Mid-Twentieth-Century Modern Residential Architecture on Outer Cape Cod 1929-1979 MPS
The development of mid-twentieth-century Modern residential architecture in the United States, as embodied in the minimalist summer vacation cottage, is crystallized within the four Outer Cape Cod towns of Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, and Provincetown that partially encompass the Cape Cod National Seashore (Cape Cod NS).i Mid-twentieth-century Modernism extolled a radically novel approach to residential design, structure, and materials that intersected with the distinct freshness, informality, and forward-looking energy of post-World War II culture. These characteristics and qualities are conveyed in a loosely configured group of simple, wood-frame, warm-weather and year-round cottages that engage minimalist form, essential structure, basic materials, functional designs, and the surrounding natural coastal landscape. The unique factors underlying the extraordinary and quiet phenomenon of these houses thread inextricably through events, trends, and individuals that caused the flourishing of mid-twentieth-century Modern houses in the Outer Cape summer communities. These houses emerged from a burgeoning recreational industry combined with the extraordinary confluence of Modern international and American architectural, artistic, intellectual, and social forces within Massachusetts, the region, and the nation.