Ed Malone Residence (1962)
Photo by Darren Bradley

Tuesday January 29, 2013

I am looking for any information on San Diego ceramist Marg Loring. I have posted a draft biography HERE. Please let me know if you have any leads on her life and work HERE.

Having witnessed folks from well outside our region look down their steep noses while questioning the quality and quantity of modernist works in San Diego, one has to wonder how many believe Cap St Martin – on the French Riviera – hosts important work. For those that have heard of, or seen photographs of Eileen Gray’s house, or E1027 as she referred to it, its location is not the point. Or is it? The cliff-hugging home engaging the Mediterranean is where Le Corbusier exploded. Burned bright and then … not. Read THIS BLOGGER’S recent engagement with the house – and go from there!

Henry Hester's Givler Residence (1958). See it next week during Borrego Modern Weekend.
Photo by Judy Parker.

Saturday January 26, 2013

The UT posted a hearty review of next week's 'Borrego Modern Weekend' HERE.

Construction work at 301 University Avenue was recently halted when remnants of a Streamline Modern building were found underneath. Read more HERE.

Next Saturday, a new exhibit focusing on James Hubbell's sculpture opens at the Oceanside Museum of Art. Read more about In Search of Shadows: James Hubbell Sculpture HERE.

Back on the Market: Casady Residence in Mount Helix. Learn more HERE.
Photo by Iris Conrad

Saturday January 19, 2013

San Diego-based master architect Arthur Decker’s showpiece originally commissioned for Daily Californian editor Cy Casady is now publicly available for the first time since being nestled in its wooded, north-facing Mount Helix location. As one of his favorite works, Mr. Decker purchased this unique home from Mr. Casady and would raise his family and enjoy the rest of his life overlooking the El Cajon valley from the residence’s living room-wide wall of glass. This open, bright, expansive example of regional mid-century modernism retains its sleek original flair. As a rarity these days to find such a pristine example of post-War architecture saved from the clutches of remodelers, flippers, and careless owners, this two-owner home is in museum-quality condition – just bring your ideas for furnishing, entertaining, and creating your own store of memories. Learn more HERE.

The Getty’s ‘Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A.’ roster has grown to 11 exhibitions and the Getty Foundation has doled out $3.6 million in grants to 16 organizations for exhibitions, publications and programming (in and around Los Angeles between April and July of this year). Check out the web site HERE.

The term 'brutalism' is tossed around a lot lately - just do a search on Ebay, 1st Dibs and craigslist. About 99.9% of uses of this term refer to everything but the architecture it references. If you want to understand, the misunderstood, check out 'Defending Brutalism: The Uncertain Future of Modernist Concrete Structures' a recent article by David Hay HERE.

Real Estate Brokers Association Building (1965) by Henry Hester
Photography: Darren Bradley (2013)

Sunday January 13, 2013

The La Jolla Historical Society 'Modern Committee' is collaborating on a guide to 'Modern La Jolla'. Drop me a line if you want to learn more about the process of selecting sites to include/exclude HERE. This spring the map/guide will be available to the public! The shot above exemplifies strong examples of regional modernism in the 92037 (zip code).

On January 31st, Modern San Diego will host an intimate viewing (w/ cheese, crackers and white wine) of Lloyd Ruocco's Beers Residence in Mission Hills. Drop us a line HERE if you would like to see the house (pictured below) prior to it reaching the MLS on February 1st.

Rest in Peace: Huell Howser (1945-2013).
Photo by Angela Carone

Monday January 7, 2013

My friend of nearly 20 years, Huell Howser, passed away early this morning. A friend, a colleague while I worked in public broadcasting, and a fellow fan ot post-War modernism, Huell will be missed by our family and much of California. Huell officiated our wedding on June 2, 2007 - one of the greatest gifts he ever gave us.

