December 4, 2017 (Carrboro, NC) – Architect Doug Pierson, AIA, LEED AP, BD+C, and environmental graphics designer Youn Choi — partners in life and in pod architecture + design(pod a+d) — have joined the flurry of businesses relocating to the Triangle region. They’ve moved their architectural firm from Los Angeles to Carrboro, where they’re currently settling into new offices in The Station, the town’s 1882 train depot. READ MORE…
A book signing event with author Scott Hilton Davis
November 6, 2017 (Raleigh, NC) – Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh’s oldest independent bookstore and a mecca for Triangle-wide bibliophiles, will start the holidays off this year with a book reading/signing event for Jewish storyteller Scott Hilton Davis on Sunday, November 26, starting at 2 p.m.
The founder of Raleigh-based Jewish Storyteller Press and a seven-time Emmy Award-winning public television producer, Davis will introduce the Quail Ridge crowd to his newest book Chanukah Tales from Oykvetchnik. The event is free and open to the public.
The 118-page book is a collection of eight short stories by Scott Davis – one for each night of Chanukah — that celebrate Jewish history, culture, and values. The stories take readers into “Oykvetchnik” (Oy + kvetch + nik), a tiny shtetl town in Eastern Europe. And for those who may not be familiar with the Jewish/Yiddish terms that appear in the stories, Davis includes a glossary.
“We recommend this book for children and adult of all ages,” the venerable bookstore notes on its Events Calendar.
Jack Magnus, a book critic with Readers’ Favorite.com, writes, “Laced through the collection is humor, faith, miracles and love, and freshly fried latkes that had my mouth watering as I read.”
After he reads a tale or two and takes questions from the audience, the author will sign copies of Chanukah Tales from Oykvetchnik that will be available for purchase (paperback, $9.95; hardcover $16.95).
In its new two-story, 9000-square-foot space in North Hills Shopping Center, Quail Ridge Books is located at 4209 Lassiter Mill Road, No. 100, Raleigh, NC 27609. For more information, visit www.quailridgebooks.com.
Scott Hilton Davis is a lifelong storyteller, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, and collector of Jewish short stories from 19th-century Eastern Europe. He is the author of Souls Are Flying! A Celebration of Jewish Stories and the editor of the first English translation of Jacob Dinezon’s collection of autobiographical short stories, Memories and Scenes: Shtetl, Childhood, Writers. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Open to the public, the event will be held at historic Turnage Theater, 150 West Main Street, Washington, NC. 27889.
Set in the rural South in 1965, Life on the Line is the story of two middle school boys struggling to understand themselves and the world around them as they meet on the football field and immediately despise each other.
A former football player himself, McNair draws his readers into play-by-play action during grueling practices and often violent, bloody games as the boys lead their team towards an undefeated season — despite the tension and animosity that escalates between them.
McNair’s novel is built around football, but it also contains themes of family and faith, love and loss, and how all of that leads the boys to hard-won reconciliation. Earlier this year, it was named “Best Book” in the Young Adult category for the Spring 2017Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards.”
Frank McNair grew up in Laurinburg, NC, where he was a member of the Scotland County High School “Fighting Scots” football team. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Morehead Scholar, he received his MBA degree from Wake Forest University. He has published successful non-fiction business books but Life on the Line is his first venture into fiction. He is currently working on a second novel, this one exploring the life of Christian faith, entitled A Creeping Certainty.
McNair and his wife Laura are active members of their church community, where they teach and contribute in other ways. They live with their beloved lab, Buddy Brown, in a house overlooking the woods in Winston-Salem when they’re not in residence at their coastal home in Bath overlooking the Pamlico River.
The Pamlico Writers Group is affiliated with the Arts of the Pamlico and meets twice a month. Its mission is “to help other aspiring writers accomplish their goals in writing.” For more information on the October 24th book signing and workshop: https://pamlicowritersgroup.wildapricot.org/event-2671367.
