On June 23, 1952, reporters followed John and Philomena Dougherty (photo cropped) as the first family who moved into their new home in Levittown, PA. Mies van der Rohe’s McCormick House was also built in 1952, but the houses’ programs and contexts couldn’t have been more different. The Levitt house was part of an affordable housing initiative on a massive scale by developer Levitt and Sons Inc., who had just built Levittown, NY, and continued to promote more traditional housing styles, creating starkly homogeneous towns from scratch. The McCormick House was built by an architect in a modernist style for a wealthy client as a prototype. But the McCormick House was also Mies van der Rohe’s attempt to develop a prefabricated structure that would allow the simultaneous construction of several units on dedicated lots in suburban areas. (…)Read More
These photographs of the former Children’s Wing of the McCormick House were taken in between exhibitions. The current layout differs significantly from Mies van der Rohe’s original floor plan from 1952. Several wood panels have been removed and others reconfigured. The photographs show clockwise from top left: the former kitchen area; the former living room / playroom / girl’s room / utility area; the hallway to the maid’s room; the boys’ room.
The house was sold in 1991 by its last occupants, Ray and Mary Ann Fick, to the Elmhurst Fine Arts and Civic Center Foundation, and in 1994 the steel structure was cut in half and each transported by truck from its original location at 299 Prospect Avenue to the new campus for the planned Elmhurst Art Museum (EAM) in Wilder Park.