Frank Lewis Hope Jr. (1901 - 1994)
Large local architectural firms, who met the challenges of a rapidly growing San Diego dominated the local building explosion in the decades following World War II. Larger firms like Wheeler and Associates; Mosher & Drew; Tucker, Sadler, & Bennett; Delawie, Macy & Henderson; Deems-Martin (and Lewis) and Frank L. Hope & Associates competed against one another and firms from across the nation vying for the work.
Though the 1950's and 1960's were times of great variability in the quality of local architecture. And while the out-of-towners like Pereira Luckman, Edward Durrell Stone, Louis Kahn and Richard Neutra are often referenced in connection to this period’s cornerstone projects, works done by local architects of that era are outstanding. Frank Hope’s career precedes that of corporate interests hiring out of town big firms for their buildings and provided an important training ground for a generation of architects.
Hope, who retired in 1966 and died in 1994 at the age of 93 continued to watch the next generation - Frank Hope Jr., an architect, and Chuck B. Hope, a structural engineer - take over ownership of the company and expand it. The Hope firm peaked in size in the 1980s with 150 employees. Noted designers Gary Allen (who designed San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium), C.W. Kim and Robert Bell all cut their teeth under the Hope banner. While Hope Sr. only caught the beginning of San Diego's modern building boom, Frank Jr. headed the company during the city's 1970s and 1980s explosion.
Frank Lewis Hope, Jr. was born to Frank Lewis Hope (1873-1943) in 1901 in San Bernadino and moved to San Diego in 1913 when his father moved to San Diego as a traffic agent for the Santa Fe Railway. Hope attended San Diego High School up to his sophomore year, dropping out that year to work in the Navy shipyards during World War I. Mr. Hope later went on to attend Cal for two years, and the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh for one year but stopped short of earning a degree.
After school Hope held the positions of draftsman, superintendant, and specification writer for Requa and Jackson, Architects starting in 1925. His time with Richard Requa, Herbert Jackson, Lillian Rice and William Wheeler likely informed his approach to architecture and interest in Mediterranean modes.
After passing the state architect exam, Hope launched his own firm, Frank L. Hope & Associates, Architects & Engineers located in the Spreckles Building in 1928.
According the Los Angeles Times, “…When Frank Sr. opened his business in 1928, San Diego was still small (the 1930 census counted a population of 148,000), and the scale of development was modest compared to today. He built his business mostly by designing houses and churches in traditional styles, including a Mediterranean mode he learned during his years in the offices of San Diego architects Requa & Jackson, Lillian Rice and William H. Wheeler between 1925-28. It is likely that much of his architecture education came under Requa and Jackson, with whom he began his career as an architect after working in the design department of a shipbuilding company during World War I.”
But Hope also had a modern side. By the late 1930s, he began designing Streamline Moderne houses as well as buildings including a Ford-Lincoln automobile outlet that once stood at 12th Avenue and Broadway downtown, and Grossmont Union High School's auditorium-gymnasium. In 1940, the firm secured the remodeling of the First National Trust & Savings Bank of San Diego in order to give the building a more streamlined appearance. Many of the ornamental features of the building were removed from the exterior and replaced with a sleek tile-covered exterior atop a ceramic (veneer) and black granite base.
Because of the bad economy during the depression, finding work was hard to come by and Hope worked on many projects remodeling and renovating storefronts. In 1930, Hope was given a project to design the Spanish-styled Carmelite Monastery in Normal Heights. From this point forward, Frank Hope Sr. worked closely with the San Diego Roman Catholic Diocese designing several buildings. These projects included the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Ocean Beach (1946), our Lady of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in City Heights (1947), The San Diego College for Women (1950) and the Immaculata at the University of San Diego (1964).
Frank Hope Sr. is one of the few surviving direct links to a great era of modern architecture. He knew Irving Gill, San Diego's most influential architect, who died in 1936. "I was just a kid (when I met Gill)," he said. "I remember him coming in and standing by my drafting board one time. I think he was trying to show me something about a house I was working on. He kept putting landscaping around it, and I don't know if he was trying to hide it or just show me how it could look better."
And once he showed Frank Lloyd Wright around town when the famous architect visited San Diego. "I had him in my car," Frank Hope Sr. recalled, "and at one point, we went by some building, and he said, 'When I die, I'll probably go down to the deepest part of hell. I invented this modern architecture, and look what they've done to it!"
