North Carolina Architects and Builders - A Biographical Dictionary

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Small, G. Milton, Jr. (1916-1992)

Variant Name(s):
  • George Milton Small Jr.
Birthplace: Collinsville, Oklahoma, USA
Residences:
  • Raleigh, North Carolina
Trades:
  • Architect
NC Work Locations:
  • Durham, Durham County
  • Durham
  • Louisburg, Franklin County
  • Franklin
  • Chapel Hill, Orange County
  • Orange
  • Raleigh, Wake County
  • Wake
  • Goldsboro, Wayne County
  • Wayne
  • Mount Olive, Wayne County
  • Wayne
  • Wilson, Wilson County
  • Wilson
Building Types:
  • Commercial;
  • Educational;
  • Public;
  • Religious;
  • Residential
Styles & Forms:
  • International style;
  • Modernist

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company [Raleigh]

View larger image and credits

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company [Raleigh]

Biography

George Milton Small Jr. (1916-1992) was the leading practitioner of modernist architecture in the Miesian mode in North Carolina, especially in the Triangle area, in the 1950s and 1960s. As the head of William Henley Deitrick's office in the late 1940s and subsequently in his own firms, he brought a pure modernist approach to residential, commercial and institutional design in a large body of commissions and influenced other notable architects including George Matsumoto. From 1955 to 1960, Small was in partnership in Raleigh with Joseph Boaz (also a former student at Oklahoma) as Small and Boaz. Thereafter he started G. Milton Small and Associates, which included a number of distinguished architects over the years. Small not only produced advanced designs but planned some of the most forward-looking projects in the Triangle region, including a nuclear reactor facility at present North Carolina State University and several buildings at the Research Triangle Park when that pivotal venture was in its formative years.

Small was born in Collinsville, Oklahoma, and attended the University of Oklahoma, where he received Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Architectural Engineering degrees in 1939. In 1942 he married June Marie Volck. The couple had two children: George Milton Small III and June Marie Small. After several years of work for Hudgins, Thompson, Ball and Associates in Oklahoma City, Small served as an officer in the U. S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps Seabee Battalion from 1943 to 1946, including service at Okinawa. In 1946 he was licensed to practice architecture in Oklahoma and formed a partnership with Joseph Boaz in Oklahoma City. He also taught as a special instructor in architecture at the University of Oklahoma. In 1946-1947, he did graduate work in architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he studied under the internationally renowned modernist, Mies van der Rohe, an experience that did much to define his approach to architecture. As Small recalled, Mies said he could teach everything he knew about design using a single-family house as a design problem which he did for an entire semester. During 1947 and early 1948 Small worked in the Chicago office of Perkins and Will, Architects and Engineers.

In late 1947, when Henry Kamphoefner (then a professor of architecture at the University of Oklahoma) visited Raleigh to be interviewed for the deanship of the new School of Design at present North Carolina State University, he met with the head of the North Carolina AIA, William Henley Deitrick, who mentioned the large amount of work his office had in hand and its need for additional staff. Kamphoefner subsequently wrote to Deitrick recommending that he offer a position to Small, a former student of Kamphoefner's. Following an interview in January 1948, Small was hired to head Deitrick's office. The devoted young modernist wrote to a friend in 1948 about Deitrick: "I have my fingers crossed on the architecture, but he seemed sincere in his stated desire to improve the quality and that he would really try to sell the clients. He was also quite frank that he would not turn down a commission just because the client insisted on a Georgian edifice."

Two projects that Small planned while heading Deitrick's office brought Miesian design to Raleigh for the first time. One was the Carolina Country Club, begun in 1948, one of the first modernist clubhouses in the country, with interiors designed by Matthew and Stanislawa ("Shasha") Nowicki—Matthew Nowicki being the brilliant young Polish architect who had come to Raleigh as acting head of the architecture department of the School of Design. While in Deitrick's office, Small also provided an initial design for a Student Union at present North Carolina State University (NCSU), but after a powerful member of the board of trustees objected to its modernist character, Deitrick and Nowicki developed another scheme that featured a tall portico facing Hillsborough Street. The anticipated opportunities in Deitrick's office did not materialize, and in 1949 Small started his own practice, G. Milton Small Architects. He began his firm in customary fashion with a residential project—a modernist home for a Raleigh businessman, the Robert Rothstein House, which led to additional residential commissions.

