Charlotte is a city full of beautiful neighborhoods. From Enderly Park to Dilworth, Plaza Midwood to Cherry, each neighborhood has its own distinctive charm. Yet, as the city continues to grow, pieces of historic charm have been consumed by new luxury buildings and homes.
With this in mind, Charlotte Museum of History’s Mad About Modern Home Tour on Sept. 28 has a greater message — preservation.
“The Mad About Modern home tour highlights some of the architecture that makes our city special. These buildings help tell the story of Charlotte, and they give our cityscape a beautiful diversity of design,” said Adria Focht, president and CEO of the Charlotte Museum of History.
During the home tour, attendees will have the opportunity to tour a historic mid-century modern home in the middle of the restoration process.
Built in 1961, the 1,700-square-foot home on the tour was designed by noteworthy architect Murray Whisnant for artists Herb Cohen and Jose Fumero. Their home was designed with the intention to showcase art and entertain. In the ‘60s and ‘70s the Cohen-Fumero home was the center of social life for famed Charlotte artists before North Davidson became NoDa.
“For the first time this year, we’re thrilled to showcase a historic landmark that’s being renovated,” Focht said. “The Cohen-Fumero House is one of Charlotte’s most iconic mid-century modern masterpieces and one of only a handful of high-style mid-century modern buildings in the region.”
Recently purchased by developer Charlie Miller, founding partner of 5 Points Realty, the Cohen-Fumero home represents the finest mid-century modern style.
“The Cohen-Fumero house is one of the few examples of High Style mid-century modern architecture in Charlotte. We’ve lost several of them through the years in the more affluent parts of town in order to make room for huge traditional houses,” Miller said.
Upon its completion, Miller plans to make the Cohen-Numero home available on Airbnb, complete with period correct furnishings.
“I think it’s important to acknowledge that Midcentury Modernism was more than an architectural style, it was a total design movement in the 1950s and 1960s. It’s amazing to me that it pulled inspiration from the zeitgeist of the space race and atomic era, and left its mark on everything from cars to cutlery,” Miller said.
The Charlotte History Museum hopes that this home tour will excite Charlotteans about the city’s existing homes and inspire those in the market for a new home to restore rather than building new.
“When people live in these homes, they keep Charlotte’s history alive. We hope more people will fall in love with mid-century modern architecture after coming on the tour and choose to preserve these homes,” Focht said.
In addition to an exclusive behind the scenes look at a the Cohen-Fumero home restoration, for the first time ever, the tour is more inclusive of different neighborhoods, including homes in east and central Charlotte.
“You can find amazing examples of mid-century modern architecture throughout the city, and you don’t need an Architectural Digest-level budget to live in one,” Focht said. “We all love to see the aspirational homes, and those will continue to be a big part of the tour. But in the end, mid-century modern design is for everyone.”
Tickets for the Mad About Modern home tour are on sale at madaboutmodern.com. Advance tickets are available for $30 for non-members or $25 for museum members.