BLOG ARCHIVE - April 2008


1962 Wimmer Yamada design for married student housing at UCSD (Robert Mosher, Architect)

Wednesday, April 30


For those that have perused the pages of Bay Area Style: San Francisco Bay Region Houses you may be familiar with the houses of architect Jack Hillmer. Hillmer, who died at the age of 88 in a hospital in Marin County on April 2, reportedly experienced his first modern buildings by seeing Rudolph Schindler's El Pueblo Ribera Apartments in 1942 on a trip to La Jolla. He hopped off the bus to take a look. A recent transplant from Texas, and two months later a vacancy allowed him to move in. Hillmer's life and work are memorialized HERE, HERE and of course on LottaLivin HERE.

And if you've been fortunate enough to witness the Chapel at Mills College in Oakland, you have witnessed the work of Hillmer's colleague Warren Callister (born 1917). Another designer in the modern Bay Tradition style (as early as 1946), Callister passed away on April 3rd. Learn more about him HERE.

Bill Krisel's (Palmer & Krisel) 10-building Coronado Shores development (circa 1970) was profiled HERE.

The University of Wisconsin at Madison plans to demolish the Humanities Building, designed by the Chicago architect Harry Weese (circa 1968). Read more HERE.


1963 Wimmer Yamada design for IGPP at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (Lloyd Ruocco Architect)

Monday, April 28

A new exhibition “Raili and Reima Pietilä: Challenging Modern Architecture” at the Museum of Finnish Architecture promises to elevate the Pietilä name. One could argue they have been shadowed by Alvar Aalto’s international acclaim. Running through May 25, the show is the most comprehensive survey of the couple’s work, such as the Finnish Pavilion for Expo ’58 in Brussels, to date. Read more HERE.

A central London apartment, Basterfield House, by Chamberlin, Powell & Bon (circa 1957) is for sale. The structure was the result of a design competition to construct a modern housing development to replace bombed housing from World War II. Learn more HERE. If you are looking to live modern in London, check out The Modern House real estate site HERE.

"Mid-20th Century Modern Architecture in Joliet," conference will feature the dramatic changes in architecture in the Chicago suburb during the last century. Among the presentations will be: "Architectural Treasures of the Joliet Park District"; a discussion of the 1930 hanger at Joliet Airport, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places; and Joliet's Highland Park created by architect O. C. Simons.

Another Russell Forester design has come on the market (this one in La Jolla) -- making that two for sale concurrently. Learn more in the Real Estate section HERE.


1963 Wimmer Yamada design for IGPP at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (Lloyd Ruocco Architect)

Tuesday, April 22

Join Modern San Diego, for "Meet The Architects of Muir" today between 3:30-5:30 p.m. on the Muir campus. For more information and directions go HERE.

Richard Neutra’s VDL Research House II, overlooking Silver Lake reservoir is in need of costly repairs. The owner, the Cal Poly Pomona Foundation, has announced that it might be forced to sell the landmark and close it to the public if supporters can't raise upwards of $2 million by the end of next year. Read more HERE.

Looking for a digest on recent happenings in Northwest Googie architecture and historic preservation? Check out this rundown of topics ranging from negotiations over a controversial Ballard diner, an upcoming lecture on Googie architecture, possible landmark status for popular a burger stand in Tacoma, and the announcement of the state's 2008 awards for historic preservation.

Tel Aviv’s “White City,” an unparalleled collection of 4,000 International Style buildings recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, now has a Bauhaus Museum to display Bauhaus-designed furnishings and related objects. The first exhibition, opening April 25, includes original furniture, graphics, lamps, and glass and ceramic ware, by Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer, and others. Read more HERE.

In our efforts to learn more about deceased architect Robert Platt, one Modern San Diego visitor reports recently discovering one of his homes built in 1965. While details are forthcoming, Platt’s firm was founded in 1960, on  Shelter Island. Robert Platt & Associates was taken over by Robert's son Lee and sold  to Allison Whitelaw in 1990. Platt/Whitelaw Architects Inc. is now located at 3953 Goldfinch, and focusing on "green" architecture. Robert Platt was president of the San Diego Chapter on the AIA in 1964.


North Clairmont Public Library (1962) by Robert Platt

Saturday, April 19

Thanks to some digging by Modern San Diego visitor Alex Finlayson, we now know who designed the intriguing North Clairmont Public Library in 1962. Architect Robert Platt, also the designer of 1917 Cable Street in Ocean Beach and Carl Sandburgh Elementary in Mira Mesa. Do you know any more details of Platt's career? Please email our corporate headquarters HERE.

