UNC-TV/North Carolina Now: “NC Modernist Houses”

1959 Carter Williams house in Raleighj

1959 Carter Williams house in Raleigh

Kelley McHenry introduces us to an organization called North Carolina Modernist Houses, a group dedicated to rescuing classic modernist homes from being destroyed. Many were built in the 1950-60s near North Carolina State University which gave the Tar Heel State the third largest concentration of modernist homes in the country. Click HERE to view the segment.


MoHo Architecture Movie Series Continues with Double Feature



This year’s MoHo Realty Architecture Movie series, sponsored by North Carolina Modernist Houses and MoHo Realty, continues on Thursday, November 5, at the James B. Hunt Jr. Library Auditorium in Raleigh with a double feature that focuses on small houses.

“Lustron: The House America’s Been Wait For” documents the rise and fall of engineering genius Carl Strandlund and his brainchild, the “Lustron,” a 1000-square-foot, post-war, pre-fab house. Made entirely of porcelain-enameled steel, the little Lustron was rot-proof, vermin-proof, and never needed painting. Averaging just $10,000, Lustrons could be erected on site in less than a week.

The Lustron’s ultimate failure was blamed on simple market forces. But in 1994, film producers Bill Kubota, Ed Moore, and Bill Ferehawk discovered a trail of newspaper clippings, Senate hearing transcripts, and internal Lustron Corporation documents suggesting that the collapse of the “General Motors of housing” was brought on by a government conspiracy that reached all the way to the Truman White House.

movie-doelgerThe second feature, “Little Boxes: The Legacy of Henry Doelger,” is a Monique Lombardelli documentary that celebrates the life and works of the San Francisco Bay Area pioneer of mid-century Modern design. In 1947, Doelger and his associates began building the Westlake district in Daly City. The district is one of the earliest examples of a large-tract suburban development and a manifestation of urban sprawl. Life magazine featured photographs of the numerous rows of houses in the 1950s, which were immortalized in Pete Seeger’s hit song “Little Boxes.”

Monthly now through February, the MoHo Realty Architecture Movie Series will screen hard-to-find architecture-related films in the Hunt Library Auditorium at NC State University with one additional film in downtown Raleigh in November.

Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door. Cash and credit cards are accepted. Mod Squad members get in free until capacity is reached. The first 100 NCSU students with a student ID are admitted free of charge. NCSU Friends of the Library get 10 percent off tickets with a “Friends of the Library” card. The Hunt Library is located on Centennial Campus at 1070 Partners Way, Raleigh. Free parking is available adjacent to the library.

Series sponsor MoHo Realty specializes in modern and unique architect-designed homes in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. Other series sponsors include VMZinc and Hill Country Wood Works.  For more information on the series, the films, and to view trailers, go to www.ncmodernist.org/movies.


Educating The Next Generation of Modernist Architects

BauHow Logo


Over the past two weeks, North Carolina Modernist Houses’ Project BauHow gave away 200 CAD systems to rural high school students – powerful desktop computer and monitors they get to take home and keep. As a result, students can practice CAD all they want. Later, with class instruction, they will test their knowledge through an NCMH design competition featuring a Modernist house project.

Winners at each BauHow school also receive a scholarship to the NC State University College of Design’s Design Camp next summer.

“And, wow, are they ever pumped about NC State,” said NCMH executive director George Smart, who has posted videos of the students’ comments and excitement on the NCMH Vimeo site, with profiles on six of this year’s 11 Project BauHow Schools:

“High school drafting students are the future of North Carolina architecture,” Smart said. “it is critical that they get better opportunities to learn and master CAD [computer aided design] software. Up to 60 percent of rural North Carolina high school students are in families without the means to provide a CAD-level computer at home. Yet for students interested in a career in architecture, or any kind of professional design, high school drafting classes simply can’t provide enough class time to achieve the proficiency, or portfolios, required for college. This severely limits career opportunities especially in rural areas.”

Project BauHow provides computer and software access so that drafting teachers and give students meaningful homework assignments. “It also encourages and rewards the study and creation of Modernist residential design through the design competition,” Smart noted.

For complete information on Project BauHow, go to www.ncmodernist.org/bauhow. To see the list of schools participating in this school year’s initiative, go to www.ncmodernist.org/bauhow2016.

The Raleigh Architecture Co. Hosts October’s “Thirst4Architecture”

L-R: Robby Johnston and Craig Kerins

L-R: Robby Johnston and Craig Kerins

Craig Kerins, AIA, and Robby Johnston, AIA, principals of The Raleigh Architecture Co., will host October’s Thirst4Architecture (T4A) happy hour along with North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH) on ThursdayOctober 15, from 6-8 p.m.

Free and open to the public, the event will be held at the firm’s offices in the Warehouse District at 502 South West Street, near the corner of West and Cabarrus streets. Food, beverages, and entertainment will be provided.

Emilie Huin, broker/owner of Triangle Modern Homes Real Estate LLC, a specialist in Modernist real estate throughout the Triangle, is the 2015 T4A series sponsor.

t4a-2015According to NCMH Executive Director George Smart, “T4A offers architects, artists, building managers, contractors, engineers, furniture dealers, realtors, and anyone else interested in Modernist residential design” the opportunity to connect and create strategic alliances in a casual fun environment.” As the host business, The Raleigh Architecture Co. will provide refreshments. NCMH will provide door prizes.

Johnston and Kerins founded The Raleigh Architecture Company in 2012. Since then, the young firm has completed 15 Modern residential projects and 15 commercial projects, including retail up-fits within existing historic buildings from Raleigh to Asheville. Their very first projects, two side-by-side houses on Edenton Street, recently won an Honor Award from the North Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Their work has also been “People’s Choice” favorites in NCMH’s annual Matusumoto Prize for Modernist residential design. For more information visit www.raleigh-architecture.com.

For more information on NCMH and the Thirst4Architecture events, visit www.ncmodernist.org and click on “T4A Happy Hrs” under Events.