James Taylor’s Modernist Childhood Home Opens for Public Touring for the First Time


May 16, 2016 (Chapel Hill, NC) — The 1952 Trudy and Isaac M. Taylor House in Chapel Hill — the Modern childhood home of legendary singer-song writer James Taylor — will be open for public touring for the first time ever on Saturday, June 4, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., sponsored by North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH).

The Taylors initially hired multi-award-winning architect George Matsumoto to design their Modernist house. Yet as the project progressed, Trudy didn’t warm to Matsumoto’s ideas. So she fired the illustrious architect and immediately hired Durham architect John Latimer (1916-1996) to finish the job.

Nestled against a hillside to reduce its impact on the wooded lot, the three-level house features horizontal cypress siding on the exterior and a large, flat roof with deep overhangs to shade the house’s abundant glazing and to provide covering for a wrap-around deck. On the interior, Latimer used both cherry and oak wood.

The Taylor children’s bedrooms are on the ground-level floor. The master bedroom and living room are on the upper-most level. The kitchen, renovated by Chapel Hill architect Arthur Cogswell (1930-2010) in the late 1960s, is on the mezzanine level.

Along with the main house, NCMH tour-goers will visit the two-bedroom guesthouse where “Sweet Baby James” and his siblings played music during the early 1960s.

Ike and Trudy Taylor divorced in 1972 and moved out of the house. They rented it for two years before selling it to Pat and Jim Johnston in 1974. It was deeded to Johnston heirs in 2014.

Today, the house and accompanying 23 acres are about to be sold at auction. An auction agent will be on hand to answer any questions.

Due to limited parking around the Taylor house, advance timed tickets ($7 per person) are required for admission.  For more tour details, to purchase tickets, and to select a tour time slot, go to http://www.ncmodernist.org/jt.htm. Tickets sell out quickly.

The house is located at 618 Morgan Creek Road (set GPS to 100 Coker Lane) in Chapel Hill).

Proceeds from ticket sales benefit North Carolina Modernist Houses, a nonprofit dedicated to archiving, preserving, and promoting Modernist residential design across the state. For more information: www.ncmodernist.org.

About NC Modernist Houses:

North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH) is an award-winning, 501C3 nonprofit organizations established in 2007 and dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promoting Modernist residential design. This year, the American Institute of Architects awarded NCMH founder and director George Smart its Collaborative Achievement Award for his work with NCMH. The website www.ncmodernist.org is now the largest open digital archive for Modernist residential design in America. NCMH also hosts popular architecture events every month and frequent home tours, giving the public access to the most exciting residential architecture, past and present. These tours and events raise awareness and help preserve these “livable works of art” for future generations. For more information: www.ncmodernist.org. Find NCMH on FacebookFollow NCMH on Twitter and Instagram.

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