“One of the many things Youn and I have come to love about the Triangle region is the City of Durham, the heart of Durham County,” Pierson said. “Once a tobacco and textiles town and now a world-class hub for medicine and research. The city is such an urban revitalization success story that still values its architectural history while embracing design innovation. It’s an authentic Southern town. And it’s terrific that the city and county celebrate contributions to their combined appearance.”
Sponsored by the Durham City-County Appearance Committee, the annual Golden Leaf Awards recognize new developments, buildings, and landscaping throughout Durham County that provide positive attributes to the city’s built environment. Awards are presented in seven categories, including a People’s Choice Award determined by public voting.
Judging of the Golden Leaf Awards, except the People’s Choice Award, is done by an independent panel of local professionals representing architecture, landscape architecture, development, and the arts community.
Pierson also has been tapped to present the 2918 Golden Leaf Awards to the winners on April 19th.
About Doug Pierson
Douglas V. Pierson, AIA, LEED AP, BD+C, attended the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., then the Lettres program at the Université Paul Valéry in Montpelier, France, before earning his Masters in Architecture degree at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. Early in his career, he worked with several architecture firms in Europe and Australia and served as designer and curator for numerous art exhibits, including The Work of Charles and Ray Eames. He worked with Hodgetts & Fung Design Associates in Culver City, CA, then joined architect Frank Gehry’s Los Angeles office, Gehry Partners LLP. Before launching pod a+d, Pierson was a partner in the Inglewood, CA., firm form, environment, research (fer) studio L.L.P. in Inglewood, CA., for 10 years. He and Choi have two young children and will begin construction soon on their new modern home in Carrboro. Pod a+d’s offices are located in the old train depot, The Station, on Main Street in Carrboro. For more information: www.podand.com.
Late architect Jon Condoret’s favorite project will be open to the public for the first time.
March 20, 2013 (Durham, NC) – Triangle Modernist Houses (TMH), the award-winning non-profit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promoting Modernist residential architecture, will host a tour of the unusual 1973 Arthur and Florence Larson Residence in Durham on Saturday, April 13, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.
Originally designed by the late Chapel Hill architect Jon Condoret, the Larson home began at 4825 square feet. When the Larsons sold the house, the new owners engaged California architect Fu-Tung Chung to design the renovation, which was built by Landmark Renovation with the late landscape architect, Judy Harmon, designing an entrance path and garden. A further 2011 addition expanded the house to 6040 square feet.
“Jon Condoret considered the Larson house his favorite project,” said George Smart, TMH Executive Director. “It’s easy to see why. The expansive walls and ceilings, combined with exposed beams, echo the angular exterior. The house is filled with natural light and views of the wooded surroundings. We are very grateful to the current owners for opening it on April 13 to the public.”
According to the Durham Herald-Sun’s 1993 obituary, Arthur Larson joined the Duke faculty in 1958 and became only the second James R. Duke professor of law after having served as Undersecretary of Labor, Director of the U.S. Information Agency, and as special assistant in charge of speeches for President Dwight E. Eisenhower. He also served as consultant on international affairs to President Lyndon B. Johnson, the U.S. State Department, and the United Nations. While the Larsons lived in their Modernist home, they frequently entertained friends and fellow Duke Faculty, often holding classical music concerts in the large two-story-clear living room.
Tickets to the tour are $6.50 in advance or $10 at the door. (Advance sales close a week before the tour.) Admission is on a timed-entry basis every 30 minutes. Photography is allowed anywhere inside and outside the house. Architects can earn continuing education credits for attending the tour if arrangements are made with the American Institute of Architects in advance.
Triangle Modernist Houses (TMH) is a 501C3 nonprofit established in 2007 and dedicated to documenting, 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 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. For more information:
Featuring four unique Modernist houses in Durham’s Hope
February 20, 2012 (Durham, NC) — The 29thTriangle Modernist Houses tour of modern homes will be held Saturday April 14, 1-4 p.m., in the Hope Valley neighborhood of Durham, NC.
