About NCMH

North Carolina Modernist Houses is a North Carolina 501C3 educational nonprofit archive committed to documenting, preserving, and promoting residential Modernist architecture. Founded in 2007 by George Smart, the website initially covered the Triangle area of North Carolina. By 2013, the name changed to NCMH to reflect statewide coverage. NCMH has won 12 local, state, and national leadership in historic preservation, reviving interest in the state's legacy of great architecture. Our programming raises awareness, connects people with their passion for preservation and their future dream homes, and preserves the legacy of exceptional works of design for future generations.

The Team

George Smart

Founder/Executive Director. George's wife Eleanor refers to NCMH as "an 11-year seizure."

Rebekah Laney

Development. Rebekah heads up Project BauHow and the Happy Hipsters.

Frank Harmon FAIA

National Affairs. Frank lets us know when our fenestration needs a parti hat.

 

Angela Roehl

Tours. Angela books exciting architecture tours then goes on them. She really hates this.

 

Virginia Faust

Modernist Listings. Virginia updates the For Sale section day after day after day.

 

Ormando Harris

Video. Ormando shoots architects around North Carolina - with his camera.

 

Daniel Perrin

Social Media. Daniel has 13 years experience, total.

  

Catherine Cramer

Research. She's located 1000's of Modernist houses. Resistance is futile.

 

Iva Kravitz

National PR. it's Pronounced kray-vitz. She knows everybody.

  


  • What is a Modernist House?

    2017

    Modernist design is characterized by features such as combining traditionally separate common areas (like the living room and the dining room, for example), open interior floor plans with vaulted ceilings, large and numerous windows, flat or low pitched roofs, long exposed beams, extensive use of glass to bring in natural light, and aesthetic geometric forms. Learn more about Modernist design types.

    Modernism is both a design and a way of living. Early Modernist architects wanted to change the way the average person lived by making houses and objects more affordable through efficiencies in production and building. There is a focus on a large, single family space -- where kitchen, dining, and living rooms flow into each other without impediment -- with smaller more private bedrooms. The blur between indoors and outdoors via vast expanses of windows and inner courtyards continued the emphasis on full-family gathering spaces, both inside and out. Gone were formal living and dining rooms.


  • Why Aren't Modernist Houses More Popular?

    2017

    Modernist houses truly rock, if you are into this kind of thing. Sadly, most people aren't. The staggering failure of modernist design to catch on with homebuyers is disappointing for its few but loyal admirers. The general public tends to think Modernist homes are cool but consistently buy more traditional designs. Except in rare cases, like Arapahoe Acres or Los Angeles, unconventional houses are considered slightly treasonous anomalies to the conservative homeowner association mindset. What is "brilliant" to an architecturally-inclined person can be unsettling to the neighbors. Architecture critic Colin Rowe once said that "modern architecture’s fatal flaw is when architects "stipulate an intrinsic connection between the form of a building and the condition of society." In simpler words, architects frequently overestimate modern design's effect on social change.

    Who lives in Modernist houses? Modernist houses are generally more works of art than construction, and the general public has little taste for living inside art. However, artists, academics, architects, children of architects, and all their patient spouses typically love to live inside art.


  • Mid-Century Moderns Saved

    2017

    Mid-century modernist houses are endangered. Their locations, often on prime real estate inside cities, are often worth more than the houses, making demolition and development an attractive option. By networking sellers, buyers, agents, and the public detailed information and histories, NCMH helps endangered houses be purchased or otherwise occupied. NCMH has helped hundreds of Modernist houses change hands. We were directly involved in saving these endangered houses: Gotno Farm Lustron House, Raleigh; Fleishman House, Fayetteville, by Ed Loewenstein; Cherry/Gordon House, Raleigh, by Louis Cherry; Taylor House, Chapel Hill, by John Latimer and George Matsumoto; Crumpler House, Durham, by John Latimer; Kornberg House, Durham, by Jon Condoret; Lasater House, Charlotte, by AG Odell; Carr House, Durham, by Kenneth Scott; Howard Residence, Greensboro, by Thomas Hayes Mattocks House, Chapel Hill, by Sumner Winn; Raleigh Frye Lake House, Hickory, by Jim Sherrill; Cherry-Gordon House, Raleigh, by Louis Cherry. .

Board of Directors

Anne Stoddard, Sharon Glazener, George Smart, Eleanor Stell, and Caterri Woodrum

Mission

NCMH provides donors, volunteers, and advocates the information and organization they require to passionately engage the documentation, preservation, and promotion of North Carolina’s residential Modernist architecture.

Projects

NCMH provides wildly popular Modernist house tours, design networking events, a Modernist design competition, architecture movies, and high school drafting education programs, giving thousands of people access to the most exciting residential architecture, past and present.





NCMH Supports