The Hawthorne Residence, a modern, award-winning home in Raleigh’s Cameron Park neighborhood, will be open to the public during the “ModHop” Tour, an evening house tour on September 6th from 6 – 8:30 p.m. hosted by North Carolina Modernist Houses in association with the 2017 Hopscotch Design Festival.
Designed by Tonic Design principles Katherine Hogan, AIA, and Vincent Petrarca, this single-family residence replaced a dark, cramped, early 20th-century bungalow to give the homeowners modernist light, space, and form and a strong connection between indoors and outdoors.
To achieve the indoor-outdoor connection, the designers dropped the back elevation to grade and used floor-to-ceiling glass on the exterior wall to expand the view and living space into the backyard. A single-tilt roof with deep, cantilevered overhangs reference the covered porches of neighboring houses. Operable windows and extensive glazing throughout the house allow for daylight and natural ventilation, greatly reducing the homeowners’ reliance on electric lights during the day. A geothermal ground-source heat pump, fiber-cement rain-screen panels on exterior walls, locally available wood detailing, and Energy Star appliances make it 50 percent more energy efficient than a standard new home and 80 percent more efficient than the average resale home.
The two-story house is transparent from the front door through the main living area and on through the kitchen and dining space to the backyard. A sleek staircase composition makes the vertical circulation a sculptural presence at the center of the interior while leading to the children’s bedrooms and central play space upstairs. Crisp white walls and warm wood flooring throughout the house underscore the simple, modern interior.
Hogan and Petrarca will be on hand to answer tour participants’ questions about the house during the ModHop Tour.
Tonic Design is a multi-award-winning design-build firm in Raleigh, NC. Among many accolades throughout their careers, principals Katherine Hogan and Vincent Petrarca were named 2013’s “Rising Stars” by Residential Architect magazine. Their projects have been featured in a host of national publications, including Architectural Record, Residential Architect, Dwell, Custom Homes, Inform magazine, and Metal Architecture, and locally in the News & Observer, Walter magazine, and Urban Home. For more information: www.tonic-design.com.
August 16, 2017 (Chapel Hill, NC) — Mark Spano, the Chapel Hill-based author of the critically acclaimed murder mystery,Midland Club, has been awarded a month-long residency at Escape to Createin Seaside, Florida, to turn his award-winning novel into a screenplay.
Escape to Create (E2C) is a nationally recognized, non-profit, multidisciplinary artist residency hosted by the Seaside community since 1993. Over 150 writers, musicians, visual artists, and scholars have been awarded month-long retreats as emerging and mid-career artists.
Mark Spano is an accomplished filmmaker as well as author. His works include “The Quality of Light: A Biography of Claude Howell” and the definitive documentary on Sicily, “Sicily: Land of Love and Strife.” As a result, he admits that he visualized Midland Club on the screen as he wrote it.
“First of all, I want to express my deep appreciation to the selection committee, board, staff, and volunteers at Escape to Create,” Spano said. “I am truly honored and overflowing with gratitude for this opportunity.
“Since I work as both a writer and a filmmaker,” he continued, “when I’m working on any project in one medium I’m always considering, consciously or not, the possibilities of the other media. With new technologies, it seems ideas can have many different lives. My colleagues and I have more than once discussed adapting Midland Club to film. This residency has set these wheels in motion.”
To some of his admiring critics, the adaptation of a screenplay is a natural progression.
“Midland Club is a dark and cynical tale that reads like a film noir classic,” wrote one reviewer for GayBookReviews.com, who also noted, “There’s a bit of ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil’ amidst the melancholy…”
Two of the many positive Amazon Reader Comments call the book “an engaging work of noir fiction” and: “The writer of Midland Club is a filmmaker, a fact that comes through in the clarity and imagery of his writing. He captures, in a ‘noiresque’ manner, the atmosphere of the period and the location.”
