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


Burns was born in Roxboro NC. He attended Wake Forest College and NCSU, graduating with a Bachelor of Architecture in 1957. That same year he won the Paris Prize in Architecture and studied in Europe and at the Ecole des Beaux Arts for 18 months with wife Margaret Tucker Burns. He served in the Army around 1959 for a few months in Columbia SC. In 1961 he entered MIT and earned a Master of Architecture degree.

After working for Eduardo Catalano in Boston, he returned to Raleigh in 1965 to teach at the NCSU School of Design. During the late 60's he had a private practice as with Abie Harris as Harris & Burns at 1906 1/2 Hillsborough Street in Raleigh. After that, he remarried and opened up a design studio, Burnstudio, with Norma Burns. Around 1984, the firm was mentioned in TIME as one of the top firms in the country.

After Eduardo Catalano's Raleigh landmark house was destroyed in 2001. Burns worked closely with Catalano on two ill-fated attempts to rebuild it.

Burns won the 2003 Gertrude S. Carraway Award from Preservation North Carolina for his work on the Henry Kamphoefner house. The AIANC gave him the Dietrick Medal in 2004, the same year he won the first Isosceles Award from AIA Triangle. In 2005, he was tragically killed in a car accident.  Service.

His son Adam recalled in 2015 that Burns did more than four houses; if you know of any, please contact us.


1961 - The Robert and Ann Work Residence, 214 Hillcrest Circle, Chapel Hill, designed
with Brian Shawcroft and
Charles Kahn. The house won a 1962 AIANC award for Kahn.
Built by Triangle Home Builders. Sold in 1966 to Chester and Edna Davidson. Sold in
2002 to Teva Stone and Daniel Simpkins, still owners as of 2014. Bottom photo by
Leilani Carter.

1967 - The Cliff and Lucie Wing Residence, 2722 Spencer Street, Durham. 3420
square feet. Sold in 2007 to Kristen and Dale Howard. Sold in 2010 to Scott and
Katharine Kollins.

1968 - The John and Janie Whaley House, 1001 Vance Drive, Tarboro NC. Sold
in 1998 to Frank and Pat Allen, still owners as of 2014. The house is L-shaped with floor
to ceiling windows on the back of both sides of the L and overlooks woods an
Hendricks Creek. About 1 acre.

1969 - The Donald and Dorothy Huisingh Residence, 1213 Kingston Ridge Road, Cary. Won a AIANC Merit Award in 1969. Built by Paul Childers. Photos by Stan Coe. Sold in 2006 to John Pearson. Destroyed to build another house, bottom photo.

1969 - The Richard D. and Bernice E. Hobbet House, 8 Heath Place, Durham. Deeded
to Bernice E. Hobbet in 1970. Sold in 2015 to Kristina F. and Jacob D. Baldridge.


1971 - The John Irving Brooks, Jr. House, 1507 Captains Road, Tarboro NC.
Brooks and Burns grew up together. The original HVAC system, which has since
been replaced, was an elaborate heat pump with duct boosters that was way inefficient
in winter. Built by H. L. Tetterton and Sons. Still owned by Brooks as of 2014.

Sources include: Son Adam Burns, Burns' Obituary, AIA North Carolina, wife Margaret
Greer wife Norma Burns, School of Design: The Kamphoefner Years 1948-1973 by Roger Clark, Kristen Howard, Pat Allen,
NC Architect February 1969.