During the 1950s and 1960s, Small and his firms were the most prolific and skilled practitioners of Miesian commercial design in the growing Triangle area of North Carolina, and their projects received numerous architectural prizes. Their work exhibited a Miesian concern for articulating space by horizontal and vertical planes; for exposed structure in the form of steel or wood posts and paneled walls; for a classical definition of base, body and roof; for the integration of outdoors and indoors through large expanses of glazing; and for the selective use of rich interior finish materials.

One of the earliest and most important of Small's independent projects was a one-story brick building with a tall, trussed tower constructed for the research reactor at present North Carolina State University. Dubbed the "First Temple of the Atom" by the Associated Press, the NCSU Nuclear Reactor Building (1951-1953) housed the nation's first non-federally owned nuclear reactor. He followed this with additional projects for NCSU, including the Student Service Center (Student Bookstore) in the early 1960s, Carter Stadium in 1967, and the NCSU Student Center (Talley Student Center) in the early 1970s.

Outstanding examples of Small's elegant business and institutional designs include his Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company Building on Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh, completed in 1962, which shows the deftness with which he handled the Miesian vocabulary. Raised on a brown masonry podium, it featured cantilevered roof and floor planes separated by black steel columns, with a recessed enclosure of glass and aluminum. Similar in composition is the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists National Headquarters (1964), located in the then developing Research Triangle Park. In this building, the walkway around the perimeter is enclosed by glass to form an internal hallway. The 1968 Richard B. Harrison Branch Library on New Bern Avenue in Raleigh exhibits still another exploration of the theme, using a raised concrete podium and black slab roof supported by steel columns, with a tan brick and glass enclosure underneath. Small was also associated with two notable skyscrapers for which the principal architect was an out of town designer, the Home Security Life Insurance Building (1958) in Durham—regarded as the state's first Miesian tall office building—and the Branch Bank and Trust (1963-1965) in Raleigh. Small's own office building on Brooks Avenue, completed in 1966, summarizes key elements of his work over the previous twenty years. To make the best use of a small site, the occupied space of the Small and Associates Office Building is raised a story on steel columns, allowing for parking and a fountain-lined approach underneath. The building seems to hover in the trees next to the street. Superficially, the structure is a rectangular box of glass and metal panels with aluminum mullions, cusped corners, and an overhanging roof slab. However, close examination of the façades reveals subtle differentiations in window and panel configurations, depending on the type of space behind the wall in each area. The plan of the building has a clear hierarchy of spaces, from the reception area and conference room/principal's office with their finishes of walnut veneers, bronze-toned metal, and framed wall panels, to the linear drafting room with its frankly exposed structure. Our Savior Lutheran Church in Raleigh, completed in 1964, is the most distinctive of several churches designed by Small's firm. Set on a raised plinth, the sanctuary is defined by its two gabled roof planes, which reach down over low, brick side walls. The street end wall is glazed and the scissors trusses that support the roof are painted black, increasing the appearance of a hovering roof.

Although Small was best known for his commercial and institutional projects, he continued to design a substantial number of modernist residences. Typical of his approach is the design for his own G. Milton Small Jr. House in Raleigh. Constructed in 1951 and expanded in 1966, the small, panel-walled, flat-roofed house is cantilevered over a brick retaining wall and has large areas of glazed sliding doors opening onto a screened porch. Other houses, like the Phillip Rothstein House of 1960 have sweeping, low-sloped gable roofs, free-flowing interior spaces, and a strong indoor-outdoor connection. Small also ventured into myriad aspects of residential design. As discovered by researcher Albert Willis, he contributed a stock design for a small but boldly modernist residence published in The Celotex Book of Today's New Homes (Chicago: Celotex Corp., [1955], pp. 6-7), which featured extensive glass and an open relationship between indoor and outdoor spaces; Willis notes that Small was the only southern architect featured in this plan book. Small and builder Frank Walser (who executed many of Raleigh's important modernist residences) also built some modernist homes in the Drewry Hills suburb as part of a real estate venture. According to Milton Small III, Drewry Hills was developed by John C. Williams, Leroy Atkins, and others. Small and Joseph Boaz designed the subdivision site plan and a number of builder pre-cut project houses (two in 1953, three in 1954, and eleven in 1954). Several of these houses still exist today but with many additions and changes. The plan for the Oak Park subdivision on Glenwood Avenue was also designed by G. Milton Small and Associates in the late 1950s or early 1960s.

