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Mid-Century “Cube” House Just Outside Detroit Now Wants $635K

June 17, 2020

Price: $635,000


Location: Plymouth, Michigan

Although it’s located just 35 minutes west of downtown Detroit, 49800 Joy Road feels worlds apart thanks to a 2.7-acre forested lot adjacent to the meandering North Branch Fellows Creek. The home is a quick ten-minute drive northeast to Plymouth’s quaint town center, where you’ll find leafy streets, vintage-style streetlamps, a towering fountain in busy Kellogg Park, and dozens of eateries and shops. If town isn’t your thing, head a few minutes in the other direction, and the view opens up to vast fields and vaster skies.


Specs: 2 beds, 2.5 baths, 1,911 square feet, 2.7 acres

Designed by architect Tivadar Balogh for his family in 1958, the Balogh House cost just $32,000 to build because the Baloghs did much of the construction work themselves. The unusual cube-shaped home was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2013 and then hit the market for the first time, in October 2019, for $750,000. A few price drops later, the home is still looking for its new owner, but the allure remains the same. The well-preserved structure, clad in redwood, features a master bedroom, kitchen, and two-story living room on the main floor, plus another bedroom and family room on the upper level. Extensive wood paneling, walls of glass, and skylights help embed the home in its woodland surroundings.


Notable feature: Striking negative space

From the cantilevered entrance staircase to the massive void that takes up half of the front of the house, the dramatic use of negative space gives this home its defining “floating box” character. This airiness is also expressed through the double-height living room and second-floor balcony, which overlooks the void and is open to the forest canopy above. The house once had even more negative space: A parking spot that had been on the ground level has since been enclosed to create a lounge area.


The light-filled, two-story living room has a fireplace and carefully restored wood paneling.

A partition separates the dining room from the kitchen, and the blue door on the right accesses the backyard.

A second-story family room overlooks the living room and features angled skylights.

This bedroom, on the main floor, comes with a built-in desk and bookshelves.

The upper-level patio overlooking the void is open to the treetops above.

A side view of the home shows the thin redwood screens that form one side of the cube.


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