Architecture You Love

Enjoy browsing, but unless otherwise noted, these houses are private property and closed to the public -- so don't go tromping around uninvited.


 

Frank Lloyd Wright visited the School of Design at NC State University in 1950, one of school's many well-known guests such as Buckminster Fuller, Mies Van der Rohe, and Richard Neutra

Kamphoefner put this personal label on each book in his library (example supplied by Richard Hall)

David Brook's Powerpoint on Kamphoefner's life and career. 

David Brook's dissertation about Kamphoefner.

The 1950 NCSU School of Design curriculum with a full list of the pioneering faculty hired by Kamphoefner.  Provided by NCSU Dean Marvin Malecha.

The 1990 announcement by the the NCSU School of Design about Kamphoefner's death.

 

HENRY LEVEKE KAMPHOEFNER, FAIA (1907-1990)

Kamphoefner was born in Des Moines IA and grew up in Sioux City IA.  He graduated in Architecture from the University of Illinois and in 1931 received a Masters in Architecture from Columbia University.  Kamphoefner said he was introduced to Modernism by Joseph Hudnut.  He entered private practice in 1932 in Sioux City IA and developed a specialty in outdoor music pavilions.  In 1936, he was associate architect for the Rural Resettlement Administration in Washington DC til 1937.  From Washington, he moved west to teach  architecture at the University of Oklahoma, 1937-1948. 

In 1948, he was appointed first dean of the School of Design at North Carolina State University, a position he would hold until 1972. During that time, he elevated the school from obscurity to national prominence. A passionate Modernist, Dean Kamphoefner’s ultimate goal was “the development of an organic and indigenous architecture... to meet the needs and conditions of the southern region.”

Kamphoefner’s changes at the beginning of his tenure were swift and effective. He sacked most of the old faculty and brought in a new team including Matthew Nowicki, George Matsumoto, Terry Waugh, Duncan Stuart, Lewis Mumford, James Fitzgibbon, and Eduardo Catalano; instituted a distinguished visitors program (see list at left); raised admission standards; and placed the school on the leading edge of Modernism. Throughout his administration, the school expanded programs including a Department of Product Design in 1958 and a Graduate Program in 1968. 

 

Kamphoefner had no problem connecting some of the best minds in the Modernist world.  This photo is from 1951, taken through the window in Kamphoefner's house on Granville Drive by Hungarian photographer André Kertész.  Includes from left to right:  NCSU Faculty Cecil Elliott, Dean Joseph Hudnut of the Harvard School of Architecture, NCSU Faculty Siasia Nowicki, House & Garden Architectural Editor Katherine Morrow Ford, unknown, Henry Kamphoefner, NCSU Faculty Margaret Fitzgibbon, New York architect Abraham (Abe) Geller, and NCSU Faculty Jim Fitzgibbon.

In 1960, on the recommendation of Catalano, he hired 31-year-old Brian Shawcroft, an architect from the UK who just completed his Masters in Architecture at MIT and Harvard. A renowned photographer, Shawcroft closely shared Kamphoefner’s architectural philosophy and also never yielded to the eclecticism of postmodern trends. In 1988, the peppery Dean (now Emeritus) declared that Shawcroft’s “buildings provide the only good architecture in . . . [Raleigh] which is blighted by so much architectural trash.”

During his tenure from 1948 to 1972, he elevated NCSU’s program from complete obscurity to national prominence. A passionate and demanding Modernist, Kamphoefner reached out to architects of international reputation to both teach and speak in Raleigh. Frank Lloyd Wright visited the School of Design at NC State University in 1950 and was one of school's many well-known guests such as Buckminster Fuller, Mies Van der Rohe, and Richard Neutra.

Kamphoefner’s changes were swift and effective. He sacked most of the old faculty and brought in a new team including Matthew Nowicki, who designed Dorton Arena and gave Raleigh an internationally-known landmark.  He hired George Matsumoto, who would become one of the state’s foremost residential Modernist architects; Terry Waugh, who became head of NCSU Campus Planning; Duncan Stuart; Lewis Mumford; James Fitzgibbon; and Eduardo Catalano, who put Raleigh on the map with his famous 1954 hyperbolic paraboloid house, now sadly destroyed.  Other new hires included the Neutra-protégé Harwell Hamilton Harris, former Dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Texas, and Robert Burns, whom Kamphoefner appointed as head of the Department of Architecture in 1967.

Kamphoefner raised admission standards and placed the school on the leading edge of Modernism. Throughout his administration, the school expanded programs including a Department of Product Design in 1958 and a Graduate Program in 1968. He connected some of the best minds in the Modernist world.  One of Kamphoefner's greatest contributions to Raleigh's built environment was his way around the state's bureaucracy.  His faculty, since they were technically on the state's payroll, were prohibited from seeking work on state-funded projects.  Kamphoefner created partnerships and mechanisms where his faculty were hired as consultants by other design firms, opening the door to the design of hundreds of significant buildings by NCSU faculty.

