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Auric Goldfinger was one of most memorable evil villains in the James Bond 007 series.  Played by Gert Frobe in the 1964 movie named for him, Goldfinger,  this criminal mastermind created a scheme to corner the gold market by exploding a radioactive bomb over Fort Knox, the US gold supply housed in Kentucky.  That was back when the nation’s debt was a mere $311 billion and was backed by this gold, kinda like putting up your house as collateral for a loan.  Goldfinger’s plan to make the gold radioactive, and therefore inaccessible, would make his own gold ten times more valuable.  Bond foils this brilliant plan and lives to have some of his well-loved martinis by the time the movie ends.  A few years later in real life there will be another villain, President Nixon, who said "hey, we’re not going to put up our gold any more as collateral," and whoo-doggies we’ve uber-borrowed our unsecured selves all the way up to $29 trillion dollars, more if you count unfunded Medicare and Social Security.  Even James Bond cannot save us now.  Goldfinger remains one of the most famous names in film, and joining us today is, like James Bond, the suave and sophisticated architect Myron Goldfinger, a classic name in mid-century Modernism, who’s experiencing a new following in his 80’s.  Later on, special music with Victoria Vox.
In our 3rd show from Modernism Week 2022, we chat with award-winning architects Angie Brooks and Larry Scarpa; learn from Bruce Becker about the newly renovated Hotel Marcel in New Haven CT, formerly the Pirelli building designed by Marcel Breuer, and formerly a billboard for IKEA!  Later on, reading from his latest novel, Death by Design at Alcatraz, Anthony Poon. 
Some architects in the early days of Modernism designed their own furniture, among them Frank Lloyd Wright, Rudolph Schindler, and Richard Neutra.  Today, with a few exceptions, Modernist architects stay out of the furniture biz and rely on talented people like today’s guest, legendary furniture designer Dakota Jackson.  Later on, a little slow dancing with musical guest Krisanthi Pappas.
In our 2nd show from Modernism Week 2022, we explore Modernism in Monterey CA with returning guest Pierluigi Serraino, Modernism in Bakersfield CA with Neutra owner David Coffey, and listen to a reading from his latest novel, Death by Design at Alcatraz, from Anthony Poon. 
Few architects have been as exciting or controversial as Paul Rudolph, whose early successes designing Modernist vacation homes in Sarasota FL led to a later career as Chair of the Architecture Department at Yale, then nearly 30 years designing buildings with intense use of concrete and steel. While the public was largely inspired by his work, Rudolph fell out of favor in the US and shifted to Singapore and Hong Kong, where he was much heralded and sought after.  Like most Modernist architecture, over the years Rudolph’s houses and buildings around the world became highly prized and at the same time, endangered.  Joining us is preservationist, archivist, and President of the Paul Rudolph Institute for Modern Architecture, Kelvin Dickinson. Later on, music by the charming Tierney Sutton.   
Every year USModernist Radio goes to Palm Springs for Modernism Week, the Super Bowl of mid-century modernism.  This is no weekend tabletop show at the Elks lodge. It takes a huge village, a rather attractive Modernist village with perfect weather, to create an event that sells over 120,000 tickets across 11 days in February. Nowhere in the world celebrates Modernism better. This was the sixth year USModernist has been at Modernism Week, talking poolside at the USModernist Compound, aka the hip Hotel Skylark, with nearly all the keynote speakers, authors, and special guests. When modern-day Dorothy's kick their red ruby slippers together, they don’t go to Kansas, they land next to in Frank Sinatra’s pool in Palm Springs. Modernism Week is a dazzling spectacle of mid-century architecture, martinis, lectures, art galleries, shopping, nonprofit benefit events, architecture documentary premieres, amazing parties at incredible houses, brilliantly curated house tours, detailed art and architecture exhibits, and much more. in this our first show from Modernism Week 2022, we talk with Chicago architect Jeanne Gang, Atomic Ranch editor Jickie Torres, and special Palm Springs musical guest, the star of the Purple Room every Tuesday night, Rose Mallett.
Welcome to USModernist Radio, where we talk and laugh with people who enjoy, own, create, dream about, preserve, love, and hate Modernist architecture, the most exciting and controversial buildings in the world.  One man who’s photographed many of them is Norman McGrath, whose images over the course of 6 decades have appeared everywhere from Progressive Architecture to Architecture Record.  Later, jazz with the lovely Sherry Petta.
Stewart Hicks makes architecture understandable and accessible through his wildly popular YouTube channel.  An assistant professor of architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago and co-founder of Design With Company, he covers everything from architecture superfans Brad and Kanye to why architects like flat roofs!
One of the most admired mid-century architects is John Lautner, a student and employee of Frank Lloyd Wright. Before he died in 1994, Lautner created some of the most wildly innovative and inspiring houses in the world, creating spaces and shapes that were light years in the future ahead of conventional architecture.  No one except perhaps Zaha Hadid has even come close to his amazing and creative designs.  With us is his daughter, and head of the John Lautner Foundation, Judith Lautner. 
In Montreal, Canada, there’s an unusual modernist structure - on an island. Designed by Buckminster Fuller as the US pavilion for the 1967 World’s Fair, or what everyone else on the planet calls the World Expo, the Biosphere attracted more than 5 million visitors, and today the site is a museum dedicated to the environment. In case you are a dome geek, and we know there are some out there, the Biosphere is a Class 1 icosahedral dome, as opposed to a Class 2 dodecahedral or a Class 3 tetrahedral.  Just sayin’.  It’s a 32-frequency version where the inner and outer layers are connected by latticework standing two hundred feet high and covered by 1,900 acrylic panels.  Joining us today from Montreal is Michele Picard from Montreal's Bureau of Public Art, plus from New York, an expert on World’s Fair history, Beverly Payeff Masey. 
