Born in Chicago, Edward Loewenstein graduated from Deerfield Shields High School then graduated from MIT with a BA in Architecture in 1935. He worked as a draftsman for Ralph E. Stoetzel and Newhouse Bernham in Chicago before opening an office in Highland Park IL in 1938. He served in the US Army for five years starting in 1941.
In 1946, he moved to Greensboro with wife Francis Stern Loewenstein. His wife's stepfather, the very wealthy Julius Cone, provided access to a large social network of contacts upon which Loewenstein built an architectural practice. In 1953, he joined with Robert A. Atkinson, Jr. to form Loewenstein-Atkinson.
Loewenstein was the first white architect in North Carolina to hire black architects, including William Streat in 1950, W. Edward (Blue) Jenkins, Major Sanders, and Clinton Gravely. According to his daughter, Jane Levy, "my father just respected everyone. When confronted by white architects who had a problem with black co-workers, he told them they were welcome to leave." Loewenstein was an active member of Governor Terry Sanford's North Carolina Commission on Civil Rights.
Here's the firm around 1962: Major Sanders is in the middle front and Clinton Gravely is three to the right in the back. The firm's work was featured in the New York Times, Architectural Record, Good Housekeeping, and Southern Architect among many other publications.
Walter T. (Tom) Wilson was 27 when he was made partner in 1967 and the firm became Loewenstein Atkinson and Wilson. At its peak the firm employed more than 30 with branches in Greensboro, Martinsville VA, Danville VA, Raleigh, and Burlington. The firm designed around 1600 buildings. Their offices were in a Georgian-style house at 1030 East Wendover Avenue, the former mansion of Julius Cone where Wilson stored all of the firm's blueprints. As of 2009, the firm was called Wilson Lysiak.
Loewenstein's many well-known commercial projects included the Greensboro YWCA, the Hayes Taylor YMCA, synagogues including the Temple Sinai in Newport News VA (below left), Beth David Synagogue, and the Greensboro Public Library, now the Elon University Law School (below right)
Loewenstein died of a sudden heart attack in 1970. He said that "dedicated architects die unhappy. They never get to unleash creative juices because of pressure to please clients."
The world's expert on Loewenstein's work is Patrick Lee Lucas of the University of Kentucky, formerly with UNC-Greensboro.
1936 - The Vernon Fox House, west side of South Ridge Road between Clavey and Deerfield, Highland Park IL. Designed while working for Newhouse Bernham. Featured in the Chicago Tribune, September 13, 1936.
1946 - The Robert N. and Flora Hunter Precast Concrete House, aka Concrete House, 2101 Dellwood Drive, Greensboro NC. Robert Hunter was President of King-Hunter Inc., the general contractor that built the house. Located next door to the 1948 Stern/Callahan Lustron. Sold in 1956 to Edwin and Inez Waddell. Sold in 1961 to John H. and Viola Lanford. Sold in 1968 to Sarah E. Hearn. Sold in 1975 to Herschel J. and Betty F. Hearn. Deeded in 1995 to Sarah Hearn Von Foerster.
1950 - The R. S. Cole House,1208 Westridge Road, Greensboro. Sold in 1955 to John Futrell. Sold in 1962 to Thomas A. and Dorothy Hall, Jr. Sold in 1989 to Curtis and Terry Lashley, who took out the existing Modernist windows and put in vertical windows. Sold in 1991 to Rob and Karen Luisana, who added a second story in 1991 designed by Karen Luisana and built by Don Sykes. Photos by Paul Macy.
1951 - The Martha and Wilbur Lee (Bo) Carter, Jr. Residence, 1012 Country Club Drive, Greensboro NC. This is the first Modernist house in the area. Loewenstein incorporated passive solar heating in the "solar cell" room on the south side. The room originally had a glass roof, sheltered in summer by two mature trees. In winter, without leaves on the trees, the sun could warm the room. A few years after construction, the trees died and were removed. The room got much too hot without the trees so the glass roof was replaced with a conventional roof. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. Won an AIANC design award in 1951. Featured in Architectural Record 1952-53. Sold to Daniel and Kathy Craft. Bottom photo by Leilani Carter.
1951 - The A. M. and Ruth Fleishman Residence, 2614 Morganton Road, Fayetteville NC. Deeded to Stefani Wolff. Jim Brandt was the draftsman. Built by Ed Rynick. Top four b/w photos by Jim Brandt. Additional photos by John Cooley. After being vacant for five years, sold in 2016 to David and Rebecca Wendelken. Sold in 2018 to Rosina and Greg Darden.
1952 - The Charles D. Orth III House, corner of Dover Road at Hammel Road, Greensboro. Traditional design. Commissioned 1950. Has been extensively renovated.
1952 - The E. Edith Pipkin Cottage, aka Pink Perfection, 172 Ocean Boulevard, Kitty Hawk, NC. Edith Pipkin was secretary of Edna Mills Corporation in 1946 when it sold its assets to Cone Mills. Deeded to Pipkin's nephew Ashmead Pringle Pipkin, who took the bottom photo.
1953 - The Eleanor and Marion Bertling Residence, 2312 Princess Ann Street, Greensboro NC. Atypical of the times, almost three dozen neighbors signed a petition of support for building a Modernist dwelling, flying in the face of the unwritten restrictions from the planning and zoning department to prohibit such designs in the Kirkwood neighborhood. Sold in 2001 to Elaine L. and John R. Hammer. Exterior photos by Nicole Alvarez.
1953 - The JoAnne Spangler Residence, 444 Downing Drive, Danville VA. The 1700-square foot, one-story home perches on the hillside and a large exterior deck floats above the creek, suspending deck-sitters in the midst of trees. Sold in 2006 to Porter Aichele and Fritz Janschka. Restored in 2007. In 2011, architect Carl Myatt designed a bathroom addition.
