Archive for the history Category

Trailblazer’s ‘Salvage Dawgs’ goes primetime on HGTV

Posted in antiques, architecture, DIY, history, North Carolina, raleigh with tags , , , , , , on January 11, 2013 by killahfunkadelic

Salvage-Dawgs-PRnewswire

Congratulations to our friends at Raleigh’s Trailblazer Studios: their show “Salvage Dawgs,” the new reality series that premiered in November on the DIY network, has been bumped up to primetime on the higher rated sister network HGTV. The show airs Thurs., Jan 10 at 8pm and 8:30pm.

“Salvage Dawgs” chronicles the adventures and creativity of the Black Dog Salvage team – a Virginia-based architectural salvage business. Long time do-it-yourself fans and newcomers alike can enjoy salvage owners Robert Kulp and Mike Whiteside as they display their polar opposite personalities, making for a show filled with humor and suspense. While both share a passion for historical preservation, Robert is the self-proclaimed “bottom line guy” who focuses on the re-sale value. Mike is the “go big, go fast, go hard” guy who finds amusement in the unusual and engineers often hair-brained solutions for getting materials out of structures unharmed.

“We’re obviously thrilled that this move to HGTV allows us an opportunity to turn new viewers on to the show, said Jeff Lanter, co-executive producer. “At the same time, it gives our current fans more access to the series they’ve grown to love.”

From carefully extracting architectural elements from private homes and classic historical properties to disassembling old hospitals and crumbling mills, every show is a fast-paced treasure hunt.

In Thursday night’s 8pm episode, the crew salvages the Washington Mill, an old cotton mill from the late 1800s. At 8:30, they explore the six-story, luxury Robert E. Lee Hotel built in 1926 to uncover a peg leg sink, French doors and pelican urinals. They also build a coffee table out of a salvaged panel and wood from the Izard House.

“Salvage Dawgs” is co-produced by North Carolina-based film companies Trailblazer Studios and Figure 8 Films. The two companies have worked together previously on Figure 8 Film’s TLC series “Sister Wives,” “Abby and Brittany” and “Jon & Kate Plus 8.”

Black Dog Salvage is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. With a mission to reclaim, renew and redefine architectural salvage for a sustainable future, it specializes in architectural elements from turn-of-the-century to mid-century modern homes, estates and buildings.

North Carolina’s Finest Mid-Century Modern In Danger

Posted in architecture, design, history, North Carolina, raleigh with tags , , , , , on August 8, 2012 by killahfunkadelic
Paschal house

The Wright-praised Paschal house needs a buyer to see another 62 years.

One of the most highly praised mid-century Modern houses in North Carolina, the 1950 Paschal house, is threatened with eventual teardown if a buyer doesn’t come forward very soon.

Award-winning Raleigh architect Frank Harmon, FAIA, said recently, “I personally think this is, flat out, the greatest modern house in North Carolina.” According to Harmon, the late Harwell Hamilton Harris, FAIA, shared his sentiment. Even Frank Lloyd Wright observed after visiting the house “it does the cause [of modern architecture] good.”

“We’re putting out a national preservation alert to save this James Fitzgibbon-designed icon,” said George Smart, founder and director of Triangle Modernist Houses, (TMH) an award-winning, non-profit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promoting Modernist residential design.

Paschal house

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the house has been empty and on the market for five years.

The owners, the three Paschal heirs who are now in their sixties, are asking $3.3 million for the 3300-square-foot house on three acres in Raleigh’s Country Club Hills.

“In these difficult economic times, that’s an unrealistic price,” Smart said.

Experts, such as Frank Harmon, believe the house is no where near “too far gone,” as some have suggested.

“The house could certainly be restored and heat and air conditioning installed while honoring Fitzgibbon’s design,” Harmon said. (The radiant heat in the floors hasn’t worked for years, and the house doesn’t have air conditioning; its sustainable design made cooling optional.) “I’ve been through the house on many occasions and it can definitely be saved.”

According to Preservation North Carolina’s Executive Director, Myrick Howard, the 62-year-old house is eligible for historic preservation tax credits if it is restored.

Marvin Malecha, FAIA, Dean of N.C. State University’s College of Design and a former president of the American Institute of Architects, told the News & Observer that the Paschal House “is still considered an iconic piece of architecture.”