Small's familiarity with the Miesian approach also had a profound effect on the work of architect and School of Design professor George Matsumoto. The two men collaborated on several projects, including the Gregory Poole Equipment Company Building and the Gregory Poole House, both in Raleigh. Matsumoto's own designs for the new studio wing at the NCSU School of Design in 1956 and his personal residence on Runnymede Road in Raleigh in 1954 demonstrate his transition from Wrightian to Miesian design under Small's influence.

Small's work gained extensive professional recognition. In 1963 he was named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects for his performance in architectural design, the seventh architect from North Carolina so honored. The announcement in the Raleigh News and Observer of March 17, 1963 also noted his previous awards for the Nuclear Laboratory at NCSU, the Home Security Life Insurance Building in Durham, the Gregory Poole Equipment Company Building, the engineering and classroom building at Atlantic Christian College, and three residential projects. Small's work received additional design awards from the North Carolina AIA, including the Northwestern Mutual Insurance Company Building in 1964.

Active in the profession and the community, Small was vice-chairman of the Raleigh City Planning Commission (1950-1960), a member of the Raleigh Board of Adjustment, and president of the Design Foundation at the NCSU School of Design. At his death, the News and Observer of May 8, 1992 cited Small as a "longtime Raleigh architect who brought the modern style of architecture to the Triangle. Architect and professor Robert P. Burns, professor and former head of the architecture department at the School of Design stated, "Nobody among those who built buildings in Raleigh had so much influence on how the city looks. . . . He brought with him the new vision of modern architecture" and demonstrated that "modern architecture could be used in all sorts of buildings."

The successor firm to G. Milton Small and Associates is Small Kane Architects, of which George Milton Small III is a principal. Drawings, photographs, and other records for many of his works are in the G. Milton Small Jr. Collection at Special Collections Research Center at NCSU Libraries. Other photographs of Small's works are in the Joseph Molitor Collection at Avery Architectural Library at Columbia University in New York.

Note: Small's works like many other landmarks of mid-century modernism have been subject to demolitions within recent decades (see Building List), and others including the award-winning Northwestern Mutual Insurance Company Building are currently endangered. North Carolina Modernist Homes and other individuals and organizations are striving to encourage their preservation and enhance public appreciation for these and other modernist works. The building list posted here covers only a portion of Small's work. Additional residences and information may be found at the website of North Carolina Modernist Homes, http://www.ncmodernist.org/small.htm.

Author: David R. Black. Contributors: G. Milton Small III and Catherine W. Bishir.

Published 2014

Building List

Carolina Country Club (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1948

Contributors:
Dates: 1948-1949
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 2500 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Recreational
Images Published In:
  • Elizabeth C. Waugh, "Firm in an Ivied Tower," North Carolina Architect (January-February, 1971).
Note:

Deitrick's firm designed the modernist country club building, and Matthew and Stanislava Nowicki contributed to the design of the interior decor. At its completion, according to Elizabeth C. Waugh, "one of the leading architectural magazines indicated that it was the first country club to be treated in a contemporary manner." The building was remodeled over the years and razed in the 20th century (soon after the death of longtime club member and devoted modernist Henry L. Kamphoefner) to make way for a large, columned facility. Several of Deitrick's drawings for the project are in the Guy E. Crampton-William Henley Deitrick Papers and Drawings at Special Collections Research Center, NCSU Libraries, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Sir Walter Chevrolet Building (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1949

Contributors:
Dates: 1949; 1966
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 530 and 532 S. McDowell St., Raleigh, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Commercial
Note:

The original dealership structure had a concrete clear span barrel vault. It expanded in the 1960s. The entire building was razed to make room for a civic development including a city amphitheater completed in 2010.

