Monday, May 13, 2024

Welcome architects and Modernist architecture fans to the USModernist newsletter, sharing the best of Modernist MCM and M21M news since 2008!

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News Editor: Ron Gallagher / Newsletter Staff: Virginia Faust, George Smart

Meet the USModernist Team

Got Modernist News? Send a quick note to Ron Gallagher at

USModernist is a nonprofit 501C3 educational archive for the documentation, preservation, and promotion of Modernist architecture.

Sponsorship/Underwriting: Connect your service, product, or company to USModernist's tens of thousands of weekly Modernist subscribers. Reach out to George Smart, 919.740.8407.

Join our community and support the architecture you love! USModernist Mod Squad membership provides important financial support for the documentation, preservation, and promotion of residential Modernist architecture. Become a member.

Featured Events

This Saturday-Sunday May 18-19: Rambling Ranch, Preservation Durham's Annual Home Tour, Durham NC.  Noon to 4pm.

Visit with NCModernist's George Smart and Devra Dubroff at a Modernist ranch designed by Judge Carr and spin the Wheel of Destiny - with lots of exciting prizes. Details and tickets.

Thursday, May 30, 3pm ET / 12n PT, on Zoom: One thing even devout Classicists and Modernists agree on is that New York's Penn Station should have never been destroyed.

USModernist Radio presents a live Zoom talk with legendary architecture photographer Norman McGrath, who was there during the demolition, taking photos, in the early 1960's. Free. Register here.

Sunday, June 9: USModernist Brunch Benefit, New Canaan CT: Meet and celebrate the 100th birthday of Roland Reisley, the last living Frank Lloyd Wright client! Join USModernist for a delicious benefit brunch at the iconic 1962 Tatum House. Only 6 tickets left!

Thursday, June 20, 5-7pm. Thirst4Architecture Happy Hour, TRIG Modern, Raleigh NC. These exciting, informal events are free to participants. We welcome Modernist homeowners, architects, artists, designers, realtors, engineers, contractors, property investors, building managers, materials and furniture dealers – or anyone with a huge crush on great architecture. Celebrate summer at TRIG's new wine bar, The Parlor, and explore their Modernist furniture, lighting, art, and accessories! Limited to 70 people. Free. Register here.

Modernist News

Endangered: The University of Texas at San Antonio has announced plans to destroy the Institute of Texan Cultures Building, one of the largest permanent structures erected for the 1968 Hemisfair World's Fair. It has housed the State's museum of diverse Texan cultures for over 50 years and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Designed by William M. Peña of architects Caudill, Rowlett, and Scott, it is the only downtown San Antonio landmark designed by a Mexican American architect and one of less than 4 percent of sites on the National Register that reflect Latino history. You can sign the petition to save it here.

Watch the documentary Frank Sinatra in Palm Springs on Freevee. Hat tip to Lindsay Blake, Everything Palm Springs. Free.

Watch the PBS documentary Perfect House Magic City, about Florida architect Alfred Browning Parker. Free.

Ron Wanamaker, one of the group that sued to prevent the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington VT from destroying the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes, shares in a YouTube interview that the recent ruling against preservation has been appealed to Vermont's Supreme Court.

Saturday, June 29, 10-12N. NCModernist Champagne Contemporary Art Sale, Hillsborough NC.

Sip some bubbly and join the staff and volunteers of USModernist for our first Contemporary Art Sale not too far from Leland Little Auctions. It's only a 20 minute drive from Durham and 40 from Raleigh. Featuring the work of artists John Hiigli, Jillian Goldberg, Abie Harris, and Susan Lamantia, samples above. Sign up here, get directions, and get a 10% discount on any purchases.

Case Study House architect Rodney Walker called this 1953 duplex in LA's Silver Lake the O'Neil Duplex Number 1, and it is for sale for $2.5M.

The 1973 Filaree House in Malibu CA, designed by Edward Fickett, is on the market for $12.5M.

USModernist has been contacted by a dedicated Modernist who wants to rebuild the Zimmerman House – the Craig Ellwood-designed house in LA destroyed by Chris Pratt and Katherine Schwarzenegger – in a new location.

He needs as many photos as he can get, since the plans apparently no longer exist. Send to Groups of photos can be sent via, up to 2G at a time, free.

Know of an endangered Modernist house in your neighborhood, city, or state? Through our preservation alert program, Modernism In Danger, USModernist calls attention to the Modernist houses around the country that are at risk for deterioration, demolition, or inappropriate renovation (like turning your Modernist house into an Italianate villa). Tell us about Modernist houses in trouble.

John Graham's Lloyd Center 1960 Seattle

On the DOCOMOMO-US list of the 11 most-endangered buildings: Seattle's 1960 Lloyd Center shopping center by architect John Graham Jr.

