Triangle Modernist Houses’ Director Receives City Award

October 8, 2009 (DURHAM, NC) – George Smart, Jr., founder and executive director of Triangle Modernist, has received a 2009 City of Raleigh Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Community Appearance. The awards ceremony was held October 7 at the

George Smart

George Smart

Fletcher Opera Theater in the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh.

The award credits Smart as “a champion of the local Modernist architectural movement, raising public awareness through web-based resources, grants, and public tours.”

In 2007, George Smart launched, a website dedicated to preserving modernist homes in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina by increasing public awareness of their existence – especially when that existence is threatened by neglect or encroaching development.

“The more people who know about these extraordinary houses, the less likely they are to get torn down,” Smart told Dwell magazine earlier this year.

In 2008, Smart received the Carraway Award of Merit from Preservation North Carolina “for raising awareness of modernist architecture in the Triangle, including compiling a catalog of such works on his website.”

This year, he received the 2009 Paul E. Buchanan Award from the Vernacular Architecture Forum, 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.

Smart was nominated for the Sir Walter Raleigh Award in the “Individual” category. Awards in this category are given to individuals who have “consistently and over an extended period exhibited concern, leadership, and vision in preserving and improving the appearance and/or environment of the City.” An independent jury met in July to review the nominations.

Coordinated by the Raleigh Appearance Commission, the annual Sir Walter Raleigh Awards program was established in 1983 to commemorate exemplary achievement in enhancing Raleigh’s appearance. To date, more than 200 projects, sites, and individuals have been honored.

For more information on George Smart and Triangle Modernist Houses, visit

For more information on the Sir Walter Raleigh Awards for Community Appearance, visit and click on “Government” then “Boards & Commissions” then “Appearance Commission.”


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