A real danger exists, however, that the house will deteriorate past the point of no return and require demolition, following the fate of the 1954 Eduardo Catalano House, similarly vacant and eventually demolished despite praise by Frank Lloyd Wright and being named the “House of the Decade” by House and Home Magazine.

House and Architect: Ahead of Their Time

Comprised of granite, wood, and glass, the one-story Paschal house features a sweeping flat roof, extensive floor-to-ceiling windows, a floor-to-ceiling fireplace and sunken hearth, built-in bookcases and storage, intimate atria at each end, and Wrightian-inspired gates.

The house embraced sustainability 40 years ahead of the times. Despite its lack of air conditioning, it was reportedly cool in the summer. The windows provide an abundance of natural light and ventilation, deep roof overhangs shade the windows from the hot summer, and cork flooring is a sustainable building material.

The architect, James Fitzgibbon (1915-1985), moved to Raleigh with other members of the first faculty of the NC State University School of Design, hand-picked by the founding dean, Henry Kamphoefner. Fitzgibbon enjoyed a long partnership with R. Buckminster Fuller and his work was once featured in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, placed between that of Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Kahn.

Paschal house

For more information on the Paschal House, go to www.trianglemodernisthouses.com/fitzgibbon.htm and see Preservation NC’s listing at www.presnc.org (click on “Buy Property” then “Historic Properties for sale”).

Thank You Steve

Posted in culture, design, graphic design, history, life, music, printing, tech, Typography with tags , , , , , on October 6, 2011 by killahfunkadelic

apple.com home page on 10-06-11There is not a whole lot I can add to today’s blogosphere that hasn’t already been said. We will miss you Steve, and the world is richer from your contributions.

Thank you for being different. Thanks you for being easier to use. More elegant. More intuitive. Thank you for not allowing a poor product to see the light of day (ok, Newton was an idea ahead of the technology at the time), and for redoing it over and over again until it was right.

My own livelihood as a graphic designer is completely reliant on the hardware that you pioneered, and you revolutionized the design and publishing industry. You revolutionized home computing. You revolutionized the music industry. You revolutionized the cell phone industry. You revolutionized computer animation.

Since a very young age I’ve always had access or ownership of ever-more-capable Apple computers, from the early Apple II and on. It’s been a fun ride watching the technology develop and progress– to think that 20 years ago my Apple Centris 610 bosted a (seemingly huge) hard drive of 210 MB–miniscule by today’s standards–to this week’s debut of the SIRI Personal Assistant on the latest iteration of the iPhone, and iCloud launching in weeks. I will miss your keynote deliveries, and that last line that we always waited for, there’s just “one more thing…”

There is little in our world today that hasn’t been influenced in some small degree by the contributions of Apple–whether it be the products themselves or the people-centric industrial design an user-interfaces they inspired. You made the complex simple, and beautiful.

So again, Steve, thank you for going that extra mile for the rest of us. The world will miss you, but never forget you.

Thank You, Eduardo Catalano

Posted in architecture, design, history, raleigh with tags , , , on January 29, 2010 by killahfunkadelic
Eduardo Catalano in front of the Raleigh House

Eduardo Catalano in front of the Raleigh House

From George Smart on Triangle Modernist Houses:

“I have very sad news today.  Eduardo Catalano passed away yesterday in Boston.  He was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and came to the United States on scholarships to the Universities of Pennsylvania and Harvard.  Catalano taught at the Architectural Association in London until 1951 when was recruited by Henry Kamphoefner as a Professor of Architecture at the NCSU School of Design.  He built his famous “Raleigh House” in 1954, shown below.  Read more about his life and his internationally known house, now destroyed, here.

In 1956 Catalano moved to Boston and began teaching at MIT until 1977.  One of his NCSU students fondly recalls, “Catalano was known for the three E’s of architecture.  With his thick Argentine accent, he would tell us the three most important factors are espace, estructure, and escale.” (If this makes no sense, try reading the sentence aloud).  Buildings designed by Catalano include the US embassies in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Pretoria, South Africa, the Juilliard School of Music at New York City’s Lincoln Center, Guilford County Courthouse in Greensboro (below) and the Stratton Student Center at MIT in Cambridge MA.  After MIT, he ran a private practice until retiring in 1995.  In 2002, Catalano came out of retirement to design the “Floralis Generica” sculpture in Buenos Aires, a gigantic metal flower with 6 motorized 20-meter-high petals that open and close.

