December 30, 2009 (DURHAM, NC) – On Saturday, January 9, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, Triangle Modernist Houses (TMH), an award-winning educational archive for modernist residential design, will host an exclusive tour of a Durham home designed by architect Max Isley. The architect and his wife Jane, who lived there only a few years, will be on hand to discuss the house with the public.
An exemplary modernist residence, the Isley house features an open floorplan, vaulted ceilings, and an abundance of large windows for natural lighting and to blur the line between interior and exterior. To see photographs, go to www.trianglemodernisthouses.com/isley.htm.
“Isley’s house is brilliant on its own and also reflects the influence of Durham’s John Latimer, where Isley worked in the 1960s,” said George Smart, founder and director of Triangle Modernist Houses.
Advanced tickets to the Isley House tour are $4.95 and can be purchased at www.trianglemodernisthouses.com/register.htm. Tickets are also available at the door for $7. There are only 100 tickets available and TMH tours tend to sell out quickly, so Smart recommends securing tickets in advance.
Proceeds from tickets sales benefit future TMH tours, its cataloguing program, research grants, and the infrastructure to create public awareness to preserve and celebrate modernist design. For more information visit www.trianglemodernisthouses.com.
About Triangle Modernist Houses:
Triangle Modernist Archive, Inc. (TMA) is a North Carolina nonprofit organization committed to preserving, restoring, and growing modernist architecture. Our primary public service is Triangle Modernist Houses (TMH), an award-winning, nonprofit educational archive for modernist residential design. TMH also hosts popular modernist house tours, design films, and trips several times a year, giving the public access to the Triangle’s most exciting residential architecture, past and present. These events raise awareness and help preserve these works of art for future generations. For more information, visit www.trianglemodernisthouses.com.
December 1, 2009 (DURHAM, NC) – George Smart, founder and director of Triangle Modernist Houses.com (TMH), today announced appointments to the organization’s 2010 Advisory Council.
TMH is a 501C3 nonprofit established in 2007 to preserve and promote 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.
Appointment to the Advisory Council is a one-year commitment starting January 1, 2010. Selected from a cross-section of the design and client communities, Council members support the organization’s programming improvements. This includes TMH’s popular modernist house tours, which give the public access to the Triangle’s most exciting residential architecture, past and present.
The 2010 Advisory Council includes: architect and attorney Theresa Joan Rosenberg; architect Erin Sterling, AIA, of Frank Harmon Architect PA; Leilani Carter; Vincent Whitehurst of Vincent Whitehurst Architect; Adrianne Joergensen; Kim Weiss of Blueplate PR; Rusty Long of Davenport Architecture; Bill Hopkins AIA of Hopkins McClure; Khalid Almo, BBH; Jane Thurman of Raleigh City Cemeteries Preservation; the Modern Home Network’s Debra Smith; and Elizabeth Sappenfield of Preservation North Carolina.
“The 2009 Advisory Council did an incredible job this past year. Their suggestions were key to significant website improvements. Now TMH is one of the most highly visited in its class, and our tours continue to attract visitors from across the state,” said Smart. “I deeply appreciate their gifts of time and service to the community.”
Features that characterize modernist design include combining traditionally separate common areas (such as the living room and the dining room), open interior floor plans with vaulted ceilings, large and numerous windows, flat or low pitched roofs, long exposed beams, extensive use of glass to bring in natural light, and aesthetic geometric forms. Triangle Modernist Archive, Inc. (TMA) is a North Carolina nonprofit organization committed to preserving, restoring, and growing modernist architecture. Our primary public service is Triangle Modernist Houses (TMH), an award-winning, nonprofit educational archive for modernist residential design. TMH also hosts popular modernist house tours, design films, and trips several times a year, giving the public access to the Triangle’s most exciting residential architecture, past and present. These events raise awareness and help preserve these works of art for future generations. For more information visit www.trianglemodernisthouses.com.
August 7, 2009 (DURHAM, NC) – Triangle Modernist Houses.com (TMH), the educational archive for modernist residential design in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area of NC, will host tours of the Christine and Michael Coates residence in Rougemont, NC, on Saturday, October 3, from 1-3:30 p.m.
Tucked away on a 10-acre site just north of Durham, the house was designed by Michael Coates, AIA, who serves as director of design for Little Diversified Architectural Consulting in Charlotte, NC. He graduated in 1994 from UNC-Charlotte. From 1994 to 1999, he worked for the firm Blake & Vagone in Charlotte.
Clearly modern in line and volume, the house’s floor plan is actually based on the foursquare pattern prevalent in early 20th century houses: main living spaces (kitchen, living, dining, study) are on the first floor, sans hallways, with bedrooms directly above. Unlike the traditional foursquare, Michael Coates removed the walls between the kitchen and dining room to create an openness that makes the 2500-square-foot house feel larger. A steel and wood stair rises to the second floor where the landing becomes a library/reading room.
The owners designed and built the house’s maple cabinetry themselves to complement the hardwood floor and living room ceiling.
