December Film Celebrates Frank Sinatra’s Architect

“The Nature of Modernism” explores the work

of E. Stewart Williams

The 1947 Sinatra house, designed by E. Stewart Willams

The 1947 Sinatra house, designed by E. Stewart Willams

The Nature of Modernism,” the December screening from the 2016-2017 MoHo Realty Architecture Movie Series, presented by North Carolina Modernist Houses, explores the work of architect E. Stewart Williams, the prolific modernist who designed Frank Sinatra’s iconic house in Palm Beach. The film will be screened in The Hunt Library auditorium, NCSU Centennial Campus, Thursday, December 1, starting at 7:30 p.m.

“When Frank Sinatra walked into E. Stewart Williams’ newly established architectural office in May of 1947 he wanted a Georgian-style house built in the desert of Palm Springs. Williams tactfully convinced him of the benefits of modernism and Sinatra went for it. The two had no idea how far reaching and influential that decision would prove to be.” (Denver Art Museum on the film’s premiere there)

The film traces Williams’ family history and professional career from his early days designing Sinatra’s house, to later years producing civic structures, including the Crafton Hills College, Palm Springs Art Museum, and the Santa Fe Federal Savings, now the Palm Springs Art Museum’s Architecture and Design Center, Edwards Harris Pavilion.

Each fall, the award-winning non-profit organization North Carolina Modernist Houses presents its annual movie series of hard-to-find architecture-related films. NCMH screens the films once a month through February.

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 members receive 10 percent off the ticket price with a “Friends of the Library” card.

MoHoRealty — specializing in modern and unique architect-designed homes in Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill — sponsors the entire series along with VMZinc, Hill Country Wood Works, and The Kitchen Specialist. For more information on the series, the films, and to view trailers, go to

The Hunt Library is located on Centennial Campus at 1070 Partners Way, Raleigh (27606). Free parking is available adjacent to the library. For directions, go to or call 919-515-7110.


Three NC High School Students Win Design Competition, Scholarships To NCSU Design Camp

North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH) is pleased to announce that Ian Price of McMichael High School

Site plan by Ian Price

Site plan by Ian Price

in Mayodan, Lacy Turner of Washington High School in Washington, and Wesley Pritzlaff of Rolesville High in Rolesville are the winners in the inaugural student category of the 2014 George Matsumoto Prize for Modern Residential Design across North Carolina.

The students’ submissions to the Matsumoto Prize was the result of their schools’ drafting classes participation in Project Bauhow, an educational initiative sponsored by NCMH with support from the Kramden Institute.

Project Bauhow (Bauhaus + Know-How) provides free desktop computers that support CAD (computer aided design) software to ninth and tenth grade students in carefully selected drafting classes statewide. The students who receive the computers do not have access to computers at home that can support the CAD software.

In exchange for the computers, the teachers agreed to have all of their students design a single-family

Elevation drawing by Lacy Turner

Elevation drawing by Lacy Turner

Modernist house that could be submitted to the Matsumoto Prize’s student category.

The assignment came with imaginary details about the size of the house, the number of people in the family, each individual’s special needs and/or interests, and other information an architect would need to design a home specific to the site and the client. In this imaginary family, two sisters are moving in together with their children, one of whom is confined to a wheel chair so accessibility was an issue. (To read more about the students’ assignment, go to

Members of the Triangle Area Design Society —  architects Frank Harmon, Dennis Stallings, Phil Szostak, David Hill, and Jeffrey Lee — juried this year’s competition and determined that Ian’s, Lacy’s, and Wesley’s designs were the best from their respective schools.

As a result, NCMH is giving these three students scholarships to attend North Carolina State University’s well-known Design Day Camp from July 14-18, 2014.

“Through the establishment of Project Bauhow, North Carolina Modernist Houses is to be commended for

Floorplan by Wesley Pritzlaff

Floorplan by Wesley Pritzlaff

its efforts to give high school students access to computers and technology that might otherwise be unavailable to them,” said Dennis Stallings, FAIA, who is also a professor at NCSU’s College of Design. “Giving these students the ability to experience a real design problem and execute it opens the door for many of them to potentially pursue a career in design. The students should be commended for taking on this design challenge and learning the software that allowed them to execute it.”

North Carolina Modernist Houses is an award-winning non-profit organization dedicated to archiving, preserving, and promoting Modernist residential design statewide. For more information visit www.ncmodernistorg.

For more information on Project Bauhow, click here. To see a WNCT TV segment on one of the winners, click here.

For more information on the 2014 George Matsumoto Prize for architects and designers who have built single-family houses anywhere in North Carolina, visit

NCSU’s Gregg Museum, AIA Asheville To Host “Mayberry Modernism”

October 10, 2010 (DURHAM, NC) – George Smart, founder and director of the award-winning non-profit Triangle Modernist Houses (TMH), will present his signature talk “Mayberry Modernism: North Carolina’s Modernist Legacy” in Raleigh and Asheville during October.

First, on October 21, North Carolina State University’s Gregg Museum of Art & Design in Raleigh hosts “Mayberry Modernism” at 6 p.m. in conjunction with the museum’s current exhibit “Southern Roots of Mid-century Modern.” The Gregg Museum operates under the Division of Student Affairs and is located in the Talley Student Center in the middle of the NCSU campus.

Next, on October 27, Smart presents “Mayberry Modernism” to the Asheville section of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Asheville). The luncheon begins at 12 noon in Tuton Hall at Trinity Episcopal Church, 60 Church Street, Downtown Asheville. The talk is open to the public but space is limited. The cost is $15 for AIA members and $20 for non-members. (To reserve a space at the luncheon, email:

“Mayberry Modernism” showcases the state’s surprising collection of Modernist residences from the 1950s through today, many in great shape but some endangered or even destroyed. In 2007, Smart discovered many of the states “livable works of art” are endangered or have already been destroyed.  Since startup in 2007, TMH has become the largest archive of Modernist residential architecture in the nation.

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Rare Architect Interview Now Online

Former University of Kansas Dean Charles Kahn, FAIA shares his extensive audio collection, including Buckminster Fuller, George Matsumoto and Henry Kamphoefner.

Charles Kahn, FAIA, who conducted the rare interviews.

June 9, 2010 (DURHAM, NC) — The Charles Kahn Audio Interviews with noted architects from around the world, including Buckminster Fuller and Henry Kamphoefner, are now online through Triangle Modernist (TMH), a North Carolina website which documents, preserves, and promotes Modernist residential design.

Charles Kahn, FAIA, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate and former Professor of Architecture at North Carolina State University’s College of Design, became the first Dean of the then-new School of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Kansas in 1968. He personally recorded his collection of rare interviews during the 1970s.

“We are exceptionally grateful to Dean Kahn for making these audio interviews available to TMH and to the public,” said George Smart, founder and director of Triangle Modernist Houses. Available at, they include interviews with George Matsumoto, Buckminster Fuller, T.C. Howard, Duncan Stuart, NC State University’s first dean of the School of Design Henry Kamphoefner, James Fitzgibbon, Antonio Nervi, Sasha Nowicki, Myron Goldsmith, and many more.

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