Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hamilton Celebrates Mid Century Modern

Hamilton, ON - November 1, 2010
Exhibition Showcases Hamilton’s Modernist Residential Architecture
Hamilton HIStory + HERitage Celebrates Mid-Century Modern Architectural Gems

Hamilton HIStory + HERitage, billed as Hamilton’s only storefront museum, is launching a fascinating look at some of the city’s most remarkable modernist houses. All built between 1950 and 1975, the homes were designed by architects, most for individual clients.

The names of the well-known architects featured in the exhibition include Anthony Butler, Stanley Roscoe, Jerome Markson, Mac
Gerrie, Barton Myers, Joe Singer, Harry Lennard, Trevor Garwood-Jones, and J.D. Kyles.

“It has been a great pleasure to meet with homeowners who have been so generous with us in permitting their homes to be part of this exhibition,” says Graham Crawford, founder of Hamilton HIStory + HERitage, located at 165 James Street North in Hamilton.

“The quality of the design and the construction materials, inside and outside of the homes, is still evident today. In fact, most of the homes are in pristine original condition.”

The exhibition was created by a team of volunteers, including retired architect, Tony Butler, who took on the challenge of researching
the houses, including when they were built and who designed them. “I must admit it’s been a very pleasurable challenge for me. As a result of the project, I’ve been in touch with colleagues whom I have not spoken with in many years.” For some on the list, that meant phone calls to California, or Calgary. Some were still in Hamilton. Others were in Toronto.

Given the period on which the exhibition focuses (1950–1975), it meant that most of the architects were in their late 70’s or older.

Photographer Jeff Tessier took on the task of taking images of the exterior and interior of the nearly dozen homes featured in the exhibition. “I have always admired this period of residential architecture, so it was an amazing opportunity to spend time inside the homes with the owners. Clearly, they understood what they bought and have taken such remarkable care of their homes. It’s really evident in the photographs.”

The exhibition features photographs and a series of multi-media presentations that provide not only great images of the homes, but
also information about when they were built, by whom, and the primary construction materials. There are also print materials including
posters, a calendar, and a small book featuring the homes.

The team also included the creators of Historical Hamilton, a website that documents Hamilton’s architectural history through photography and satellite maps. Brain Kowalewicz and Paul Dolanjski have created a special SLEEK section on their website that shows each of the homes in the exhibition, both photographically as well as on an interactive Google Earth map. “This exhibition was a natural fit with the vision we have for our site,” says co-founder Brian Kowalewicz. Graham and his team provided the content and
Historical Hamilton provided the platform to ensure all Hamiltonians, and anybody else anywhere in the world with an internet connection, can enjoy this exhibition.”

The SLEEK exhibition premieres on Friday, November 12 during Art Crawl, the monthly event that brings nearly 1500 people to James North, one of Hamilton’s oldest streets that features blocks of Victorian buildings now housing art galleries, cafés and restaurants.

The exhibition runs until February 11, 2011.
For more information, contact Graham Crawford at:

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