a new home at 174 Golf Avenue in Pittsford (known as the Winghouse). We recently heard from 2 of their daughters who grew up in the Golf Avenue home. They shared some memories…
“We Mentches, there are 5 children, have wonderful memories of our family home. My older siblings are more likely to be able to offer information about Don Hershey. I was born in 53, the house was built in 1950 when my parents had 3 children. The addition on the back came as the family outgrew the original plans.” – Laura Mentch
“The addition was built when I was in high school (1955-59). My guess is in the middle of that range, since this photo below shows the swimming pool covered for the winter. My sister, Martha, and I shared the porch. There was a matchstick blind between our beds that so we wouldn’t slug each other. Don Hershey designed the addition, with much input from our parents. When we (parents and 4 children) moved in, there were no interior walls. Our father erected all the walls and kept them looking beautiful by sanding them every few years. It was quite the house for 1950 and passers-by would stop and gawk thinking that it was some sort of storage facility for the trains that ran behind our house. 174 Golf Avenue was a popular spot for summer pool parties, as an in-ground family pool was quite a novelty.
Our father finished a lot of the interior himself, including erecting walls. There were vertical and horizontal beams in place. There was radiant heating in the house, the pipes for which were manufactured during the Korean War. Our dachshund, Heidi, would find the leaks since there were warm spots from the pooling water, and our dad would have to open up the concrete floor with a jackhammer to find the leaks.” – Sue Larson (Mentch)
40 Long Meadow Circle is on the market. Don Hershey designed this home early in his career – in 1938 – for Byron Morgan. It features the beamed ceilings and wooded lot that are so often a part of his designs. He would go on to design 3 other homes on this street in 1949, 1950 and 1952. Click here to see more photos and a description of this home.
Is this the same Don Hershey that this site is devoted to? This driveway stamp is at a beautiful mid-century modern home at 315 Teasdale Drive in Claremont, CA. The owner contacted us and sent photos. The stamp says Don Hershey Builder Claremont Calif. Did Hershey go out here and get involved in designing/building homes in Claremont? Did he send plans? Or is there another Don Hershey who worked during the same period building mid-century modern homes in Claremont? I’ve contacted the local historical society and hope for some answers.
I just heard back from Claremont Heritage who were very helpful and told me there was a builder in Claremont named Don Hershey who built homes for the local architects during the same period that NY architect Don Hershey worked here. I found his obituary online which confirms this. So, mystery solved!
We just added a home on St. Paul Boulevard in Irondequoit to the site. The current owner told us that he knew he was destined to own his home when he learned that the sisters Myrtle and Gertrude (we don’t know their last name) were the original owners. His aunts’ names were Myrtle and Gertrude!
We just got word from ReMax realtor Rome Celli that 42 Harwood Lane has just come on the market. It looks like a real beauty. Unfortunately, we couldn’t make the open house yesterday but will check it out as soon as possible. It’s in Pittsford but in the East Rochester school district. Here is the real estate listing:
Don’t miss out on this one! In an established Pittsford neighborhood of wonderful homes this spacious ranch is on 2+ magnificent acres with 20 X 40 foot in-ground pool and an additional 2000 sq ft. out-building with endless possibilities. Improvements include newer roof, many windows, an irrigation system for the gardens, finished walk-out lower level with den/office and rec. room. (Picture a home theater there.) This home is attributed to the well-known mid-century modern architect Don Hershey.
The first time Ken and Shirley Reed took notice of midcentury style homes they were in Palo Alto, California, where homes designed by developer Joseph Eichler dotted the landscape.
Built between the 1950s and 1970s, the homes featured open floor plans and tall windows designed to bring the outside in — perfect for the sunny California climate. Ken Reed was attending Stanford University at the time, and the couple would often admire the modernist homes in their adopted community.
“We just fell in love with them,” Shirley Reed recalls.
It wasn’t until the Reeds moved back to their home town of Rochester that they would live in their own midcentury style home in Brighton. Designed by Don Hershey, the 3,000-square-foot home evokes the modernist style popular during the ’50s and ’60s.
As much as they have enjoyed living in their ranch-style home, it is now time for the Reeds to downsize. Located at 274 Thackery Road, the home is listed for $374,900 with Leigh Williams and Priscilla Mooney of ReMax Realty Group.
Thanks to shows such as Mad Men and other cultural touchstones from that era, midcentury modern is back in vogue. From home design to furnishings, the sleek minimalist look is in.
Few true midcentury modernist homes exist in the Rochester area but they are enjoying renewed popularity, Williams says. He noted that there are currently only a handful of these homes on the market right now with the average list price in the $350,000 to $595,000 range.
Don Hershey was one of the most prolific midcentury architects in Rochester, designing more than 500 homes over a period of 50 years. They varied in size from modest to large.
Frank Lloyd Wright and Charles and Ray Eames are other architects known for midcentury modern style. It is characterized by open interior spaces, flat or slightly sloped roofs and the use of natural materials such as stone and brick.
“Rochester is really a pretty traditional city,” Williams says, adding that the city does not have any midcentury modern neighborhoods. There are pockets of these homes outside the city, such as the Council Rock neighborhood in Brighton.
The Reeds’ home is built in a T-shape and features an inground pool on 0.64 acres. They have invested in many updates over the years, including artistic woodwork by Scott Grove that complements the décor. Ken Reed estimates that the family has spent over $100,000 in upgrades.
There are arts enthusiasts who specifically seek out Hershey homes, Williams says. “There are not many that come on the market,” she says.
I just found this post by modchester. The site is devoted to mid-century modern and specifically to documenting the renovation of her own home. It’s not a Hershey but is very much in the style and spirit of his designs. Lots of interesting stuff. Check it out.
Kathy Krupp just notified us of this Hershey home on the market in Brighton. Don Hershey designed this sprawling ranch in 1954. There are several Hershey-designed homes on Thackery Road as well as on nearby roads in this area such as Council Rock, Georgian Court, Pelham, Grosvenor, Sandringham, Ambassador and Esplanade.