CHARLOTTE’S ONLY MIDCENTURY MODERN HOME TOUR GOES ONLINE
Includes exclusive lecture with North Carolina modernism expert George Smart
CHARLOTTE, N.C., Aug. 4, 2020 – Charlotte’s only midcentury modern home tour is back for its ninth year starting Saturday, Sept. 26, this time as a virtual tour.“The Mad About Modern home tour has always given attendees insider access to the best midcentury modern style and architecture in Charlotte,” said Adria Focht, president and CEO of The Charlotte Museum of History, which presents the tour. “This year, we had to get creative to bring that experience to Charlotte safely. Our goal remains the same: we want Charlotteans to know and appreciate this architectural history so that we can preserve these unique spaces in our city’s cultural landscape.” The 2020 tour will feature 360o virtual tours of three homes in the Coventry Woods, Eastover and Grove Park neighborhoods. The homes were built from the 1950s, the height of midcentury modern architecture, to the 1970s, when the style’s popularity began to fade. The houses showcase key elements of midcentury modern design, including asymmetrical profiles, expansive windows, open floor plans and living areas that blur the line between indoor and outdoor. 2020 ticket holders will get exclusive access to 360o tours of the featured homes, along with a digital guidebook highlighting the significant modernist features of each home. The tour is a major fundraiser for the museum, with all proceeds supporting its mission of saving and sharing Charlotte’s history. The Mad About Modern home tour received Charlotte Magazine’s “Best of the Best” award for Best Home Tour in 2019.
Learn about “Charlotte Modernism” with the Lorax of Modernist Houses
The tour will feature a live, one-night-only lecture with modernism expert George Smart on Saturday, Sept. 26. Smart will share examples of the best midcentury modern design in Charlotte and explain how it relates to the global modernist movement, starting with Bauhaus art and design in the 1920s and 1930s. George Smart is founder and executive director of USModernist and NCModernist, nonprofit organizations that document, preserve and promote modernist design. Dwell magazine has called Smart the Lorax of Modernist houses. He has spoken at Palm Springs Modernism Week, the New York School of Interior Design and WestEdge. Since 2007, Smart and his nonprofit staff and volunteers have built the largest open digital archives for residential midcentury modernist design in the world. Smart is the producer and host of the podcast USModernist Radio, and he has written for Atomic Ranch magazine. He is @mr.modernism on Instagram.
2020 TOUR HOMES
1154 Cedarwood Lane – Cohen-Fumero House
Coventry Woods neighborhood. Built in 1961. This historic landmark was featured on the 2019 Mad About Modern tour during its renovation process. It is one of just a few high-style midcentury modern buildings left in the region. The home was vacant and in disrepair when local realtor and midcentury enthusiast Charlie Miller purchased the property through Preservation North Carolina in 2019. Noted architect Murray Whisnant designed the house for artists Herb Cohen and Jose Fumero. They wanted a home built for artistic expression and entertaining, and their house became a center of artistic social life in 1960s Charlotte. Many respected artists of the time were guests in its serene setting. With the renovation process almost complete, this three-bedroom, 1,728-square- foot home has been restored to its former glory. Next up is a redesign of the outdoor landscaping, including plans to add a pool.
The renovation maintains the original footprint of the home and incorporates much of the original wood, paneling and other materials. New design elements honor the home’s roots, including avocado and harvest gold tilework in the hall bathroom, a Smeg atomic range top in the kitchen and a mix of vintage and new midcentury furniture throughout. Look for a classic midcentury sideboard and Saarinen-style tulip table and chairs in the dining room. A standard orange wall phone in the kitchen will transport those old enough to remember back to the 60s. Movie posters of the era provide fun interest throughout.
6818 Markway Drive – The “Time Capsule”
Grove Park neighborhood. Built circa 1954. Think Brady Bunch, minus the staircase. It’s easy to see why this home has been nicknamed the “Time Capsule House” by tour organizers, as it contains original finishes and design elements throughout. It also features a quintessential midcentury sunken living room off the entryway, which is framed by an indoor brick planter box. The current owners plan to restore it with primarily cosmetic upgrades to maintain as much of the original design as possible. It is believed that the 2,134-square-foot, three-bedroom home was constructed by a builder for their family. The home’s distinctive design features, cutting edge at the time, lend credence to that idea. Most of the interior elements are in pristine condition, including linoleum flooring, wood paneling, interior sandstone brick walls and windows with unique latches. The property’s four acres also feature an art studio and workshop buildings.
410 Lockley Drive
Eastover neighborhood. Built in 1973. Tucked away amid traditional Eastover manses, this four-bedroom, 3,363-square-foot late midcentury home is a delightful surprise. You are immediately drawn in by the interplay of lines, angles and light as you encounter the floating staircase in front of a white oak slat partition wall with an expanse of floor-to-ceiling windows just beyond. A renovation that basically took the home to the studs has reimagined the midcentury style, incorporating original elements, including a two-sided brick fireplace, along with an addition that includes the new kitchen, dining room, family room and master suite. Hallmarks of the midcentury tradition include a unique front door in a striking bright coral, a window wall running the length of the house and abundant indoor/outdoor living spaces. This stunning transformation honors the original home’s midcentury heritage, imagining the result if the 1970s architect and builder had the benefit of today’s technology.
Sept. 26-Oct. 4
The 360o virtual tour will be available for ticket holders to view online for one week only, from Saturday, Sept. 26, through Sunday, Oct. 4. The “Charlotte Modernism” online lecture is Saturday, Sept. 26, at 6 p.m. This live event will not be recorded.
HOW TO GO
Tickets go on sale Aug. 21 at madaboutmodern.com.
- Tickets for the home tour package are $30, including the one-night-only lecture with modernism expert George Smart.
- Tickets for the virtual home tour only are $20.
- Ticket holders can choose to become a Friend of Modernism by purchasing a $130 ticket, $100 of which is tax deductible.
Contact The Charlotte Museum of History with questions at 704.568.1774 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Charlotte Museum of History
The Charlotte Museum of History engages a broad audience in the history of the Charlotte region through the stories of its people, places and events to promote dialogue and historical perspective. The museum is the steward of the Hezekiah Alexander House (ca. 1774) and home site, a site listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the oldest home in Mecklenburg County. To learn more, visit charlottemuseum.org and follow the museum on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The museum is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.