INHABITAT.com: “2012 George Matsumoto Prize Announces North Carolina’s Best In Modernist Design”

8/23/12

By Al Bredenberg

The George Matsumoto Prize for North Carolina Modernist residential design recently announced its 2012 winners. North Carolina, and particularly the Triangle region (Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill), has become known as an epicenter of modernist architecture in part because of the influence of the North Carolina State University College of Design. READ MORE…

DURHAM HERALD-SUN: “‘Modernism in Duke Forest’ tour to be in September”

August 18, 2012

DURHAM — Triangle Modernist Houses and Preservation Durham have announced “Modernism In Duke Forest,” a tour of six modernist houses in Durham’s Duke Forest neighborhood, will be September 15 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Duke University originally developed the Duke Forest neighborhood, just south of Duke University’s campus, for faculty and staff. Many homes are still owned by their original occupants.

While Duke Forest includes a mix of architectural styles, there are more mid-century modern homes in the neighborhood than anywhere else in Durham, according to local Realtors.

Triangle Modernist Houses, an award-winning non-profit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving and promoting modernist residential design, has teamed with Preservation Durham, a non-profit organization that promotes the restoration of historic homes and commercial properties, to present the September tour. READ MORE..

House Tour: “Modernism in Duke Forest” To Take Place In September

Duke President’s House

Triangle Modernist Houses, Preservation Durham present a six-house tour.

August 14, 2012 (Durham, NC) — Triangle Modernist Houses (TMH) and Preservation Durham have announced “Modernism In Duke Forest,” a tour of six modernist houses in Durham’s Duke Forest neighborhood, to be held on Saturday, September 15, from 1-4 p.m.

Duke University originally developed the Duke Forest neighborhood, just south of Duke University’s campus, faculty and staff. Many of the homes are still owned by their original occupants.

Huttemeier /Benveniste House

Architecturally, the Duke Forest is an eclectic mix of styles, including mid-century modernist houses. In fact, there are more mid-century modern homes in Duke Forest than anywhere else in Durham, according to local realtors.

Triangle Modernist Houses, an award-winning non-profit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promoting modernist residential design, has teamed up with Preservation Durham, a non-profit organization that promotes the restoration of historic homes and commercial properties, to present the September tour.

Kaufman House

Houses on the tour are:

1.    The Knight house/Duke University President’s House designed by Alden Dow.

2.    The Kaufman House designed by Brian Shawcroft, who will be on hand to answer questions.

3.    The Schanberg House designed by Jon Condoret. Condoret’s daughter, architect Audie Schechter, will be there to answer questions.

4.    The Crovitz House designed by Frank DePasquale.

Obrist House

5.    The Obrist House designed by Walter Obrist.

6.    The Huttemeier /Benveniste House designed by Keith Brown.

The tour will start at the Judea Reform Congregation parking lot at 1933 West Cornwallis Road, Durham, where free parking will be available. From there, shuttle buses will run to the houses every 10 minutes throughout the afternoon. Tour-goers may choose to bike or walk to the houses from the parking lot, but automobile traffic is seriously discouraged.

Crovitz Housoe

Advance tickets are $19.95 per person and are available online only at www.trianglemodernisthouses.com/tour, where more details about the tour can be found. Day-of tickets, if available, are $25. Children carried or in strollers are free.

“Best of all, for those new to Preservation Durham, each ticket comes with a free full year membership in Preservation Durham,” noted George Smart, founder and director of Triangle Modernist Houses.

Schanberg House

Proceeds from ticket sales benefit both Preservation Durham and Triangle Modernist Houses.  “Modernism in Duke Forest “ is also part of the DOCOMOMO 2012 Fall Tour Day Network.

For more information on Triangle Modernist Houses, visit www.trianglemodernisthouses.com. For more information on Preservation Durham, go to preservationdurham.org.

North Carolina’s Finest Mid-Century Modern In Danger

Praised by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Paschal house needs a buyer to see another 62 years.

