BLOG ARCHIVE - January 2008

Gonzalez House (1952) by John Lloyd Wright at 122 24th Street, Del Mar
(prior to remodel)
Photograph © 2000 Modern San Diego Photographic Services

Wednesday, January 30

French Culture Minister Christine Albanel is to sign an application with the ambassadors to UNESCO spearheading a seven-country bid to have the work of the modernist architect Le Corbusier added to UNESCO's World Heritage list in 2009. Nearly two-dozen of Corbu’s buildings located in France, Germany, Argentina, Belgium, India, Japan and Switzerland, will be submitted for addition to the prestigious list. Learn more HERE.

Expect a full issue of the next AIA magazine to focus on preservation of modernist buildings when it becomes available on March 7. For the theme issue, the editors are looking for submissions. Learn more HERE.

The February '08 issues of Smithsonian Magazine features an article by Owen Edwards on Marcel Breuer's early Bauhaus minimalism as it applied to his early chair designs. Read the article HERE.

The K&D Group offered Cuyahoga County $35 million for the Ameritrust complex in downtown Cleveland. The company has pledged to preserve the only tall office building ever completed by m odernist pioneer Marcel Breuer. Read more HERE.

Clyde Hufbauer Residence #2 under construction in La Jolla circa 1951.
Photo courtesy of the Hufbauer family.

Sunday, January 27

The exhibit "Raymond Loewy: Designs for a Consumer Culture" at the National Heritage Museum in Lexington, MA (through March 23) shows that in addition to making Studebakers super-spy cool, Loewy's firm helped fashion snappy refrigerators, shops, and buses. They designed Coca-Cola packaging, the interior of the Concorde jetliner and much more. This show was organized around 125 items including a Loewy-designed camera, electric razor, sewing machine, radios, television, and chrome-and-glass jukebox as well as photos, illustrations, and documents. Read a review of the exhibit HERE or check out the museum HERE.

Curbed Los Angeles has been having fun with The House of Tomorrow by Welton Becket. Read the blog posts HERE and HERE and HERE. And don't miss the links to original black 'n' white photos someone posted in the comments section.

Ciudad Universitaria, in the historic center of Mexico City, was built through the early 1950s, (in part by architect Juna O’Gorman), today houses “…a notable concentration of modern functionalist architecture.” The campus is one of only a few modern sites (along with the Sydney Opera House) that appear on UNESCO’s list of 851 extraordinary cultural sites. Read more HERE.

Architect Arthur Silvers died on January 18. He was 77. Silvers graduated from USC’s school of architecture in 1959. In the early 1960s, Silvers joined Robert Kennard to form Kennard & Silvers. During his time with the partnership Silvers would design a number or striking buildings throughout California. According to Kennard’s daughter, they “were modernists whose influences were Richard Neutra and Victor Gruen. Silvers designed Temple Akiba in Culver City and Strawflower Shopping Center at Half Moon Bay. Learn more HERE.

"ULTRA-MODERN" is Clyde Hufbauer Residence #1 at 833 Capistrano Place in Mission Beach (1939)

Saturday, January 26

Clyde Hufbauer's personal residence (1951) at 1821 Torrey Pines Road was designated a historic site for San Diego on Thursday by a unanimous vote.

Richard Neutra’s Kaufmann House (1946) will be auctioned on May 13 during Christie's New York Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening sale. The Kaufmann House is thought to be worth $15 million to $25 million. Sellers Beth and Brent Harris, bought the Kaufmann House for $1.9 million in 1993 before starting their $5 million restoration. Learn more HERE.

Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet will celebrate the installation of a historic marker at the Kaufmann House (470 W. Vista Chino), at 4 p.m. on Thursday, February 14. Pougnet will be joined by members of the Palm Springs City Council, Historic Site Preservation Board (HSPB), Palm Springs Modern Committee, and City Planning Department. The Kaufmann House is one of several Class 1 historic sites in Palm Springs to take advantage of a Mills Act Historic Property Agreement, which entitles the current or future owners to enjoy a reduced property tax rate in exchange for ongoing maintenance and preservation of this historic site. Get out to Palms Springs Modernism a day (or two) early to join in this celebration. Read more HERE.

