VANITY FAIR: “Is This House Too Modern To Exist?”


By Paul Goldberger


Lewis Mumford wrote that, in a city, “time becomes visible.” Not, it would appear, in Raleigh, North Carolina, where a city board has just decided that a rather discreet and understated modern house needs to be torn down because it damages the ambience of a historic district, which is to say it destroys the illusion that the neighborhood is a place in which time has stopped.

It’s actually a little more bizarre than that. Louis Cherry, a respected Raleigh architect, and his wife, Marsha Gordon, had long liked the Oakwood neighborhood, a pleasant, older section of town not far from the center of Raleigh, and a couple of years ago they bought a parcel of land on Euclid Street, in the heart of what is called the Oakwood Historic District. Oakwood is not the kind of historic district you would find in, say, New Orleans, where the buildings are of pretty much the same style and the same period. It’s a mix of 19th- and 20th-century houses, of varying size, style, and quality, and construction there is overseen by the Raleigh Historic Development Commission, which, working under pre-determined design guidelines for historic districts, opines on whether or not it considers plans for new construction in the district appropriate….

….The state [has] a wonderful preservation organization called North Carolina Modernist Houses that focuses on educating the public about modern design and saving endangered houses. The organizers have taken up the Oakwood cause—the first time, I suspect, that they have ever had to fight to preserve a modern house before it was even finished. READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE

TRIANGLE BUSINESS JOURNAL: “Modernist fans hope to save iconic Glenwood Avenue building”


By Amanda Jones Hoyle


With plans under way now to tear down the 1960s-era, two-story office building at 3515 Glenwood Ave. in Raleigh, preservationists and fans of its modernist style of architecture are seeking the business community’s help to save it.

George Smart, executive director of North Carolina Modernist Homes, says his group will be hosting an open house at the Glenwood building on May 7 in hopes of finding a potential office tenant interested in leasing the 35,000-square-foot building space as-is. READ MORE…

Stitch Design and Development To Host “Mayberry Modernism”

North Carolina Modernist Houses’ founder presents signature talk on North Carolina’s Modernist legacy on May 1.

The 1940 RJ Reynolds residence, destroyed in 1978.

The 1940 RJ Reynolds residence, destroyed in 1978.

Stitch Design and Development will host North Carolina Modernist Houses’ (NCMH) founder and director George Smart as he presents “Mayberry Modernism: North Carolina’s Modernist Legacy” on Thursday, May 1, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in The Garage in the Downtown Arts District at 110 West 7th Street, Winston-Salem. The event is free and open to the public.

NCMH is an award-winning, non-profit organization dedicated to archiving, preserving, and promoting Modernist residential design throughout North Carolina. “Mayberry Modernism” showcases the state’s surprising collection of Modernist residences from the 1950s through today, many of which are in great shape while others are currently endangered or have been destroyed.

Through “Mayberry Modernism,” Smart discusses the history of Modernist houses in North Carolina by showing multiple photographs of these houses from both the past and present, including all the Modernist houses that have won design awards from the North Carolina chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

“These houses are nothing less than livable sculpture,” said Smart. “And like all great sculpture, they produce strong feelings of inspiration, peace, relaxation, or connection to nature.  Unlike many building types, Modernist houses evoke our hopes and dreams and speak to our personal connection to the earth, either spiritually or simply through our choices of furniture, art, and design.”

Architect Ben Schwab of Stitch Design and Development expressed his reason for inviting Smart to present “Mayberry Modernism” in Winston-Salem:

“This is an incredibly interesting talk, even to those who have no idea what modernism is. I think attendees will be surprised at the prevalence of Modernist influences in the Triad and will leave with a better understanding of why it’s such an appealing approach to architecture.”

Anyone interested in attending the presentation should contact Schwab at

Stitch is an architecture, interiors, development, and design-build firm. For more information visit

For more information on NCMH, visit


TRIG Modern To Host “Thirst4Architecture” in Downtown Raleigh

Inside the TRIG Modern showroom.

Inside the TRIG Modern showroom.

A networking event for Modernist design enthusiasts

TRIG Modern, Raleigh’s premiere Modern furniture showroom at 328 West Jones Street, will host North Carolina Modernist Houses’ (NCMH’s) April “Thirst4Architecture” networking happy hour on Thursday, April 17, from 6-8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Emilie Huin of Coldwell Banker, a specialist in Modernist real estate throughout the Triangle, is the series sponsor for 2014 Thirst4Architecture events.

Thirst4Architecture, NCMHNCMH connects hundreds of Modernist design enthusiasts through its T4A events, which are free and open to the public. The host business provides refreshments and other entertainment while attendees build relationships, create strategic alliances, and make new contacts.

“We welcome Modernist homeowners, architects and designers, artists, builders and contractors, furniture retainers, students, and anyone else with a huge crush on Modernist design,” said NCMH board chair George Smart. “There are no presentations, just good conversation.”

Owned and operated by Bob Drake, TRIG Modern is the only showroom and design service in downtown Raleigh specializing in modern furniture and lighting in tandem with an eclectic blend of compatible furnishings and accessories, including Mid-20th Century items and a throw pillow collection that Drake designed himself.

“TRIG is a very different kind of showroom,” Drake said. “We combine both new and vintage furniture, kitchen and bath solutions, lighting, and original art and objects.” For more information on TRIG Modern, visit

NCMH is an award-winning non-profit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promoting Modernist residential design across the state. For the dates and locations of future T4A events, go to