Wake County Office Building (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1949

Contributors:
Dates: 1949
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 201 W. Davie St., Raleigh, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Public
Images Published In:
  • Elizabeth C. Waugh, "Firm in an Ivied Tower," North Carolina Architect (January-February, 1971).
Note:

Designed by G. Milton Small, Jr., while he was in Deitrick's office, the innovative modernist building was razed in 1998 despite efforts to save it.

Sherwood-Bates Elementary School (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1950

Variant Name(s):
  • Daniels Middle School
Contributors:
Dates: 1950
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 1816 Oberlin Rd., Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Educational
Note:

Designed during Small's period in Deitrick's office, this was one of the first grade schools in the state to demonstrate modern school ideas from the NCSU School of Design. It is now linked to and functions as part of the neighboring Daniels Junior High School, but despite some changes, it maintains its essential character including its flexible plan, large windows, and clean simplicity of design.

Dr. Kenneth L. and Charlotte Johnson House (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1963

Contributors:
Dates: 1963
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 3206 Sussex Rd., Raleigh, NC
Status: Altered
Type:
  • Residential
Note:

The house was altered by architect F. Carter Williams for his daughter, Carol and her husband, Dr. Robert Bilbro: the living room ceiling raised to accommodate clerestory glazing.

IBM Engineering Facility (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1964

Variant Name(s):
  • State Employees Credit Union
Contributors:
Dates: 1964
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: Computer Dr., Raleigh, NC
Status: Altered
Type:
  • Commercial

Our Savior Lutheran Church (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1964

Contributors:
Dates: 1964
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: Aycock St. at Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Religious
Images Published In:
  • Elizabeth C. Waugh, North Carolina's Capital, Raleigh (1967).
Note:

Exposed, steel scissors trusses and expanses of glass form the striking design.

Leonard Asher Edwards House (Goldsboro, Wayne County)

Wayne Goldsboro

1964

Contributors:
Dates: 1964
Location: Goldsboro, Wayne County
Street Address: 301 Glen Oak Dr., Goldsboro, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential

E. C. Brooks Elementary School (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1964

Contributors:
Dates: 1964
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 700 Northbrook Dr., Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Educational

Mount Olive Junior College Buildings (Mount Olive, Wayne County)

Wayne Mount Olive

1964

Contributors:
Dates: 1964-1969
Location: Mount Olive, Wayne County
Street Address: Mount Olive Junior College Campus, Mount Olive, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Educational

Chase Cafeteria (Chapel Hill, Orange County)

Orange Chapel Hill

1965

Variant Name(s):
  • Cafeteria and Service Building
Contributors:
Dates: 1965-1966
Location: Chapel Hill, Orange County
Street Address: University of North Carolina Campus, Chapel Hill, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Educational

Carter Stadium (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1966

Variant Name(s):
  • Carter-Finley Stadium
Contributors:
  • Charles H. Kahn, architect, structural designer;
  • G. Milton Small Jr., architect;
  • L.E. Wooten and Company, engineers, prime contract
Dates: 1966
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 4600 Trinity Rd., Raleigh, NC
Status: Altered
Type:
  • Recreational

Percy and Idell McElrath House (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1966

Contributors:
Dates: 1966
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 3910 Stratford Ct., Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church (Durham, Durham County)

Durham Durham

1961

Contributors:
Dates: 1961
Location: Durham, Durham County
Street Address: 82 Kimberly Dr., Durham, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Religious
Note:

The rectilinear church features strong horizontal and vertical elements including panels of stained glass.

Small and Associates Office Building (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1966

Contributors:
Dates: 1966
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 105 Brooks Ave., Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Commercial
Note:

The carefully preserved building epitomizes Small's precise and elegant Miesian vocabulary.

Richard B. Harrison Branch Library (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1968

Contributors:
Dates: 1968
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 1313 New Bern Ave., Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Public
Note:

The library is a classic and well-preserved example of Small's Miesian design esthetic, with horizontal forms and a broad roof overhang carried on slim posts. Built to serve black citizens, it was named for Richard Berry Harrison (1864 -1935), a son of fugitive slaves in Canada and a nationally renowned actor, teacher, dramatic reader and lecturer, who for several years taught elocution and dramatics courses at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College in Greensboro.

