BLOG ARCHIVE - February 2006

Monday February 27th 2006

A rough sketch of local furnishings retailer Armin Richter and Associates is now up. I don't have all of the details yet but the Richard Silverman Residence (1959) by William F. Cody, Henry Hester and Ronald K. Davis at 4021 Miller Street in Mission Hills is up for sale -- around $2,000,000. More info as I gather it.

Sunday February 26th 2006

La Jolla. What more can you say? Today Jess and I visited with Joyce Snell, the owner of Sim Bruce Richards' Catherine James (1953) residence. What a spectacle.Breathtaking views of the ocean from every angle -- and not just the blue sea but the the white caps of breaking surf and tidepools in the front yard. Wow. Thanks Joyce! Following our visit we tracked down the Schmock Residence in La Jolla (also 1953) after our dinner hosts last night recalled that their SDSU professor lived in a Richards home and sent them an Xmas card recently (thanks Paul and Jake!). Schmock is an original owner -- so we will post pics shortly. Unfortunately we had to head back to the land-locked College Area... uggh.

Wednesday February 22nd 2006

Ronald K. Davis' and Sim Bruce Richards' pages updated under "Architecture"

Tuesday February 21st 2006

What a day! I took a vacation day from the office and headed out in the car -- in search of a number of projects. Before I left the house, Chet Tussey called to discuss his Loch Crane designed home on Dolphin Place -- an original owner of a 1965 house on the water. I am sure he has seen some escalation in his property value. He called to help me locate the Opie Residence by Sim Bruce Richards on his street -- but between the two of us we concluded it may have not been built. After chatting about Crane's work, I found myself in the Moore Residence by Loch Crane circa 1951. Discovering the house was by Crane after being led to believe it was a Richards project, I was a bit taken aback. Richards, in 1955, built a "utility room" with skyward projecting beams in incense cedar -- the laundry room is the best part of the house! While in the neighborhood, I did a drive-by of the house for noted San Diego painter Dan Dickey by Sim Bruce Richards circa 1958. The owner is about to tear this down because he and the City agree it is not of historical significance (one of the most noteworthy architects and painters collaborating is not significant apparently). Next, I was off to La Jolla to find two of Richards' earliest projects - African Methodist Episcopal Church (which turned out to be the Prince Chapel by the Sea at 7517 Cuvier), and the Skinner Residence (1949) off Belvedere. The owner was really great - he had no clue of his home's pedigree - the house has been "cottage-ified" if that's possible on a Richards design. We discussed the horrible post-modern craftsman across the street at 359 Belvedere (which was Richards' 1947 Bovard Residence -- SDHS has the hilarious "historic property" report where the author stated that this early design did not include the detailing he would LATER be known and respected for. Of course! After all, it was one of his first projects as a self-employed architect, he had yet to define those "Richards features"... not to mention it was 1947!). The Skinner Residence will be on the market soon -- details as they come in. Leaving the Wind 'n' Sea area, I tried to track down Richards' Alvarez (1959), Belcher (1958), Willoughby (1957), Woods (1973) and Dixon projects. I failed on all counts -- but that's part of the deal. At least I was able to cross-off a number of addresses from "the list."

Monday February 20th 2006

Todd and I hit the streets after work this afternoon and visited several interesting houses -- the Herrera Residence a 1968 Lloyd Ruocco design in El Cajon (which according to Todd is one of his last projects that we currently know of), a house we thought was by Richards (which turned out not to be, but the owners were really nice), and three unsuccessful door-knocks (916, 1156 and 1084 Hacienda) on interesting designs. We think we spotted a good house (Todd thinks it's by Delawie, I think Hester) at 1877 El Pico in Fletcher Hills -- can anyone confirm? But the BIG NEWS OF THE DAY was Todd spotting another A. Quincy Jones "Sun Villa" also known as the Hvistendahl developer's house. Though FUBAR'd beyond recognition, if you peel away the bad landscape, the dozen cars on the property, the bad kitchen outgrowth, the second story addition (and a host of other awful things) you can see it plain as day -- 1647 Berenda Place, just a stone's throw from Loch Crane's "House Beautiful" project. The BAD NEWS of the day -- it looks like the Grossmont Spec House (see picture to the right) will be torn down by the guy who just bought it. Apparently a retirement home is planned for the site. Give me a break.

