Gold Medallion home flyer.
Photo courtesy of Modern Phoenix

Energy efficiency is never far from a homeowner’s mind. From ensuring that your windows are snug-enough to keep in the AC to minding the use of appliances on especially hot days. This mindfulness is far from new! The midcentury had its own take on how to modernize the energy use of a home—Gold Medallion Homes.

Exterior of home with red breeze blocks.
Photo by Bret Gum. This Riverside, California home stands in the ranks of Gold Medallion Homes. The medallions are easy to spot—often mounted near entryways or, as in the case of this home, set in the front porch cement.

Gold Medallion Homes are all-electric and don, you guessed it, a gold medallion. To our 2018 ears the phrase “all-electric” is far from what most would consider green or especially energy conscious. However, in the 1960s this was considered the future of smart home design.

Medallion home plaque.
Photo courtesy of Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation

From Jason Loper, on Apartment Therapy:

“The small round plaque hanging on the frame of my parents’ garage door reads: Gold Medallion Home. Live Better Electrically. And, as you might guess, everything in this house is electric — from the baseboard heaters to the range. These homes started popping up in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Indeed, the house my parents recently bought was built in 1964. At that time, many homes ran on coal burning or gas furnaces so electric baseboard heat was seen as a novel new approach to heating a home. Based on a newspaper ad from the time that I came across, ‘It’s more fun living in an all-electric Gold Medallion Home. Electric heat … the heating system of tomorrow is yours to enjoy today.” The ad also boasts plenty of electric outlets ‘to handle your present and your future requirements. You have all the power you need to keep adding the latest time and labor saving tools and equipment as they are developed’.”

Looking for more on Gold Medallion Homes?

Want to read even more about Gold Medallion Homes? We’ve got you covered! This story as well as this one provide a great overview, while this one takes a brief look at the downfalls of an all-electric home.