1954 - The Edward and Frances Loewenstein House, 2104 Granville Road, Greensboro. Featured in the New York Times Magazine, June 1955. Has a separate carport / apartment. Located on three acres. As of 2011 owned by Jane Levy, Loewenstein's daughter, and her husband Richard. The amazing living room fireplace is built into a window.
1954 - The Maurice and Dorothy Fleishman House, 1501 Raeford Road, Fayetteville NC. Attributed to Loewenstein. Sold to Raymond E. Nicholson. Destroyed in 2009.
1955 - The Ann and Lloyd P. Tate Residence, aka Starland Farm, Midland Road, Southern Pines NC. Landscape architecture by Lewis Clarke. Thomas Hayes worked for Loewenstein and went to Southern Pines to oversee construction. Interiors by Sarah Hunter Kelly. Destroyed around 1989 for the Long Leaf Country Club.
1955 - The Doris and W. C. Boren III House, 1912 Lafayette Avenue, Greensboro. Traditional design. Sold in 1983 to Charley W and Judith Proctor. Sold in 1997 to William E. and Emily Hall, Jr.
1955 - The Ogburn Fletcher Stafford, Sr. House, 5307 Wayne Road, Sedgefield NC. Taken over by NCNB when Fletcher died in 1970. Remodeled in 1974. Sold to Sigmund and Helen Davidson in 1978. Transferred under Davidson family control several times. Sold in 1991 to Barry and Susan Heller. Sold in 2002 to Layne A. and Judy Ann Fuller.
1958 - The Robert S. and Bettie Chandgie House, 401 Kimberly, Greensboro. Commissioned 1957. A mix of Modern and traditional; often referred to as Loewenstein "hybrid" house. Renovated in 1985. As of 2011 still owned by the Chandgies.
1958 - The Helen Ashby House, 1710 Wright Avenue, Greensboro NC. Ashby designed the house with assistance from Loewenstein. Built by John T. Hiatt was the builder. Deeded to Paul Allen and Ann Ashby. Sold in 2016 to Tracey A. Shuford.
1959 - The Marion and Kenneth P. Hinsdale House, 612 Rockford Road, Greensboro NC. Also known as the 1959 Commencement House. Built for $24,000, the UNCG students divided the small, family-oriented, one story house into public and private zones, orienting the public but cozy dining room and theatrical living room out a large expanse of glass wall toward the wooded lot and a lake view. There are three bedrooms and two and one-half baths, including a large master suite. The house was featured in Living for Young Homemakers. Walter J. Moran was the interior designer. Contractor was Eugene Gulledge of Superior Contracting Company. Sold in 2008 to Randy McManus.
1961 - The Bob Pennfield White Residence, 1244 Sam Lions Trail, Martinsville VA. Built on a cliff. The clients spent three years looking at plan books for a special "California-style" house. Loewenstein designed the original house core; Bill Gilbert of Stanley Bowles Corporation designed the rest. Built by Earl Helms, later Stanley Clark.
1962 - The Alf Hollar House, aka the Horizon House, 1805 Brookcliff Drive, Greensboro NC. Part of a competition sponsored locally by Carolina Quality Block Construction. Originally owned by Superior Construction Corporation which was also the builder. They sold it to Hollar. Addition by Clinton Gravely in the 1970's. Sold in 1984 to Bud and Joanne Miles. B/W photos by Carol W. Martin/Greensboro Historical Museum Collection. Color photos by Mark Meagher.
1962 - The Leah and A. Jack Tannenbaum House, 2904 Wynnewood Drive, Greensboro. Features a large curved fireplace, exposed timber ceiling, and a courtyard. Renovations in 1975. Deed to their daughter, Jean. Clinton Gravely and Frank Harmon were project architects.
1964 - The M. Celeste Ulrich House, 5808 Queen Alice Road, Greensboro. According to Celeste Ulrich, Loewenstein did a few sketches but the house was unbuilt.
1964 - The Richard and Joan Steele Residence, 601 Woodland Drive, Greensboro. As of 2011 owned by William and Elizabeth Blackwell. Top photo by Leilani Carter.
1965 - The Herbert L. Smith and Nancy Downs Smith House, 3307 Gaston Road, Greensboro NC. Also known as the 1965 Commencement House. Nancy Downs, hostess for the WUNC-TV show "Potpourri," had covered the 1958 Commencement House and had her eyes on being the next Commencement House client. Student Polly Colville designed a dramatic 17-foot high window wall in the entrance hall, a second-floor deck above a terrace overlooking the golf course at the rear of the lot. Sold in 1986. The property went into foreclosure in 2009. Ssold to Alan Bacot and Christine Cotton. 1.5 acres, 3878 square feet.
1965 - The James and Anne Willis House, 707 Blair Street, Greensboro NC. Threatened with teardown when Sara and Tom Sears bought the house in 2002. Has been restored. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014. Sold in 2017 to Donna C. Hurd.
1965 - 2930 Ormond Drive, Winston-Salem NC. The original owners moved out and it was sold around 2000. As of 2011 owned by Susan Alvers and Ralph Rice.
1967 - The Mark and Willie Snow Ethridge Residence, 1444 Center Grove Church Road, Moncure NC. Only modestly modern. Sold to Joyce and Fred Sparling. Sold in 2017 to Nirvana Phoenix LLC.
Sources include: Patrick Lee Lucas, Greensboro News and Record, daughter Jane Loewenstein Levy, former employee James Brandt, MDMHC Consultants, 2009 Fayetteville Modern Architecture Survey Report, North Carolina Architects and Builders Database, Carol W. Martin/Greensboro Historical Museum Collection.