The tour will feature four unique homes: one brand new, one four years old, and two mid-century moderns that have been renovated. The houses on the spring tour are:
The Miriam and Henry Nicholson House, designed by architect Robert (Judge) Carr. Renovated and currently for sale.
The 2008 Monica Hunter House, designed by architect Bill Waddell.
The 2011 Patel House, designed and built by architect Sanjeev Patel.
The Chute Residence, a mid-century modern ranch currently under renovation and expansion by architect Ellen Cassilly.
Architects Waddell, Cassilly, and Patel will be at the houses to discuss any details or questions from the public. Photography is allowed and encouraged inside and out.
Tour-goers may park for free at St. Stephen’s Church on Rugby Road. From there they can walk, bike, or take one of two free shuttle buses to the houses. (Please do not drive directly to the houses.)
“We’re super green,” said TMH founder and board chair George Smart. “Think of all the carbon saved by shuttles versus driving hundreds of cars from house-to-house individually.”
Tickets are $14.95 per person in advance for the general public, $11.95 per person in advance for Mod Squad members, and $20 per person on the day of the tour. Children carried or in strollers are admitted free. Tickets are available at www.trianglemodernisthouses.com/tour.htm.
Since 2008, no organization in North Carolina has hosted more Modernist house tours than TMH. Support from thousands of homeowners, architects, builders, and members of the community allow TMH to bring the public exclusive access to modernist residential architecture. Proceeds from tour ticket sales benefit TMH’s ongoing documentation, preservation, and promotion projects.
Sponsors for the April 14 tour, who will also be on hand at each house, include: L.E. Meyers Builders, The Kitchen Specialist, Studio B Architecture/BuildSense, Go Realty, Anchorage Building Corporation, Nowell’s Contemporary Furniture, Byrd Tile Distributors, and Tonic Design/Tonic Construction.
Contact George Smart at 919-740-8407 with questions about the Durham tour.
Triangle Modernist Houses (TMH) is a 501C3 nonprofit established in 2007 and dedicated 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.
Triangle Modernist Houses is an award-winning non-profit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving and promoting Modernist residential design. The “Thirst4Architecture” happy hours connect people with a passion for Modernist architecture in an informal setting.
“We welcome architects, artists, designers, interior designers, realtors, engineers, contractors, property investors, building managers, Modernist homeowners, materials and furniture dealers – or anyone with a huge crush on great architecture,” says TMH founder and board chairman George Smart. “T4A events focus on building relationships, generating passion about good design, creating strategic alliances, and connecting people that we know and trust to each other. There are no presentations or PowerPoint slides. We just want folks to join the fun and make new friends and contacts.”
T4A coincides with “Home-Grown, Home-Made: A Celebration of Localism in Durham,” which will also take place at Fullsteam Brewery, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Tickets for that event are $25 at the door. For more information: http://thepeopleschannel.org/homegrown.htm.
Fullsteam Brewery and Tavern is located at 726 Riggsbee Avenue, Durham, NC, 27701. For more information and directions go to www.fullsteam.ag.
Triangle Modernist Houses (TMH) is a 501C3 nonprofit organization established in 2007 and dedicated to documenting, preserving and promoting Modernist residential architecture. The award-winning website is now the largest educational and historical archive for Modernist residential design in America. TMH also hosts popular Modernist house tours several times a year, along with other events to 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.
Author J. Mark Boliek reaches, and impresses, his target audience.
August 31, 2011 (Durham, NC) – A positive review from a professional book critic is any author’s dream-come-true. Yet for J. Mark Boliek, author of “The Mahogany Door,” a new fantasy-adventure book for young readers, no review will mean as much to him as the one he recently received from the kid in Pennsylvania who writes the blog “This Kid Reviews Books.”
In early August, nine-year-old Erik (last name withheld for privacy) requested a review copy of Boliek’s 353-page book and the all-original soundtrack CD that comes with it. Delighted to have the chance to hear an honest opinion from a member of his book’s target audience (nine to 20-something), Boliek quickly obliged.
