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

i.1.oakwood-nc-house-tear-down

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

WRAL TV: “Oakwood residents, homeowner draw battle lines in fight over modern house”

 — Residents of Raleigh’s historic Oakwood neighborhood and

The Cherry/Gordon house, under construction, draws inspiration from Craftsman-style houses in the historic neighborhood.

The Cherry/Gordon house, under construction, draws inspiration from Craftsman-style houses in the historic neighborhood.

the owner of a home under construction there held dueling news conferences Friday as the battle over the type of construction allowed in Oakwood intensified.

Marsha Gordon and Louis Cherry were granted necessary permits to build the contemporary house at 516 Euclid St., including a certificate of appropriateness from the Raleigh Historic Development Commission.

Construction on the house irked neighbors, who argued that the house didn’t fit with the character of Oakwood, and they filed a complaint over it. That led the city’s Board of Adjustment to reverse the certificate, which could halt construction on the home.

City officials said Thursday that they would appeal the Board of Adjustment decision to Superior Court “because of concerns about procedural irregularities.”

“(Oakwood) is not a museum stuck in time,” Cherry, an architect, said at a news conference at the Euclid Street construction site.

Cherry and Gordon were backed by North Carolina Modernist Houses, a nonprofit group that documents, preserves and promotes modernist architecture. READ MORE…

NEWS & OBSERVER: “Raleigh modernist house supporters raise money, as opponents rally”

Architect Louis Cherry will be forced to stop construction on his controversial modernist home in the Oakwood neighborhood – five months after the city issued his building permit. Photo by Juli Leonard

Architect Louis Cherry will be forced to stop construction on his controversial modernist home in the Oakwood neighborhood – five months after the city issued his building permit. Photo by Juli Leonard

By Colin Campbell

 — An advocacy group for modernist houses launched a legal defense fund Friday for a controversial house in the Oakwood neighborhood, while opponents of the home made their case a few blocks away.

The bitter divisions in the historic Raleigh neighborhood were apparent Friday as both sides held front-yard news conferences an hour apart offering vastly differing views on architecture.

N.C. Modernist Houses chairman George Smart says his group will raise money to help Oakwood homeowners Louis Cherry and Marsha Gordon with their legal bills, which Smart expects will run $20,000 to $30,000. The group will hold a fundraiser on April 13. READ MORE…

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/03/21/3721476/raleigh-modernist-house-supporters.html#storylink=cpy

 

Raleigh Architecture Firm To Host “Thirst4Architecture”

Louis Cherry, Ratio welcome networking happy hour.

June 11, 2012 (Raleigh, NC) — Triangle Modernist Houses (TMH), the award-winning non-profit organization dedicated documenting, preserving and promoting Modernist residential design, will continue its 2012 Thirst4Architecture (T4A) happy hour networking events this month on Wednesday, June 20, from 6-8 pm. in the offices of RATIO, an architectural firm in downtown Raleigh. RATIO partner Louis Cherry, FAIA, will serve as host.

TMH’s informal happy hours are free and open to the public. Hosts provide refreshments and TMH provides a variety of door prizes.

“We welcome architects, artists, designers, interior designers, realtors, engineers, contractors, property investors, building managers, Modernist homeowners, materials and furniture dealers – or anyone with a huge crush on great architecture,” says TMH founder and board chair George Smart. “T4A focuses on building relationships, generating passion about good design, creating strategic alliances, and connecting people to each other. There are no presentations or PowerPoint slides. Come join the fun and make new friends and contacts!”

For more information on this and future T4A events, visit www.trianglemodernisthouses.com/t4a.

With offices in Illinois and Indiana, RATIO merged with Cherry’s former firm, Cherry Huffman Architects, in 2011. The firm’s Raleigh office is located at 135 E. Martin Street, Suite 101, Raleigh, NC 27601 (919-821-0805). For more information visit http://www.ratioarchitects.com.

For more information on Triangle Modernist Houses, visit www.trianglemodernisthouses.com.

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