Pougnet will also celebrate the installation of a historic marker at City National Bank Building (at 588 S. Palm Canyon Drive). The dedication ceremony is set for 3 p.m. Thursday, February 14. The bank, built in 1959 was designed by architect Rudy Baumfeld of Victor Gruen & Associates of Beverly Hills as a branch bank for City National Bank of Beverly Hills. The City Council recognized its importance and designated it a Class 1 historic site on July 18, 2007. Learn more HERE.

Richard Diebenkorn arrived in Albuquerque in January 1950 after he decided to go to graduate school at the University of New Mexico, courtesy of the G.I. Bill, so that he could paint full time. He was 27 years old. Diebenkorn’s progress during his 30-month stay in New Mexico is the subject of a new show “Diebenkorn in New Mexico”. The exhibition of 19 paintings, 24 works on paper and one sculpture is on view through April 5 at the Grey Art Gallery, New York University. Read the review HERE or visit the gallery HERE.

Read an essay (HERE) comparing and contrasting the current green building movement with post-war modernism (focusing on Richard Neutra specifically). Author Dave LeBlanc proffers that green "...will stagnate if the general public continues to be bombarded with scientific facts, figures and, sometimes, scare tactics to steer it onto the righteous and verdant path. In other words, until we're told why it's sexy, we won't budge."

Dr. Robert E. Bond Residence (1960) by Richard Neutra.

Photograph ©2006 Modern San Diego Photographic Services

Friday, January 25

The $3 million lawsuit filed by architect William Krisel against Contempo Homes was dismissed. Krisel claimed the Palm Springs-based developer used his copyrighted home designs built by the Alexander Construction Company in the 1950s for six new homes in the Little Tuscany area of Palm Springs. It was ruled that Krisel’s designs had fallen into the public domain because the copyright expired in 1987.

This whole "build a website to educate the public about your local modern architectural resources" is taking off. Check out Modern Tulsa HERE.

DOCOMOMO Nederland will host the 10th International Docomomo Conference in Rotterdam in September. The central theme is "The Challenge of Change – Dealing with the Legacy of the Modern Movement.” The architecture of the Modern Movement was always future-oriented, with a firm and optimistic belief in the possibilities of progress. Therefore, buildings of the 20th century now in need of preservation raise interesting questions of principle. For more information on DOcumentation and COnservation of buildings, sites and neighbourhoods of the MOdern Movement go HERE.

The Getty Foundation's $13.5 million Campus Heritage Initiative has come to an end. The foundation awarded grants to the likes of the University of Chicago, whose mid-20th-century academic buildings were designed by Eero Saarinen and Skidmore Owings & Merrill; and Florida Southern College whose west campus consists of a dozen structures designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1939. Learn more HERE.

Edward P. Silva Residence (1953) by Sim Bruce Richards. Photograph by Douglas Simmonds

Monday, January 21

Our January event, Modern Movie Madness #1, was a hit. Potluck, a double feature, and great conversation -- What more could you ask for? For those unable to attend, we watched “Maloof” (more info at: and “True To Form: Vladimir Ossipoff, Architect” (more info at: At this time we do not yet know what our February event will be. It will be something low-key in Palm Springs around Palm Springs Modernism. Drop us a line if you have an idea.

One of J. Herbert Brownell’s Compact Houses (1963) is up for sale. Elizabeth Courtier will be holding two open houses for the 1254 Agate Street residence on Tuesday January 22nd  9:30-12:30 and Wednesday January 23rd 10:30-12:30.The house has been extensively updated and listed at $795,000.

A new exhibition “Jean Prouvé - The Poetics of the Technical Object” opened at the Design Museum in London's South Bank (a partnership with Tate Modern) and runs through April 13th. As a centerpiece to the exhibition on the French architect’s life and work the museum has reassembled Prouvé’s La Maison Tropicale from the Republic of Congo - a prototype house designed in the 1950s. Learn more HERE.