Today, we also lost Ada Louise Huxtable, the pioneer of modern architectural criticism for The New York Times. She was 91. Ms. Huxtable started in 1963, “… as the first full-time architecture critic at an American newspaper…,” for The Times. She won the first Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism, in 1970. While I have been upset for years that true, meaningful architecture criticism has been absent from the popular press, the void is likely only temporary. But where is tomorrow’s powerful-enough critic that architects and developers consider alongside their designs? Perhaps, someone is following in her footsteps... “Ms. Huxtable was assistant curator of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art from 1946 to 1950. She was a Fulbright fellow, studying Italian architecture and design in 1950-52, and a Guggenheim fellow in 1958. She had also begun writing for architectural journals…Out of school, she was hired by Bloomingdale’s to sell a furniture line with works by Eero Saarinen and Charles Eames…. Her husband was L. Garth Huxtable, an industrial designer, with whom Ada collaborated in designing tableware for the Four Seasons restaurant, which opened in 1959 in Mies Van Der Rohe’s Seagram Building."  Read more HERE.

In the coming weeks, Modern San Diego will be bringing this Lloyd Ruocco designed residence to the market for the first time.
In original condition. Photograph by Darren Bradley. Inquire HERE.

Sunday January 6, 2013

Friends of San Diego Architecture will host, Eric Haas, on January 19th at 9:30 a.m. Haas will speak about the restoration of R.M. Schindler’s Bubeshko Apartments (built ca. 1941) near Griffith Park. Click HERE for more information.

For more info - BorregoModern

Thursday January 3, 2013

On February 2, the Borrego Art Institute and will present Borrego Modern: Architectural Evolution – Mid-Century to Contemporary an architectural tour featuring the modern architecture of San Diego’s mid-century modern desert resort. This exclusive tour will showcase the mid-century designs of Henry Hester, William Kesling and Cliff May along with the contemporary designs of Walter Chambers and Richard Orne. The tour provides a snapshot of the evolution of modern desert design in Borrego Springs and the unique architecture it has inspired. The tour will additionally feature the recent renovations of two historic, mid-century buildings in the community and will give visitors a “behind the scenes” view of their transformation. A post tour reception will also give guests the opportunity to meet and mingle with other modern architecture enthusiasts and to explore more in depth, the Borrego Art Institute.

For more info - BorregoModern

Wednesday January 2, 2013

On Friday February 1st at 7:30 p.m., please join’s Bill Lawrence for his presentation ‘The Architecture of San Diego’s Mid-Century Modern Desert Resort’ presented by the Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association. The presentation will outline how “The heat, light, and intense beauty of the Anza-Borrego Desert has had a profound effect on the architectural heritage of Borrego Springs. Using period photographs and the contemporary work of photographer Judy Parker, Bill Lawrence, architectural historian and publisher of, will explore the mid-century modern architecture of Borrego Springs, and how the designs of the past continue to influence the present and future of the community.” More information can be found HERE.

Congratulations to Micah and Elizabeth Parzen for securing historic designation for the John and Joan Vondracek House at 851 Amiford Drive. The house was deemed historic because it “Embodies distinctive characteristics of style, type, period, or method of construction or is a valuable example of the use of indigenous materials or craftsmanship.” This is likely because the home’s architect, Hanis Lloyde Therkelsen, has yet to be deemed a ‘master’ builder, designer or architect. Hopefully over time we can improve Therkelsen’s stature with the City of San Diego as so few of his designs remain. Mrs. Vondracek, now living in Sacramento, shared her delight that the 1959 home remains important to the community.

Among the first (of many to come) lists of 2013 is MidCenturyHome’s ‘6 Books Every Mid Century Modern Enthusiast Must Have in 2013’. Check it out HERE.

San Diego blogger, Miss Hell, just posted a nice overview 'San Diego: Midcentury Modern Architecture'. Check it out HERE.

ModernSanDiego friend, Steven Churchill, is looking for the original commissioning client for his Weir Bros home in La Mesa. If you know of anyone related to Dick Morehouse or his 1963 home, check out the site HERE.



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