New Podcast Promises Casual, Lively Discussions About Modernist Architecture

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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

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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

Paul Rudolph Foundation Taps NC Modernist Houses’ Masters Gallery

NCMH becomes the official archive for Paul Rudolph’s

Paul Rudolph (1918-1997)

Paul Rudolph (1918-1997)

residential projects.

The Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation (PRHF) in New York City has designated North Carolina Modernist Houses’ online archive as the official index for the residential work by the former dean of the Yale School of Architecture who inspired a generation of architects.

As the official archive, North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH) will maintain and update the Paul Rudolph section of its archive as houses are sold, changed, or threatened. NCMH has modified the page to add the PRHF logo, link, and connection. The Heritage Foundation is now directing visitors to the NCMH website exclusively for Rudolph-designed houses.

“This is an innovative and groundbreaking partnership between an architecture foundation and our Masters Gallery archives,” said NCMH Executive Director George Smart. “We are honored to be the official site for Paul Rudolph’s residential work, which will allow the PRHF to devote more of its resources towards protecting and saving Rudolph’s non-residential buildings across America and the world.”

Rudolph's 1953 "Umbrella House" in Lido Key.

Rudolph’s 1953 “Umbrella House” on Lido Key.

NCMH is an award-winning non-profit organization dedicated to archiving, preserving, and promoting modernist houses and those who design them. Along with North Carolina houses and designers, the NCMH website includes an extensive Masters Gallery, featuring the residential work of national and international Modernist masters, including Paul Rudolph. As a result, the NCMH archive is the largest open digital archive of its type in the nation.

Paul Rudolph (1918-1997) is best known in North Carolina for his 1972 design of the former Burroughs Wellcome headquarters in Research Triangle Park. In Florida, however, he was one of the leaders of the Sarasota Style (1941-1966) that gave Florida’s central west coast its vast collection of Modernist houses designed specifically for that region’s climate and terrain. Large sunshades, innovative ventilation systems, oversized sliding glass doors, floating staircases, and walls of jalousie windows dominated many of these houses, including Rudolph’s 1953 “Umbrella House” on Lido Key. By the 1970s that house succumbed to decay and storms.

PRHF Director Mark Medoff commented on the decision to make NCMH Rudolph’s official residential archive:

“The Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation’s mission is to actively promote the heritage and legacy of Paul Rudolph’s work. Especially as we approach the 100th anniversary of Paul Rudolph’s birth, we are striving to find the best ways to make our Foundation a primary reference on Paul Rudolph-designed iconic buildings. The collaboration with NCMH allows the PRHF and NCMH to share responsibility in maintaining the most up-to-date repository for information on Paul Rudolph’s worldwide projects.”

For more information on the PRHF, go to

Trig Modern Celebrates Mid-Century Designers During “Thirst4Architecture”

NC Modernist Houses

Dutch designer Hella Jongerius’ reinterpretation of
Alvar Aalto’s 400 and 401 Armchair for Artek.


April’s NCMH networking event for Modernist design enthusiasts

TRIG Modern, Raleigh’s premiere Modern furniture showroom at 328 West Jones Street, will present “An Evening with Alvar, Adrian, Milo and Vladimir” when the store hosts North Carolina Modernist Houses’ (NCMH’s) “Thirst4Architecture” networking happy hour on Thursday, April 17, from 6-8 p.m.. A celebration of mid-century designers, 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 all 2014-2015 T4A happy hours, which provide opportunities for modern design enthusiasts to mix, mingle, and make strategic connections. The host business provides refreshments and other entertainment while attendees build relationships, create strategic alliances, and make new contacts.

For the April T4A, TRIG Modern’s owner, Bob Drake, will spotlight iconic mid-20th-century modern chairs designed by Finnish architect, sculptor and painter Alvar Aalto; American architect and furniture designer Adrian Pearsall; American furniture designer and 2009 Interior Design Hall of Fame inductee Vladimir Kagan; and North Carolina-based Thayer Coggins’ premiere designer Milo Baughman. Examples of each designer’s chairs will be on display in the showroom.

