George Smart Receives 2011 Preservation Durham Advocacy Award

Triangle Modernist Houses’ founder and director praised at awards ceremony.

June 20, 2011 (Durham, NC) — George Smart, founder and director of Triangle Modernist Houses (TMH), a non-profit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving and promoting modernist residential design, is a 2011 recipient of Preservation Durham’s Advocacy Award for individual effort.

The 2011 Preservation Awards were announced during Preservation Durham’s Annual Meeting on June 15.

“George’s labor of love has turned, in a few short years, into the country’s largest online archive for modern architecture and modernism,” Preservation Durham announced during the awards presentation. “George has made it his personal mission to actively promote the value of modern architecture in our daily lives and in our architectural heritage – from mid-century/1950s houses to new construction – as well as the architects who design them.”

The award presentation cited Smart’s ongoing effort to archive and promote historic preservation “by cataloging the disappearing mid-century modern homes and commercial structures throughout the Triangle region and state, many of which we have lost and, sadly, many of which are currently at-risk.”

The presentation also cited TMH’s weekly newsletter and free listing of modernist houses for sale that helps realtors find buyers for those houses, especially those in danger of being demolished.

“But George’s hard work, dedication, and commitment to historic preservation is illustrated by more than a single website,” the announcement continued, pointing out TMH’s many house tours, dinners, tours outside the state, annual architecture movie series, and other educational programs.

“Educating the public about the importance of preserving the architectural treasures of the recent past is always a challenge for local and regional non-profits,” the announcement concluded. “The Triangle is fortunate and we are grateful to have such a staunch advocate, volunteer, and crusader in George Smart.”

Smart expressed his gratitude for the award:  “Durham has an amazing range of Modernist houses, many of which are approaching 50 years old. Now is the time for the community to recognize these houses as the next generation of Durham’s history. TMH is proud to help Durham cherish that legacy through our online archive. We are honored to receive this award.”

This marks the fourth public accolade Smart and TMH have received. In 2008, TMH received an Award of Merit from the Preservation Society of Chapel Hill and a Gertrude S. Carraway Award from Preservation North Carolina. In 2009, TMH received the Paul E. Buchanan Award from the Vernacular Architecture Forum and a Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Community Appearance from the City of Raleigh.

For more information on Preservation Durham and its awards program, visit www.preservationdurham.org.

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

 

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NCMH Takes Its Mission To Real Estate Agents

Founder George Smart Addresses the Durham Regional Association of Realtors.

June 8, 2011 (Durham, NC) — George Smart, founder and director of the award- winning non-profit North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH), will present “Mayberry Modernism: North Carolina’s Modernist Legacy” to a meeting of the Durham Regional Association of REALTORS® on Thursday, June 23, at 2 p.m.

“Mayberry Modernism” showcases the state’s surprisingly large collection of Modernist residences from the 1950s through today, particularly those in the Triangle region. The Triangle has the third largest concentration of Modernist houses in the nation, bested only by Los Angeles and Chicago. Smart’s presentation includes photographs over 50 award-winning homes from the 1935 Gamble House in Durham designed by Green and Rogers to the 2010 Bugg House, also in Durham, designed by Kenneth Hobgood, FAIA.

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