Triangle Modernist Houses’ Raleigh Tour To Spotlight Architects’ Personal Residences

The Crowder residence
The Crowder residence

October 1, 2009 (RALEIGH, NC) – Three Modernist houses  that architects designed for their own families in West Raleigh will be the focus of Triangle Modernist Houses’ (TMH) Homes Tour to be held Saturday, November 7, from 1-4 p.m.

The tour will spotlight the private residences of architects Thomas Crowder, Raymond Sawyer and Brian Shawcroft.

Thomas Crowder is founder and principal of ARCHITEKTUR and currently serves as a Raleigh City Councilman. His 2400-square-foot residence at 1409 Ashburton Road was completed in 2000, replacing an earlier, more traditional ranch home that burned in 1998. A prime example of fitting modernist design into an established community, it was given an AIA Honor Award in 2004.

“It was almost therapy for me to deal with the loss by absorbing myself in the rebuilding and starting over,” says Crowder.

The house basically doubled in size with an addition on the back, and includes an art gallery at the front to display pieces that have replaced those that were lost. The house has a Japanese-inspired feel and includes large clerestory windows that provide ample light throughout the day.

The Sawyer house.
The Sawyer house.

Raymond Sawyer, the first recipient of the American Society of Beaux Arts medal, designed his house at 1300 Lorimer Road in 1958. Exemplary of mid-century Modernist design, it features extensive glazing that blurs the line between indoors and out. Retired now and living in Brevard, NC, Sawyer lived in the house with his family until 2006. The current owner, Adrienne Joergensen, has done some renovation work, and the house’s Modernist “bones” remain very much intact.

One of Raleigh’s true “deans” of Modern architecture, Brian Shawcroft,

The Shawcroft residence
The Shawcroft residence

FAIA, designed almost all of the Modernist home inventory in the Triangle area from the 1970s through the late 1990s. He completed his current 2215-square-foot residence at 5215 Melbourne Road in 2002. In 1991, Shawcroft was awarded the prestigious Henry Kamphoefner Prize for achievement in Modernist architecture.

The November tour will begin at the Western Boulevard Presbyterian Church, 4900 Kaplan Drive, where a free shuttle service will take participants to the three houses.

Advance tickets are $9.95 and are on sale now via the TMH website: TMH director George Smart recommends securing tickets early since TMH homes tours typically sell out quickly. Proceeds benefit future tours, TMH’s cataloging program and research grants, and provide infrastructure as the non-profit organization works to create public awareness for the preservation of modernist design.

Sponsors for the November tour include Element Lighting, Rock & Shop, Humphrey Homes, Bowman Designs, Alphin Design/Build, and Nowell’s Contemporary Furniture.

For more information on Triangle Modernist Houses, visit

About Triangle Modernist Houses

Triangle Modernist Houses (TMH) is a 501C3 nonprofit established in 2007 to restoring and growing modernist architecture in the Triangle.  Its primary public service is the website  The award-winning website, now the largest educational and historical archive for modernist residential design in America, continues to catalog, preserve, and advocate for North Carolina modernism.  TMH also hosts popular modernist house tours several times a year, giving the public access to the Triangle’s most exciting residential architecture, past and present. These tours raise awareness and help preserve these “works of art” for future generations. Visit the website at

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