Kamphoefner had an unparalleled impact on the architecture of North Carolina and the Southeast.  He was awarded the 1978 North Carolina Medal and the 1977 Topaz Medallion for Lifelong Achievement in Architecture by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. In 1989, the NCSU School of Design named their 1978 addition, designed by Harry Wolf, as Kamphoefner Hall. 

Yet, to Kamphoefner’s disappointment, Modernism fell out of favor, both with the public and the profession.  Just two years before his death in 1990, he bitterly acknowledged Modernism’s fall, lamenting that prominent architects were “selling out for a neo-modernistic populism” and that the famous maxim of Louis Sullivan, “form follows function,” was being replaced by  “form follows money.”  To slow this movement, he established the Kamphoefner Prize, a gift of $150,000 to AIA North Carolina for career  excellence in the Modern Movement of architecture.  Kamphoefner, in his imitable directness, defined the criteria for this award very specifically:  "The donors and the Selection Committee for this award anticipates that the chosen architect has demonstrated a consistent integrity and devotion over an acceptable period of time to further the modern movement in architecture without yielding to any of the undesirable current cliches, neo-modernistic mannerisms, or artless historicism that have flawed the building culture of today."

To counteract this movement, at least in part, he established the Kamphoefner Prize, a gift of $150,000 to AIANC from which they would award $10,000 each year to an AIANC member who exhibits excellence in the Modern Movement of architecture.  Kamphoefner defined the criteria for this award very specifically:

"The donors and the Selection Committee for this award anticipates that the chosen architect has demonstrated a consistent integrity and devotion over an acceptable period of time to further the modern movement in architecture without yielding to any of the undesirable current cliches, neo-modernistic mannerisms, or artless historicism that have flawed the building culture of today." 

Here is a 1998 brochure on the Kamphoefner Prize:  pages one, two, three, four.  The following are the recipients of the $10,000 prize.

1988 J. Norman Pease, Jr.
1989
 No award given
1990
 Murray Whisnant
1991
Brian Shawcroft
1992
 Philip A. Shive
1993
 Ligon B. Flynn
1994
 Marley  P. Carroll
1995
 Frank Harmon
1996
 Lee Nichols Hepler Architecture
1997
 Kenneth E. Hobgood
1998
 Awarded to NC State Students
1999
 Ellen Weinstein
2000 Awarded to NC State Students
2001 Thomas B. Moore
2002-2009 No awards given

2010 Phil Szostak and Jeffrey Lee
2011 No award given
2012 Arthur Cogswell (in memoriam) and Roger Clark
2013 No award given

In December 1983, Kamphoefner wrote an article on Buckminster Fuller in the NC Wataugan which was less about Fuller and more about recently "retired" Kamphoefner.  Also includes comments on Fuller by his colleague T. C. Howard.  Pages one, two, three, four, five, six, or the entire document (12 Meg).

In 2013, largely through the efforts of Roger Clark and Ben Taylor, Kamphoefner was inducted in the City of Raleigh Hall of Fame.

Letters above courtesy of NCSU Special Collections.


1935 - The Grandview Park Band Shell, Sioux City IA.  It cost about $51,000 at the time.
Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2011.


1938 - The Oleson Park Music Pavilion, 1400 Oleson Park Avenue, Fort Dodge IA. 


     

1942 - The Henry Kamphoefner Residence, Norman OK.   Do you know the address?


1948 - The Henry and Mabel Kamphoefner House, 3060 Granville Drive, Raleigh.  Designed with George Matsumoto.  Built by J. M. Thompson.  Charles R. Larson (Henry’s nephew) and his wife Roberta inherited the house and rented it out for a number of years.  T. Connor Murray bought it in 1996.  Daniel and Virginia Petrocella bought it in 2000.  In 2003, Kamphoefner’s protégé, architect Robert Burns, did a renovation and addition, with construction by David Ballard of Ballard Construction. 


1952 - The Rowland and Lillian McElvare Residence, aka Skyline, 1630 Valleyview Road, formerly Clay Road, Southern Pines NC.  Kenneth Scott was the associate architect.  E. J. Austin was the builder, with Thomas Hayes as Kamphoefner's superintendent onsite.   T. C. Brown was the mechanical engineer.  3106 square feet on 11 acres.  Four bedrooms, three baths.  Sold in 1992 to Corey Longstreet. 


Sources include:  Pinehurst Special Collection, AIANC, Mrs. Cleon Hayes, Richard Hall,
School of Design: The Kamphoefner Years 1948-1973 by Roger Clark, David Brook,
Kamphoefner Archives at NCSU, Cleon Hayes.