For sale by B-52s cofounder Kate Pierson: A resort/motel/campground/trailer park in the desert in Landers CA with six fully equipped Airstreams decorated by her wife, artist Monica Coleman. Yours on 5 acres for only $452,000.

USModernist accepts tax-deductible donations of Modernist furniture, contemporary art, and architecture coffee-table-style books. And we pick it up. What could be easier? Contact us.

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Attention Hoarders Collectors! What’s better than opening up lots of linear feet of coveted storage space – without the pain and guilt of throwing architecture magazines away? 

USModernist's archiving project solves that dilemma and gives architecture and design magazines new, text-searchable, online life – with free open access. Here are the magazines we need. We pay shipping - and you help the world get free, searchable, downloadable content for the first time. Contact us.

For a social housing project in a neighborhood in Barcelona, Spain, local firms MIAS Architects and Coll-Leclerc designed three triangular buildings for a triangular parcel of land.

This just in - Saturday, June 1: Mid-century modern architecture of Fire Island Pines jointly presented by AIA New York, Fire Island Pines Historical Preservation Society, and Chris Rawlins of Pines Modern, including a cocktail reception. Details and tickets.

• An interview with Miami architect Paul Fischman, known as a master of Tropical Modernism.

• Skidmore Owings & Merrill announced a new 51-story office-retail tower in Miami.

• A mid-century Sears Roebuck kit house in Fire Island Pines NY, on Long Island has been rescued from a 1999 renovation.

• The Orbit lamp, introduced by designer Kevin Gray in 1981, is coming back with an Italian-made 40th-anniversary edition.

Modernist fans know that MCM refers to midcentury modern, that period of time in the middle of the 20th century. Now there's a term for the middle of the 21st century - M21M defines Modernist houses starting now and going through about 2070.

Upcoming Events

Visual World is a series of talks hosted by former Chicago Public Radio arts journalist, Victoria Lautman, exploring architecture, design, fashion, art, landscape, and more. Held at the historic Neutra Office Building, 2379 Glendale Boulevard, Los Angeles. Also available via Zoom. Light refreshments will be served. Tickets are $5, in-person or via Zoom. Details.


  • Saturday, May 18th at 11am PT. “Contemplating 'Blueprints for Modern Living; History and Legacy of the Case Study Houses' and the Aftermath,” with curator Elizabeth A. T. Smith.

  • Saturday, June 22nd at 11am PT. “Iconic Designer Tony Duquette and Reconstructing Dawnridge,” with Hutton Wilkinson.

  • DATE CHANGE: Now Saturday, July 27th at 11am PT. “The Japanese Influence on Postwar LA Architecture,” with Takashi Yanai and Sian Winship.

Monday, May 20: Open House New York. 6-730pm | The Shed | 545 West 30th Street, New York City. Join Open House New York, The Shed, and Monacelli for the launch of The Urbanist: Dan Doctoroff and the Rise of New York, a new book that reveals the never-before-told, behind-the-scenes stories of the role one man played in shaping New York City.  During his tenure as Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding from 2002 to 2007, Dan Doctoroff guided New York City through unprecedented growth and unleashed a wave of private and nonprofit construction, including cultural landmarks like The Shed.  Details and tickets.

May 29-June 1: DOCOMOMO-US 2024 national symposium in Miami FL. Tickets and details.

June 8: Restore Oregon's Menefee House Tour, a Pietro Belluschi design in Yamhill, the heart of Oregon wine country, featuring metalwork and wood carvings by Frederic Littman and Leroy Setziol. Sip local wine, enjoy breathtaking views, and marvel at this unique house dubbed the most progressive in the US back in 1946. Details and tickets.

June 8: Philip Johnson's Glass House Summer Party to mark the property's 75th anniversary, New Canaan CT. Details.

June 8: Peony Party, Paul Schweikher House, Schumberg IL. Over 35 varieties of peony flowers will be in bloom for guests to enjoy along with food and drinks supporting the Schweikher House. Details and tickets.

June 9: USModernist's annual Brunch benefit in New Canaan CT at a beautiful Hugh Smallen house. Details and tickets.

June 11: 20th anniversary celebration of the Edith Farnsworth House designed by Mies van der Rohe, at the Crown Building (which he also designed), IIT College of Architecture, Chicago. Details.

June 20: Thirst4Architecture, 5-7pm, at TRIG, Whitaker Mill Road, Raleigh. Join us at the TRIG wine bar as you discover modern art, furniture, fixtures, lighting, and rugs. Free, registration required.

June 21-22: Perspective International Architecture and Design Festival, Columbus IN. Details and tickets.

