Triangle Modernist Houses.com Opens Door To Modernist Marvel

Never-before-seen Modernist House Open on Saturday, June 19.

The 2001 Thompson House, by David Davenport, AIA

June 1, 2010 (DURHAM, NC) — On a serene, 20-acre swath of land between Garner and Apex, NC, overlooking a small lake, rests one of the most remarkable Modernist houses in the entire Triangle region, according to George Smart, founder and Executive Director of Triangle Modernist Houses (TMH). On Saturday, June 19, from 1-4 p.m., this private home will be open to the public for the very first time.

In 1999, Diane and Bobby Thompson commissioned David Davenport, AIA, of Davenport Architecture + Design in Manteo and Cary. Built by Tom Brown of The Splinter Group in Raleigh, the 6000-square-foot, two-story home was completed in 2001.

“This sleek, white, sculptural modern design evokes immediate comparison to the work of master Modernist architects Richard Meier, FAIA, and Charles Gwathmey, FAIA,” said Smart. “Architect David Davenport had the perfect wave of design talent, a sophisticated client, an exceptional site, and a premium budget.”

The Thompson House is engineered with heavy steel and wood and covered in real stucco. Extensive glazing and architectural forms create framed views of the landscape. The interior features sweeping, multi-use spaces including second-floor balconies behind glass railings. Contemporary interior finishes and furnishings are by Lynda Lankford of Room Service in Raleigh. Lighting designer Stan Pomeranz of LightTech Design in Research Triangle Park created the architectural lighting for the house and grounds.

The Thompson property also features a 3400-square-foot garage/apartment and a full scale go-kart track modeled after the Bristol International Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.  For sale since March, the list price is $2.5 million. Additional photos and information on architect David Davenport are available at www.trianglemodernisthouses.com/davenport.htm.

Tickets to this one-time-only tour are $5.95. Reserve tickets online at www.trianglemodernisthouses.com/register.htm. Access is limited, so early reservations are recommended.  The event occurs rain or shine.

The TMH Thompson House Tour is co-sponsored by LightTech, Lynda Lankford of Room Service, and Tom Brown of The Splinter Group. Representatives from all three firms, plus Davenport Architecture, will be at the house during the tour.

TMH offers the public access to modernist architecture throughout the year.  The nine-house “TMH Modern 2010” tour in Raleigh is September 25, a lineup ranging from the 1950s to 2008. For more information, visit www.trianglemodernisthouses.com.

About Triangle Modernist Houses

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

Triangle Modernist Houses Announces 2010 Modernist Home Tour


Event to feature nine modernist houses in Raleigh from the 1950s to today.

May 24, 2010 (RALEIGH, NC) — What’s Raleigh’s best-kept secret?  The Triangle has the third largest concentration of Modernist houses in the country, behind LA and Chicago — literally hundreds of exceptional houses — due to the Modernist influence of the NCSU College of Design’s influence over the last 61 years.

Nine of those modernist houses, plus one office space, will be open for touring during the Triangle Modernist Houses (TMH) Modernist Home Tour in Raleigh on Saturday, September 25, from 1 – 4:30 p.m.

This tour, TMH’s 12th,  will feature modernist houses from mid-century 1950’s to cutting-edge new homes, all of which are defined by open interiors, abundant glass, aesthetic geometries, and sweeping lines.

TMH’s award-winning home tours, organized by TMH founder and director George Smart, are the longest-running, professionally-conducted architectural tours in the region. The past 11 tours have allowed over 2000 people from around the state to tour 21 Modernist houses.

“As with all TMH home tours, we showcase the value of exceptional architecture and construction,” Smart said. “TMH gives the public unique opportunities to go inside nine of the coolest houses in Raleigh that they would rarely be able to see otherwise.  We’ve lined up some of the best.  And photography is not only allowed, it is encouraged.”

Preservation North Carolina, the nonprofit statewide historic preservation organization dedicated to protecting and promoting buildings, landscapes and sites important to the state’s diverse heritage, is including the TMH Tour as part the 2010 Preservation NC Annual Conference September 23-25.

Smart, well-known for speaking on “Mayberry Modernism” across North Carolina, emphasizes the green, sustainable features of the TMH tour.