The exterior of the Coates house features Corten steel panels, cedar siding and abundant glazing for natural lighting. A “light chimney” in the center of the three-bedroom, three-bath residence brings more light into the core of the house and even moonlight on clear evenings. The house was completed in 2007.
Advance tickets for the October 3 tour are $5.95 and are available on the website: http://www.trianglemodernisthouses.com. Tickets are not mailed but are picked up onsite at the event. TMH tours sell out quickly, so those interested in attending should secure tickets and time slots as soon as possible. Tours are conducted at 15-minute intervals.
Triangle Modernist Archive, Inc. (TMA) is a North Carolina nonprofit organization. Established in 2007 by George Smart, the organization became a formal nonprofit in 2009. TMA is committed to restoring and growing modernist architecture in the Triangle. Our primary public service is managing Triangle Modernist Houses.com (TMH), an award-winning nonprofit educational archive for cataloguing, preserving, and advocating modernist residential design. 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 works of art for future generations. Visit the website at www.trianglemodernisthouses.com.
August 3, 2009 (DURHAM, NC) – A 1950’s house going on the market isn’t news. When that house is exemplary of its style and period and in danger of demolition, it is.
The 1958 John and Binford Carr residence in Durham, NC, overlooking Hope Valley Golf Course is for sale. Triangle Modernist Houses, an archiving and advocacy organization for mid-century homes in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill “Triangle” area of North Carolina, considers it the most endangered house among its listings of modern homes for sale.
“We’re putting out a national alert to find a loving owner for this exquisite, Kenneth Scott-designed home,” said George Smart, executive director. “Its location on a golf course coupled with an available lot next door makes this a prime teardown target.”
Kenneth McCoy Scott, AIA, a member of the first graduating class at the School of Design at North Carolina State University, designed the 2337-square-foot Carr residence. His design recalls a group of middle-income family residences designed by Frank Lloyd Wright’s called “Usonian Homes.” They were relatively small, single-story houses with carports (a term FLW coined) rather than garages and L-shaped footprints that create an inner garden/terrace. Environmentally conscious before the concept entered the general lexicon, Usonian houses featured native materials and flat roofs with large cantilevered overhangs to protect an abundance of windows. The windows accommodated natural ventilation and lighting and blurred the line between indoors and outdoors. Clerestory windows added more natural lighting.
The Carr residence appears to be straight from Wright’s Usonian playbook. From the carport, a door opens onto an enclosed, private terrace and garden. This space as well as the surrounding property features the work of master landscape architect Lewis Clarke, FASLA, who taught at the NCSU School of Design under Dean Henry Kamphoefner.
From the hidden terrace, sliding glass doors open to the interior where large windows at the back of the living space overlooks the golf course. A hall leading to the bedrooms also features a glass wall with exterior views. Natural wood and brick walls that exemplify contractor Frank Walser’s work add warmth to the modern lines and volumes of the interior. Walser (1924-1996) was well-known for his craftsmanship and attention to detail, and as such executed the design concepts of many of the area’s best architects, including George Matsumoto and Milton Small.
The Carrs have been the only owners of the two-bedroom two-bath house that is listed for $665,000 and has been meticulously maintained. Smart is hoping a buyer who appreciates the beauty and historic importance of Kenneth Scott’s design comes forward before a developer grabs the land and discards the house.
Adds Smart, “By getting the word out now, rather than wait, we dramatically increase the chances of preserving one of the finest examples of Mid-Century modern.”
Triangle Modernist Archive, Inc. (TMA) is a North Carolina nonprofit organization. Established in 2007 by George Smart, the organization became a formal nonprofit in 2009. TMA is committed to restoring and growing modernist architecture in the Triangle. Our primary public service is managing Triangle Modernist Houses (TMH), an award-winning nonprofit educational archive for cataloguing, preserving, and advocating modernist residential design in the Triangle area of North Carolina. 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 works of art for future generations.
July 22, 2009 (RALEIGH, NC) — Property easements aren’t sexy, but they are important, especially when they concern property with historic value. Easements protect historic structures by assuring that the property’s intrinsic values will be preserved through subsequent ownership.
To help the general public understand how easements work, what they protect, their advantages and disadvantages, Triangle Modernist Houses.com (TMH) will present a workshop and panel discussion in the new addition to Pullen Memorial Church, 1801 Hillsborough Street in downtown Raleigh, on Saturday, August 15, from 10-11:30 a.m.
Members of the panel will include TMH founder and executive director George Smart; Elizabeth Sappenfield, director of Urban Issues for Preservation North Carolina and the National Trust for Historic Preservation; J. Myrick Howard, executive director, Preservation North Carolina; and Sig Hutchinson, a Wake County insurance agent who is best known for his work in protecting and preserving open space and expanding Raleigh’s greenway system.
TMH’s George Smart is particularly interested in how preservation easements can save mid-century Modernist houses from being razed in the Triangle.
“Many people have a deep personal connection to their house or property,” he said. “It is a part of their family legacy or the cherished result of a life’s work. A preservation easement assures a beloved property will be preserved forever.”