Dallas' third annual White Rock Home Tour is this weekend - April 19-20. The home tour features 5 mid-century modern homes. Learn more HERE.


Muir College's Applied Physics and Math (circa 1969) by Mosher & Drew

Wednesday, April 16

Join the staff of John Muir College, EDAW and Modern San Diego, for "Meet The Architects of Muir". On April 22 between 3:30-5:30 p.m. in the Sequoia Room, Sierra Summit on the Muir College campus, join us and the architects for a hearty conversation as part of the Muir 40th Anniversary Celebration. For more information and directions go HERE.

A John Lloyd Wright designed home (circa 1960) in Valley Center is for sale. The question remains - is it the Cookson House (1958) or the Merrill Residence (AKA Wonder-Y Ranch) (circa 1959)? More information is HERE.

According to Curbed LA, "Designed by architect Craig Ellwood in 1953, this three-bedroom, two-bath with a studio is located at 1515 North Tigertail Road. Via the Listing: "The Johnson Residence, 1953. An elegant and simple expression of structure atop the Crestwood Hills architectural neighborhood looks out across the city, the ocean and beyond to Catalina Island." It's listed at $3.2 million, a price that's already dropped $500,000 since this home hit the market two weeks ago."

On Saturday, April 19th, a presentation in Galveston, TX titled “Mid-Century Historic," will discuss Mid-Century Modern. Buildings designed in this style are now turning 50 years old and thus qualify as “historic.” They are beginning to attract recognition and preservation efforts as much as houses from earlier eras." Read more HERE.

Chicago's Marina City architect Bertrand Goldberg’s lesser-known structures are starting to engage preservationists. For example, the fate of a circular, five-story structure on the grounds of the Elgin Mental Health Center is of concern to Elgin, IL citizens. Learn more HERE.

Losing one of San Diego's two Edward Durrell Stone buildings recently, the wound is still raw. While San Diegans fail to understand the loss, the debate over renovations of Edward Durrell Stone's 2 Columbus Circle (AKA The Huntington Hartford Museum) in Manhattan continues. Read the latest in the saga HERE.


Tenaya Hall by Dale Naegle on UC San Diego's John Muir College
campus

Friday, April 11

In a residential area on the south side of Leicester, England, a striking 1954 design by Fello Atkinson and Brenda Walker of James Cubitt & Partners, a celebrated London-based architectural firm is for sale by the original commissioning clients. Check it out HERE. Another home in London by Stirling and Margaret Craig is listed HERE.

Any time I read an article, or see a piece on display in a museum by one of the artists and designers that I own a piece by – I have to admit I get a little giddy. It's great to read about and see the names George Nelson, Charles Eames or Greta Grossman in print. I found another recent example while reading the LA Times review of a local art exhibition on San Diego painters. In this case I own two paintings by the San Diego artist Fred Hocks -- and rarely ever see his name in print. While the LA Times' author refers to Hocks' work as “… sluggish 1936 organic abstraction derives from Picasso…” it's worth driving up north to see the show at the Oceanside Museum of Art. Even if you don't like art, go to the show to see Irving Gill’s 1934 structure (former City Hall) and Frederick Fisher's addition to the building. Read the review of "Masterpieces of San Diego Painting” HERE.

Whether it is Mies Van Der Rohe’s “Brno Chair” or the city of Brno in the Czech Republic, the four letter word invokes modernism with a capital “M”. Did you know that Brno, the capital of Moravia and the Czech Republic's second-largest city, was one of the hotbeds of Modernism in Central Europe in the 1920s and '30s? Read about Otto Eisler, Arnost Wiesner and Bohuslav Fuchs’ designs for this often forgotten hub of idealism and strong aesthetic vision HERE.

A new show — "A.D. Stenger: Designer/Builder" — featuring the Texas mid-century architect’s work is on view through April 25th at University of Texas School of Architecture's Mebane Gallery. Learn more HERE

Milwaukee continues to grapple with the impending demolition of a local mid-century residence. Follow the thread HERE.

Silver Lake News is attempting to highlight its archtitectural inventory. It's still early but their first draft highlights the caliber of work that makes this a one-of-a-kind neighborhood.


Another shot of the Dan Salerno Residence #1 (1965).
Located at 459 Culebra Street, Del Mar. Photograph by Jeff Stone.

