Friday, June 09, 2006

Raleigh Modern 4

The house built for Philip and Mae Rothstein in 1959 is "[o]ne of Raleigh's purest and best preserved embodiments of the clean, geometric International style," according to the PNC tour brochure; "the beautifully sited house exemplifies the high quality of work given to Raleigh by modernist architect G. Milton Small, Jr." Small, who became particularly well known for commercial and instutional buildings, had studied under Mies van der Rohe and came much under his influence.


According to the PNC materials:

Mae Rothstein . . . "requested a clean, crisp house, a black and white house, including the white vinyl floors used throughout." Described as a perfectionist, Mae worked with the architect and builder in selection of materials and to assure excellence of craftsmanship. Builder Frank Walser was one of the few contractors in Raleigh whose work met the exacting standards of Small and other leading modernist architects. Until their deaths in 1976, the couple maintained their beloved house meticulously. After two subsequent owners, the present owner has renewed the house with equal care for its special qualities.

Though it reflects "a certain chiseled orderliness," according to Elizabeth Waugh in her 1967 book Raleigh: North Carolina's Capital, the total effect of the Rothstein house is inviting and warm.


The sloping site is dealt with by placing the house on short columns, achieving a floating effect. The perimeter of the house, the space under the generous eaves, is filled with washed white gravel, for reasons practical and aesthetic. The house and landscape have matured beautifully together.


In 2005, the Rothstein house joined the Kamphoefner house, the Fadum house, and Small's own house on the National Register.

More pictures.

Next: Uyanick-Eichenberger/Anderson house.

Previously: Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Fadum house, Kamphoefner house.

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