NCMH Announces 2011 Macon Smith Research Grant Recipients

To support research into residential modernist architecture and architects

October 27, 2011 — David Hill, Assistant Professor of Architecture at North Carolina State University’s College of Design, has won a second Mason Smith Research Grant from North Carolina Modernist Houses, the non-profit, award-winning organization dedicated to documenting, preserving and promoting modernist residential design.

David Hill

Hill and his students will use the grant to create digital models of houses designed by ground breaking modernist architect George Matsumoto, FAIA. The models will be posted on the NCMH website and elsewhere.

This is Hill’s second Macon Smith Research Grant from NCMH. In 2009 he received the grant to interview Matsumoto at the architect’s home in Oakland, California.

NCMH also awarded a 2011 MSR Grant to Tyler Merkel of Grand Rapids, Michigan, who will create infrastructure for his website, Mid-century Michigan, and to research Alden Ball Dow, FAIA (1904-1983) for TMH’s archives. Mid-century Michigan is an independent project Merkel initiated to document modern houses in East Grand Rapids and the surrounding areas.

Tyler Merkel

George Smart, founder and board chairman of NCMH, announced the award recipients this week.

Smart established the Macon Smith Research Grant Program in 2009 to support research into residential modernist architecture and architects. Grants of up to $1000 are available to private citizens, academics and students, or institutions.

The grants are named for modernist architect Macon Smith (1919-2008). From 1996 to 1999, Smith was instrumental in the publication of an award-winning historical chronology of AIA North Carolina: “History of the North Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, 1913-1988: An Architectural Heritage.” He served on countless AIA boards and committees and won both the 2001 Deitrick Medal and the 2006 F. Carter Williams Gold Medal, the highest honors presented by AIANC.

In early 2008, Smith spent many hours scouring his own records and driving around Raleigh, NC, with George Smart to help NCMH get started.

“Through my dad [the late architect George Smart Sr.], I knew Macon my entire life, but it wasn’t until we started NCMH that I got to know him well,” said Smart. “We had some great afternoons riding around finding his work around Raleigh.  His knowledge of NC architecture became my inspiration for expanding our archives beyond the Triangle area.  David and Tyler now carry the torch for the passion we all share.”

Anyone interested in applying for a 2012 Macon Smith Research Grant an send an email and PowerPoint proposal to Smart at George@trianglemodernisthouses.com. The proposal should include up to 300 total words describing the project the grant would fund, and 10 photos in up to five slides, plus one slide of contact information.

For more information on Macon Smith, go to www.ncmodernist.org/smith. For more information on Triangle Modernist Houses, visit www.ncmodernist.org.

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