“Our free hop-on, hop-off bus system reduces the carbon footprint and assures neighborhoods are not disrupted with hundreds of cars.  People don’t have to spend their day finding, driving to, and parking at each home.”

Tickets to the 2010 Tour will be available through the TMH website and various ticket outlets in the coming weeks.

Sponsors include Preservation North Carolina, Ambiente International, the NCSU Gregg Museum of Art, the Louise Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington, Eidolon Designs, Center Studio Architecture, Nowell’s Contemporary Furniture, Modern Home Network, and Beyond Blue Interiors. Companies can still sign on as sponsors by contacting George Smart at 919-740-8407.

Ticket information and other details will be announced at a later date. 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 “works of art” for future generations. Visit the website at www.trianglemodernisthouses.com. TMH also has an active community on Facebook.

Triangle Modernist Houses Welcomes 2010 Advisory Council

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.”

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

About Triangle Modernist Houses:

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.

Local Advocate Hopes Good News for Housing Market Means Good News for Modernist Houses

August 25, 2009 (DURHAM, NC) — After the Associated Press reported last week that “the U.S. housing market is rebounding faster than expected” (News & Observer), George Smart of Durham, NC, the founder and director of Triangle Modernist Archives Inc, (TMA) is hoping some of that momentum will help preserve some of the modern houses currently on the market in the Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill region of North Carolina.

tmhbannerSmart is the founder and director of Triangle Modernist Archives, Inc., a non-profit entity that archives and advocates modernist residential design. It’s website, www.trianglemodernisthouses.com, includes a free “For Sale” section that spotlights modernist houses on the market solely for the purpose of helping them find new owners. TMA does not receive a percentage of the sale.

At present, the list includes 45 residences, from a 1949 house in Chapel Hill designed by Jim Webb to Dwell Magazine’s “Next House” in Hillsborough, designed by Joel Turkel and completed in 2007.

“Any Triangle modernist homeowner or real estate agent can participate,” Smart explained. “All they have to do is send an email with the house address, city, owner’s name, year built, square feet, and architect, if known; photos of the front, back, kitchen, and living room; and a link to where readers can get more information. Typically this is a real estate company website or MLS. Submissions, if approved, are generally reviewed, edited, and posted within 48 hours.”

(MLS, or the Multiple Listing Service, is a real estate service that combines listings for all available properties in an area, except For-Sale-By-Owner properties, in one directory or database.)

TriangleModernistHouses.com has helped many homeowners and realtors sell new and mid-century modern residences in the Triangle area and, in some cases, as far away as Charlotte to the west and Rocky Mount to the east, thanks to a growing data base of modernist enthusiasts who sign up for Smart’s email updates or visit the site frequently.

“Our historical content and detail is unrivaled,” Smart said, “which is why devoted modernist-oriented visitors return again and again.”

According to Raleigh realtor Ann-Cabell Baum Anderson, the website listing and tour sponsored of the dramatically modern, 3900-square-foot home overlooking Lake Boone Trail in Raleigh helped her sell that property. The house was designed by Jessica Johnson Moore.

TMH.com helped drive interest in the Johnson House overlooking Lake Boone Trial in Raleigh.
TMH.com helped drive interest in the Johnson House overlooking Lake Boone Trial in Raleigh.

“From a realtor’s standpoint, TMH absolutely drives more eyes toward, and more conversation around, the modernist houses we list,” she said. “It is extremely helpful, and George and his board are just dynamic people. I applaud them for their advocacy and thank them for their efforts.”

Smart noted that he frequently receives calls from modern home enthusiasts as far away as California and Maine who have found his website online and seek out his help in matching them with an existing home or connecting them with a local architect who can design one for them. The website also maintains information on modern architects working in the Triangle today as well as an archive of past modernists who contributed to the area’s built environment.

A Raleigh native and the son of an architect, George Smart loves to point out a little known fact: that the Triangle area “is the third largest concentration of modernist houses in America. We have more than anywhere except LA and Chicago,” he said.

He’s hoping the part of that concentration that’s currently for sale will find enthusiastic new owners as buyers return to the housing market.

For more information on Triangle Modernist Houses and to view the list of homes for sale, go to www.trianglemodernisthouses.com and click on “For Sale.”

About Triangle Modernist Houses:

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.