Elevators are essential to any large Modernist building and these days even in massive Modernist houses being built in LA.  Joining us to discuss the ups and down of elevators is the Sultan of Schindler, the Oracle of Otis, the Titan of Thyssenkrupp – UNC Charlotte Professor Lee Gray, an expert on vertical transportation and the only fulltime elevator historian in the world!
Before there were interstates, which was a long long time ago, there were smaller federal highways, often two-lane, that connected the east and west coasts. Route 66 was the most famous.  Along the way, you’d find roadside motels, restaurants, and bars lit up with large neon signs highly stylized buildings.  Anyone remember when all the Arby’s had that 30-foot cowboy hat sign in front of each store?  That’s the idea.  Los Angeles was a hotbed of these buildings as post-WWII optimism generated cool-looking car washes, gas stations, burger joints, diners, bakeries, donut shops, and gas stations.  20 or so years later, they were considered junk, and then the demolitions began.  Fortunately, appreciation and preservation for this low-cost unique American glamour has grown and today we talk with architectural photographer Ashok Sinha, author of Gas and Glamour: Roadside Architecture in Los Angeles. Later on, electric swing with Tape Five and Henrik Wager.
There have been movies about movies, like Get Shorty, plays about plays, like Midsummer Night’s Dream, and now a book about architecture books. Narrowing down the top 100 in architecture is the author of Buildings in Print: 100 Influential and Inspiring Illustrated Architecture Books, John Hill. Later, jazz with Marilyn Scott.
Joining us today are John O'Neill and DC Hillier, hosts of the new mid-century modern podcast, The Perspecta.  Later, stick around for musical guest Eden Atwood, who will leave you … (sigh) … breathless.
Many Modernist buildings are located in New York City, but not all of them are open to the public except for one special weekend in the fall. Joining the show on this Valentine’s day are Pamela Puchalski and Dee Dunn of Open House New York, the organization that gets hundreds of buildings in the Big Apple to open up.  In just a few days, Tom heads out to Palm Springs for Modernism Week 2022.  George is already out there interviewing special guests we’ll have for you over the spring, summer, and fall. There are still tickets available for events at but if you can’t go this year, hang out with us in 2023.
Today we are excited to introduce four really interesting design professionals who got on our radar over the last few months, including architectural historian Catherine Zipf on Frank Lloyd Wright, architect and author Bryan Toepfer on dealing with builders, preservation professional Tim Cannan on his new funding site, and the architect of one of the coolest concept houses in the world, the Darth Vader House in Houston TX, Lynn Spears. 
The promise and pursuit of successful prefab houses has been going on nearly 100 years. Frank Lloyd Wright tried and it didn’t go so well.  Sears, the retail store that's hurting these days, had a pretty good run in the early 20th century. For a while, people loved ordering houses right out of the Sears catalog.  Later on after WWII, the cult favorite Lustron, well, not so much.  There have been more than a dozen firms trying to create a modular home line that people will buy in large-enough  numbers.  But the idea of getting a well-designed, energy-efficient, affordable factory-built house delivered to your lot and assembled in days or weeks?  What’s not to like?  Today we continue the prefab quest with Connect Homes’ Gordon Stott, Jared Levy, and Greg Leung. Then we visit with Steve Glenn, founder and CEO of Plant Prefab and Steve’s collaborator, Swiss designer Yves Béhar. Later on, a few minutes with Frank Harmon.
It’s not easy being an architect. Make a living running an architecture practice can be tough. Just getting through design school is grueling, and then there's years of internship and employment detailing utility closets - while sitting in a thoughtfully beautiful but completely open office - where everyone can hear and see everything you’re saying and doing. Once out on your own, clients who want imaginative design solutions are hard to find, especially in smaller cities. The money is not great. Design isn’t enough to sell your work.  Standing out in the field of architecture is also who you know, how well you sell, and how well build your brand.  We talk today with architecture communications and marketing experts Liz Kubany, Iva Kravitz, Sara Kolata, and Mark LePage.
Remember when libraries were dark stately places with only books and magazines?  Where if you talked at more than a whisper some stern librarian shushed you? No one likes to be shushed!  And forget about eating or drinking. While those stately libraries still exist, new libraries have computers, 3d printing, video production, and even lattes.  New construction is almost always modern, with naturally lit rooms replacing those dark bookstacks.  Libraries have become community centers, voting centers, and social services centers, too. Joining us are two well-known Modernist library architects, Raleigh North Carolina’s Louis Cherry and from Oslo Norway, architect Siv Helene Stangeland.
This is the fifth year USModernist Radio has covered the New York Architecture and Design Film Festival, if by festival you mean mostly online and by New York you mean all over the world.  Every year, producers, experts, stars, and creators gather to premiere their latest architecture and design documentaries, and this past year with COVID subsiding, but still concerning, Executive Director Kyle Bergman had a hybrid schedule of virtual and in-person screenings.  Today, George talks with people behind three of those documentaries, Nico Weber of Inside Prora, Lauren Levine of Unity Temple: Frank Lloyd Wright's Modern Masterpiece, and Nathan Eddy of Battleship Berlin. Later on, a special musical guest, Storm Large. 
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