Erik’s synopsis of the book: “What would you do if you could save someone who was lost in a different world? Years ago, JT, Kali, Michael and Charlie traveled to the world of Bruinduer through The Mahogany Door, a magical portal. The friends thought Charlie died in Bruinduer, but he didn’t. He is just trapped and the others now realize it and they vow to get him back. JT, Kali and Michael have to travel back through The Mahogany Door. They’ll face old enemies, fight in a war, cross a desert, have to find trust in Billy (their guide in Bruinduer) and convince Charlie (who wasn’t happy to see them) to come back home.”
Erik was so pleased with the book, in fact, that he wanted to interview the author.
“I liked ‘The Mahogany Door’ so much that I asked Mr. Boliek if he would answer some questions about his book and music. He was very nice to let me do the interview,” he wrote in his post on August 25.
“I have to say, when I first started into the story, I thought it was going to be too much like ‘The Witch, Lion and the Wardrobe,’ but it wasn’t,” he writes in his review. “The story of ‘The Mahogany Door’ is unique. The story really kept me reading (seriously, I couldn’t put the book down)… I recommend it to everyone!”
He even gave “The Mahogany Door” his highest ranking, “5 out of 5 bookworms,” which means “You have to read this book!” according to the blog description.
Erik also liked the accompanying CD so much – “The songs are really great” – that he posted a link to Boliek’s website so his readers can hear the songs for themselves.
“This is it,” Boliek said after Erik’s review was posted. “This is straight out of the mouth of a member of my target audience. I can’t even say how much Erik’s review means to me. I’m also extremely impressed by Erik’s love of books and his writing quality. He’s an amazing kid.”
Erik began reviewing books in January 2011 because “I love books, so that’s why I have this blog. The reason I’m doing this is for parents to approve of a book, and for kids to find an excellent book, too,” he writes on the “About” page.
Who reads his blog? “Other kids, parents, teachers, librarians, authors, publicists, publishers, illustrators, and people who just like books have all visited my blog,” he said via email. “I think it’s actually pretty cool how people from all over the world visit my blog.” (The latter statement is confirmed by his blog’s statistics.)
Erik’s entire review of “The Mahogany Door” and his interview with the author can be read at http://bit.ly/pcyMAA.
“The Mahogany Door” is currently available at The Regulator Bookshop in Durham, NC, Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, NC, and The Moravian Books & Gifts shop in Winston-Salem, NC. Ebook versions, including an enhanced version with imbedded music, are available at the iBook Store, Amazon, and other outlets. For more information visit www.jmarkboliek.com.
Facts about The Mahogany Door:
Author: J. Mark Boliek. Publisher: Split Rail Books. Publication Date: May 2011. Genres: Fantasy-Fiction, Adventure-Fiction. Illustrator: Lauren Gallegos. Age Group: 10 and up. ISBN: 978-0-9832900-0-1. Paperback: 353pp. Retail Price: store’s discretion. Website www.jmarkboliek.com. Ebooks are available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and iBookstore.
To discuss the songs on his new book’s soundtrack CD
August 19, 2011 (Durham, NC) — J. Mark Boliek, the author of The Mahogany Door and composer of the book’s accompanying all-original soundtrack CD, was the featured guest on “The Bookworms: Young Adult Book Reviews” blog.
The Mahogany Door is a 353-page urban fantasy-adventure novel about three friends – JT, Michael and Kali — who have been separated for years by a tragedy, but who must reunite to return to the fantasy land of Bruindeur beyond the mahogany door to fulfill a destiny before that world collapses. The journey back to the world behind the door leads to self-discovery and to the realization that things in life are not always as they seem. The songs on the CD capture themes and emotions from the book.
For The Bookworms blog, Boliek focused on his three favorite songs from the CD: “All Alone,” “In The Afternoon,” and “Goodbyes.”
