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Charlotte’s Oldest Mid-Century Modern House Faces Demolition

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Bulldozers will come in June if it’s not sold.

The Lassiter House, designed by architect A.G. Odell

 

February 23, 2011 (CHARLOTTE, NC) – The Lassiter House, the oldest identified Modernist house in Charlotte, and one of the few designed by architect A.G. Odell still standing, will be torn down if not sold by June.

 

The house’s only owners put their three-bedroom, three-bath house in Charlotte’s Eastover neighborhood on the market in 2010. Triangle Modernist Houses (TMH), the state’s award-winning non-profit organization for Modernist residential architecture, today issued a National Alert on the Lassiter House. (The group’s last National Alert saved the historic Carr House in Durham designed by architect Kenneth Scott.)

 

“The Lassiter House is a classic Modernist design by one of the south’s foremost architects,” said TMH founder and director George Smart. “A. G. Odell put Charlotte architecture on the map through the Ovens Auditorium and countless other Queen City buildings. Because the land value exceeds the house, Modernist gems like this are disappearing at an alarming rate.”

 

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission calls the house an “extremely rare as a fully realized example of Modernist Style” and “important as an early example of the [Modernist] movement after World War II to apply technology to residential architecture.”

 

Published in Better Homes and Gardens magazine in 1956, the house features steel beams that support the roof, eliminating the need for load-bearing interior walls. As a result, the interior spaces are large, open, and thoroughly wheelchair accessible. Extensive glass walls and doors visually and physically open the inside to outdoor gardens. Architect Charles McMurray did an addition to the house in the 1970s.

 

The Lassiter House is listed with Gail Jodon of Modern Charlotte Realty for $785,000 (www.moderncharlotte.com). The property’s Historic Landmark designation offers significant tax breaks. To see more historic photos and details, go to http://landmarkscommission.org/surveys&rlassiter.htm.

 

About the Architect: A.G. Odell, FAIA (1913-1988), was founder and principal of Odell Associates, which became, and remains, one of the largest and most influential architectural firms in North Carolina. He served as president of the American Institute of Architects in 1965. A champion of the International Style and influenced by Le Corbusier, he designed the 1973 Charlotte Civic Center (imploded in 2005), among many other major buildings in the city. His firm also designed the trapezoidal Blue Cross Blue Shield building in Durham, the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, and the RBC Center in Raleigh. For more information on A.G. Odell and to see other mid-century houses he designed, go to www.trianglemodernisthouses.com/odell.htm.

 

 

For more information on Triangle Modernist Houses, visit www.trianglemodernisthouses.com.

 

 

About Triangle Modernist Houses

Triangle Modernist Houses (TMH) is a 501C3 nonprofit established in 2007 to restoring and growing modernist architecture in the Triangle. 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 “livable works of art” for future generations. Visit the website at www.trianglemodernisthouses.com. TMH also has an active community on Facebook.

 

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