June 21-23: Bottoms Up Midcentury Barware Show, Lancaster OH. Join USModernist's George Smart and Devra Dubroff with talks, panel discussions, and putting all that barware to good use! Special show guest: SHAG, aka Josh Agle, with a pop-up store featuring limited-edition print and glassware. Details.

June 21-23: Michigan Modern Weekend by Docomomo-MI. Details.

June 27: California Preservation Foundation presents: Down The Rabbit Hole - USModernist's George Smart shares tips and techniques for researching Modernist houses using USModernist's open digital archive and 4.3 million pages of architecture and design magazines. This program will be immediately followed by CPF's annual membership meeting. Free, on Zoom, CPF members only. Register.

June 29: 10-12N. NCModernist Champagne Contemporary Art Sale, Hillsborough NC. Sip some bubbly and join the staff and volunteers of USModernist for our first Contemporary Art Sale featuring the work of artists John Hiigli, Jillian Goldberg, Abie Harris, and Susan Lamantia, samples above. Sign up here, get directions, and get a 10% discount on your purchases.

July 9-14: West Coast Modernism Week sponsored by The West Vancouver Art Museum in Canada. Information.

July 14: Queens Museum, Claire Shulman Theatre, Corona NY. Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the 1964 World's Fair with a screening of Modern Ruin, directed by Matthew Silva, the story of Philip Johnson's New York State Pavilion and its demise over the past 50 years. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion including news of the site's rebirth, with Silva and Bill Cotter, author of The 1964-1965 New York World's Fair, moderated by Katha Cato, Executive Director of the Queens World Film Festival. Details and tickets.

Opening July 28:  Modernist Masterpiece Uncovered: The Pioneering Work of Victor Lundy, exhibition at Sarasota Art Museum, Sarasota FL. through October 27. Details.

July 28-August 6: RealMatter lecture series in Raleigh NC, sponsored by in situ studio and MYRIAD. Free. Details.

September 28-October 6: Atlanta Design Festival, Atlanta GA. For details, email

Through March 2025: Frank Lloyd Wright's Southwestern Pennsylvania exhibit at the National Building Museum, Washington DC.

New Book

Available June 25: Earth, Sky & Water: Houses in the Nordic Style. Discover instantly calming houses in remote Scandinavian locations that will have you dreaming of your own perfect escape. These are beautiful, unpretentious homes in spectacular scenery that offer visual inspiration for homebuilders and dreamers alike, fifteen houses designed by Mette Lange across three chapters: "By the Water," "In the Forest," and "In the Countryside." Foreward by Kenneth Frampton. Pre-order.

Latest USModernist Radio Podcast

#352/Architects Peter Eisenman + Esther Sperber + Richard Olcott

New York City punches way above its weight in architecture and architects, and today we’ll talk with three from that city: Peter Eisenman, Esther Sperber, and Richard Olcott.

USModernist Radio is underwritten by June Goldfinger and Jeff Taylor, sponsors of Circle Square Triangle: A Traveling Exhibition on the Architecture of Myron Goldfinger, and by Diane Bald and The Budman Family, restoring significant architecture in Toronto, Los Angeles, Malibu and Palm Springs. 

New to podcasts? You can listen to USModernist Radio on any major podcast platform or through any computer.

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PBS North Carolina produced a 12-minute mini-documentary on NC Modernist architecture to air on My Home NC on Thursday, June 20 at 8:30pm. This short piece is a partnership with PBS NC National Productions.

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The City of Durham NC has posted proposals from three development teams in the city's third attempt to redevelop the 1958 Milton Small-designed Home Security Life building. Preservation Durham leads the movement to repurpose the building and requests that the Mayor and City Council Members move forward any scenarios that save it.

Here's the bottom line: replacing will cost more than $500/sf, and renovating will cost about $150/sf. You do the math! How can you help? Contact information for Mayor Williams and all Council Members can be found here.

Preservation easements are like a homeowner's association for just one house and are the only legally enforceable way in most jurisdictions to keep a Modernist house from being destroyed in the future. National Register status? Famous architect? Local historic designation or tax credits? At best, these things may delay demolition six months to a year but they won't stop it. Here's the Zoom video presentation featuring Preservation North Carolina and NCModernist, along with Jane Levy, Greensboro Modernist homeowner.

Vacancy, not development, is the enemy of mid-century Modernist houses. Preserve and protect the architecture you love by notifying us when North Carolina houses go vacant or on the market.

Check out the NCModernist For Sale/Rent Database. Realtors and owners can list their NC Modernist houses for sale or rent there for free! Submissions are subject to approval: single family Modernist houses only, they can be old or new, the architect or designer can be from anywhere, but the house must be in North Carolina. Exclusively sponsored by:

Donate to USModernist's nonprofit mission of documenting, preserving, and promoting Modernist residential architecture.

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