Author Archives: Lawrence Modern

Mass. St. makeover wows Law Mod

The Professional Building tour at 927½ Massachussetts St. was amazing — look at the pictures. Thanks to Sarah Fayman and architects Scott Trettel and clark|huesmann for letting us host the event and orchestrating this stunning renovation. Thanks also to Dennis Domer and Steve Grabow for lending their architectural insight into this fantastic new space in downtown […]

Mass. St. modernization Oct. 16

It is unusual for Lawrence Modern to stray too far off the midcentury reservation. But a recent visit to Sarah’s Fabrics downtown gave us reason to break loose. Yes, Sarah’s Fabrics, the old Mass. St. quilt shop with the creaky floors. Owner Sarah Fayman, architect Scott Trettle and clark/huesemann architects have transformed the building’s long-neglected upper floors into […]

Cerf House catches mod fan wave

“Wouldn’t we all like to live here?” asked KU professor of architecture Steve Grabow to a Woodstock-like sea of people attending the Cerf House gathering June 25th. The response was affirmative, and predictable. Who wouldn’t? The Cerf House is the equivalent of a juicy steak, full of mouth-watering appeal on just about every level of midcentury modern fetishism: exceptional site, uplifting living spaces, […]

’50s optimism on display June 25th

When we talk about midcentury modern we’re usually talking about the 1950s, the sweet spot for modernism in America. Modern architecture in the ’50s, like American cinema in the ’70s, was an unusually fervent period of rules-breaking and risk-taking that we continue to obsess over. Which brings us to the Cerf House. Built in 1958 at the cost of $80,000—enough to buy a fleet […]

A humble apprentice

Curtis Besinger, Professor of Architecture at KU from 1955-1956 and 1957-1984, was a man without pretense. He eschewed all sartorial or any other kind of extravagance in contrast to Frank Lloyd Wright for whom he worked 16 years from 1939 to 1955. Instead, Curtis drew no attention to himself, dressed modestly in browns and grays, […]