McConnell Studios To Host Matsumoto Prize Awards, Thirst4Architecture

Steel and glass "Dragon" by McConnell Studios for the NC State Bar Assn.

Steel and glass “Dragon” by McConnell Studios for the NC State Bar Assn.

Design award winners will be announced during the event.

McConnell Studios in Boylan Heights, Raleigh, will host North Carolina Modernist Houses’ 2015 George Matsumoto Prize awards for Modernist residential design on Thursday, July 23, from 6-8 p.m. Free and open to the public, the awards presentation will be part of a “Thirst4Architecture” design networking event.

Along with the awards presentation, entertainment for the evening will include free music, food, beer, coffee, and a chance to tour through McConnell Studio’s sculpture, lighting, architectural elements, and other custom-fabricated products. A game of “Modernist Musical Chairs,” sponsored by Ivy Simon of Palette & Parlor in Chapel Hill, will give guests a chance to win a Modernist chair. Leland Little Auctions, this year’s Prize sponsor, will also auction off a chair and ottoman by Mitchell Restoration.

Now in its third year, The Matsumoto Prize is the only professionally juried competition with cash prizes specifically for Modernist houses. Over 1700 public votes have been cast for the three top People’s Choice awards, which will also be presented that night. (To see the houses, go to

“These entries inspire people to dream of having their own Modernist house,” said NCMH founder and director George Smart. “Most people are surprised to know Modernist design doesn’t have to be expensive.  It can easily be affordable, efficient, sustainable, and a house their families will love for decades. This year’s entries are terrific, and we’re looking forward to revealing this winners.”

NCMH’s monthly Thirst4Architecture networking events are sponsored by Emilie Huin/Triangle Modern Homes, specializing in the sale of Modernist homes throughout the Triangle.

McConnell Studios is located at 324 Dupont Circle, Raleigh. For more information and directions, go to


NEWS & OBSERVER: “Public voting open for N.C. Modernist house awards”

By Andrea Weigl

Public voting is open until June 30 for the annual George Matsumoto Prize for North Carolina Modernist residential architecture.

The public will chose the people’s choice award among 13 entries, which include homes from Charlotte to Carrboro.

A jury of internationally known architects and designers will choose a first, second and third place winner; each winning $3,000, $2,000 and $1,000 respectively. Three people’s choice winners will be chosen by public voting.

Fans of the PBS show “A Chef’s Life” will recognize the home owned by Kinston chef Vivian Howard and her husband, Ben Knight. READ MORE…

READING EAGLE: “Modernist marvels found in North Carolina”

Modernist house, Raleigh

The Associated Press | The entrance to Jacqueline Jordan’s 1951 modernist home in Raleigh, N.C. It is one of many homes in its region drawing attention from fans of the noted architectural style. –

RALEIGH, N.C. — A 1950s two-bedroom home in a neighborhood just outside downtown may not seem special at first glance, but this North Carolina house has just been placed on the National Register of Historic Places as a superb example of mid-century modern in a neighborhood known for the architectural style.

Jacquelyn Jordan, a school principal who bought the home in Raleigh’s Cameron Village, said she wasn’t that impressed when she saw the house from the outside in 1998.”But I went inside, and I just loved it,” she said. “I loved the big rooms and the big windows. I walked into the backyard, and I really fell in love with it.”

Fans of modernist architecture estimate that North Carolina, particularly the Triangle area of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, has the third-largest collection of modernist homes in the country after Los Angeles and New York’s Long Island.

George Smart, executive director of North Carolina Modernist Houses, bases the estimate on his research, which shows the Triangle area with 700 to 800 modernist homes. Statewide, he estimates North Carolina has 1,200 to 1,300 of the homes. READ MORE…

2015 Matsumoto Prize Online Public Voting Is Now Open


Recognizing excellence in Modernist house design

Public online voting for the 2015 George Matsumoto Prize, which recognizes excellence in Modernist residential design throughout North Carolina*, is now open at

Sponsored by Leland Little Auctions this year, The Prize  includes public voting to determine three “People’s Choice” winners. *Anyone in the world may vote by email (one time per email address) after viewing the submissions at the link above.

The Matsumoto Prize is named for George Matsumoto, FAIA, a Modernist architect well-known in North Carolina for exceptional residential designs.

Matsumoto also serves as Honorary Chair for the Prize’s blue-ribbon jury of professional architects who select the winners for cash prizes from a pool of $6000.

“These entries inspire people dreaming of a Modernist house to know Modernist design is affordable, efficient, sustainable, and most importantly, a house their families will love for decades,” said NCMH founder and director George Smart. “We’re looking forward to record-breaking public participation via this year’s online voting.”

Online voting ends at 5 p.m. EST, June 30.