North Hills Office Center (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1968

Contributors:
Dates: 1968
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: Raleigh, NC
Status: Unknown
Type:
  • Commercial

NCSU School of Forestry Addition (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1972

Contributors:
Dates: 1972
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: North Carolina State University Campus, Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Educational

NCSU Student Center (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1972

Variant Name(s):
  • Talley Student Center
Contributors:
Dates: 1972
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: North Carolina State University Campus, Raleigh, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Educational

Yancey Insurance Agency Building (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1958

Contributors:
Dates: ca. 1958
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 611 Tucker St., Raleigh, NC
Status: Altered
Type:
  • Commercial

Southeastern Radio Supply Building (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1950

Contributors:
Dates: 1950s
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: Hillsborough St. at West St., Raleigh, NC
Status: Altered
Type:
  • Commercial

Southeastern Radio Supply Building

Medical Society of the State of North Carolina (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1972

Contributors:
Dates: 1972
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: Person St., Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Commercial

Chapel (Mount Olive, Wayne County)

Wayne Mount Olive

1973

Contributors:
Dates: 1973
Location: Mount Olive, Wayne County
Street Address: Mount Olive College Campus, Mount Olive, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Religious

WRAL Buildings (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1959

Contributors:
Dates: 1959
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 2619 Western Blvd., Raleigh, NC
Status: Altered
Type:
  • Commercial

Duke Primate Facility (Durham, Durham County)

Durham Durham

1966

Contributors:
Dates: 1966
Location: Durham, Durham County
Street Address: Duke University Campus, Durham, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Educational

Tom and Sue Briggs House (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1966

Variant Name(s):
  • Five Star Plan 2706
Contributors:
Dates: ca. 1966
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: Drewry Hills, Raleigh, NC
Status: Unknown
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • North Carolina Modernist Houses, http://ncmodernist.org.
Note:

As described in ncmodernist.org., the "Five Star Plan 2706" was built for Tom and Sue Briggs and built in the Drewry Hills subdivision in Raleigh. It was featured in Better Homes and Gardens in June 1957.

IBM Office Building (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1965

Variant Name(s):
  • Junior League of Raleigh Headquarters
Contributors:
Dates: 1965
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 711 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, NC
Status: Altered
Type:
  • Commercial
Note:

The tan brick building was designed by George Matsumoto as he was moving his practice to San Francisco. Small and Associates assisted in completing the construction documents and in the construction administration. It was altered by Small Kane for the Junior League Headquarters in 2007 with George Matsumoto's blessing.

NCSU Student Union (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1949

Contributors:
Dates: 1949
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 700 block Hillsborough St., Raleigh, NC
Status: Unbuilt
Type:
  • Educational
Images Published In:
  • John Morris, "Nowicki's Other Masterpiece: the Erdahl-Cloyd Wing at NC State," Goodnight Raleigh, http://goodnightraleigh.com/2011/09/nowicki%E2%80%99s-other-masterpiece-the-erdahl-cloyd-wing-at-nc-state/.
Note:

According to research by John Morris for "Nowicki's Other Masterpiece," when William Deitrick was commissioned in 1949 to design a Student Union for present North Carolina State University, both G. Milton Small and Matthew Nowicki were associated with Deitrick's office. Small provided a drawing for a straightforward but for Raleigh unfamiliar modernist design. Chairman of the building committee David Clark strenuously objected to the design, saying "I definitely do not favor a modernistic building." He compared the design to "cheap and flashy stores" he had seen in Florida. That design was shelved. Evidently Deitrick turned to Nowicki for another concept, and Nowicki came up with a drawing for a building with a dignified and clearly modernist portico facing Hillsborough Street, which evidently won approval and is the basis for the present building. That drawing survives. Nowicki was killed in a plane crash in 1950 and the completion of the building by Deitrick's firm took a few more years. Relevant drawings exist in the Deitrick and Nowicki papers at Special Collections, North Carolina State University Libraries. See images and John Morris's an account of events at http://goodnightraleigh.com/2011/09/nowicki%E2%80%99s-other-masterpiece-the-erdahl-cloyd-wing-at-nc-state/.

