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
#225/Zoinks! The Gregory Ain / Museum of Modern Art House Mystery, Solved + Musical Guest Alice Peacock
In 1950, a modest glass-walled Modernist house designed by Gregory Ain was on exhibit in the Museum of Modern Art’s garden, another in the Museum’s series of full scale builds of Modernist houses. A system of movable walls made flexible spaces even though there were only two-bedrooms. But once the exhibition closed, the entire house, and any knowledge of it, disappeared. Countless people over the decades searched for it. The New York Times published an article in 2017 extolling the mystery and highlighting efforts from filmmakers, academics, and the Museum to find it. Our George Smart solved this Modernist mystery, and today we'll hear from guests Emily Ain, Cornelia Cotton, Soni and Lisa Bell, David Stevens, Shaun Kelly, and New York Times reporter Eve Kahn. Later on, musical guest Alice Peacock, for which we swoon.
#224/Seattle's Paul Hayden Kirk: Dale Kutzera + Musical Guest Deana Martin
Remember our show a while back on Seattle Modernism with Jim Olson of Olson Kundig? Well before Jim Olson and Tom Kundig came along, the Pacific Northwest had architect Paul Hayden Kirk creating amazing Modernist houses. Joining us today is Dale Kutzera, author Paul Hayden Kirk and the Rise of Northwest Modern. Later on, travel in time back to 1961 and the Rat Pack with music from Deana Martin, daughter of one of the coolest dudes ever, singer and actor and producer Dean Martin.
#223/Research Triangle Park: Scott Levitan + Suzanne Somers
Research Triangle Park in North Carolina is the largest planned research center in the United States, and it’s getting bigger - much bigger, at least in terms of buildings. During its first heyday in the 1960’s, Research Triangle Park boasted several Modernist corporate campuses, most notably aul Rudolph’s complex of buildings for Burroughs Wellcome. Now under the leadership team of today’s guest, Research Triangle Foundation CEO Scott Levitan, the park has over a billion in new investment going up – in addition to a brand new Apple Campus. Later on, a chat with Suzanne Somers about the famed Richard Neutra-designed Kaufmann house in Palm Springs, which can be yours for a consumer-friendly $17 million, $8 million off original retail price.
#222/New Palm Springs Modernism: Architect Sean Lockyer + Comedian Aaron Kominos-Smith
Architects like Chambers, Clark, Cody, Frey, Kaptur, Krisel, Wexler, and Williams put the Modernist architecture of Palm Springs on the map from the 1940’s through the 2000’s, and in Hugh Kaptur’s case, still going at age 90. Behind them are a new generation of Modernist architects and today we talk with one of the area’s most successful, Sean Lockyer. Later on, comedian and former architecture student Aaron Kominos Smith.
#221/Palm Springs' Desert Maverick, William Cody: Cathy Cody + Raice McLeod + Music by Eva Cassidy
One of the great architects of midcentury Palm Springs was William F. Cody, featured in the Leo Zahn documentary Desert Maverick. Joining us is the author of a new book on Cody - his daughter, Cathy Cody, and later on, drummer Raice McLeod remembers the amazing singer Eva Cassidy and shares two of her songs.
#220/When No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Ross Johnston + Mike and Nina Marco + Musical Guest Susannah Clifford Blachly
When we hear about a Modernist house by an important architect being bought and destroyed, there’s widespread outrage from preservationists. Why didn’t these people try to save them? Why didn’t the buyers consult architectural historians? The owners should be forced to do whatever it takes, and whatever it costs, to keep the houses intact, right? It’s a classic struggle between property rights and preservation ideals. Turns out, though, that some of those dastardly owners actually followed the rules, got the approvals, met with the committees, consulted the historians, and still got criticized by the preservation community. Today we talk with Ross Johnston, owner of the Largent House in San Francisco, designed by Richard Neutra, and Mike and Nina Marco, owners of the Biggs House in Delray Beach Florida, designed by Paul Rudolph. Later on, music with Susannah Clifford Blachly.
I drive a lot between homes in LA and Las Vegas and because I know that I will have at least 4 hours each way to listen to these podcasts, I now so look forward to those drives. This podcast is a must listen to for anyone interested in Modernist architecture in the US. I previously considered myself pretty well versed in Modernist architecture until I started to listen to this podcast. From further exploring the great and well known architects (often through intensely interesting interviews with their adult kids) to illuminating lesser known regional Modernist architects - this podcast has it all. But I am getting nervous that I am going to soon run out of episodes in this podcast. And it’s always great to then use their extensive documentation for further research on their website. Bravo!
I’m listening to previous years episodes, waiting for each new week!
US Modernist Radio
This is my Favorite podcast of all time. Enjoy the interviews from Modernism week and Sarasota Modern. Hope to get to Modernism Week some time.