“All Alone” is the theme song of the book, he said. The main characters “find themselves alone in their own little space in the world, and it is not until they are able to reunite will they be able to face the demons from their past and conquer them.”
The song also speaks to the reason he wrote the book: “Many bad things have happened in my life, and along the way I have felt very much alone. It is when I started to find my true inner self that I could move forward, in some cases dealing with the mundane of everyday life.”
“In The Afternoon” addresses the way a single event can drastically change one’s life in just a few hours. “For JT in the book,” Boliek said, “he wakes up on his farm bee-bopping around, and by the afternoon his whole world has been turned upside down by a little boy who comes to him and tells a crazy story about his past.”
Boliek told The Bookworms that “Goodbyes”, however, is the most special song on the CD to him, yet it’s also the most difficult for him to listen to even today.
“I wrote it during one of the worst times in my life. It is so hard to say goodbye to the ones you love, but sometimes it is closure that humans need to move on,” he said. His character Kali “wants closure to everything that has happened to her, but it will not be easy for her to find.”
The Bookworms blog provides audio files for listening to the three songs from the CD. To see the entire post, go to http://thebookworms.org and click on “Guest Post: J. Mark Boliek” under Recent posts.
J. Mark Boliek, the author of The Mahogany Door and the entire Bruinduer Narrative series, grew up in Eden and Durham, North Carolina. An avid writer and athlete, he received a football scholarship after high school but chose to join the Navy instead. He graduated from Concord University in Athens, WV, in 1997 and lived in Wilmington, NC, for a while, where he began to develop The Bruinduer Narrative, a fantasy-adventure series for young readers, as well as the soundtrack CD that accompanies The Mahogany Door. Mark and his wife Jill now live in Durham, NC, where they own and operate Split Rail Books and Split Rail Multimedia LLC. For more information on the author and The Mahogany Door, visit www.jmarkbolief.com and his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/jmarkboliek.
completed the renovation phase of an exemplary, mid-century modern house in Durham and is about to begin construction on phase two: a 1200-square-foot addition that will honor, without imitating, the original house.
When new owners and Duke University professors Mimi and Mark Hansen hired the firm to renovate and enlarge the 2337-square-foot house that architect Kenneth Scott, AIA, designed for Binford and John Carr in 1958, the design team immediately recognized the challenges they faced.
“We knew it was going to be difficult because of our respect for the original house,” said project architect Bob Thomas, AIA, a principal in the firm. “This was a renovation, not a restoration, so it needed to accommodate a family of five, including three young children, and lifestyle changes from the Fifties to today. So we had to strike a balance between opening up the space yet transforming the interior respectfully.”
As for the addition: “It was challenging, and interesting, to add onto a house we
respect so much without mimicking, or repeating, what’s there,” said Kenneth Hobgood, FAIA, principal. “We knew the idea had to come from the existing house, in terms of materials, scale and siting. We also knew we had to be very careful since the new owners hope to have the house designated as an historic property.”
According to Thomas, the renovation involved preserving the fundamentals of the mid-century house – the carport and enclosed courtyard entry, the floor plan organization, the cruciform footprint, and the planar language of the house (interior spaces are defined by brick planes) — while enlarging the kitchen and bringing the house up to current building codes.
By relocating a staircase in the middle of the house that once led to the basement, the firm made the kitchen not only larger but literally the center of the house. This also allowed them to remove walls that made the kitchen an enclosed room and visually connect to it the rest of the living spaces as is more typical of modern residential design.
“Where we did intervene, we made it more of a true modern house,” Thomas noted.
The living room, a glass-fronted space that overlooks the rebuilt deck outside under the house’s deep roof overhangs, was touched very lightly, he said. “Other than cosmetic upgrades, the living room is perfect the way it is. We couldn’t do anything to make it better.”
The original house is organized so that living spaces are on the northern side of the east-west axis/circulation hall with bedrooms on the southern, street-facing side. A hallway/gallery leading to the bedrooms features a glass wall overlooking the courtyard.
