"An ultra-urban island of individuality in a sea of look-alike dwellings"
December 1, 2006 6:42 PM   Subscribe

The Playboy Townhouse. Posh Plans for Exciting Urban Living, circa 1961. via
posted by Chrischris (24 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Excellent, thanks!
posted by jonson at 6:59 PM on December 1, 2006

I'd live there.
posted by frogan at 7:05 PM on December 1, 2006

There are a couple of places (hmm, I just mistyped "palaces") that look like this in DC. Definately a city that is a "sea of look-alike dwellings."

Sad thing is, one could probably have afforded all three levels of this Playboy Townhouse in 1961 what we pay for two rooms today!!
posted by pwedza at 7:08 PM on December 1, 2006

Actually, 1962...May to be exact...

the cover is located here

The cover says it all....that gloved hand reaching for the knocker...we all know what happens next....

build it and they will come... (resisting the urge to spell that last word in a more porn oriented manner).

I can remember standing in the drugstore, stealing peeks at Playboy in 1962. The stuff that adolescent dreams are made of..
posted by HuronBob at 7:20 PM on December 1, 2006

Thanks, Chrischris! I love midcentury modern design, and this place looks like Tony Stark's bachelor pad! Also, your via link led me to this, which I thought was cool as hell!
posted by kimota at 7:23 PM on December 1, 2006

I have an E-Type, so does that mean I'm halfway there?

I'd live there, too, though I often find my feelings mixed about the contrast of an ultra-contemporary facade in a street of otherwise period buildings. Some days I love it, other days I feel it is terribly insensitive and crass.

Love the manly display of weapons over the desk.

Also, lots of "wasted" space. It looks like at least 1/3rd (maybe closer to 1/2) of the house is used simply to get from one part of it to another.

Cool link!
posted by maxwelton at 7:29 PM on December 1, 2006

This is where Mr. Incredible lived before he married Elasti-Girl.
posted by BoringPostcards at 7:48 PM on December 1, 2006

Later you have to convert the den into a nursery. Oh, sorry, after you've converted it into a dungeon for spanking for a few years first.

Sweet. I love it. :) Thanks.
posted by smallerdemon at 7:55 PM on December 1, 2006

I love midcentury modern design, and this place looks like Tony Stark's bachelor pad!

I thought of Reed and Sue Richards myself, with a lot of Kirbytech buried in the walls.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 9:04 PM on December 1, 2006

I was thinking it looked like Dr. Venture's pad.
posted by tula at 9:32 PM on December 1, 2006

I guessed before looking that there would be a round be, but I didn't guess that it would have a built in wet bar. They really were the cocktail generation.

It's interesting to note what isn't there; no computer, no giant TV or stereo. Nothing to do but talk to your current conquest and drink yourself into oblivion.
posted by doctor_negative at 10:31 PM on December 1, 2006

er, round bed, that is
posted by doctor_negative at 10:32 PM on December 1, 2006

Looks like a place Austin Powers could call home.
posted by fenriq at 11:56 PM on December 1, 2006

Nice gouache and ink renderings by Humen Tan. Dig that $55 Don Richards polyester-wool-mohair suit [bottom right, p. 105] too. Yeah, Baby!
posted by cenoxo at 12:47 AM on December 2, 2006

Hey, $1450 is still too much to pay for a sofa. And *pffft!*, I got the magic of Airport Express.

OK, yes, I'm jealous.
posted by imperium at 1:24 AM on December 2, 2006

Looks like this is where the Cohen brothers went for inspiration when they picked the set for Jackie Treehorn's Bachelor pad.
posted by password at 5:19 AM on December 2, 2006

> I have an E-Type, so does that mean I'm halfway there?

A restored (or never-deteriorated) XKE is a fantastic ride now, after four-plus decades of attrition, and we're appropriately jealous. At the time, though, it was a middle-rank sports car, up from Corvette but not in the top-end group. Looking at the renderings, I did wonder why they chose to give their price-is-no-object swinger a Jag when it doesn't cost any more to paint a picture of a DB4 or a 300SL or a street-legal Testa Rossa. There's a reason the Connery Bond drove an Aston. Oh, and doesn't it say it's a two-car garage? We have to assume the help is out in the Bentley picking up some fraises du bois.
posted by jfuller at 6:08 AM on December 2, 2006

I miss illustrations in magazines. I guess photography is just too easy nowadays.
posted by bashos_frog at 6:27 AM on December 2, 2006

Fantastic. I'd live there in a second. What a great era, I love the idea that there's a "minimum number of servants" that's more than 0.
posted by biscotti at 6:56 AM on December 2, 2006

I miss illustrations in magazines. I guess photography is just too easy nowadays.

A long lament, shared by many. From What is "Illustration" and Why does it Irritate the Intelligentsia So?:
So if illustrators were good enough for museums at one time, when did they become unfit? As with most good things, it ended in the 1960s, though the decline started before that. After WWII, illustration was replaced more and more by photography. By the 1960s, illustration was seen as passé and color photography which was new, more immediate, and let's face it, cheaper, took its place. What few illustrators were still around were getting out of the business because business wasn't very good. By the early 1960s, you could buy The Saturday Evening Post and find only one illustration: the cover; all story art was gone.
I suspect illustration art will return to popularity one day as the cycle of photos and non-art for art's sake will run it's course. In the meanwhile, I pity the poo-pooing art elite in the media, academia, and elsewhere. I really do. I can appreciate Herbert Paus as much as I can Jackson Pollock. The elites can't. At least they can't openly without a whiff of irony or a hint of condescension. Just remember that before Warhol made Campbell’s soup cans into his own brand of art, others were doing it on a daily basis, just to sell the soup.
Agreed: we need to get back to The Future (Herbert Paus, 1932).
posted by cenoxo at 8:50 AM on December 2, 2006 [1 favorite]

It's money baby!
posted by Relay at 10:06 AM on December 2, 2006

Very cool. For mid-century modern, that mediterranean sideboard is horrible. This would be better, IMHO.

Also noted: All that space and no bathroom. Perhaps if one is that posh, one doesn't do that. Or maybe you just have your servant do it for you.
posted by spacely_sprocket at 11:34 AM on December 2, 2006

Tulip chair by Laverne originals: $240.00
Latest ebay Auction estimate for a pair of the same chairs: $10,000-15,000.

Much as I love the look of mid-century (especially the Case Study Houses) architecture and design, it seems important to remember that, by and large, the items we consider iconic were machine-built, mass-produced, and--truth be told--not particularily well constructed.
posted by Chrischris at 4:11 PM on December 2, 2006

So that's what one of them articles looks like.

I am seriously fascinated with the cross-section drawing cause like many kids, I used to draw my super awesome dream house and never once did I think of putting in an amazing rotating bed. The built-in telephone, hi-fi and wet bar must have been Hef's idea, and we all know how several hours of balladry will really woo your lady fair while you spin right round like a record, baby.

But where can you find modernist circular blankets?
posted by Spatch at 4:44 PM on December 3, 2006

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