Wake County Libraries Host “Mayberry Modernism” Three Times In July

The NCMH logo on a 1955 photo of the former Catalano House in Raleigh.

The NCMH logo on a 1955 photo of the former Catalano House in Raleigh.

As part of the month-long lecture series Exploring North Carolina Architecture.

George Smart, founder and director of the award-winning non-profit organization North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH) will present his signature talk “Mayberry Modernism: North Carolina’s Modernist Architectural Legacy” three times during Wake County Public Libraries’ July lecture series entitled “Exploring North Carolina Architecture.”

Smart will join other architectural historians who will discuss some of the state’s most significant structures spanning three centuries of design.

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

The presentation’s slideshow features 50 award-winning Modernist houses in the state from mid-century to new construction. The houses are culled from the NCMH archive (www.ncmodernist.org), the largest single archive of Modernist houses and those who design them in the nation.

“The architecture and unique styles of our Modernist homes and structures play an important role in the beauty and heritage of our region,” said Susan Wolf Neilson, Adult Services Librarian for Arts and Literature at the West Regional Library. “We also have so many new residents, and sharing this historical cultural tradition is important.”

Smart will present “Mayberry Modernism” at the Cameron Village Library, 1930 Clark Avenue, Raleigh, on Thursday, July 10, at 6:30 p.m.; at the West Regional Library, 4000 Louis Stephens Drive, Cary, on Tuesday, July 22, at 7 p.m.; and at the North Regional Library at 7009 Harps Mill Road, Raleigh, on Wednesday, July 30, at 6:30 p.m.

Also during the summer series Reid Thomas, Restoration Specialist, and Michael Southern, Senior Architectural Historian, both of the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office, will address much older architecture:

On Tuesday, July 2, Thomas will discuss “Exploring Northeastern North Carolina’s Early Architecture” at 11 a.m. in the Southeast Regional Library, 908 Seventh Avenue, Garner, and again at 2 p.m. in the Eva Perry Regional Library, 2100 Shepherds Vineyard Drive, Apex.

On Tuesday, July 22, Michael Southern will discuss “North Carolina’s Earliest Congregations and Oldest Church Buildings” at 10:30 a.m. in East Regional Library, 946 Steeple Square Court, Knightdale.

For more information on Wake County Public Libraries’ summer series and other programs for adults, visit www.wakegov.com/libraries.

For more information on NCMH and “Mayberry Modernism,” visit www.ncmodernist.org.


Public Voting Opens For The 2014 Matsumoto Prize Through July 13

Recognizing excellence in Modernist residential design throughout North Carolina.vote

Public online voting for the 2014 George Matsumoto Prize, which recognizes excellence in North Carolina Modernist residential design, begins June 15.

Sponsored by the award-winning non-profit architecture organization North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH), the Matsumoto Prize is a juried competition which also includes public voting to determine three “People’s Choice” winners. Anyone in the world can vote by email (one time per email address) after viewing submissions posted on the NCMH website at http://www.ncmodernist.org/vote2014.htm.

The Matsumoto Prize is named for George Matsumoto, FAIA, a preeminent Modernist architect well-known in North Carolina for the exceptional houses he designed here while he was a member of the NC State University School of Design faculty.

George Matsumoto also serves as Honorary Chair for the Prize’s blue-ribbon jury of professional architects who select the winners of cash prizes from a pool of $6000.

“These entries inspire people dreaming of a Modernist house to know Modernist design is affordable, efficient, sustainable, and most importantly, a house their families will love for decades,” said NCMH founder and director George Smart. “We’re looking forward to record-breaking public participation via this year’s online voting.”

Online voting ends at 5 p.m., Sunday, July 13, 2014.

To see the entries and vote on the 2014 Matsumoto Prize, visithttp://www.ncmodernist.org/vote2014.htm.

The 2014 George Matsumoto Prize is also sponsored by Foundation Bar and Alphin Design Build, both in Raleigh, and Palette & Parlor in Chapel Hill.


THE DURHAM NEWS: “DDP move jeopardizes ‘Mad-Men’-era headquarters”

By Jim Wise

mid-century modern building

The exterior of the Durham Police Department on West Chapel Hill Street displays the Modernist architectural style.

 — City plans to move the Police Department imperils the current headquarters on Chapel Hill Street, according to Preservation Durham and George Smart, founder of [North Carolina] Modernist Houses preservation group.

One idea on the table is to demolish the existing 1950s building and build anew on the site; others are to sell it to help pay for a new police HQ elsewhere. A new owner might also tear it down, or make drastic changes to its appearance.

“I hope that don’t just throw it to the wind and see what happens,” Smart said.

“With all the interest in (the TV series) “Mad Men” and in mid-century that’s coming around right now this is just a great example of that kind of architecture. And it could be stunning,” Preservation Durham Executive Director Wendy Hillis said. READ MORE…