70’s Contemporary Designs


Photo 1 illustrates a beautiful 70s contemporary design with much attention to detail. The basic structure has a series of angular shed roofs, with cedar shakes extending downward on some of the vertical surfaces. There is extraordinary attention to detail here, not only from the perspective of the overall design, but in details such as mortar dyed to match the brick color. This has got to be one of the best examples of 70s contemporary architecture in all of Lexington.






I believe that the architect for the houses shown in both Photos 2 and 3 was Richard Isenhour, well-known in the Lexington area for 70s contemporary homes featuring angled siding, walls and windows. The use of fieldstone as an exterior finish is also classic Dick Isenhour trademark.


Photo 4 illustrates a “space modern” contemporary with some “near Jetson” themes. Even the elaborately trimmed landscaping is part of the fun! This is definitely not a boring, me-too design.






Shadeland East was being developed during the Arab oil embargo and increasing concern over rising energy costs. The contemporary home illustrated in Photo 5 was designed to be energy efficient. I believe that it originally had solar heat, tho I am not certain if that system is still functioning. Note the use of heat-conserving earth berms with an orientation designed to capture the southern sun’s rays as a heat source. In this photo the rear of the house is oriented toward the south and is designed for maximum heat gain during the winter months, while trees are positioned to absorb the sun’s heat during the summer, when the sun is more nearly overhead.





Photo 6 illustrates a contemporary multilevel home that which uses rock and conventional siding in a unique way.

A few lots in Shadeland East remained vacant for a period of time after the subdivision was largely completed, and were finally built on in the mid 1980s. By that time there were substantial changes in home design, reflecting a new traditionalism. These homes characteristically combine hip roofs with gables, and use many different roof pitches in a decorative way. Brick in earth tones is also characteristic of these homes. Fan windows and arches are another feature, with bits or ornamental trim that would never be found on a 70s contemporary design. This house has all these features and announces to the world that it was built over ten years after most of the homes in Shadeland East had been completed.