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Modern San Diego Retail - Design Center from San Diego & Point Magazine

Tuesday February 28, 2012

The now-famous lecture by the enfant terrible of modern architecture, Raphael Soriano, at the Fine Arts Gallery, was heard in late November by an audience which is still trying to recover from the shock. Advertised by the gallery as a talk on modern architecture, furniture and art, the speech broke like a storm over every phase of contemporary American life. People who had neglected to put firm foundations under their art opinions found them collapsed or blown away. Read more HERE.

Ilse Hamann Ruocco was born in Spandau, Germany, but spent the majority of her life in San Diego. She studied art at UCLA and Columbia University, and joined the San Diego State faculty in 1934, teaching painting, ceramic arts, and industrial arts. Ruocco was considered an expert in interior design and textile design, and taught at SDSU for a total of 33 years, becoming a Professor Emeritus of Art. She was also the wife of Lloyd Ruocco, the celebrated architect known for designing buildings such as the Design Center on 5th Street, the Geophysics Building at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the San Diego Civic Theatre. Ilse Ruocco died in 1982. Hear her interviewed HERE.

Meyer Fine Art in Little Italy secured many works and archival material from Clay Walker’s widow following the artist’s death in 2008. Meyer says he's found documentation that Walker once showed alongside artists like Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol in venues like the Museum of Modern Art and the Toledo Museum of Art. Read more about West Coast Walker: Catalyst to Modernism HERE.

Eugene “Gene” Weston III was the prototypical modernist, an architect’s architect who cut his teeth in Los Angeles before bringing post ’n’ beam construction to San Diego. Wide expanses of wood and glass allowed for real indoor-outdoor living and open floor plans—both things absent from most homes and commercial buildings just prior to World War II. Read more HERE.


Modern San Diego Real Estate: American Housing Guild Subdivision House (1961) by Henry Hester.
Photograph by Julius Shulman.

Sunday February 26, 2012

Last week we met with a couple of owners of Henry Hester's American Housing Guild homes north of Mesa College in Linda Vista. With the original owner recently moving out, we will be listing one of these fantastic flat-roof models (pictured above) for sale this week. Please make sure you sign up for our newsletter HERE as open house information will be mailed out this week.

Ceramic artist Kenneth Price died on Friday. See more HERE.

Following our visit, on Friday, to homes by Arthur Decker (in Mt Helix) and Robert Fowble (in Lemon Grove), I realized I had to post more information on both of these architects. I updated Decker's page HERE and launched the first draft of Fowble's bio HERE.


Modern San Diego Retail - Design Center from San Diego & Point Magazine

Tuesday February 21, 2012

Las Vegas’ Mid-Century Modern Alliance is hosting a ‘Mid-Century Modern Event’ covering topics such as ‘Preserve Nevada’, ‘The Neon Boneyard’ as well as designer Eva Zeisel on Sunday, February 26th, 2012. Organizer Joyce Corbett has extended an invited to Modern San Diego visitors to join them for this free event (if you’re in Vegas) at the Palace Station Hotel, 2411 West Sahara Ave. Drop Joyce a line HERE.


Helix Theatre in La Mesa by architect S. Charles Lee (ca. 1947-48). Found on Online Archive of California

Saturday February 18, 2012

LUXE Magazine regularly offers insights into local ‘hip and happening’ places, people and things. Just recently, Brett Miller, owner of Tower23, waxed poetic about Homer Delawie’s work and modernsandiego.com. Thanks Brett!

Can you imagine John Baldessari saying,"You can take the boy out of National City, but you can’t take National City out of the boy?" Certainly you can ponder the merits of our local boy having left for Los Angeles to change the world of art while seeing the new MCASD show focused on him. Read more HERE.

Recently retiring at age 92, Paolo Soleri has handed over the reins of Arcosanti to Jeff Stein a former dean of the Boston Architectural College. So what’s next - a retirement home; a canopy for the outdoor amphitheater; a renovated commercial bakery; a storage unit for Mr. Soleri’s collection of fantastical architectural models and/or a half-dozen new apartments? Your guess is as good as mine but read more HERE.

On March 7th, Sotheby’s 20th Century Design auction in New York will host some of the most iconic forms of organic stoneware designed by the Danish ceramicist Axel Salto, to extremely rare assemblage of vessels thrown by Lea Halpern. The furniture, porion of the auction will include works by George Nakashima, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Charlotte Perriand. More HERE.


Helix Theatre in La Mesa by architect S. Charles Lee (ca. 1947-48). Found on Online Archive of California

Thursday February 16, 2012

El Cajon architect Arthur D. Decker (1917-2012) has died. In his memory I just launched a brief outline of his work HERE.

Pacific View Elementary in Encinitas is being repurposed. Anyone know who the architect was? Read more HERE.

Modern Home Tours LLC, is producing a tour of San Diego contemporary and mid-century homes on March 24. Learn more HERE.


J. Walton MacConnell Residence by William Kesling. Kesling's page has been just updated HERE.

Sunday February 12, 2012

Modernist architect Eugene Weston III was in his early 30s when he declared that "the house is the last of the handcrafted objects" in an industrial age. The year was 1956, and he argued in the LA Times that even a modest house could be "more beautiful and meaningful" if it was built with post-and-beam construction that opens up interiors and invites the outdoors in through walls of glass. A third-generation Los Angeles architect, Weston built a string of midcentury homes here before spending three decades with a San Diego firm known for such large-scale commissions as the Old Globe Theatre, San Diego Wild Animal Park and several major buildings at UC San Diego. Weston died on January 31st in Santa Barbara. He was 87. Read the LA Times obituary HERE.

