“Secret Museum” Benefit August 17 for NCMH Legal Defense Fund

Protecting historic review and property rights for Modernist houses

Inside the "Secret Museum"

Inside the “Secret Museum”

North Carolina Modernist Houses Legal Defense Fund will host a benefit in Hillsborough’s “secret building museum” – the largest private collection of building models in America — on Sunday, August 17, from 3 to 5:30 p.m.

Sponsored and catered by Phoebe Lawless and Scratch Bakery of Durham, the champagne reception is a benefit for the NCMH Legal Defense Fund (LDF), which protects Modernist houses under attack.

The LDF’s primary focus in 2014 is the Cherry-Gordon house in the Oakwood neighborhood in Raleigh. Louis Cherry and Marsha Gordon anticipate over $40,000 in legal fees and construction delays as they join with the City of Raleigh in a lawsuit against the Raleigh Board of Adjustment and neighbors Dave and Gail Wiesner. For a detailed timeline, see http://www.ncmodernist.org/2014oakwood.htm.

“The community overwhelmingly objects to actions by the Wiesners that stopped Cherry-Gordon construction — despite complete historic review approval and building permits,” said NCMH’s Executive Director George Smart. “Because this precedent puts all building permits in jeopardy to the arbitrary whims of objecting neighbors, the City of Raleigh has joined Cherry-Gordon.”

The “secret museum” is a complex of five “Modern Greek Revival” buildings that Steven Burke and Randy Campbell have built or remodeled since 1994. These buildings, not open to the public, contain the nation’s largest collection of models of American folk art buildings — over 1000 houses and stores, Ferris wheels and carousels, gas stations, factories, theaters, schools, bridges, castles, and churches from the 1860s until about 1950.

Admission is $250 per person for a special guided tour at 3 p.m. and a $100 donation for a general tour at 4 p.m.  Advance tickets are available at http://www.ncmodernist.org/ldfevent.htm.

For more information on the NCMH Legal Defense Fund, go to http://www.ncmodernist.org/ldf.htm.

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