Historic Preservation Program Director & Professor Publish Book on Hassrick House
The College of Architecture & the Built Environment is pleased to announce the publication of Emergence of a Modern Dwelling: Richard Neutra’s Hassrick House, sponsored by Thomas Jefferson University’s Center for the Preservation of Modernism.
The book meets the Center’s mission, which is to support the protection and stewardship of buildings and sites of the modern movement through research, outreach and advocacy.
Acquired by the University in 2017, the Hassrick House (1958-61) is one of just three Philadelphia residences designed by Richard Neutra, an internationally acclaimed architect of mid-century modernism. With its flat roof, expanses of window walls and interpenetrating interior-exterior spaces, the house epitomizes Neutra’s signature California style, transplanted to the city’s East Falls neighborhood.
Written and co-edited by the Director of the Center, Dr. Suzanne Singletary, and adjunct professor and historic preservationist, Suzanna Barucco, the book contains never-before published information about the design process, culled from more than 70 letters exchanged between the Hassricks and Neutra. The recollections of subsequent owners, gleaned from archival research and oral histories, amplify the narrative and bring the house further into focus.
Above all, the book is a tribute to multiple cohorts of Jefferson students, under the guidance of Architecture professor Andrew Hart, and their tireless and enthusiastic efforts to research and document the house and its landscape since 2015.
The genesis of the book was an exhibit designed by Jefferson students on the occasion of the dedication of the Center for the Preservation of Modernism in 2019 Their research, photographs and architectural drawings bring the house vividly to life in these pages.
Emergence of a Modern Dwelling: Richard Neutra’s Hassrick House chronicles a tale of design, dwelling, neglect, restoration and reinvention today as a laboratory for learning. Best of all, this publication points the way too many future possibilities!