Sunday February 19th 2006

What a busy weekend of house-hunting and research! After spending the day with Sim Bruce Richards' daughter Aileen, I confirmed a number of projects in/around Point Loma -- no photographs just matching up addresses with the houses themselves. Some day I will publish a self-guided tour map for you folks. After an e-mail from one of you (dear readers) and a mention from Richards' daughter -- I am now highly interested in the Lipetsky Residence in Alpine. One of these days I will drive east of the 67 Freeway and head out there. Sunday afternoon Hector Perez treated Jessica and I to a tour of City House, their home designed by Wallace Cunningham. They have added so much life to the "formulist" approach of this, one of Cunningham's earliest, residential designs. Following our visit, we found a Henry Hester design tucked away on Torrey Pines Road (and wouldn't you know it, we were without a camera)! I left notes in three mailboxes of homeowners hoping to hear back from them -- and 2 of 3 have responded already. Other responses have also come in from recent door-knock/mailbox drops (isn't it illegal to tamper with the US Mail?) and house visits are filling the calendar (of course, dear reader, I will post the results).

Tuesday February 14th 2006

Happy Valentine's Day. Buy your sweetie an amazing Lloyd Ruocco design! Click on "FOR SALE" on the Grossmont Spec House and see what a deal this really is!

Sunday February 12th 2006

Sometimes, for a wide array of reasons, we have to leave town. This weekend we packed up the lil' sports car and headed north to the Bay Area. Let's just say we got lucky -- leaving at 1PM, we made it to Oakland in 7 hours sans traffic. Using the route my father suggested - 15N to 210W to 5N worked well. Sushi in Berkeley and a bed in Emeryville closed the shop on Friday. Saturday morning was spent at the Waterman Residence (1958) by Sim Bruce Richards. Bruce's sister Betty (the original client) joined us and her son Bill and daughter-in-law Marie to tour the home and talk about Uncle Bruce. Jess and I then headed west to Los Altos Hills to spend the afternoon with Jerry and Nancie Crowley in their Richards-designed home "The Treehouse". Fantastic conversation, a grand tour, photographs of the construction process and hors d’oeuvres made for a splendid afternoon. We capped off the day with dinner at Sestri in Capitola. Sunday was spent testing the limits of the Audi TT on PCH -- what a blast.

Friday February 3rd 2006

WE hit the streets today. "We" as in Bill, Todd, Mike, John, Eva, Jess and myself. Four separate cars, four separate digital cameras and to some degree four distinct maps. We split Mission Hills into quadrants, each car received their assignment and we were off. Jess and I had South Mission Hills (let's call it South of Washington, East of 5, and West of Dove). Returning back to Shakespeare's, we ate lunch and downloaded our experiences. What a day -- over 50 photographs (most of which will not be posted on this splash page), great food and friends... oh yeah, and architecture. On the right, you will see a couple of Lloyd Ruocco designs and a few new additions by Sim Bruce Richards. You may ask yourself a couple of questions upon glancing at these photos:

1) Does Keith really think he's a good photographer?
2) A 1975 building? That's not mid-century!
3) An equipment storage shed? You have got to be kidding me.

Think what you must, but this website isn't a Democracy (the Forum however is) and it certainly is not a Republic. There's not even an electoral college of aesthetics here. Charmed by a storage shed/garage on the south side of a golf course I am -- and yes, just because it's a Bruce Richards project. So there.

A day of architecture continued as we spent the afternoon with Christine Forester in her home (circa 1969 with husband, architect Russell Forester). Then off to dinner with Darren and Elise in their Palmer & Krisel jewel. Talk of architecture continued through the 1AM hour. I believe that's about 16 hours of nearly-uninterrupted banter about this stuff. That must be some kind of record.

Enjoy your Super Bowl... whatever that's all about.

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