BLOG ARCHIVE - April 2006

Wednesday April 26th 2006

So... I went off on a tangent these last few days. After I learned that Vincent Bonini lived in San Diego and practiced architecture here, I jumped right in to find out more about him. Talking with friends and colleagues like Robert Mosher and Eugene Weston III, and his widow Maryann, the story of his life and career became increasingly fascinating to me. I feel a little guilty that his architectural work is not readily evident in San Diego's modernist landscape and he gets his own page at MSD, but the story of the man and his ideas is very thought-provoking. I first learned of Vincent Bonini on page 162 of Modernism Rediscovered -- the Julius Shulman photos of his first residence for his family are delightful. Additionally, knowing that he worked with Frank Lloyd Wright, Harwell Hamilton Harris and Whitney R. Smith, I felt compelled to showcase his La Cañada work here on this site. You may notice when going to his page, that his architecture of the 1950s shares a kinship with that of Eugene Weston's early work in the Pasadena area (beyond the placement of Weston's furniture designs in some of the photo shoots).

Tuesday April 25th 2006

Finally, a Wiki on San Diego modernism. I just posted this today -- so feel free to drop by and add to the Wikipedia definition of Modern San Diego.

Monday April 24th 2006

A rough-draft, or work-in-progress, of a definition for San Diego Modernism was posted. Please email me with any thoughts.

Saturday April 22nd 2006

James Herbert Brownell biography posted. Enjoy.

Friday April 21st 2006

Over the last few weeks I have had the priviledge to spend time in the office of now-deceased Newport Beach architect J. Herbert Brownell. On the right is a snapshot of the property that lured me in. A biographical page on Brownell will be posted shortly to the architecture section. At this time he is credited with two homes in La Jolla and the row of "Compact Houses" on Agate Street in Pacific Beach. Also forthcoming is a biography on Taliesin Fellow Vincent Bonini. It has been a honor spending time with the families of these pioneering architects.

Tuesday April 11th 2006

The new issue of Dwell is out. For those that love it and subscribe, it is likely you read the article on Henry Hester. For those like me, that could care less, it's a pleasant, even delightful surprise to see the tribute to Mr Hester. Beyond the engaging vintage photos by Julius Shulman, the article is a decent primer on Hester's life and career. Check it out at a newstand near you.

Monday April 10th 2006

Wow. What a weekend. Jess and I drove out to Phoenix/Scottsdale on Friday -- starting out at 530AM, we made it there in about 5 hours. Don't tell the CHP but we got the little sports car up to 130 on a few occasions. Arriving into town we headed to Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin and took the 90-minute tour. While our docent treated the group like a bunch of 8th-graders, the site is magnificent. On our next trip we hope to see more of Wright's designs in the area. The best part of the trip was meeting up with Indira Berndtson and her mother Cornelia Brierly. Cornelia, now in her 90s authored "At Taliesin" and still lives in an apartment on the Taliesin campus. Tucked away in the most amazing space we enjoyed conversation about her experiences in the 1930s with Fellows Sim Bruce Richards, Blaine Drake, Edgar Tafel and others. Following a spirited conversation with her we drove over to Paolo Soleri's Cosanti complex and took in the sights and sounds (of the many Soleri bells) there. On Saturday after enjoying a dip in the pool the gang of modern geeks headed to the homes of artists and art collectors, three art museums and a hearty meal or two. In between stops I was able to conduct a few interviews, see some magnificent art and craft from a few under-appreciated Arizona folks, and do research on Bruce Richards. Upon my return home, there was a huge stack of materials in my mailbox from David Gebhard's files to go through. More to report soon...


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