Welcome to Curbed's original series Homeward Bound, in which long-affirmed city dweller and design journalist Karrie Jacobs documents her process as a first-time home builder. Jacobs, a professional observer of the man-made landscape, was the founding editor of Dwell magazine and the author of The Perfect $100,000 House: A Trip Across America and Back in Pursuit of a Place to Call Home (Viking, 2006). This eight-part series is a continuation of Jacobs's pursuit to solve the puzzle of modest, modern, and regional domestic architecture, using a recently-acquired parcel in upstate New York as a first-person case study.
The most emotionally resonant moment in the years I spent as the editor of Dwell magazine occurred during my first visit to Prospect, a New Urbanist subdivision on the outskirts of Longmont, Colorado, just northeast of Boulder. It was July, 2001. I was on my way back to the Denver airport after spending a few days at a high-minded design gabfest in a small town further west. I made a detour to check out Prospect because I'd heard there were a couple of modernist houses there—maybe one would be worth publishing.