the project

  • Irvin + Frances Squires Residence, 1958 [wjc]
  • Kenneth P. + Marion Hinsdale Residence, 1959 [pll]
  • Herbert + Nancy Smith Residence, 1965 [iar]
  • WUNC-TV cameras focus on several of the young women who helped design the 1958 Commencement House being interviewed by Nancy Downs, host of the “Potpourri” program for the station [wjc]
  • The editor of McCall’s Magazine makes a visit to the 1958 Commencement House, meeting with Loewenstein, several students, and contractor Eugene Gulledge [wjc]
  • Loewenstein’s studio class poses for a publicity photograph at the groundbreaking in 1958 [wjc]

commencement houses

In 1957-1958, Loewenstein taught an innovative, year-long design course to twenty-three students at the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina. Open to both home economics and art majors, the course, according to Department Chairman, Gregory Ivy, gave “students a real working knowledge of the problems they would face in making homes for themselves and their families.” Students achieved working knowledge of design as many opportunities and problems arose, such as the realities of load-bearing construction, material and finish selections, coordination with Superior Construction (contractors on the project), and the challenges posed by new, state-of-the-art technology such as dishwashers, garbage disposals, and aluminum wiring. In Loewenstein’s studio class, the students designed the house, oversaw its construction and decorated it, dubbed the “Commencement House” by the university’s public relations office. Completed in 1958, the first house was followed by two others in 1959 and 1965 – a tremendous physical legacy that symbolizes shifting gender roles in design as seen in higher education.

in the media

modernism in greensboro
patrick lee lucas : school of interiors : university of kentucky : website designed by julie barghout