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US Modernist.org. If You Don’t Know About It You Should

May 3, 2020

USModernist® is the country’s largest open digital archive of documentation on modern movement houses and their architects. It’s a massive endeavor led by George Smart who started in 2007 with a small non-profit organization working to preserve modern residential architecture in North Carolina. Smart has since grown USModernist into a major force and resource committed to documenting and preserving modern houses across the country. USModernist is actually four resources:

Masters Gallery includes short bios of over a 100 major modern architects and photos of each of the houses they designed with substantially complete bibliographic information updated as new research comes in.

• USModernist Library contains 2.8 million scanned pages from the major US architecture magazines of the 20th-century—all the big names, surprising small titles and all free to access and download in pdf format. (Note: the archive was built by scanning copies of magazines donated by individuals. Don’t throw away old architectural magazines without checking this list of issues missing from the collection.) Warning: this stuff can really suck you in to serious screen time.

• Tours program organizes Modernism focused tours in the US and Europe. Fall tours are being planned.

• USModernist Radio is a collection of interviews with “fascinating people who own, create, love and hate Modernist architecture” and it’s a stunning array. These conversational podcasts are hosted and produced by George Smart along with Tom Guild, a legendary Raleigh, NC, radio DJ, as announcer and engineer. There are 147 episodes—and counting. Browse them here.

Don’t miss Episode #140 from April 22. It’s DOCOMOMO US/New York Tri-State board member John Morris Dixon speaking on the late great architecture magazines in their heyday.