Salisbury Couple To Host Reception for Preservationists

Event to follow “Mayberry Modernism” at Historic Salisbury Station

Anne and Marc Hoffman

May 18, 2010 (SALISBURY, NC) – Anne and Marc Hoffman of Salisbury will host a cocktail reception for architectural historian George Smart, members of the Historic Salisbury Foundation, and other invited guests immediately following Smart’s presentation at the Historic Salisbury Station on Thursday, May  27th.

Smart, founder and director of Triangle Modernist (TMH), will present “Mayberry Modernism: “Mayberry Modernism: Why The Triangle Is America’s Hotspot for Way Cool Houses.” His presentation will also spotlight modernist houses in the Salisbury area, especially those by the late John Erwin Ramsay, FAIA (1915-1991), who designed many of the homes in the town’s West Square Historic District.  Nearly all Ramsay’s houses are documented on the TMH website, as is Hoffmans’ modernist house (

Anne Hoffman is counselor of the Upper School at the Cannon School in Concord, NC. Recording artist Marc Hoffman is a composer, pianist, and vocalist and the artistic director at the Salisbury School of Music on Main Street.

George Smart, founder and director, Triangle Modernist Houses

“We are excited to have George Smart speaking in Salisbury,” Marc said. “We thought it would be great to have a reception for George at our house so that he can see it in person and meet the Historic Salisbury Foundation folks and other local owners of mid-century modern houses in Salisbury in a more relaxed setting.”

The Hoffmans are also inviting all of the owners of houses designed by John Ramsay to the reception.

“This architecture is such a significant part of 20th century history,” Marc said. “Anne and I would like to do what we can to alert people to the importance of preserving these homes and businesses. Most of these structures are 50-plus years old at this point, so the time is right for restoration and preservation.”

According to Marc, he and Anne had always admired mid-century modern architecture, but after they stayed in a modernist house in Cuernavaca, Mexico, they began to think this style of open floor plans, abundant use of glass and aesthetic geometry was right for them.

“We found our house in 2007 several weeks after we returned from Mexico,” Marc said. “We knew immediately that we had to have it! As soon as we moved in and I had set-up my studio, I realized how inspiring it is for me as a composer to live so close to nature, which was one of the primary goals of the original architects of mid-century modern. I have been more productive here than anywhere I’ve lived and worked before.”

The Hoffmans' mid-century house in Salisbury.

Marc noted that John Beard, the original builder and owner of his house, found the design in the 1953 Better Homes and Gardens Book of Five Star Home Plans by Arthur Cyrus Swab, AIA, and John Normile. The BH&G books of home plans were a popular source for residential design in the 1940s and ‘50s. A 1965 renovation and addition by Salisbury architect John Hartledge added the distinctive butterfly roof to the house. And like other modernist homes in Salisbury, the Hoffmans’ house includes a bomb shelter.

“Mayberry Modernism” is free and open to the public. The reception is by invitation only.

For more information on Triangle Modernist Houses, visit For more information on the Historic Salisbury Foundation, visit

For more information on Marc Hoffman, visit

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