Stitch Design and Development To Host “Mayberry Modernism”

North Carolina Modernist Houses’ founder presents signature talk on North Carolina’s Modernist legacy on May 1.

The 1940 RJ Reynolds residence, destroyed in 1978.

The 1940 RJ Reynolds residence, destroyed in 1978.

Stitch Design and Development will host North Carolina Modernist Houses’ (NCMH) founder and director George Smart as he presents “Mayberry Modernism: North Carolina’s Modernist Legacy” on Thursday, May 1, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in The Garage in the Downtown Arts District at 110 West 7th Street, Winston-Salem. The event is free and open to the public.

NCMH is an award-winning, non-profit organization dedicated to archiving, preserving, and promoting Modernist residential design throughout North Carolina. “Mayberry Modernism” showcases the state’s surprising collection of Modernist residences from the 1950s through today, many of which are in great shape while others are currently endangered or have been destroyed.

Through “Mayberry Modernism,” Smart discusses the history of Modernist houses in North Carolina by showing multiple photographs of these houses from both the past and present, including all the Modernist houses that have won design awards from the North Carolina chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

“These houses are nothing less than livable sculpture,” said Smart. “And like all great sculpture, they produce strong feelings of inspiration, peace, relaxation, or connection to nature.  Unlike many building types, Modernist houses evoke our hopes and dreams and speak to our personal connection to the earth, either spiritually or simply through our choices of furniture, art, and design.”

Architect Ben Schwab of Stitch Design and Development expressed his reason for inviting Smart to present “Mayberry Modernism” in Winston-Salem:

“This is an incredibly interesting talk, even to those who have no idea what modernism is. I think attendees will be surprised at the prevalence of Modernist influences in the Triad and will leave with a better understanding of why it’s such an appealing approach to architecture.”

Anyone interested in attending the presentation should contact Schwab at

Stitch is an architecture, interiors, development, and design-build firm. For more information visit

For more information on NCMH, visit


TRIG Modern To Host “Thirst4Architecture” in Downtown Raleigh

Inside the TRIG Modern showroom.

Inside the TRIG Modern showroom.

A networking event for Modernist design enthusiasts

TRIG Modern, Raleigh’s premiere Modern furniture showroom at 328 West Jones Street, will host North Carolina Modernist Houses’ (NCMH’s) April “Thirst4Architecture” networking happy hour on Thursday, April 17, from 6-8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Emilie Huin of Coldwell Banker, a specialist in Modernist real estate throughout the Triangle, is the series sponsor for 2014 Thirst4Architecture events.

Thirst4Architecture, NCMHNCMH connects hundreds of Modernist design enthusiasts through its T4A events, which are free and open to the public. The host business provides refreshments and other entertainment while attendees build relationships, create strategic alliances, and make new contacts.

“We welcome Modernist homeowners, architects and designers, artists, builders and contractors, furniture retainers, students, and anyone else with a huge crush on Modernist design,” said NCMH board chair George Smart. “There are no presentations, just good conversation.”

Owned and operated by Bob Drake, TRIG Modern is the only showroom and design service in downtown Raleigh specializing 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 solutions, lighting, and original art and objects.” For more information on TRIG Modern, visit

NCMH is an award-winning non-profit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promoting Modernist residential design across the state. For the dates and locations of future T4A events, go to


PRAIRIEMOD: “North Carolina Modernist Houses Expands Masters Gallery”

North Carolina Modernist Houses Master Gallery

NCMH Masters Gallery screen shot.

North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH), the award-winning non-profit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promoting Modernist residential design, has updated the NCMH Masters Gallery. With these updates and additions, the NCMH Masters Gallery is America’s largest open digital archive of Modernist houses, as well as the internationally known Modernist architects who designed them.

As stated in the press release:

Started in 2009 with the most well-known Modernists, such as Frank Lloyd Wright and John Lautner, the NCMY Masters Gallery has expanded to over 30 architects with extensive house histories and over 10,000 photos. 

The Masters Gallery is an extensive, easily searched record of the International Modernist movement in residential architecture… READ MORE…

Modern House in Historic Oakwood Controversy Inspires the NCMH Legal Defense Fund


To provide funding for legal representation and other services to the Cherry/Gordon house and other Modernist houses under attack.

March 24, 2014 (Raleigh, NC) — Raleigh residents Louis Cherry and Marsha Gordon received all the required city approvals and permits for their new home in the Oakwood Historic District, so they began construction. Yet when the house was 85 percent complete, an Oakwood resident approached the Raleigh Board of Adjustment, claiming the Cherry/Gordon house is too Modern for the downtown neighborhood. Suddenly construction was stopped and the homeowners’ permits were revoked.

Regarding this move as “an egregious miscarriage of justice and fairness,” the non-profit organization North Carolina Modernist Houses has formed the NCMH Legal Defense Fund (LDF) to provide technical assistance, funding for legal representation, and other support services to endangered Modernist houses throughout North Carolina – starting with the Cherry/Gordon house in Oakwood.

