NEWS & OBSERVER: “Help Save Raleigh’s Lustron House”

The Raleigh Historic Development Commission is hosting an awareness and fundraising event at 7 p.m. Dec. 8 to try to preserve a local Lustron house.(Photo by Sally Keeney)

The Raleigh Historic Development Commission is hosting an awareness and fundraising event at 7 p.m. Dec. 8 to try to preserve a local Lustron house.(Photo by Sally Keeney)

By Andrea Weigl

The Raleigh Historic Development Commission is hosting an event at 7 p.m. Dec. 8 to try to preserve a local Lustron house.

The event includes a screening of the film, “Lustron: The House America’s Been Waiting For,” followed by a panel discussion. Among the speakers: George Smart of NC Modernist Houses, Lustron homeowner Deborah Chay, and Virginia Faust, a realtor and Lustron specialist. The moderator will be Dan Becker. READ MORE…

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Inside-The-Beltline Modern, 1950s Lustron Facing Demolition

Triangle Modernist Houses hopes buyers can be found for both – soon.

2727 Mayview Road, Raleigh, is on the market for the property, not the house itself.

 

April 5, 2011 (Raleigh, NC) – When the owner of a Raleigh mid-century modern house lists the property – not the house – for sale, demolition isn’t far behind.

That’s why Triangle Modernist Houses (TMH), a North Carolina historic preservation nonprofit, is scrambling to find buyers for the John Voorhees house at 2727 North Mayview in Raleigh and a classic Lustron house in Nashville, NC near Wilson.

“You can’t get a better location,” says TMH founder George Smart of the Voorhees house. “It’s in a coveted central location off Brooks Avenue inside the Raleigh beltline, close to Cameron Village, downtown, NCSU, and Meredith College.”

Former Raleigh city planner John Voorhees built his modernist, one-story house in 1961. The exterior features vertical wood and brick, a low-slung roofline, and an abundance of glass. The owner has listed the property – not the house – for sale, which means demolition isn’t far behind. According to listing agent John O’Neal, the house needs a lot of work but it can be renovated. The property is listed at $269,900. O’Neal can be reached at (919) 559-7337.

TMH is also hoping to find a buyer for a prefab Lustron house on Collins Street in Nashville, NC. These all-steel, kit-built houses were built by Carl Strandland in Columbus, Ohio, for GIs returning from World War II. A church next door owns the Nashville house and wants the land for a parking lot.

“Lane Johnson, the demolition contractor hired recently by the church, has become a big Lustron fan and has offered a short stay of execution,” Smart reports. “Lane will painstakingly disassemble the modular Lustron and put it on a truck for $14,000. That’s the entire house, delivered to its new owner, for the cost of a car. He’ll even get you the assembly manual.”

Anyone interested in taking Johnson up on his offer should contact him at lane.johnson87@yahoo.com.

TMH is an award-winning archive and website dedicated to preserving and promoting modernist residential design from the 1950s to day. Early this year, TMH sent out a national preservation alert on the oldest modernist house in Charlotte, architect AG Odell’s Lassiter House.  It will be demolished if a buy doesn’t come forward by June. The listing agent is Gail Jodon  at 704-957-9107. A News 14 Carolinas report on the Lassiter house can be seen at http://bit.ly/hV1id2.

“We’re losing too many mid-century Modernist houses because land values have risen so fast in the last few decades,” Smart said. “I call on anyone who has ever been in love with architecture to seriously consider buying one of these three houses.”

For more information on these and other Modernist houses for sale or rent, visit www.trianglemodernisthouses.com and click on “For Sale” or “For Rent.”

For more information on Lustron houses, visit www.trianglemodernisthouses.com/lustron.