Architecture You Love

Mayberry Modernism:
North Carolina's Modernist Legacy

Audiences Love
Mayberry Modernism!

What's North Carolina's greatest secret?  We have the third most Modernist houses than anywhere in the country. 

George Smart’s discovery of the Triangle’s large number of “livable works of art” in 2007 led him to start North Carolina Modernist houses, the largest open digital archive of Modernist residential architecture and architects in the nation.

During this exciting 75-minute talk, you'll visually explore some of the state's Modernist gems, many still glorious, some endangered, and some destroyed forever. 

Since 2010, George Smart has taken Mayberry Modernism on the road to dozens of AIA NC sections, preservation organizations, realtor associations, and other groups across the state.  Mayberry Modernism includes time for questions, and George will stay afterwards to talk with your audience.   To book Mayberry Modernism, contact Kim Weiss at 919.272.8615.

Learning Objectives

  • Participants learn how thousands of significant Modernist houses were documented and made available to the public online.

  • Participants will be able to identify the beginnings of North Carolina residential Modernist design as part of the larger national movement.

  • Participants learn key differences between Modernist and contemporary architecture.

  • Participants learn why North Carolina is the third largest concentration of Modernist houses in the country.

  • Participants learn the key architects and influencers in  North Carolina Modernism. 

  • Participants gain knowledge of 60 years of North Carolina award-winning residences and assess their own preferences against precedent. 

  • Participants learn marketing methods to preserve mid-century Modernist houses through preservation, occupancy, and sustainable development strategies.

  • Participants discover how documenting, preserving, and promoting residential Modernist design benefits the architecture and construction industries.

  • Participants in the real estate version of MM learn key differences between selling a traditional house and selling a Modernist house.

  • Participant gain free access to a digital archive of over 15,000 photos of over 4,100 Modernist houses, along with profiles on over 250 architects.

  • Participants learn how NCMH became the country's largest open digital archive for Modernist houses and a leader in saving mid-century Modernist houses from destruction.

About George Smart

George Smart grew up in Triangle architecture. His dad was a Raleigh architect for over 40 years who, like many in his generation, was inspired by the exciting designs of Frank Lloyd Wright's and others in Modernist movement.  George's mom Ann Seltman Smart was a radio personality on WPTF and made a documentary on architecture in the 1960's that's still available on YouTube. 

Yet, as a management consultant and executive coach, George showed no interest whatsoever in architecture until 2007.  "I was Googling for modern houses one night and it was like that scene from Alien," jokes Smart.  "Something very powerful exploded from my DNA!  One search led to another, then to a list, then to a website, then to tours, then trips, then dinners, then movies, then happy hours.  NCMH is largest online open archive in America for residential Modernist architecture."

George Smart and NCMH have been honored with many historic preservation awards for accomplishment at the local, state, and national level. 

North Carolina's most passionate advocate for Modernist architecture, George Smart facilitates the public's discovery of these "livable sculptures" through presentations around the state.  His knowledge of North Carolina modernism combined with the innovative use of technology for preservation has quickly established a national reputation for research and advocacy.  He was the News and Observer Tar Heel of the Week in June 2012.

Also available:

NCMH's Leslie Glascock speaking on Project BauHow:  Creating the Next Generation of Architects

NCMH's Chief Lustron archivist Virginia Faust speaking on:  The Lustron: America's Little Pre-Fab House that Could

"George Smart's Mayberry Modernism presentation is entertaining, informative, and inspiring. When the hour is over you are left wanting to know more." -- Mark Allison, AIA

"Thank you so much for your exciting presentation to the Winston-Salem Section of the AIA.  I got a lot of great comments from several people afterwards and it was one of the most well attended luncheons ever." 
-- Chad Everhart, AIA, NCARB

"I do want to thank you for making the trip to Wilmington and speaking to AIA Wilmington and the Cameron Art Museum.  We were pleasantly surprised at the large turnout that we had at the event, especially for a Monday night.  Everyone with whom I spoke afterwards said that they were impressed with your knowledge of modern architecture and really enjoyed all of the images that you presented.  I hope that you can bring this lecture to all of the AIA sections in North Carolina!" -- Laura Miller, AIA, LEED AP

"George Smart gives a fascinating and informative slideshow and presentation about some of our true architectural treasures - the wealth of Modernist homes in our area."  -- Mark Zimmerman, Chapel Hill Realtor



Chapel Hill Rotary Club

Cameron Village Library, Raleigh (twice)
North Raleigh Regional Library, Raleigh (twice)
West Regional Library, Cary

South Durham Regional Library, Durham
Chatham County Library, Pittsboro
Durham Central Library, Durham
Lappas and Havener Landscape Architects, Durham

Durham Engineers Club, Durham
Carolina Country Club, Raleigh

Preservation Greensboro Incorporated Greensboro North Carolina

Preservation Society of Chapel Hill
YSU/Prudential, Durham
Raleigh Kiwanis, Durham
Tobaccoland Kiwanis, Durham
City of Raleigh Museum, Raleigh
Southwest Durham Rotary Club, Durham
The Garage, Winston-Salem
Hickory Preservation, Hickory
City of Raleigh Past Employees

2014 Palm Springs Modernism Week