After the untimely death of NCSU College of Design Professor Robert Burns, his former student and employee, Catalano donated $200,000 to the NCSU College of Design in his honor. Catalano also gave a second gift of $400,000 — the largest outright gift at the time it was given in 2007 — to establish the Eduardo Catalano Endowed Lecture/Seminar on Innovations in Contemporary Architecture.  He was awarded an honorary doctorate by NCSU in 2007.”

Moving Midway and the Southern Plantation

Posted in art, culture, history, raleigh with tags , , , on August 25, 2009 by killahfunkadelic
Moving Midway Plantation

Moving Midway Plantation

Moving Midway is a poignant 2008 film that chronicles the rediscovery of filmmaker Godfrey Cheshire’s ancestral past encompassing a former Southern plantation near Raleigh, North Carolina. When Cheshire returns to North Carolina from New York, he finds that urban sprawl and a shopping center is creeping up on Midway Plantation, originally built in 1848. His cousin and current owner Charlie Silver proposes a controversial move: to uproot and move the family home several miles to escape the encroaching sprawl.

In the process of learning about the history of Midway, Cheshire enlists the help of history professor Robert Hinton, himself a descendant of former slaves at the Raleigh plantation.

As the film chronicles the physical moving of the home across several miles to its new location, it simultaneously chronicles a new discovery and reconciliation of a rich history and heritage, including the new discovery of at least 100 African American cousins that Cheshire and Silver were not previously aware of.

Moving Midway will be screened this Saturday at the North Carolina Museum of Art, part of a 2-day series on The Southern Plantation Revisited, which also includes a screening of Gone With The Wind and a concert of Piedmont blues featuring Algia May Hinton, herself a Midway descendant.

Raleigh’s Yates Mill

Posted in architecture, history, raleigh with tags , , on August 16, 2009 by killahfunkadelic

yates_mill1yates_mill2Perhaps one of the most unique, yet underappreciated historical landmarks in Raleigh and Wake County is the gorgeous Yates Mill, just south of Raleigh. Originally built around 1756 by Samuel Pearson, this fully restored and operational gristmill escaped an alleged attempt at destruction by Union soldiers in 1865. The burned timbers are visible in the park museum.

Although it was last used commercially in 1953, thanks to diligent efforts at restoration that began in 1988 under the supervision of the Yates Mill Associates, the mill reopened to the public in 2006 as the centerpiece of the Historic Yates Mill County Park. Both the corn and wheat grinding machinery were restored and are operated from time to time. Today it is one of only a small handful nationwide of still standing, let alone still operational gristmills, and is the last remaining one of about 70 in Wake County. Regular tours are available inside the mill for a small fee, although there is no admission fee to the park itself.

Putting the Ease in Easements: Saving Modernist Houses from Bulldozers

Posted in architecture, design, history, raleigh with tags , , , on July 23, 2009 by killahfunkadelic
Raleigh's Eduardo Catalano House, 1954. Sadly gone forever. Photo from TMH.

Raleigh's milestone Eduardo Catalano House, 1954. Sadly gone forever. Photo from TMH.

Property easements aren’t sexy, but they are important, especially when they concern property with historic value. Easements protect historic structures by assuring that the property’s intrinsic values will be preserved through subsequent ownership.

To help the general public understand how easements work, what they protect, their advantages and disadvantages, Triangle Modernist Houses.com (TMH) will present a workshop and panel discussion in the new addition to Pullen Memorial Church, 1801 Hillsborough Street in downtown Raleigh, on Saturday, August 15, from 10-11:30 a.m.

Members of the panel will include TMH founder and executive director George Smart; Elizabeth Sappenfield, director of Urban Issues for Preservation North Carolina and the National Trust for Historic Preservation; J. Myrick Howard, executive director, Preservation North Carolina; and Sig Hutchinson, a Wake County insurance agent who is best known for his work in protecting and preserving open space and expanding Raleigh’s greenway system.

TMH’s George Smart is particularly interested in how preservation easements can save mid-century Modernist houses from being razed in the Triangle.

“Many people have a deep personal connection to their house or property,” he said. “It is a part of their family legacy or the cherished result of a life’s work. A preservation easement assures a beloved property will be preserved forever.”

Advance tickets are $5.95 per person and can be obtained at www.trianglemodernisthouses.com/register.htm.