A Page-Turning Tale
Published in May of 2016, Midland Club is a page-turning tale of corruption, love, lies, and murder set in a Midwestern city in 1958. Puce Bordeaux, the only “Negro” waiter at the exclusive Midland Club downtown, dies suddenly and the sheriff immediately declares it a suicide.
Yet one man refuses to believe the death was suicide. That man is the protagonist, Rich St. Pierre, a member of the city’s wealthy, white, First Family. Rich has known the now-elderly Puce since Rich was a child and dined at the club with his wealthy father. Rich and Puce also spent a night together in jail after a raid on a local dive bar where the town’s otherwise hidden gay community gathers for drinks and jazz. He’s certain that Puce was murdered to make sure a scandalous secret goes to the grave with him.
Ostracized by his family since the raid, Rich St. Pierre is just as certain that his own life will be in grave danger if he attempts to reveal the truth.
Spano will spend January 2018 at E2C in Seaside. Afterward, he’ll join an impressive alumni club that includes nominees and recipients of The Pulitzer and Pushcart Prizes; National Book Awards; scholarships at the American Academy of Arts & Letters and The American Academy in Rome; ASCAP and Aaron Copeland Awards; Guggenheim Foundation scholarships; James Beard and Grammy Awards; and more.
E2C residencies are made possible through the generosity of Seaside homeowners, merchants, and donors. For more information on E2C visit www.escape2create.org.
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George Smart, Executive Director of the non-profit organization North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH) and Bernie Reeves, Co-Founder and Publisher of Metro Magazine, have announced that NCMH’s Colossus Architecture Magazine Archive is now the official historical archive for Metro Magazine.
Inspired by senior editor and architecture enthusiast Kim Devins Weiss, Metro Magazine’s editor and publisher Bernie Reeves began covering the built environment in 1978 in his initial publication, Spectator Magazine, the first alternative weekly publication to cover the Triangle. According to Reeves, he wanted to convey “a sophisticated perspective on the emerging Triangle. I had a modicum of architectural DNA from my father, [the late architect] Ralph B. Reeves, Jr., but Kim made it happen. As a result, Spectator acknowledged that the built environment was of great interest to the intelligent reader.”
Reeves continued that tradition in Metro Magazine, a full-color monthly publication that covered a 22-county region from the Triangle to North Carolina’s coast. Established in 1999, Metro generally published monthly until April 2013 and enjoyed a circulation of 40,000.
Two writers covered architecture for Metro: design editor Diane Lea, who wrote features on residential design from historic preservation to Modernist houses; and Michael Welton, author of the online journal Architects+Artisans.com and the Raleigh News & Observer’s architecture critic.
“Metro exuded quality on every page, including Diane’s excellent coverage of area architecture,” aid Katie Reeves, Metro co-founder. “Now, through George Smart and Colossus, the homes and buildings covered will be available in a first-class environment.”
“Metro and the other publications in our Colossus archive chronicle the best of Modernist houses along with the talented, progressive architects who created them,” said George Smart, who recently received the American Institute of Architects’ 2016 Collaborative Achievement Award.
Once complete, Colossus will be the largest open digital architecture publication collection in the world. We’re honored to continue Bernie Reeves’ advocacy for architecture through having Metro as part ofColossus.”
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. The website 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 Facebook. Follow NCMH on Twitter and Instagram.
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 Facebook. Follow NCMH on Twitter and Instagram.
The professor/author wanted to build “Little Paws,” one of Chapel Hill architect Arielle Condoret Schechter’s collection of tiny, modern, sustainable house plans she sells under the registered trademark Micropolis Houses®. But at 1059 square feet, “Little Paws” only had room for two bedrooms.
“And she needed three bedrooms,” Schechter said. “So ‘Little Paws’ quickly morphed into a custom small house – a sort of custom Micropolis®, if you will. But it’s still way under the size of the average American house, which is 2500 square feet. This house is still only 1679 square feet.”
