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
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#166/Architecture Podcast Hosts Della Hansmann + Catherine Meng
In our ongoing quest to seek out and visit other architecture podcasts, we’ve had wonderful conversations with hosts Frances Anderton, Donna Sink, Steve Chung, Josh Cooperman, David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet, Bob Borson, and Debbie Millman. And hey, Roman Mars, you're next - so how about getting 99% visible with us? Today on the show, two talented architect podcasters from different ends of the country: Della Hansmann of the Mid Mod Remodel Podcast in Wisconsin and Catherine Meng of the Design Voice Podcast in California. Later on, a few minutes with Frank Harmon, reading from his book Native Places.
Customer ReviewsSee All
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.