Wake County Social Services Building (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1949

Contributors:
Dates: 1949-1950
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 201 W. Davie St., Raleigh, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Public
Note:

The brick building was planned by Small while he was with Deitrick but completed after he formed his own firm. It was featured in Architectural Record, which described its functional, low-maintenance design including a special window-washing trolley that moved about the building on tracks. Preservationists sought in vain to save the building from demolition in the late 1990s, but county decision makers did not regard it as architecturally significant, and it was razed.

NCSU Nuclear Reactor Building (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1951

Variant Name(s):
  • Burlington Nuclear Reactor
Contributors:
Dates: 1951-1953
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: North Carolina State University Campus, Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Educational
Note:

A facility of national significance scientifically as well as high quality architecture, the reactor building was designated an American Nuclear Society Nuclear Historic Landmark in 1986.

NCSU Nuclear Reactor Building

Robert Rothstein House (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1951

Contributors:
Dates: 1951-1952
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 2337 Churchill Rd., Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • North Carolina Modernist Houses, http://ncmodernist.org.
Note:

The house was one of Small's first projects after he formed his own firm in Raleigh. The landscape design is by Lewis Clarke. Davidson and Jones built the original house and Frank Walser erected a wing about 1952 for Rothstein's parents.

G. Milton Small Jr. House (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1951

Contributors:
Dates: 1951; 1966
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 310 Lake Boone Tr., Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Architectural Record, June 1954, Mar. 1966.
  • North Carolina Modernist Houses, http://ncmodernist.org.

Ben W. and Mary Thompson Smith House (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1951

Contributors:
Dates: 1951
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 700 Runnymede Rd., Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • North Carolina Modernist Houses, http://ncmodernist.org.

Frank and Margaret Walser House (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1952

Contributors:
Dates: 1952
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 3350 Alamance Dr., Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • North Carolina Modernist Houses, http://ncmodernist.org.
Note:

Frank Walser was a highly respected builder who constructed several of the finest modernist houses in Raleigh.

Glenn and Flora Bowers House (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1953

Contributors:
Dates: 1953
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 423 Chesterfield Rd., Raleigh, NC
Status: Altered
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • North Carolina Modernist Houses, http://ncmodernist.org.

Wade Columbus and Margaret Watts Lewis House (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1953

Contributors:
Dates: 1953
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 2700 Manning Pl., Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • North Carolina Modernist Houses, http://ncmodernist.org.
Note:

Featured in Better Homes and Gardens, March 1957.

Thomas and Lois Wheless House (Louisburg, Franklin County)

Franklin Louisburg

1954

Contributors:
Dates: 1954
Location: Louisburg, Franklin County
Street Address: 106 John St., Louisburg, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • North Carolina Modernist Houses, http://ncmodernist.org.

Norval Neil and Emina Luxon House (Chapel Hill, Orange County)

Orange Chapel Hill

1954

Contributors:
Dates: 1954
Location: Chapel Hill, Orange County
Street Address: 27 Mount Bolus Rd., Chapel Hill, NC
Status: Altered
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • North Carolina Modernist Houses, http://ncmodernist.org.

Donald B. and Marian R. Anderson House (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1954

Contributors:
Dates: 1954
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 2715 Rosedale Ave., Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • North Carolina Modernist Houses, http://ncmodernist.org.

Gregory Poole Equipment Company Building (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1955

Contributors:
Dates: 1955
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 3623 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, NC
Status: Altered
Type:
  • Commercial
Note:

The Poole building won a NCAIA Merit Award in 1956. According to the company history, "The Caterpillar Tractor Company, seeking to improve the sales and service of its products in eastern North Carolina, and believing the concentrated efforts of two dealers would better serve a territory the size of the Old North State, established a second dealer, with headquarters in Raleigh. The management of Caterpillar chose James Gregory Poole, Sr., and his uncle, William Lewis Gregory, to form the new eastern NC dealership. Gregory-Poole Equipment Company began operations on April 1, 1951 at 3623 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, and at a branch in New Bern." The modernist design provided by G. Milton Small Jr. provided a striking image with bold expanses of glass that displayed the equipment within the show room. It stands across Hillsborough Street from another modernist landmark of the era, the Dorton Arena (Matthew Nowicki). The character-defining glass walls were subsequently filled in.