Panelist Elizabeth Sappenfield explained that a preservation easement is “a legal agreement filed with the county register of deeds that protects buildings. Easements are flexible tools and can be custom-designed to meet the personal and financial needs of the property owner. In some cases, the owner may choose only to protect the exterior of the building, but a preservation easement may also protect a building’s interior and important landscape elements.”
Through the panel discussion, Smart hope to make “easements easier!” he said. The group will discuss the role of easements in local historic districts and the National Register of Historic Places, along with the length of easement protection, parties involved and costs required.
Special guest Ellen Weinstein of the architectural firm Dixon Weinstein Friedlein in Chapel Hill will also be on hand to discuss her firm’s design of the new modern hall at the historic Pullen Memorial Church, which was built using recycled materials and features a “green” roof, rainwater cistern, geothermal heating/cooling, and natural lighting. The church campus is located at the corner of Hillsborough Street and Cox Avenue.
About Elizabeth Sappenfield:
A Raleigh native, Elizabeth Sappenfield is working on preservation issues in the City of Raleigh, including protecting historic neighborhoods, advocating for preservation in city planning, and working directly to preserve historic properties. She is particularly interested in the preservation of Raleigh’s Modernist architecture, working with owners of Modern homes on their preservation options, including easements, and educating the public on Raleigh’s Modernist architecture legacy.
About J. Myrick Howard:
Myrick Howard and Preservation North Carolina’s revolving fund has protected more than 270 historic properties in 60 counties since 1977. Howard has written numerous articles, including a chapter for an international book on American preservation. Each year he teaches a course on historic preservation planning at UNC-Chapel Hill. He is the 2006 winner of the AIA Triangle Isosceles Award.
About Sig Hutchinson:
Sig Hutchingson has worked to promote not only Raleigh’s world-class greenway sytem but also multi-modal transportation options such as connecting sidewalks, bike lanes and greenways to an expanded bus and light rail system. Hutchinson successfully led four bond referendums totaling more than $140 million in Wake County for open space and in the City of Raleigh for parks and greenways.
About Triangle Modernist Houses:
TMH is the website for Triangle Modernist Archives, Inc., an award-winning nonprofit founded by George Smart in 2007 that preserves, advocates, and builds community around modernist residential design in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Through its online archive and frequent tours of modernist houses in the area, TMA spotlights the beauty and value of modernist residential design and the need for celebrating and preserving the area’s finest examples. www.trianglemodernisthouses.com.
July 1, 2009 (RALEIGH, NC) — Triangle Modernist Houses, an online, nonprofit educational archive for cataloguing, preserving, and advocating modernist residential design in the Triangle area of North Carolina, was honored recently with the 2009 Paul E. Buchanan Award from the Vernacular Architecture Forum.
The Buchanan Award was established in 1993 to recognize contributions to the study and preservation of vernacular architecture and the cultural landscape that do not take the form of books or published work.
Triangle Modernist Houses (TMH) provides extensive details on more than 145 architects with over 3300 photographs of 640 rarely seen homes. Information is gleaned from public records, published reports, interviews, and reader contributions.
“Since the 1950s, the Triangle area of the state – Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill — has been one of the most active areas for really cool houses,” said George Smart, founder and executive director TMH. He defines “cool houses” as “contemporary homes characterized by large common areas and windows, extensive use of natural light, and aesthetic geometric forms. Because of Dean Henry Kamphoefner’s vision for a modernist School of Design at North Carolina State University, this area has more modernist houses than anywhere else with the exception of LA and Chicago.“
The Buchanan Award is the third honor TMH has received since its inception. In 2008, TMH won an Award of Merit from the Preservation Society of Chapel Hill and a Gertrude S. Carraway Award of Merit from Preservation North Carolina (www.presnc.org).
Since it was launched in 2007, TMH’s efforts on behalf of modern architecture, which includes tours of modern homes in the area, has received national recognition in Dwell and Metropolis. The website’s work also been featured on WUNC Radio, in the Raleigh News and Observer and Durham Herald-Sun, and in a variety of online media. For complete information, visit the website at www.trianglemodernisthouses.com.
The Vernacular Architecture Forum was formed in 1980 to encourage the study and preservation of these informative and valuable material resources. The Buchanan Award is named for Paul E. Buchanan who served as director of architectural research at Colonial Williamsburg Foundation for over 30 years and set the standard for architectural fieldwork in America. For more information visit www.vernaculararchitectureforum.org.
About Triangle Modernist Houses:
A unique combination of construction and art, modernist houses are being torn down in record numbers as newer, larger houses are built on the valuable land. Through its extensive website and public tours of modern houses in the Triangle, TMH is committed to advocating, protecting, restoring and growing modernist architecture in the Triangle. TMH’s six modernist house tours during 2008 and 2009 attracted over 1500 architecture enthusiasts from North Carolina and beyond. For more information, contact TMH executive director George Smart at (919) 740-8407 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.