To see the entries and vote, visit

For more information about the 2015 Matsumoto Prize, go to

New Podcast Promises Casual, Lively Discussions About Modernist Architecture

podcast logo 4

US Modernist Radio brings celebrities and local luminaries to the studio


North Carolina Modernist Houses announces the launch of US Modernist Radio, a casual, amusing, and informative podcast series dedicated to lively discussions about Modernist architecture.

“Make no mistake, US Modernist Radio is not a stuffy, academic diatribe,” says host George Smart, NCMH founder, whose side-kick for the podcast is national comedian Frank King. “Listeners will hear interesting and expressive people who enjoy, own, create, dream about, preserve, love, and even hate Modernist architecture, which we believe has created the most exciting and, yes, controversial buildings in the world.”

To that end, Smart has assembled a series of discussions with guests that

Vanity Fair architecture critic and author, Paul Goldberger

Vanity Fair architecture critic and author, Paul Goldberger

mix national luminaries by phone with local preservationists and advocates in the studio. National figures include actress and modernist homeowner Kelly LynchVanity Fair’s celebrated architecture critic Paul Goldberger, the Avett Brother’s cellist and Modernist homeowner Joe Kwon, and architect Sarah Susanka, author of the popular Not-So-Big House book series.

A few local guests include architect Milton Small, whose father designed many exemplary mid-century Modernist structures in the Triangle region; Louis Cherry and Marsha Gordon, who recently withstood a storm of controversy over the Modernist house they built in a Raleigh historic district; Myrick Howard, executive director of Preservation North Carolina, Inc.; and architects Robby Johnston and Craig Kerins of The Raleigh Architecture Co. who designed and built Joe Kwon’s house on an urban infill lot in downtown Raleigh.

Via iTunes or Libsyn, US Modernist Radio subscribers will automatically receive new shows every two weeks. The first three podcasts are available now. For more information, go to

US Modernist Radio is an initiative of North Carolina Modernist Houses, the award-winning non-profit organization dedicated to archiving, preserving, and promoting Modernist residential design across the state. For more information, visit or contact George Smart at

> Download and subscribe on ITunes:

> Download for Android or PC:


THIRST4ARCHITECTURE at In Situ Studio May 21


Architects Erin Sterling Lewis and Matt Griffith of in situ studio in Raleigh will host May’s Thirst4Architecture (T4A) happy hour with North Carolina Modernist Houses on Thursday, May 21, 6-8 p.m., at 704 North Person Street.

Free and open to the public, Thirst4Architecture events are sponsored by Emilie Huin/501 Realty.

According to NCMH Executive Director George Smart, T4A brings architects, artists, building managers, contractors, engineers, furniture dealers, realtors, “and anyone else interested in Modernist residential design” to connect and create strategic alliances in a casual fun environment.

The May 21 event will mark the fourth time in situ has hosted T4A. When Erin Sterling Lewis was asked why she and Griffith continue to host, she said, “Because George knows how to help us throw a party that celebrates modern architecture and the people who love and support it!

Sterling Lewis and Griffith founded in situ studio in 2010. Since then they’ve won nine design awards among other accolades. In 2012 their four-person team was included in Residential Architect magazine’s “15 Young Firms To Watch.” 

For more information on in situ studio, visit

For more information on NCMH and Thirst4Architecture events, go to and click on “T4A Happy Hrs” under Events.


Modernist Homes Tour in Charlotte Plus Shopping at IKEA

NCMH’s ModShop Tour is May 9th

The Mitchum Residence is one of five houses on the tour.

The Mitchum Residence is one of five houses on the tour.

North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH), the award winning non-profit dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promoting Modernist residential design, will be going on its semi-annual ModShop Tour on Saturday, May 9, from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. This popular bus tour includes shopping at IKEA as well as visiting several Modernist houses and a church as part of Historic Charlotte’s Mad About Modern Tour.

Aboard a spacious, wi-fi-equipped bus, tour participants will be taken to five houses and one Modernist church:


  1. The 1964 Hugh C. Mitchum Residence, designed by the late Charlotte engineer Aubrey Arant
  2. 4642 Sharon View(architect unknown)
  3. 2434 Ainsdale(architect unknown)
  4. The Levinson House, 2827 Rothwood Drive, designed by Charlotte architect Stan Russell
  5. The McFarland House, 714 Larkhall Lane (architect unknown)
  6. The1957 Sharon United Methodist Church, which will be demolished within the next 12 months (architect unknown).

Mid Center Salvage, a Charlotte company that restores Mid-Century and Danish Modern Furniture from the 1950s to the 1970s, is sponsoring the tour. The bus will stop there mid-day for a tour and a catered lunch.

After touring more houses, the group will go to IKEA for two hours of imgresshopping before departing for Raleigh.

Tickets are $119 per person and $99 for current members of NCMH’s Mod Squad. The price includes transportation, all admissions, breakfast, lunch, and snacks. For more details and to purchase tickets, go to Seating is limited so those interested should secure tickets very soon.

Charlotte residents may purchase tickets to the Mad About Modern Tour


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