Frank Hope Sr. never considered himself a gifted designer. Frank Hope Jr., who graduated with an architecture degree from UC Berkeley, was "far ahead of me," according to the Hope patriarch. But, in their humble way, the modest homes and churches Frank Hope Sr. worked on have more humanity and charm than the big corporate edifices designed by the company under Frank Hope Jr.
In 1953, Hope’s son, Frank L. Hope Jr., joined the firm and later changed the name of the company to The Hope Consulting Group (AKA Hope Design Group).
Partial List of San Diego Projects
Aquarium Museum Building (ca. 1950)
Arts & Crafts Press Building (1963)
Bullard, Dr. Clinic Building
Bureau of Commercial Fisheries Research Laboratory (1963)
Burnham Building (1962)
Cabrillo National Monument Visitors Center (1966)
Carmelite Monastery of San Diego (1930)
Children’s Hospital, Diagnostic and Treatment Center and New
Coronado Hospital (1972)
Courthouse Facility for the County of San Diego (1956)
Dana Junior High School (1941)
Fares Co. Inc.
Federal Bureau of Prisons
Fenton, Miss L. G., Residence (1928)
First Federal Savings and Loan Branch (1963)
First National Bank Building (formerly Columbia Centre)
First National Bank
Ford-Lincoln Store (AKA City Motors Ford) (late 1930s)
Home AKA Chambers Steel House (1959)
Golden, M.H. Residence
Grossmont Union High School Auditorium-Gymnasium (1935-37)
Hallmark House for Mitchell Realty (1962)
Hogle BuildingHoly Cross Mausoleum (1938, 1963-1964)
Home Federal Savings and Loan Association (1963)
Hope Office Building Building (1961)
Hope, Chuck B. Residence (ca. 1962)
Hope, Frank L. Residence (1956)
Hope, Mr. and Mrs. Frank L., Residence (1947)
Horace Mann Junior High School
Hyatt La Jolla
Hyatt Torrey Pines
Immaculata Chapel (1964)
Immaculate Conception Church (1933)
Immaculate Conception Church (1936)
Kearny Mesa Junior College (ca. 1961)
La Jolla Cancer Research Center (1985)
La Jolla Presbyterian Church, Fellowship Hall (1961 and 1964-65)
May Company (1959)
Hall AKA Psychology Building (1969)
Mercy Hospital expansion (1966-1990)
Mesa Vista Psychiatric Hospital (1963)
National Cash Register Co. Electronics Facility (NCR) (1969)
National Steel & Shipbuilding Corp Office Building
Naval Electronics Maintenance School
Naval Training Center, Officer's Quarters
Nexus Science Center
Oceanside Federal Savings & Loan (1967)
Oliver, Lawrence Residence (1934)
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church (1947)
Pacific Telephone (1959)
Palomar Memorial Hospital (1953-1974)
Pastore, Mr. Caesar, store building (1936)
Penguin House, San Diego Zoo (1959)
Pickford, Mr. H. T. Apartment Hotel (1929)
Point Loma High School Additions (1955)
Pomerado Hospital (1977)
Private Residence (1975)
Rancho Bernardo Villas
Rosary Girl's High School
Sacred Heart Catholic Church (1946)
Saint Charles Chapel Details (1937)
Saint Didacus Church (1927)
Saint Joseph’s Church Alterations (1931)
San Diego Centre City Project (1960 – 1964)
San Diego City College
San Diego College for Women (1950)
San Diego Convention Hall
San Diego High School Technical Arts Building
San Diego Stadium (1967)
San Marcos Post Office
San Diego State College Science Building
San Diego State College Music Building
Santa Fe City Offices (1936)
Scripps Clinic-Molecular Biology Building
Scripps Hydraulics Lab (1964)
Scripps Memorial Hospital (1975)
Security First National Bank (1962)
Security Trust & Savings Bank
Sharp, Donald N. Memorial Hospital Maternity Wing (1961)
Sharp, Donald N. Memorial Community Hospital (1967-1975)
Silver Strand State Beach Campground
Simpson, Mr. and Mrs. Eddie, Apartment House (1929)
Solar Aircraft Company (1960)
St. Patrick’s Catholic Church (1928)
Streamline Modern Houses (late 1930s)
Tappan, Mr. and Mrs. W.N. Residence (1928)
Timken Museum AKA Putnam Foundation, Timken Gallery (1962-1965)
Travelodge Corporation International Headquarters (1962)
Trinity Episcopal Church
Trinity Lutheran Church (1959)
States National Bank
Veteran's Administration Hospital