185 episodes

Join Mr. Modernism George Smart and crew as they talk and laugh with people who enjoy, own, create, dream about, preserve, love, and hate Modernist architecture, the most exciting and controversial buildings in the world. USModernist Radio is backed by the nonprofit educational archive USModernist, the largest open digital archive for Modernist residential architecture in America. www.usmodernist.org

US Modernist Radio - Architecture You Love USModernist Radio

    • Design

Join Mr. Modernism George Smart and crew as they talk and laugh with people who enjoy, own, create, dream about, preserve, love, and hate Modernist architecture, the most exciting and controversial buildings in the world. USModernist Radio is backed by the nonprofit educational archive USModernist, the largest open digital archive for Modernist residential architecture in America. www.usmodernist.org

    #172/Grandpa Walter Gropius: Erika Pfammatter + Music by Tom Lehrer

    #172/Grandpa Walter Gropius: Erika Pfammatter + Music by Tom Lehrer

    Along with Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, LeCorbusier, and Marcel Breuer, architect Walter Gropius was one of the most influential Modernist architects of the 20th century. Gropius founded the heralded Bauhaus in Dessau, Germany, but the rise of Hitler in the 1930's drove Gropius first to London working for Maxwell Fry, and later to Cambridge MA where he taught at Harvard and MIT. His post-war houses with Marcel Breuer were a distinctive combination of unusual geometries that people still treasure as owners and as fans. His granddaughter Erika Pfammatter is a musician, music teacher, and former minister of music. She's also the daughter of architect Charles Forberg and the stepdaughter of another famous architect, John Johansen. Later, a very special Gropius-related song by the one and only Tom Lehrer, still going strong at 92.

    • 42 min
    #171/Sumptuous Modernist Buffet: Jane King Hession

    #171/Sumptuous Modernist Buffet: Jane King Hession

    For your audible dining pleasure, today is a sumptuous Modernist buffet featuring Ralph Rapson, Elizabeth Schue Close, Frank Lloyd Wright, John Howe, and save room for dessert, a hazelnut Bjarke Ingels topped with marscapone. Yum! Jane King Hession is a Minneapolis-based architectural writer and historian specializing in midcentury modernism. With degrees in English and Art History and architecture, she is past president of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy and the Minneapolis Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians. Her latest book is Elizabeth Scheu Close: A Life in Modern Architecture, and she’s also written Frank Lloyd Wright in New York: The Plaza Years; John H. Howe, Architect: From Taliesin Apprentice to Master of Organic Design; and wait, there’s more.  Minnesotans loved her book Ralph Rapson: Sixty Years of Modern Design which won the David Gebhard Award, named for the well-known author of LA Modernism books.

    • 34 min
    #170/Battling Wichita City Hall: Preservationist Celeste Racette + ADFF's Kyle Bergman

    #170/Battling Wichita City Hall: Preservationist Celeste Racette + ADFF's Kyle Bergman

    If your world is Wichita, Kansas, the birthplace of Pizza Hut, White Castle and Kirstie Alley, there’s no more controversial building right now than Century II, a performing arts space built by John Hickman, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, that’s under siege from new development. Century II Performing Arts & Convention Center was built to commemorate Wichita’s 1970 centennial. Designed by architect John Hickman, the very Modernist Century II was built provide a large and attractive civic center with a Concert Hall, Convention Hall, Exhibition Hall, and later an expo hall and an attached Hyatt Regency. Our guest today is one of the best and hardest-working Modern preservationists in the country. With the mind of an auditor, the precision of a concert violinist, and the number-crunching of an MBA, because she is all three, Celeste Bogart Racette leads the movement to save Century II from the bulldozer. She has a personal connection to the building - as her father was Mayor at Wichita when it was built. Later on, a few minutes with Kyle Bergman on the upcoming Architecture and Design Festival, this year online.

    • 57 min
    #169/Black Architects Matter: Danita Brown + Janna Ireland

    #169/Black Architects Matter: Danita Brown + Janna Ireland

    Architecture in America has been a white-dominated profession and that has been changing slowly. Very slowly. Guess what year the first Black woman got an architecture license in our fine state of North Carolina. 1950? 1970?  It was 1990. Today we welcome author and photographer Janna Ireland with a new book out on the most famous Black architect of the 20th century, Paul Williams, plus that pioneering architect from 1990, Danita Brown.

    • 49 min
    #168/Calling Dr. Downtown: Classicist David Brussat + Musical Guests Peter Lamb and the Wolves

    #168/Calling Dr. Downtown: Classicist David Brussat + Musical Guests Peter Lamb and the Wolves

    Like the Dos Equis commercials, we don’t always feature Classicists, but when we do, we go for the best.  Today we welcome one of America’s foremost classical architecture advocates, the Dr. Downtown of Providence Rhode Island, journalist David Brussat. Such a cool nickname. David runs the blog Architecture Here and There and wrote for 30 years for the Providence Journal. He has received the Oscar of Classicism, the Arthur Ross Award from the Institute for Classical Architecture. That’s a big deal. Prince Charles won that award. David is a tireless advocate for the return of classical design to public architecture and apparently loves taking Mrs. Downtown to something called Waterfire, which we’ll find out about.  Later on, a return visit from musical guests Peter Lamb and the Wolves.

    • 1 hr 5 min
    #167/Modernism Week Wrapup: Architect Takashi Yanai + Car Culture Expert Gabrielle Esperdy

    #167/Modernism Week Wrapup: Architect Takashi Yanai + Car Culture Expert Gabrielle Esperdy

    Sniff, sniff!  Where's the Kleenex?  It is such a day of mourning, because from our wonderful trip to 2020’s Modernism Week, today we share the last two interviews.  What an amazing run: 18 shows, over 50 brilliant, interesting guests, all the frittatas and bacon we could eat every morning, and all the martinis we could responsibly drink in the evenings.  We've saved some of the best for last: our special closing guests are architect Takashi Yanai and car culture expert, author Gabrielle Esperdy. 

    • 45 min

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