Construction should begin soon in Chapel Hill on Schechter’s not-quite-so-tiny house, which remains true to the original modern design with its rhythmic volumes, crisp geometry, flat rooflines and extra bedroom. Packing a lot of punch into its modest envelope, this small custom-designed home includes an open great room and dining area, a “super-functional” working kitchen, Schechter said, a study, a guest suite and additional bedroom, plus a master suite complete with Japanese Ofuro soaking tub.
As with all of her residential projects, Arielle Schechter prioritizes natural light inside and spectacular spaces outside to encourage the connection between indoors and outdoors. In this case, those spaces are a screen porch, terrace, and pool, all of which overlook a natural creek. An abundance of windows, including corner glass, offers constant views of the outdoors. Deep roof overhangs protect the glass from the high summer sun – one of the many green building principles Schechter utilized for this project.
An advocate of age-in-place architecture, Schechter also made sure “Little Paws” was adaptable to universal design even though the original plan was intended as a raised pier house. The professor welcomed the adaptation, Schechter said, so that this will be her last home.
Years in the making: Tiny homes are growing increasingly popular today, but Arielle Schechter didn’t design Micropolis Houses® to jump on the bandwagon. Growing up in North Carolina, she realized that the mobile homes scattered or clumped together across North Carolina filled the need for small housing options but had no design integrity, they were usually made of poor materials, and she couldn’t see how they contributed to their owners’ quality of life. So a few years ago she began working on an alternative and Micropolis Houses® were born – quality, architect-designed house plans that range from 150 to 1500 square feet and can be customized to meet specific buyers’ needs and preferences.
For more information on Arielle Condoret Schechter, the Micropolis Houses® and all of her work, visit www.acsarchitect.com.
About Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA:
Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, is a licensed, registered architect based in Chapel Hill, NC, who specializes in Modernist, energy-efficient buildings of all types and sizes, especially houses. Earlier this year, her firm received a Best of Houzz award for Customer Service. Schechter admits that she is “obsessed with light,” which drives her designs more than any other single element. Her firm also offers interior and lighting design, and custom furniture and fixtures. She attended the North Carolina School of the Arts, the Juilliard School of Music, and NC State University’s College of Design. She lives with her husband, Arnie Schechter, and an assortment of foster animals in a Modern, energy-efficient house she designed. For more information: www.acsarchitect.com.
After thousands of votes were counted, Trig Modern in downtown Raleigh emerged as The Best Place to Buy Contemporary Furniture in the Triangle in 2015, according to readers of Triangle Downtowner magazine.
“Of course we’re delighted,” said Trig’s owner, Bob Drake, who moved to Raleigh from Charlotte to open the store. “We’ve only been here a little over two years, so it’s very gratifying to receive a ‘people’s choice’ recognition from the Downtowner’s readers.”
Ambiente and NC Modern Furniture came in at second and third places, respectively.
Opened in 2012 in a freestanding building at 328 West Jones Street, Trig Modern is the only showroom and design service in downtown Raleigh that specializes in modern furniture and lighting in tandem with an eclectic blend of compatible furnishings and accessories, including mid-20th century items and a throw pillow collection that Drake designed himself.
“Trig is a very different kind of showroom,” Drake said. “We combine both new and vintage furniture, kitchen and bath, lighting, original art, and objects.”
Trig also offers new lines of modern kitchen systems, he noted, and a host of modern wall coverings, including a line of peel-and-stick wallpaper that he believes are tailor-made for apartment dwellers.
The Best of Downtowner Awards is an annual poll that allows the monthly magazine’s readers to vote for their favorite places to dine, drink, dance, shop, etc. The print edition is on newsstands now.
Opened in December 2012, Trig Modern is owned and operated by furniture and lighting designer Bob Drake. Through its combination of modern and mid-century-inspired furniture, lighting, and accessories, as well as Modern kitchen and bath remodeling services, Trig’s mission is to present a realistic portrait of sensible living and offer an antidote to excess, formality, and convention. For more information visit www.trigmodern.com, call 919.516.8744, and find Trig Modern on Facebook.