The addition will continue this organizational plan, including a glass-fronted gallery. This gallery, however, will also be a 25-foot-long bridge between the old house and the new addition, following the original east-west axis and circulation pattern.
“We talked the owners into buying a portion of the lot next door so that we could leave some distance between the original house and the addition,” Thomas said. “The bridge keeps us from having to mimic the old house because it’s separate from the original, not grafted onto it. It takes its cues in plan and materials, for the most part, from Kenneth Scott’s design. Yet it will provide visual and physical clarity between the old and new.”
Along with the bridge, the addition will include a master bedroom suite, a guest room and another basement, as well as Mark Hansen’s 36-foot-long, 8-foot, 8-inches wide office that will be cantilevered off the addition’s northern elevation.
“The office is the only true departure from the planes and materials of the original,” Thomas said. “It will be a separate object that will float above the landscape in a cantilevered box, framed in dark, anodized metal that will form ‘blinders’ on the east and west, except for one slender, floor-to-ceiling window. The northern wall will be all glass with Mark’s desk built into it. The southern wall will be covered in bookshelves to accommodate Mark’s vast collection of books.”
Thomas expects the addition to take about a year to complete.
Bayleaf Buildings of Raleigh is serving as contractor for the project. Kaydos-Daniels is the structural engineer.
Kenneth Hobgood, FAIA, founded Kenneth E Hobgood, Architects in Raleigh, NC, in 1992. Since then, the firm has received 39 design awards from the American Institute of Architects North Carolina chapter and its work has been published and exhibited in the United States, Japan, Italy, the Netherlands, England and Germany. In 1997, Kenneth Hobgood as awarded the Kamphoefner Prize from North Carolina State University’s College of Design for “consistent integrity and devotion to the development of modern architecture” in North Carolina. He has served as a visiting critic at Auburn University, Carnegie Mellon, Georgia Tech, and the University of Kentucky, and as an adjunct professor at North Carolina State University since 1988. For more information, visit www.kennethhobgood.com.
New fantasy-adventure book makes MBR’s July Fiction Shelf
July 12, 2011 (Durham, NC) — “The Mahogany Door,” a new fantasy-adventure book by J. Mark Boliek, accompanied by an all-original soundtrack CD, has received a positive review and strong recommendation from the reputable Midwest Book Reviews (MBR).
Under the headline “A fun fantasy aimed at young adult readers,” MBR says of the book:
“Friendship can stay true through the worst of it all. ‘The Mahogany Door’ follows amnesiac JT Davis and his two friends as in the efforts to restore memory lead them through a Mahogany door and into a fantasy world that will challenge their very concepts of reality and test their friendship to the fullest as they look for a way to return and make things right. Complete with a CD with music designed to go along with the book, ‘The Mahogany Door’ is a fun fantasy aimed at young adult readers, very much recommended reading.”
Out of 1500 book submissions MBR reports that it receives each month, MBR reviewers select only 450 to read. “The Mahogany Door” was one of those and, as such, is placed on the Fiction Shelf of MBR’s July Small Press Book Watch.
“The Mahogany Door,” with original illustrations by California artists Lauren Gallegos, is the first title released by Split Rail Books in Durham, NC. It is the first in a trilogy of books entitled The Bruinduer Narrative, which will continue the friends’ adventures in the fantasy Vryheids world of Bruinduer.
Established in 1976, the Midwest Book Review publishes monthly book publications specifically designed for community and academic librarians, booksellers, and the general reading public. It is a major Internet resource for publishers, writers, librarians, booksellers, and readers of all ages and interests. For more information, go to www.midwestbookreview.com
“The Mahogany Door” and accompanying CD are currently available through the author’s website, www.jmarkboliek.com. The Kindle® edition is available on Amazon and available for iPad on iTunes and iBooks as well as Nook from Barnes and Noble. The CD is also available for download from iTunes, Amazon Mp3 and many other online retailers. Facts about The Mahogany Door:
Author: J. Mark Boliek. Publisher: Split Rail Books. Publication Date: May 2011. Genres: Fantasy-Fiction, Adventure-Fiction. Illustrator: Lauren Gallegos. Age Group: 10 and up. ISBN: 978-0-9832900-0-1. Paperback: 353pp. Retail Price: $27.99. Currently available: www.jmarkboliek.com.