Gregory Poole Equipment Company Building

Paul O. Stahl House (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1956

Contributors:
Dates: 1956
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 3017 Granville Dr., Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • North Carolina Modernist Houses, http://ncmodernist.org.
Note:

This is described as a version of Small's "Celotex House 48" and has been designated a Raleigh Historic Landmark on that basis.

Paul O. Stahl House

Lillian Allen House (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1958

Contributors:
Dates: 1958
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 2602 Cambridge Rd., Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • North Carolina Modernist Houses, http://ncmodernist.org.

Howard Manning House (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1958

Contributors:
Dates: 1958
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 2100-2104 Banbury St., Raleigh, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Residential
Note:

The brick, modernist house occupied two lots, with landscaping by Lewis Clark. The property was sold and the house was razed for a new house.

H. Palmer and Sarah Edwards House (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1958

Contributors:
Dates: 1958
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 525 Hertford St., Raleigh, NC
Status: Unknown
Type:
  • Residential

Gregory Poole House (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1959

Contributors:
Dates: 1959
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 2745 Lakeview Dr., Raleigh, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • North Carolina Modernist Houses, http://ncmodernist.org.
Note:

The unusually large and elegant modernist residence was featured in Architectural Record of March 1960. It was sold in 1991 and soon razed to make way for one of Raleigh's largest houses, which burned before it was completed. A subsequent immense residence has been built on the property. See ncmodernist.org for details and images of all three houses.

Home Security Life Insurance Building (Durham, Durham County)

Durham Durham

1958

Contributors:
  • Joseph Boaz, architect;
  • L. L. Rado, architect;
  • Antonin Raymond, architect;
  • G. Milton Small Jr., architect
Dates: 1958
Location: Durham, Durham County
Street Address: Chapel Hill St., Durham, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Commercial
Images Published In:
  • C. David Jackson and Charlotte V. Brown, History of the North Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, 1913-1998 (1998).
Note:

The tall building on its elevated site epitomizes the clean-lined Miesian esthetic. Home Security Life officers Arthur Clark and George Watts Hill Jr. sought a first-class modernist design and consulted with Henry Kamphoefner, dean of the School of Design. Although the elder George Watts Hill preferred a more traditional design, he agreed to the younger men's idea. The company elected the internationally known New York firm of Raymond and Rado and employed Small as local architect. Believed to be the first Miesian office building in the state, the elegant skyscraper received an NCAIA Award of Merit in 1959. In recent years it has housed the Durham Police Headquarters. Its future is uncertain.

Home Security Life Insurance Building

Philip Rothstein House (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1959

Contributors:
Dates: 1959
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 912 Williamson Dr., Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Elizabeth C. Waugh, North Carolina's Capital, Raleigh (1967).
Note:

The widely admired and well-preserved house features a broad gabled roof and extensive interplay of outdoor and indoor spaces.

Hackney Hall (Wilson, Wilson County)

Wilson Wilson

1961

Variant Name(s):
  • Men's Dormitory, Atlantic Christian College
Contributors:
Dates: 1961
Location: Wilson, Wilson County
Street Address: Barton College Campus, Wilson, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Educational
Note:

Founded as Atlantic Christian College in Wilson in 1902, the small liberal arts college changed its name to Barton College in 1990 after a founder. The building won a NCAIA Award of Merit in 1962.

Administration and Classroom Buildings (Wilson, Wilson County)

Wilson Wilson

1960

Contributors:
Dates: 1960
Location: Wilson, Wilson County
Street Address: Barton College Campus, Wilson, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Educational
Note:

Founded as Atlantic Christian College in Wilson in 1902, the small liberal arts college changed its name Barton College in 1990 after a founder.

Raleigh Municipal Building (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1960

Variant Name(s):
  • Raleigh Police Headquarters
Contributors:
Dates: 1960
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: Hargett St. at McDowell St., Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Public
Note:

The rectilinear building, raised on a podium, features vertical panels of glass and brick accentuated by metal strips. As of May 2014 it was still in use, but the city has expressed the intention of demolishing it. See ncmodernist.org for discussion.

