Mid-Century Modern(ization)

Redefining modern for a family-friendly home

Gordon E. Sugar — Custom Home Builder


I stumbled on the obituary of our home’s builder this morning and thought I would share it here.  This is my 100th post here at Mid-Century Modern(ization) so it seemed fitting.  Gordon Sugar built and lived in the home two doors down from us — I believe until his death as the home sold just over a year later.

As published in the Baltimore Sun, February 21st, 2000:

Gordon E. Sugar, 79, custom home developer

Gordon E. Sugar, a developer of custom homes for 50 years and one of the first to build outside the Beltway in Baltimore County, died Friday at Johns Hopkins Hospital of complications from pneumonia. The Stevenson resident was 79.

Through his company, Gordon E. Sugar Inc., he built several hundred houses in the Stevenson Road area, starting in the late 1940s. Most of the houses featured nearly flat roofs and glassed-in areas, and made use of the landscape.

“He wanted to be able to see outside. He loved light and trees,” said his daughter, Susan Sugar Nathan of Ruxton.” Each home was unique to the site it was on.

“His focus was his work and his family,” she said.

In the late 1960s, he built Stevenson Village, an apartment complex that is now condominiums. Twenty-three years ago, he started Pomona, a complex on the former Hutzler estate off Reisterstown Road. It includes gardens, mid-rise apartments and a commercial center.

Born in Bennettsville, S.C., he moved to Baltimore when he was a child. He graduated from Forest Park High School.

He served in the Navy in World War II, spending about two years in Africa.

He married Lucille Waldman in 1951.

He enjoyed swimming, skiing and tennis, as well as traveling.

Private funeral services were held yesterday.

In addition to his wife and daughter, he is survived by two grandchildren.

This is the obituary of a man I never met, but who continues to touch our lives on a daily basis nearly two decades after his death.  We live in one of his custom homes, we shop at the farmer’s market at Pamona which he built, and often grab breakfast at a café and even see a dentist at Stevenson Village — a charming little shopping center that he created — nestled just up the road in Greenspring Valley.  Hats off you, Mr. Sugar.

Photo courtesy of Stevenson Village.


Author: Olivia @ Mid-Century Modern(ization)

I am a wife, mother, and writer. I am also a crafting, furniture-refinishing, home-designing nut.

2 thoughts on “Gordon E. Sugar — Custom Home Builder

  1. Very interesting, Olivia. I love that you have such a connection to the architect, beyond the house itself. By the same token, it must have given him a sense of pride to live among his creations, and see them enjoyed. That said, I’m not sure I’d want the architect living next door. I feel bad enough making any changes as it is!

  2. Sugar was amazing end of story
    He was the cal cont builder of md
    No one built like him
    His houses are works of art

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