About The Author:
J. Mark Boliek, the author of “The Mahogany Door” and the entire Bruinduer Narrative series, grew up in Eden and Durham, North Carolina. An avid writer and athlete, he received a football scholarship after high school but chose to join the Navy instead. He graduated from Concord University in Athens, WV, in 1997 and lived in Wilmington, NC, for a while, where he began to develop The Bruinduer Narrative, a fantasy-adventure series for young readers, as well as the soundtrack CD that accompanies “The Mahogany Door.” Mark and his wife Jill now live in Durham, NC, where they own and operate Split Rail Books and Split Rail Multimedia LLC. For more information on the author and “The Mahogany Door,” visit www.jmarkbolief.com and his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/jmarkboliek.
Triangle Modernist Houses’ founder and director praised at awards
June 20, 2011 (Durham, NC) — George Smart, founder and director of Triangle Modernist Houses (TMH), a non-profit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving and promoting modernist residential design, is a 2011 recipient of Preservation Durham’s Advocacy Award for individual effort.
The 2011 Preservation Awards were announced during Preservation Durham’s Annual Meeting on June 15.
“George’s labor of love has turned, in a few short years, into the country’s largest online archive for modern architecture and modernism,” Preservation Durham announced during the awards presentation. “George has made it his personal mission to actively promote the value of modern architecture in our daily lives and in our architectural heritage – from mid-century/1950s houses to new construction – as well as the architects who design them.”
The award presentation cited Smart’s ongoing effort to archive and promote historic preservation “by cataloging the disappearing mid-century modern homes and commercial structures throughout the Triangle region and state, many of which we have lost and, sadly, many of which are currently at-risk.”
The presentation also cited TMH’s weekly newsletter and free listing of modernist houses for sale that helps realtors find buyers for those houses, especially those in danger of being demolished.
“But George’s hard work, dedication, and commitment to historic preservation is illustrated by more than a single website,” the announcement continued, pointing out TMH’s many house tours, dinners, tours outside the state, annual architecture movie series, and other educational programs.
“Educating the public about the importance of preserving the architectural treasures of the recent past is always a challenge for local and regional non-profits,” the announcement concluded. “The Triangle is fortunate and we are grateful to have such a staunch advocate, volunteer, and crusader in George Smart.”
Smart expressed his gratitude for the award: “Durham has an amazing range of Modernist houses, many of which are approaching 50 years old. Now is the time for the community to recognize these houses as the next generation of Durham’s history. TMH is proud to help Durham cherish that legacy through our online archive. We are honored to receive this award.
This marks the fourth public accolade Smart and TMH have received. In 2008, TMH received an Award of Merit from the Preservation Society of Chapel Hill and a Gertrude S. Carraway Award from Preservation North Carolina. In 2009, TMH received the Paul E. Buchanan Award from the Vernacular Architecture Forum and a Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Community Appearance from the City of Raleigh.
A Raleigh native, George Smart became interested in architecture through his father, the late George Smart Sr. The latter was a local architect for over 40 years and, like many in his generation, admired Frank Lloyd Wright’s modernist style. Although the son’s career has little in common with architecture (he is a business consultant through his firm Strategic Development, Inc.), George can’t deny genetics. Modernist design is irrevocably embedded in his DNA. Even his mother, Ann Seltman Smart, a WPTF radio personality at one time, produced a documentary during the 1960s called “A is for Architecture.” In 2007, George created the website www.trianglemodernisthouses.com. Recognizing increasing threats to the region’s modernist inventory, George set out to document every structure that could be identified, from existing neighborhood icons to those already lost to demolition or decay. George lives with his wife, Eleanor Stell, in their award-winning modernist house on a lakefront in Durham.