Sunday, April 6

Ralph Rapson (R.I.P.) arrived in Minneapolis with his wife, Mary, and their first son, Rip, in 1954 to head the University of Minnesota School of Architecture. From that day until his death March 29 at 93, Rapson was "at the heart and soul of Minnesota architecture," said Jane King Hession, co-author of Ralph Rapson: Sixty Years of Modern Design, and one of his archivists. Read more HERE.

Brasília, started just 50 years ago as the new and visionary capital of Brazil, was - in its architecture, in its plan and in its mix of uses - to symbolise the radical artistic and political ideas of its communist creators, President Kubitschek and the architect Oscar Niemeyer. But what is it like today? Read more HERE.

The fourth annual Modern Phoenix Expo and Home Tour is this weekend. Read more HERE or go to Modern Phoenix's site HERE.

In a matter of days, bulldozers will begin dismantling a home designed by noted architect William Wenzler near Milwaukee. Read more about the state of mid-century Milwaukee and lear more about Wenzler HERE.


One of my favorite facades in San Diego - the Dan Salerno Residence #1 (1965).
Located at 459 Culebra Street, Del Mar. Photograph by Jeff Stone.

Saturday, April 5

Plans to save a unique section of Eero Saarinen's TWA terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport have once again hit a snag. The New York State Historic Preservation Office, and the Port Authority approved JetBlue Airways' plan to demolish a 5,000-square-foot departure lounge known as "the trumpet." JetBlue demolished the other lounges and flight wings three years ago to make way for a new terminal, while retaining the iconic 1962 main terminal for future restoration. Read more HERE.Plans to save a unique section of Eero Saarinen's TWA terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport have once again hit a snag. The New York State Historic Preservation Office, and the Port Authority approved JetBlue Airways' plan to demolish a 5,000-square-foot departure lounge known as "the trumpet." JetBlue demolished the other lounges and flight wings three years ago to make way for a new terminal, while retaining the iconic 1962 main terminal for future restoration. Read more HERE.

The Palm Springs City Council designated E. Stewart Williams’ Coachella Valley Savings Bank at 499 S. Palm Canyon Drive a Class I Historic Site. Some say the two-story building, is clearly an homage to Oscar Niemeyer’s Palace of the Dawn. Read more HERE.

German filmmaker Heinz Emigholz’s documentary "Schindler's Houses," looks at 39 Los Angeles buildings designed by Rudolph Schindler from the 1920s to the '50s. Emigholz will attend the film's Los Angeles premiere at Disney Hall's REDCAT on April 7 and a screening at the UCLA Film & Television Archive on April 12. Read more HERE.


Private Residence #1 by Rex Lotery at 5330 LeBaron Road

Wednesday, April 2

Craig Ellwood's Johnson Residence (circa 1952-53) is for sale. The 3 bedroom, 2 bath house at 1515 N Tigertail Road, in Brentwood, is being offered at $3,700,000. Meticulously restored to its original perfection, contemporary bathrooms provide livability to what is otherwise an authentic work of art. Incorporates signature Ellwood elements of wooden systems on steel structures, timber ceilings, floating walls, floor to ceiling glass. 3 bedrooms, 2 baths + studio with separate entrance. Carport parking. More information is available HERE.

Sollo Rago's upcoming Modern Auction will be held in two sessions - Saturday, April 12 at 11 a.m. and Sunday, April 13 at 12 p.m. You can review the lots for sale HERE or read the press release HERE.


Each time I ride by this house I stop and stare. This 1954 design is located at 7229 Vassar Avenue.

Tuesday, April 1

A Chicago resident restoring the Paul Schweikher-designed Alfred Schiller Residence (circa 1950) is profiled HERE. The owner is seeking local as well as national recognition for his “box” by Schweikher, a notable local modernist and friend of Mies van der Rohe.

Ralph Rapson died this past Saturday. He was 93. After graduating from the University of Michigan in 1938, Rapson studied at Cranbook Academy of Art. According to an article in the Journal of Architectural Historians, Rapson worked alongside fellow students Harry Weese, Charles Eames, and Eero Saarinen. In 1945, at just 31 years of age, Ralph Rapson was the youngest of nine architects selected to participate in the seminal Case Study Houses Program for John Entenza's Arts + Architecture magazine. Case Study House #4 featured the "Greenbelt" — a central, park-like interior enclosed by a translucent wire-glass roof bisecting two parallel pavilions. The use of glass and an "interior activity space" remained central components of Rapson's signature style for residential designs throughout his career. According to Rapson, the Greenbelt House was designed to "bring nature within the house — not in small, pretty, planted areas but in a large scale that will do justice to nature.

 

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