On some days it seems that modern architecture has 10 times as many detractors as proponents, even though the movement has influenced a great deal of residential architecture — from open floor plans to means of construction. Some of the dislike for modernism can be attributed to the way it broke with the classical tradition, even though some histories trace modern architecture from 19th-century neoclassicism and the Industrial Revolution to 20th-century manufacturing. Many views of modern architecture are oversimplified, and even the significant houses of the early and mid-20th centuries are a varied bunch that deserve close examination.
This story kicks off a "Must-Know Modern" series, which will take in-depth looks at 10 icons of modern residential architecture, presenting their architecture and the stories behind them. The houses, outlined here, span from 1909 to 1951, through two world wars and the Great Depression. As will be seen, these and other events contributed to the acceptance and influence of modern architecture.