August 6, 2012 (Raleigh, NC) — One of the most highly praised mid-century Modern houses in North Carolina, the 1950 Paschal house, is threatened with eventual teardown if a buyer doesn’t come forward very soon.

Award-winning Raleigh architect Frank Harmon, FAIA, said recently, “I personally think this is, flat out, the greatest modern house in North Carolina.” According to Harmon, the late Harwell Hamilton Harris, FAIA, shared his sentiment. Even Frank Lloyd Wright observed after visiting the house “it does the cause [of modern architecture] good.”

“We’re putting out a national preservation alert to save this James Fitzgibbon-designed icon,” said George Smart, founder and director of Triangle Modernist Houses, (TMH) an award-winning, non-profit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promoting Modernist residential design.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the house has been empty and on the market for five years.

The owners, the three Paschal heirs who are now in their sixties, are asking $3.3 million for the 3300-square-foot house on three acres in Raleigh’s Country Club Hills.

“In these difficult economic times, that’s an unrealistic price,” Smart said.

Experts, such as Frank Harmon, believe the house is no where near “too far gone,” as some have suggested.

“The house could certainly be restored and heat and air conditioning installed while honoring Fitzgibbon’s design,” Harmon said. (The radiant heat in the floors hasn’t worked for years, and the house doesn’t have air conditioning; its sustainable design made cooling optional.) “I’ve been through the house on many occasions and it can definitely be saved.”

According to Preservation North Carolina’s Executive Director, Myrick Howard, the 62-year-old house is eligible for historic preservation tax credits if it is restored.

Marvin Malecha, FAIA, Dean of N.C. State University’s College of Design and a former president of the American Institute of Architects, told the News & Observer that the Paschal House “is still considered an iconic piece of architecture.”

A real danger exists, however, that the house will deteriorate past the point of no return and require demolition, following the fate of the 1954 Eduardo Catalano House, similarly vacant and eventually demolished despite praise by Frank Lloyd Wright and being named the “House of the Decade” by House and Home Magazine.

House and Architect: Ahead of Their Time

Comprised of granite, wood, and glass, the one-story Paschal house features a sweeping flat roof, extensive floor-to-ceiling windows, a floor-to-ceiling fireplace and sunken hearth, built-in bookcases and storage, intimate atria at each end, and Wrightian-inspired gates.

The house embraced sustainability 40 years ahead of the times. Despite its lack of air conditioning, it was reportedly cool in the summer. The windows provide an abundance of natural light and ventilation, deep roof overhangs shade the windows from the hot summer, and cork flooring is a sustainable building material.

The architect, James Fitzgibbon (1915-1985), moved to Raleigh with other members of the first faculty of the NC State University School of Design, hand-picked by the founding dean, Henry Kamphoefner. Fitzgibbon enjoyed a long partnership with R. Buckminster Fuller and his work was once featured in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, placed between that of Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Kahn.

For more information on the Paschal House, go to www.trianglemodernisthouses.com/fitzgibbon.htm and see Preservation NC’s listing at www.presnc.org (click on “Buy Property” then “Historic Properties for sale”).

NEWS & OBSERVER: “Modernist houses win awards”

August 4, 2012

Tops in modernist home design

First prize: the Banbury House, designed by John Reese of Weinstein Freidlein Architects. Photo by Mark Herboth.

Three Raleigh homes were among winners last week of the inaugural George Matsumoto Prize, recognizing excellence in modernist residential design.

A jury of professional architects chaired by Frank Harmon of Raleigh awarded first prize to the Banbury House, designed by John Reese of Weinstein Freidlein Architects and built in Raleigh by Alphin Design Build. The owners sought a minimalist, private home that integrated modest interior spaces with an open-air exterior, including private courtyard, lap pool and cabana/carport. Second place went to a home at 1804 Pictou Road in Raleigh, designed and built by Mike Rantilla; and third place to GREENville House designed by Vinny Petrarca and built in Greenville by Tonic Construction. READ MORE and to see the Gallery of images…