Midcentury Modern House For Sale in Durham, N.C.

The John and Binford Carr House, designed by Kenneth Scott

Credit: Walter Shackelford

A midcentury modern house in Durham, N.C., is for sale, prompting fears that it could be torn down.

Built in 1958 for John and Binford Carr, the two-bedroom, two-bathroom house is located next to an empty lot in an area that has seen several demolitions.

"It's going to be right in the bull's eye for someone to come in and tear it down for an 8,000-square-foot-house," says George Smart, founder and executive director of Triangle Modernist Houses, a Web site that specializes in identifying the region's modern architecture. "If you drive through the Hope Valley area, you can see a good dozen example of homes that have been torn down to put up enormous successor homes."

The Carrs commissioned modern architect Kenneth Scott to build their glass-and-brick house on a site near Hope Valley Golf Course. Durham-based Susan Peak of Peak, Swirles & Cavallito Properties placed the house on the market last month for $665,000. The adjacent lot is available for $395,000.

So far there has been a lot of interest in the house, according to Peak. "My hope is that someone is going to recognize this significant piece of architecture and love it," she says. "I genuinely think someone will."

Yet the Carr House, which lacks easements and local historic designation, remains vulnerable. Says Smart: "I have it as my number-one threat right now."


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