Contributors to the LDF who donate at least $100 will be invited to a kick-off fundraiser on April 13 in the Modernist home of attorney Mack Paul beginning at 4 p.m. For details:

“As we all know, pursuing legal channels is a critical but expensive investment,” said NCMH board chair George Smart. “From preserving historically significant Modernist houses to standing for due process for new Modernist houses under threat, the LDF is now actively advocating for North Carolina’s great legacy of Modernist residential architecture, such as the Cherry/Gordon house, by making sure legal expenses and technical issues do not stand in the way.”

Smart is by no means alone in this initial effort. The NCMH LDF’s founding Host Committee – members of which have made significant monetary donations – include such local luminaries as Larry Wheeler, Director, NC Museum of Art and a former Oakwood resident; Myrick Howard, executive director, Preservation North Carolina; James Goodnight, Jr., SAS Institute; Ashley Christensen, Ashley Christensen Restaurants; Frank Harmon, FAIA, Frank Harmon Architect PA; Scott Cutler, Clancy & Theys Construction; Bernie Reeves, Metro Magazine; and Greg Paul, Greg Paul Builders, among many others.

At least 10 current Oakwood residents have joined the effort so far, including Barbara Wishy, a pioneer in the restoration of the Oakwood district in the 1970s and a homeowner there for over three decades. Wishy has renovated and sold several historic properties in Oakwood. (The complete list of Host Committee members is available at

“We can’t allow the Board of Adjustment to essentially give neighbors the power of condemnation,” Smart said.

On Thursday, March 20, the Raleigh City Council announced its decision to appeal the BOA’s decision to Superior Court

For more information on the NCMH Legal Defense Fund:


WRAL TV: “Oakwood residents, homeowner draw battle lines in fight over modern house”

 — Residents of Raleigh’s historic Oakwood neighborhood and

The Cherry/Gordon house, under construction, draws inspiration from Craftsman-style houses in the historic neighborhood.

The Cherry/Gordon house, under construction, draws inspiration from Craftsman-style houses in the historic neighborhood.

the owner of a home under construction there held dueling news conferences Friday as the battle over the type of construction allowed in Oakwood intensified.

Marsha Gordon and Louis Cherry were granted necessary permits to build the contemporary house at 516 Euclid St., including a certificate of appropriateness from the Raleigh Historic Development Commission.

Construction on the house irked neighbors, who argued that the house didn’t fit with the character of Oakwood, and they filed a complaint over it. That led the city’s Board of Adjustment to reverse the certificate, which could halt construction on the home.

City officials said Thursday that they would appeal the Board of Adjustment decision to Superior Court “because of concerns about procedural irregularities.”

“(Oakwood) is not a museum stuck in time,” Cherry, an architect, said at a news conference at the Euclid Street construction site.

Cherry and Gordon were backed by North Carolina Modernist Houses, a nonprofit group that documents, preserves and promotes modernist architecture. READ MORE…

TWC News: “supporters, opponents weigh in on modern home in historic district”

Supporters gather at the press conference announcing the NCMH Legal Defense Fund

Supporters gather at the press conference announcing the NCMH Legal Defense Fund

By Julie Fertig

RALEIGH– Folks on both sides weighed in Friday on the future of a modern home that’s under construction in an entirely historic neighborhood.

“Its stressful to build a house, its really stressful to build this house,” said Marsha Gordon who is building a home with her husband Louis Cherry. The house is 85% complete, but they do not know whether they’ll ever be able to move into the contemporary house in the Oakwood Historic District.

On Friday, members of North Carolina Modernist Houses gathered to support the couple during a press conference.

“Who among you wants to follow all the rules, sink their life savings into and have it stopped?” asked George Smart, chair of NCMH…

On Friday, leaders of NCMH launched a legal defense fund to provide resources and legal assistance to modern homes under threat across the state. NCMH plans to support the legal battle the couple with the contemporary home is facing. READ MORE…

WASHINGTON POST, MODESTO BEE: “Modern home divides historic Southern neighborhood”

By Allen Breed, The Associated Press 

Marsha Gordon and Louis Cherry in front of their new home. AP Photo

Marsha Gordon and Louis Cherry in front of their new home. AP Photo

RALEIGH, N.C. — Architect Louis Cherry sees the two-story structure — with its exposed beams, masonry piers, deep overhangs and shallow-pitched roof — as a “contemporary interpretation” of the Craftsman-style homes that dot the city’s Historic Oakwood District.

But to some of Cherry’s neighbors, the cypress-sided house at 516 Euclid Street is just Frank Lloyd Wrong. And nearly six months into construction, with the home roughly 85 percent finished, Cherry and wife Marsha Gordon face the real possibility that they might have to tear down their dream house.

“It was very much our intention to design and build a house that people would really like and accept,” Cherry said on a recent overcast morning as he and Gordon stood in the shell of what they hope will be their master bedroom…


… On Friday, the group North Carolina Modernist Houses held a news conference at the home to denounce “this miscarriage of justice and fairness,” and to discuss a fund to help fight it. READ MORE…


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