Mid-Century Breeze Blocks to Inspire Your Curb Appeal

I consider myself an avid block watcher. I’m always on the lookout for breeze blocks in mid-century landscape designs. These decorative concrete blocks provide shade and privacy with a generous dose of retro personality.

Best of all, many of the patterns are still available to spruce up your yard today. You can paint them, mix and match the motifs, and complement them with greenery. Check out the video and photos below for inspiration (or just to enjoy some time travel!).

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Mid-Century Modern Breeze Blocks

Here are some of my favorite breeze block sightings throughout the Portland Metro area.

Square and Rectangle Blocks

You’ll want to put on your glasses to take in the vintage charm at Milwaukie Family Eye Care. Their rectangular blocks add style and shade to the west-facing wall of the building.

Rectangular concrete blocks on the Milwaukie Family Eye Care building

Over at Vancouver’s Hudson Apartments, even the parking garage is filled with flair thanks to these geometric blocks. They’re a stunning complement to the fabulous balcony railing you can spot in the video.

Geometric concrete screen blocks on The Hudson in Vancouver, Washington

Oregon City Family Dentistry gives off Frank Lloyd Wright vibes with their mid-century bricks, square blocks and modern landscaping. Positioned along the windows, these blocks provide privacy and afternoon sun protection.

Square screen blocks on the mid-century Oregon City Family Dentistry building

Clover Screen Blocks

The Oregon City Elks Lodge has an impressive display of clover blocks along three sides of the building. As far as I can tell, the blocks are not for privacy but are just purely, wonderfully decorative.

Wall of clover breeze blocks on mid-century Elks Lodge in Oregon City

Near Portland’s Gabriel Park, these townhomes feature blocks with a clover-like motif that I’m calling the Comic Sans plus sign. They make a stunning screen in front of the building and around the stairs in back.

Rounded clover style screen blocks at townhomes in SW Portland

One of Portland’s newer breeze block displays is right in my backyard. My father-in-law designed our clover wall with square blocks hiding rebar support, and he was nice enough to help us build it. (Thanks, Prentice!)

Concrete wall in mid-century modern backyard
These clover blocks complete our fence line in the coolest retro way.

Circle Concrete Blocks

The Catalina Apartments have three stories of breeze blocks featuring mod colors like turquoise and orange. The rectangular blocks hold wedge shapes that form circles when grouped together. Don’t miss the rock wall below it, showcased in the video.

Turquoise and orange mid-century breeze blocks at the Catalina Apartments

On the other side of Portland, the Cashmur Manor Apartments are home to these modern gray screen blocks. Seasonal flowers and evergreen shrubs do a lovely job of softening the hardscape.

Mid-century modern circle screen blocks on the Cashmur Manor Apartments in Portland

The individual blocks have a rounded diamond look, which is prominent on the Japanese Auto Services building in Beaverton. This has to be the best way to ventilate a block wall.

Decorative concrete blocks on Japanese Auto Services building in Beaverton, Oregon

In Oregon City, the Madison Taproom’s circle breeze blocks complete their mid-century building. The retro roofline and clerestory windows are worth viewing in person over a pint of local beer or cider.

Retro circle breeze block screen at Madison Taproom in Oregon City

Other Breeze Blocks

I asked my husband, Eric, if Portland had any iconic breeze block walls that I hadn’t found yet, and he led me to the Lovejoy Medical Building in Nob Hill. Somehow I missed these five stories of decorative blocks!

Mid-century modern architecture and breeze blocks on the Lovejoy Medical Building in Portland

Half of the blocks are rectangular, but I’m filing this under “other” because of the charming bow-tie blocks they are paired with, along with all the MCM eye candy. Globe lights, louvered screens, bricks and awnings…so much to love!

I was happy to read that Jones Architecture renovated this building to preserve its mid-century modern design.

Mid-century modern breeze blocks up close at the Lovejoy Medical Building

Farther west, Hillsboro’s Valley Memorial Park and Funeral Home has a display of diamond breeze blocks that you can’t miss. My camera struggled to take it all in. Nestled in a 15-acre park with a horseshoe lake, it’s a beautiful place to honor your loved ones.

Walls of diamond breeze blocks on mid-century modern Valley Memorial Park and Funeral Home in Hillsboro, Oregon

Finally, I loved this message of hope seen near the hexagon breeze blocks at Scappoose Middle School. Like some of the other block walls, this one is softened with greenery, which is a great trick to use in your own landscaping.

Retro breeze block screen at Scappoose Middle School

Where to Find Breeze Blocks

Home Depot and other mainstream home improvement stores carry some of the popular breeze blocks. That’s where I stocked up on the clover style.

There are also specialty concrete block sellers throughout the US and beyond. Check out Retro Renovation’s long list of sellers organized by state and country.

Even if you’re not ready for a big landscaping project, you can still get in on the breeze block craze with fun decor and accessories on Etsy!

Mid-century modern breeze blocks to inspire your yard design
Retro breeze block curb appeal ideas

4 thoughts on “Mid-Century Breeze Blocks to Inspire Your Curb Appeal”

  1. Wow!! I totally enjoyed this H & H! I never realized there were so many MC breeze block designs. The video was awesome!! (Now I will be watching for different ones as we drive around here. There are lots of MC houses here. Remember the addition we drove you thru with the entry with the boomerangs and stars entrance?) I will tell Prentice you gave him mention and kudos on your MC clover block wall. (I know it will bring smiles!) Another great and fun H & H Tara! Loved it!!

    • Thanks, Judy! This article was many months in the making! I’ve been noting all the breeze blocks we’ve spotted while driving around town over the past year. Then I mapped them out and we did a day-long adventure getting the photos and video shots. I was also surprised by how many different styles there are. I never realized there were so many!

  2. Hi, Thank you for this fantastic article and for the photos you collected. I really enjoyed it.

    I am the owner of Tesselle. We carry dozens of Breeze Block designs and typically have over 20k square feet in stock or incoming. Inventory is listed for each product.

    We deliver within the contiguous US states and warehouse pickup is available for SoCal customers in Riverside.


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