Chatham Community Library To Host “Mayberry Modernism”

Triangle Modernist Houses’ George Smart will discuss the state’s Modernist legacy.

April 30, 2012 (Pittsboro, NC)  — George Smart, founder and director of the award-winning non-profit Triangle Modernist Houses (TMH), will present his signature talk “Mayberry Modernism: North Carolina’s Modernist Legacy” at the Chatham Community Library in Pittsboro, NC, on Wednesday, May 9, beginning at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

“Mayberry Modernism” showcases North Carolina’s surprisingly large collection of Modernist residences from the 1950s through today, particularly those in the Triangle region. Many of these houses are in good shape, some are endangered, and many have been destroyed.

“Most people, even architects, are surprised that the Triangle has the third largest number of Modernist houses in America,” Smart says. “Through ‘Mayberry Modernism,’ I discuss why we have so many and share photographs of over 50 eye-popping, award-winning Modernist houses in the region from mid-century to new construction.”

Smart’s discovery of the Triangle’s large number of “livable works of art” in 2007 led him to found Triangle Modernist Houses.com. Today, the TMH website is the largest single archive of Modernist residential architecture and architects, in the nation.

According to Jennifer Gillis, branch manager of the Chatham Community Library, architecture is a subject of interest in Chatham County. “Especially with regard to ‘green’ construction,” she said. “Our library, which was designed by [architect] Louis Cherry, serves not only as a public library, but also as the library for Central Carolina Community College, which has a strong program in sustainability.

“One of the aspects of Modernist architecture that should resonate with people at this time is its emphasis on practicality and economy of space,” she continued. “Because of the rural nature of the area, these homes are hidden gems—for example, a Lustron home that is in walking distance from our library. I think people will be surprised to hear how many modernist homes are located in Chatham and Lee counties.”

The Chatham County Library is located at 197 NC Hwy 87 North, Pittsboro NC 27312 (919-545-8084). For directions and more information about the library, go to http://www.chathamnc.org/Index.aspx?page=304.

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

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