Lee and Helen George House
The Lee and Helen George House was constructed in 1951 in the Combford Park subdivision. Lee and his siblings worked for their family business, the Merchants Produce Group. which is known today as Alex Lee, Inc. Helen George's brother-in-law, Aiji Tashiro, worked closely with Helen to design and construct the home. The one-story home is notable for being the first example of Modernist architecture in Hickory, NC, with the design being inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright's Usonian design. On April 24th, 2012, the home was added to the National Register of Historic Places for being a well-preserved example of Modernist architecture in Hickory.
Backstory and Context
Born on January 17th, 1911, Lee George was born the son of Lebanese immigrants. He married his wife, Helen George, on September 15th, 1938, and they had four children: Joyce, Boyd, Donetta, and Alice. Lee worked with his brother, Alex, and his sister, Josephine, for the family business, the Merchants Produce Group. Today, the company is known as Alex Lee, Inc., which acquired the Lowes Foods chain in 1984.
Additionally, Lee worked as a director of Northwestern Bank, was part owner of the Boyd Lee Knitting Mill, and, as one of the first Roman Catholics in town, was instrumental in the founding and growth of St. Aloysius Catholic Church, just one block from the family home.
The Georges purchased a lot in Combford Park in 1950, and Helen's brother-in-law, Aiji Tashiro, who received degree in landscape architecture from the University of Cincinnati in
1933, was hired to design a modern home for the family. Helen and Tashiro worked closely together to create a home unlike any other in Hickory, which was finished in 1951. The one-story home was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright's Usonian design. The home was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 24th, 2012, for being a well preserved example of Modernist architecture in Hickory.
Keane, Beth. Lee and Helen George House, National Register of Historic Places. April 12th 2012. Accessed December 12th 2019. https://files.nc.gov/ncdcr/nr/CT1078.pdf.