In keeping with the evening’s Mid-Century theme, Drake’s sister will cater the event, serving up classic 1950s and ‘60s dishes.

“The best thing about hosting a T4A event,” Drake said, “is being surrounded by a bunch of like-minded folks who appreciate Modern design.”

Opened in 2012, TRIG Modern is the only showroom and design service in downtown Raleigh that specializes 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, lighting, original art and objects.”

Drake noted that the store’s new line of modern kitchen systems will also be on display that night. 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

NCMH Now Accepting Applications For Project BauHow 2015-2016


North Carolina high schools that offer drafting classes to 9th and 10th graders are invited to apply for CAD computers.

North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH) announced today at the Wake County Schools Design Blitz that it is accepting applications from public high schools statewide for its 2015-2016 educational initiative, Project BauHow.

NCMH’s Project BauHow (Bauhaus + Know-how) supports high school education by providing desktop computer-aided design (CAD) computer systems and software to ninth and tenth graders in drafting classes in rural North Carolina.

Drafting classes are imperative for students who are interested in pursuing careers in architecture (among other professions). Yet, as NCMH Director George Smart explains, “Depending on their locations, up to 60 percent of North Carolina high school students are in families without the means to provide a CAD-level computer at home. For students who are interested in careers in architecture, or any kind of professional design, high school drafting classes simply can’t provide enough class time to achieve the proficiency, or portfolios, required for college. This severely limits their career opportunities, especially in rural areas.”

With these donated computer systems, drafting teachers can assign homework and students can practice CAD at home as much as they want.

Click here to view a video about Project BauHow from Douglas Bird High School in Fayetteville, a 2015 Project BauHow school.

Later, with class instruction, students will test their knowledge through an NCMH-sponsored design competition. The winner from each Project BauHow school receives a scholarship to North Carolina State University’s highly regarded summer Design Camp in Raleigh.

Project BauHow schools are selected based on location and need, availability of drafting classes for 9th and 10th grade students, and drafting teacher initiative. The drafting teacher determines which students will receive the CAD systems for home use. Assignments are submitted on USB sticks so students do not need Internet access at home.

The 2015-2016 application forms are available on the NCMH website at Click on “2016 School Application.” The deadline for applying is May 15, but Smart encourages interested high schools to apply as soon as possible.

For more information on Project BauHow, including past recipients, visit

NCMH Sponsors First Design Blitz at Red Hat

A special event for Wake County Public Schools students and teachers

Red Hat's headquarters in downtown Raleigh

Red Hat’s headquarters in downtown Raleigh

On Thursday, March 5, North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH) will sponsor Design Blitz, an all-day event for Wake County Public Schools’ 10th and 11th grade design students. The event will be held at Red Hat, a leading provider of open source enterprise information technology, in downtown Raleigh.

​[VideoNCMH Exec. Director George Smart on Design Blitz + Project BauHow]

NCMH is an award-winning non-profit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promotion Modernist residential design across North Carolina. Executive Director George Smart explained why NCMH is leading the Design Blitz sponsorship:

“The Blitz dovetails well with Project BauHow, our initiative for 9th and 10th graders. Both programs focus on encouraging high school students to pursue careers in design. It’s our pleasure to participate.”

Elizabeth Luna, a teacher and certified Adobe education trainer at Athens Drive High School in Raleigh, will lead a large design charette during the event.

Otherwise, students will work in small groups with industry professionals as they complete a design challenge: to define a  “creative person” and a “workspace,” then develop a prototype. According to Luna, the emphasis will be on the work process and student collaboration.

Following the challenge, students will engage with an industry panel to learn about architecture, industrial design, and graphic design careers. NCMH’s George Smart will be a member of the panel.

Design Blitz will culminate in a portfolio admissions presentation to help prepare students for future college admissions.

Design Blitz is only open to Wake County public school students and teachers. For more information on the event, contact Elizabeth Luna at

Red Hat is located at 100 E. Davie Street, Raleigh. For more information:

For more information on NCMH, visit


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