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Contact: Sue Haley, South District Interpreter, 508-255-3421
The film Built on Narrow Land, by Malachi Connolly, looks at a moment on Cape Cod when the spirit of European modern architecture inspired a group of bohemian designers – both professionals and amateurs – to build houses that married principles of the Bauhaus style to the centuries-old local architecture of seaside New England. A special screening of the film will be held at Cape Cod National Seashore's Salt Pond Visitor Center on November 2 at 2:00 PM. The showing is free, accessible, and open to the public.
With the establishment of Cape Cod National Seashore, the fate of these houses suddenly hung in the balance as houses within the established national seashore boundaries, built after September 1, 1959, were to be transferred to the federal government, albeit at fair market value. Through the points of view of a few key characters, most notably Ruth Hatch, a prior property owner of one of these homes, located on Bound Brook Island in Wellfleet, and Cape Cod National Seashore Historian Bill Burke, the film reveals the privilege of building on virgin landscape, and the impact and effect of eminent domain on people who chose to make their homes in these treasured lands.
Malachi Connolly is an architect, filmmaker, and preservationist, living in New York and has worked on projects such as the World Trade Center Memorial Museum Pavilion and the new Miami Art Museum. He serves on the board of the Cape Cod Modern House Trust, and in 2008 won a grant from the Graham Foundation for his research on Cape Cod's Modern Houses, which was the basis for Built on Narrow Land.
IF YOU GO: Salt Pond Visitor Center is located at the intersection of Route 6 and Nauset Road in Eastham, and can be contacted by calling 508-255-3421. The center is open from 9 AM to 4:30 PM with staff to assist with activity planning, and panoramic views of Nauset Marsh. Park films are shown regularly. There is a museum, as well as a shop with a variety of national seashore-related items for sale.