Read the Seattle Times' review of Lionel H. Pries, Architect, Artist, Educator: From Arts and Crafts to Modern Architecture HERE.

When Pt. Loma Was Rural - Alan Soulé Residence by Sim Bruce Richards (1949)

Saturday, January 19

AUCTION UPDATE #1: Los Angeles Modern Auctions is readying their next auction for February 10. More information is HERE.

AUCTION UPDATE #2: Wright has announced their spring auction dates - March 30, April 1, and May 18. More information is HERE.

AUCTION UPDATE #3: Sollo Rago will offer their first auction of modern goodies of the year on January 26. More information is HERE.

When Pt. Loma Was Rural - Alice Clark Residence #1 by Sim Bruce Richards (1953)

Thursday, January 17

Vladimir Kagan, will kick off the "Design Icon" lecture series at the Las Vegas Design Center on January 31. Following the lecture he will visit the (Sands Hotel orchestra leader) Antonio Morelli House (1959) where he has volunteered to help the Junior League of Las Vegas' restoration efforts. Learn more HERE.

“Promises of Paradise: Staging Mid-Century Miami,” a new show at the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach explores architecture, furniture, fabric, clothing and more in the first exhibition devoted to the full expression of mid-century Miami. Focusing exclusively on the 1950s, the show features extensive materials from Morris Lapidus (Fountainebleau, Eden Roc, and Americana hotels), George Farkas, Frederick Rank and Alfred Browning Parker and much more. The show runs through April 13. Learn more HERE.

Philadelphia’s Newman Gallery has launched a new show “Women Artists of the Early Twentieth Century” presenting three dozen paintings by a group of female artists working in and around Philadelphia during the first half of the 20th century. Highlighting the work of Dorcas Doolittle, Quita Brodhead, Ethel Warwick, Fern I. Coppedge and Elizabeth Washington the exhibition shows the influence of early modern art on these women, and their interpretations of and important contributions to these styles. Learn more HERE.

Friday, January 11

In recognition of their groundbreaking contributions to architecture, furniture design, manufacturing and photographic arts, designers Charles and Ray Eames will be honored this coming summer with a pane of 16 stamps designed by Derry Noyes of Washington, DC.

The New York Sun reviewed the Noguchi Museum's exhibition "Design: Isamu Noguchi and Isamu Kenmochi" HERE.

Los Angeles City Beat interviewed Julius Shulman HERE.

Loch and Clare Crane Residence (1962) designed by Loch Crane

Thursday, January 10

91-year-old architect Olof Dahlstrand and the either Wright-inspired houses he designed after WW2 have been profiled in two recent books NorCalMod and Olof Dahlstrand: The Usonians, the Magnificent Seven of the East Bay. On a circuitous route from native Milwaukee to Cornell to San Francisco, Dahlstrand’s visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin in 1934 inspired the contstruction of a small group of homes in the East Bay that would cement his legacy in the area’s architectural history. Dahlstrand worked for Taliesin Fellow Fred Langhorst and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill for part of his career. For his 91st birthday recently, people gathered for a private house tour and dinner attended by, among others, residents of his homes. Learn more HERE.

Marin Modern Real Estate, a real estate firm focusing on modern and mid-century modern homes in Marin and San Francisco County is just opend a new office in San Rafael. The new office will focus on local homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Francis Joseph McCarthy, Aaron Green, David Beverly Thorne, Claude Oakland and Robert Anshen. Learn more HERE.

The exhibition of Vladimir Ossipoff's work ``Hawaiian Modern: The Architecture of Vladimir Ossipoff'' is reviewed HERE.