Raleigh Municipal Building

Fraternity Housing (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1962

Variant Name(s):
  • Greek Court
Contributors:
Dates: 1962
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: North Carolina State University Campus, Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Educational
Note:

As of mid-2014 the straightforward brick fraternity and sorority houses that compose "Greek Court" are slated for demolition and replacement by new facilities.

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1962

Variant Name(s):
  • Raleigh Orthopaedic Clinic;
  • Unigard Insurance Company
Contributors:
Dates: 1962; 1970
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 3515 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Commercial
Images Published In:
  • Elizabeth C. Waugh, North Carolina's Capital, Raleigh (1967).
Note:

The building received an NCAIA Award of Merit in 1964 and was featured in the New York Times of April 25, 1965 as a notable example of "taste and good design." In 1970 Small planned an addition in similar style for Unigard, a successor owner, which created additional usable space in the basement and nearly doubled the size of the original building with an addition to the rear (west). As of July 2014, it is endangered by the owner's plans to demolish it and build a new and larger structure on the site; North Carolina Modernist Houses is conducting a campaign to preserve it. It is regarded as one of the finest examples of Miesian modernism architecture in North Carolina. Very similar to it was the Midwestern headquarters for the Northwestern Mutual Insurance Company (1965) in Chicago, which has been lost.

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company

Al and Sarah Rothstein House (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1962

Contributors:
Dates: 1962
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 2100 Barfield Ct., Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Note:

Like a number of Small's classic modernist houses, this was built by Frank Walser and the landscape design was by Lewis Clarke.

Frank and Jean Anderson House (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1962

Contributors:
Dates: 1962
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 2505 York Rd., Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential

Branch Bank and Trust (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1963

Variant Name(s):
  • BB&T;
  • Capital Bank
Contributors:
Dates: 1963-1965
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: Fayetteville St., Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Commercial
Note:

According to G. Milton Small III, the original shell of the skyscraper was designed by Emory Roth Architects in New York City (who Small III believes did construction documents for many of Mies's buildings). G. Milton Small Jr. was a consultant to BB&T and worked with Roth during the shell design and he provided the interior design for all the banking floors. The Wilson-based BB&T banking company wanted to establish its headquarters and its position in Raleigh with a skyscraper akin to those in Manhattan, influenced by Mies van der Rohe's famed Seagram Building of 1958. Although Small's banking floor was redesigned in 1998, the building maintains its character as a defining landmark of Raleigh's main street. A copy of the drawings is held by Special Collections, NCSU Libraries. The postcard view show the building on the right.

Branch Bank and Trust

Student Service Center (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1962

Variant Name(s):
  • Student Bookstore
Contributors:
Dates: 1962
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: North Carolina State University Campus, Raleigh, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Educational
Note:

The college newspaper, the Technician, celebrated the building's opening on January 18 with a front-page drawing of the student service center's façade along with the headline, "Things Will Never Be The Same Again: gone are the old days, gone are the only ways, this is to tell you OUR DREAM HAS COME TRUE..." Described as "ultra modern," the 21,000 square foot Student Service Center initially housed the Student Supply Store and a "fountain snack-bar." The modernist building with its lively roof canopies was razed by NCSU in 2011 to make room for expansion of the Talley Student Center.

Student Service Center

American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists National Headquarters (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1964

Contributors:
Dates: 1964
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: Research Triangle Park, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Commercial
Note:

The modernist building was among the important early research facilities in the Research Triangle Park. It received a NCAIA Award of Merit in 1965.

G. Milton Small Jr.'s Work Locations

Bibliography

  • David R. Black, "Early Modern Architecture in Raleigh Associated with the Faculty of the North Carolina State University School of Design, Raleigh, North Carolina," National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Documentation Form (1994).
  • G. Milton Small Papers, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC.
  • "George Milton Small Jr.", North Carolina Modernist Houses website, http://www.ncmodernist.org/small.htm.
  • Registration files for G. Milton Small Jr. at North Carolina Board of Architecture, Raleigh, NC.
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