Modernist Giant George Matsumoto

The Matsumoto House in Raleigh.

On March 27, 1950, George Matsumoto was licensed to practice architecture in North Carolina. Known for his Modernist designs, Matsumoto was one of the founding faculty members of N.C. State’s School of Design in 1948. Born in 1922, he grew up in San Francisco. He studied architecture at the University of California at Berkeley, Washington University in Saint Louis and Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan.

In 1952, Matsumoto began construction of his own house in Raleigh, extending the living space visually into the wooded hillside. The Matsumoto House, a designated Raleigh Historic Landmark, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

He returned to San Francisco in 1961 to teach at Berkeley, and later opened a successful private practice with commissions in commercial, educational and recreational work as well as campus and community planning. He was elected a fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

North Carolina has the third largest collection of Modernist houses in America, a residential building style initiated by Matsumoto. The George Matsumoto papers and drawings are now held by N.C. State’s D. H. Hill Library.

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