Hodge Crabtree Residence (1962) by Liebhardt & Weston

Tuesday, January 8

Australian architect Neil Everist was 70 years old before he lived in one of his own designs. In a career spanning more than 40 years, Everist and his colleague earned their place in Australian architecture's history books. They opened their practice in the mid-'50s, with an office in Melbourne. By the 1960s, his firm was part of the groundbreaking wave of postwar young modernist architects. It wasn't until he retired, and a book about the history of the firm was in the offing, that Everist started visiting his early projects. Among these, he purchased the Jack Hawkes House, which they had designed in 1966, and moved into. Read and see more HERE.

While details are sparse, according to Voice of San Diego, architecture critic Ann Jarmusch is no longer with the UT. Following Carl Larsen's exit earlier this month, it appears the UT and SignOn are a bit short-handed in covering architecture and design stories in our community. If you have any details or thoughts, please post to our discussion forum HERE.

Casady Residence by Homer Delawie

Sunday, January 6

Metropolis writer Jeffrey Head recently alerted the public to the current condition of Edward Durrell Stone’s only private residential project in California, a house designed for LIFE magazine (September 22, 1958) and opened for public viewing as a model home. Read about the 50 years of remodels, additions and general character of the Chatsworth neighborhood where this unlikely find occurred HERE.

In late November the Union Tank Car Co. dome (circa 1958) in Baton Rouge, LA., designed by Buckminster Fuller, was razed by its owner, Kansas City Southern Railway. Upon its completion, not only was “The Bucky Dome” the largest dome in the world but was also the first industrial use of Fuller’s dome. Despite the local PBS station profiling the building, recent tour inquiries mounting by the Foundation for Historical Louisiana, and the dome being on Louisiana’s top 10 endangered properties, and the Foundation labeling the site as one of the state’s “Treasures in Trouble,” the building was still demolished. The building would have turned 50 years old this year and therefore likely to join the National Register of Historic Places. Learn more HERE.

Now here's a great idea - a local college campus offering a continuing-education course on local architectural history for a mere $85.00. "Sarasota's Architecture, Past and Future" begins January 16 at the Academy for Lifelong Learning on the University of South Florida's Sarasota-Manatee campus. Among the highlights are sessions "The Sarasota School of Architecture." and "Modern Architecture in Florida" (courtesy of Jan Hochstim, author of Florida Modern) as well as a mid-century modern house tour. For more information go HERE.

Fifty years after a dark episode in University of Washington history, a new book on the late Seattle architect Lionel Pries goes a long way to restore some of the honor that once surrounded his name. Jeffrey Ochsner's book Lionel Pries: Architect, Artist, Educator: From Arts and Crafts to Modern Architecture (UW Press, $60) spells out why and how, at the age of 61, Pries was turned out with no pension. Mortified and in need of money, he had to accept demeaning positions as a draftsman and designer, working for former students and associates. Read more HERE.

Louise Liebhardt Residence (1958) by Frederick Liebhardt. Photograph by Douglas Simmonds

Friday, January 4

Happy New Year from the massive corporate staff and shareholders of Modern San Diego.

Like our own Lillian Rice, many long forgotten early female architects are finally getting their due praise. As academics find more and more valuable contributions by the likes of Lilly Reich, (who worked with Mies Van Der Rohe) and Aino Aalto (who worked with her husband Alvar in Finland), stories like that of Marion Mahony Griffin (1871-1961) continue to surface. By 1908 Mahony, the first woman to obtain an architecture license in Illinois, had been working for Frank Lloyd Wright for a decade. Mahony’s drawings, were an important contribution to the, now infamous, Wasmuth Portfolio, a compendium of Wright’s designs published in Germany in 1910. In 1911 she married Walter Burley Griffin (1876-1937). Read more about Mahony HERE or check out the online version of "The Magic of America," her only known manuscript HERE.

Three new sites for you to check out: First, like our own site, one of our fellow modern afficionadoes has launched a new site, Modern Riverside, reflecting on his own local built environment. Another good site to bookmark as we head into February is Modernism Week, a site outlining the festivities surrounding Palm Springs Modernism Week '08. If you are considering Chicago any time soon, click on Chicago Bauhaus & Beyond.


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