Modern Architecture

[Q&A] What Life is Like in Louis Kahn’s Esherick House

Posted on: February 9th, 2015 by Katherine Flynn 2 Comments

 

The southeast-facing back wall of the Esherick House floods the home with natural light.
The southeast-facing back wall of the Esherick House floods the home with natural light.

In early January, we rounded up the current status of each of the nine private homes designed by renowned Modern architect Louis Kahn, all located in the greater Philadelphia metro area. After seeing our post, the new owners of the Esherick House in Chestnut Hill reached out to us, hoping to share their story.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.

The Houses of Louis Kahn: Where Are They Now?

Posted on: January 6th, 2015 by Katherine Flynn 15 Comments

 

150106_blog-photo_Kahn-Houses_esherick-
The Esherick House in Philadelphia

In our Winter 2015 issue of Preservation magazine, Modernism-loving managing editor Meghan Drueding brings us the story of Bianca Sforni and Charles Firmin-Didot, a European couple who were so entranced by the Louis Kahn-designed Fisher House in suburban Pennsylvania that they recently decided to make it their home.

Dr. Norman Fisher and his wife Doris, who commissioned the house in 1960, weren’t the only people to seek Kahn’s renowned expertise in designing a relatively affordable, at the time, Midcentury Modern home. The Estonian-born Kahn designed an estimated two dozen houses during his lifetime, nine of which were built in the Philadelphia area for private clients.

Of these nine, all are still standing today, some still owned by the original families. We wanted to get the lowdown on each of these houses, so we did some digging. We hope our findings are as interesting to you as they were to us.

For more information (and beautiful photos,) check out The Houses of Louis Kahn by George H. Marcus and William Whitaker. ... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.

What It’s Like to Live in a Louis Kahn House

Posted on: December 29th, 2014 by Meghan Drueding 1 Comment

 

The Fisher-Kahn House presents an understated, cypress-clad façade to the street.
The Fisher-Kahn House presents an understated, cypress-clad façade to the street.

Most people associate the revered Modernist architect Louis Kahn with his enduring institutional buildings, such as the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, the National Assembly Building in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut. But Kahn designed houses, too -- extraordinary dwellings filled with natural light and beloved by their owners. One of the nine in existence, the 1967 Fisher-Kahn House in Hatboro, Pennsylvania, was deeded to the National Trust in 2011 through an agreement with its original owners, Doris and Norman Fisher.

The National Trust created a strict protective easement for the property and found a preservation-minded couple, Charles Firmin-Didot and Bianca Sforni, to buy it. A story in the Winter 2015 issue of Preservation magazine takes a closer look at the house’s past and present, but here we’ve included some reflections on what it’s like to be there from those who know it best.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Meghan Drueding

Meghan Drueding

Meghan Drueding is the managing editor of Preservation magazine. She has a weakness for mid-century modern, walkable cities, and coffee table books about architecture and design.

 

Credit: Lindsey Derrington
The Lewis and Clark Branch of St. Louis County Library is expected to be demolished as early as August.

It’s no secret that Midcentury Modern designs can be a little harder to love than their counterparts from earlier eras, but as these buildings from the post-war period come of age, communities across the country are grappling with the question of whether or not they deserve the same attention and protection as their pre-war ancestors. That seems to be just the case for the Lewis & Clark Branch Library in St. Louis County, Mo.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

David Weible

David Weible

David Weible is a content specialist for the National Trust, previously with Preservation magazine. He came to D.C. from Cleveland, Ohio, where he wrote for Sailing World and Outside magazines.

Futuristic Chattanooga Pharmacy Now Facing an Uncertain Future

Posted on: June 9th, 2014 by Steven Piccione 1 Comment

 

Credit: Melissa Mortimer
The Brainerd branch of Moore & King Pharmacy was built in 1961. Architect Mario Bianculli designed the exterior of the building.

Upon first glance, there seems to be little in common between a local pharmacy, Art Moderne architecture, and drive-in windows. However, Moore & King Pharmacy in Chattanooga, Tenn., tells a compelling story of American entrepreneurial spirit, and in the wake of its closed doors, leaves behind a unique building.
... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Steven Piccione

Steven Piccione

Steven Piccione is an Editorial Intern at the National Trust. He enjoys carbonated water, all things British, and living in a city warmer than Chicago. Follow him on Instagram at @stebbsjp.

 

Credit: Robert C. Lautman, National Building Museum

Most of the nation’s architecturally distinctive Midcentury Modern housing developments are concentrated in sunny California. But others exist in pockets around the country, one of the most notable being Hollin Hills in Alexandria, Va. Located about 14 miles outside Washington, D.C., the 326-acre community with more than 450 homes serves as a well-preserved paradise for midcentury aficionados.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Meghan Drueding

Meghan Drueding

Meghan Drueding is the managing editor of Preservation magazine. She has a weakness for mid-century modern, walkable cities, and coffee table books about architecture and design.