Guardian Life -- Visit it soon, before it's gone!

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

According to one of our intrepid reporters, San Diego's Historic Resources Board (H.R.B.) cleared our only Skidmore, Owings Merrill building - Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (ca. 1956) - at 2901 Fifth Avenue for demolition. The Cityof San Diego staff's position is that this stucture is not significant. This is a reversal from two years ago, when City staff under Mike Tudury held the position that it was significant. Five voted against staff and in favor of designation (including Ann Jarmusch) while two votes supported staff. Six votes in favor are required to designate. The motion to save a valuable work of 20th Century modernist architecture, a cultural asset visible to the public, failed by one vote.

Palmer & Krisel Design in La Jolla - photograph by Julius Shulman

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) will present a freel screening of Design Onscreen’s latest documentary film, 'William Krisel, Architect' on Thursday, May 6 at 7PM. Directed by Jake Gorst, William Krisel, Architect explores architect William Krisel\'s life and work, including his roots in 1930s China, his ground-breaking designs for modern living, and interviews with scholars, his contemporaries and family. Admission to this event is free, but a reservation is required. To make a reservation, please e-mail

If you haven't yet, sign up for the MercerYork newsletter -- and learn more about regular events and happenings HERE.

Richard Neutra's Marshall Residence in Rancho Santa Fe
Photograph by Julius Shulman

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

On Sunday, April 25th, be sure and stop by Mod Swap. Mid-century collectors with too much stuff will bring their vintage modern furniture, art and objects to sell and trade in an open market  Please join us to shop for fantastic deals on great stuff in the parking lot at the intersection of Kettner and W Kalmia (in front of Klassik and Jett in Little Italy) from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Visit the events page for more information:

Whether your live in the College Area, Alvarado Estates or not, there's some great info on the mid-century housing boom in the area on this local site: College Neighborhoods.

Two reasons to drive up to Los Angeles this weekend -- Korean contemporary art and a Case Study (open) House by Pierre Koenig. Two reasons, one venue (and it's free). Learn more HERE.

For those among you wondering how to spend that $5 million in your checking account, consider looking at THIS LISTING in Laguna Beach. William Alexander Levy's 'Hangover House' (ca. 1937) was well ahead of its time.

Some folks in Olympia, WA have organized their first examination of their local mid-century architecture. For more information on the series of events, click HERE.

Richard Neutra's Oxley Residence, photograph by Julius Shulman

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

For those that missed the "Inside the Studio" with architect Robert Mosher, please join the good folks at the San Diego Architecture Foundation (and the folks over at YouTube) to see it HERE.

I am on a quest to learn a bit more about local ('60s era) building designer Dean Vickery. Thus far I have only located the following two homes: Daluiso Residence (1967) at 4946 New Ranch Rd. in El Cajon and the Bill Merritt Residence (1965) at 6467 Elmhurst in Del Cerro. If you have any leads or details on his career, please drop me a line HERE.

Though architect Edward Fickett died 11 years ago, he is back in the news. His widow Joycie Ficket, 83, just donated his archive to USC. Hopefully his San Diego projects will be available for researchers examining his use of floor-to-ceiling windows, vaulted ceilings, open kitchens connected to dining rooms, sliding closet doors, landscaping that went all around the house -- not to mention how he would mix colors -- peach, pink, turquoise or light green -- into concrete, providing a cheery exterior without the cost of painting. Read more HERE.

Thanks to gracious hosts, I had the opportunity to tour Richard Neutra's Oxley Residence last week. While it has been moved to the eastern portion of its original site, remodeled some, and the water features and 'spider legs' removed, it was certainly a memorable afternoon.


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