Architect William G. Moises passed away on February 8th. Born in Oklahoma City on October 21, 1928, to Gust and Pearl Moises, William moved to San Diego in 1958. Following service in the US Army in Korea, Moises worked with Frank Hope and Associates, and later partnered with Ron Davis (ca. 1960-65) and Tom Eads. As he neared retirement Moises ran his own firm in La Jolla.


Modern San Diego Retail - Dean Marshall Interiors

Saturday February 11, 2012

The Society of Architectural Historians' Southern California Chapter has announced Carefree California a 'Cliff May Exhibit and Home Tour' on March 10. Following a special behind-the-scenes tour of the exhibit, "Carefree Living: Cliff May and the Romance of the Ranch" at the UC Santa Barbara Art Museum, the group will visit the May architectural archive. Leaving campus, the group will then visit the Cliff May designed Power Residence (1964) in Camarillo. More information is HERE.

Final accounting is in - Modern San Diego's Eames: The Architect and The Painter event back in December resulted in $1,500 donated to both Mingei International Museum and the Museum of Photographic Arts. Thank you all for being part of it - not only memorable but it helped two great institutions!

Rago is hosting their early 20th Century and 20th Century Pottery auctions on February 25. See more HERE.

Wright's calendar of upcoming auctions is posted HERE.

LA Modern Auctions' next event will be on May 6. Check out more HERE.

Modernica's blog is always a fun read. Check it out HERE.

John Lautner's Elrod House (1968) and Hotel Lautner (1947) will be open for Palm Springs Modernism Week. Read more HERE.

During the recent Stockholm Furniture Fair, Danish brand Gubi showcased its reissuing of Greta Grossman designs. In addition to their recent Grasshopper floor- and Cobra (floor and table) lamps, they have started manufacturing both a dresser and a desk by Grossman as part of the 62-Collection. Read more HERE.


Henry Hester's Edwards Residence (ca. 1960) in Escondido. Soon to be available for event rentals and location shoots!

Sunday Feburary 5, 2012

After meeting the owner of Henry Hester's Edwards Residence in Southwest Escondido, we would like to promote the use of this fine modernist mansion as a venue for your next wedding, party, or business retreat.Please drop us a line to learn more about the (above pictured) house HERE.

With the recent discovery of a Harry Lawrence Eggers designed home in Chula Vista, I have started a profile of him HERE.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Millard House (ca. 1923) in Pasadena is up for sale for $4,995,000. Learn more HERE

Case Study House architect Rodney Walker's own residence (ca. 1959) in Ojai is up for sale for $3,995,000. Learn more HERE.

Philip Johnson's Booth Residence (ca. 1946) in Bedford, New York is up for sale for $1,600,000. Learn more HERE.

One of very few residential designs by Louis Kahn, the Esherick House (ca. 1961) in Philadelphia is up for sale. Learn more HERE.

John Lautner's Schaffer Residence (ca. 1949) (as seen in the Colin Firth film 'A Single Man') is up for sale for $1,395,000. Learn more about the Glendale house HERE.

Hope Springs Resort (ca. 1963) in Desert Hot Springs is for sale. Run your own B&B for $950,000! Learn more HERE.

Craig Ellwood's Broughton Residence (ca. 1949) is for sale. $799,000 gets you a precursor to his Case Study House designs. Learn more HERE.


Flags Fly at Half-Mast Today - Eugene Weston III (1924-2011)
Pictured Above - La Jolla Country Day School by Liebhardt & Weston. Photograph by Douglas Simmonds.

Thursday Feburary 2, 2012

Eugene ‘Gene’ Weston III has died. Following a recent stroke, Gene died peacefully at Santa Barbara's Cottage Hospital. At 87, the retired architect continued to influence a generation of designers and inspire historians. He was published in Arts & Architecture; was a partner in one of the best post-war firms in San Diego; and served as an ambassador to ‘good design’ for decades. Mr. Weston is survived by Wanda, his wife of 65 years, 4 daughters, 6 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.

Speaking of the firm Liebhardt & Weston, someone recently discovered (and scanned) a Douglas Fir Plywood Association brochure highlighting a line of prefab cabins ‘Second Homes for Leisure Living’ in the 1960s. The brochure is a collection of 16 cabin plans by various architects including Frederick Liebhardt, George Matsumoto, David George and Henrik Bull. Illustrations are by Bob Wandesforde. According to his family, Liebhardt is likely to have designed the ‘three stage beach cabin’ as it mimics his original canvas-roofed backyard architectural studio (ca. 1949-50). Enjoy the images HERE.

Mies Van Der Rohe's Villa Tugendhat in Brno recently enjoyed a $9 million renovation, following its UNESCO designation as a world heritage site, and will open to the public for tours starting in March. Read more about the home's rich history HERE and then buy your plane tickets!

Join me tonight for 'Lost Modern' - a 20-slide, 6.5-minute Pecha Kucha presentation at the Mingei. More info is HERE.

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