BLOG ARCHIVE - July 2007

Tuesday, July Thirty First, 2007

Arts & Architecture, the iconic American magazine lives again on the web. The archives of this iconic publication which created the Case Study House Program have been exhumed and have found new life on the web by David Travers, the second and last editor following John Entenza. Check it out here.

San Diego will host yet another mid-century retail enterprise soon. Design/One will open their doors beginning with an opening reception on August 17th at 7pm. Join the owners and your fellow San Diegans on the 17th at the store's location 3789 1/2 Park Blvd in Hillcrest. Their site is in its infancy, but you can track their evolution here.

Monday, July 30, 2007


"Cactus" by Alexander Calder (1969) also on Dublin's Trinity College campus.

I am back home on U.S. soil. Too many stories to share from Ireland and France. Suffice it to say, beyond following Le Tour De France around the beautiful countryside and through small towns, we found great architecture new and old.

A new exhibit on Australian modernism has opened. Savage Luxury: Modernist Design in Melbourne 1930-1939 is at Heide Museum of Modern Art until November 4. Learn more here.

For those that subscribe to the Wall Street Journal, the paper published a great story on Le Corbusier entitled "A Master Architect's Other Art" on July 20.

The New Canaan Historical Society is launching the New Canaan Modern Home Survey, a comprehensive survey of more than 90 mid-century modern residences, outbuildings and landscapes in New Canaan. Learn more here.

One could argue it is time to consider Springfield, MO's architectural history. Learn more here.

Berkeley lecture seeks to highlight its local architects. Learn more here.

I just discovered this site, does anyone know the deal?

Dominion Modern examines the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education's move away from its interior long-reliant on modernist furniture. Learn more here.

The Chicago Tribune examines the trend of demolition of modernist structures here.

Philly.com reprinted the recent LA Times article on Charles Eames' 100th birthday here.

HoustonMod is celebrating one of Houston's finest mid-century architects with a new exhibit. Hugo V. Neuhaus Jr.: Residential Architecture, 1949-65 will be on view at the Architecture Center Houston through September 28. Learn more here.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


UNESCO headquarters in Paris by Marcel Breur (1953)


UNESCO headquarters in Paris by Marcel Breur (1953)

The four-day Inge nuity Festival of Art and Technology, which starts today, includes an exhibition of proposals about how Marcel Breuer's 1971 Ameritrust tower in downtown Cleveland, could be renovated, rather than razed. The show is an indication of the rising sentiment that the desire to erase the only tall office building ever completed by Breuer, a giant of 20th-century Modernist architecture, is wrong. Learn more here.

360 Modern reports that Seattle's feverish real estate market may be a myth of the past. Still in demand, however, are modern homes as there are currently more buyers than sellers of both Mid-Century and Contemporary Modern homes. Learn more here

Read about 82-year old Seattle architect Ralph Anderson here.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


U.S. Embassy in Dublin designed by John Johansen in 1962.

Mod SD is on the road. While walking the streets of Dublin today, I walked past the US Embassy here. The photo to the right shows one view of the rotunda designed in 1962 by American John MacL. Johansen with Irish architect Michael Scott.

Four of Australia's iconic urban buildings were celebrated with the release of Australia Post's Landmarks: Australian Modernist Architecture stamp issue. Melbourne's former ICI House, Canberra's Australian Academy of Science, Perth's Council House and the Sydney Opera House were featured among new stamps issued. Learn more here.

If you are in Manhattan, check out MOMA's new show Lost Vanguard: Soviet Modernist Architecture, 1922–32 Photographs by Richard Pare on view between July 18–October 29, 2007. Learn more here and here.

High-profile buildings such as the Glass House and Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House in Plano, Ill., can be saved by being turned into museums, but a growing number of important modern structures are threatened with demolition -- in part because they're seen as outmoded or impractical, and in part because the public doesn't know what to make of the stark, unadorned style that dominated the middle decades of the last century. Read more here.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


The Berkeley Library at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. Designed by Paul Koralek in 1967.

The San Diego Union-Tribune published a wonderful obituary for C.J. "Pat" Paderewski here.

One of the very few homes designed by George Nelson is up for sale. Learn more about how a 2800 sq. ft. house designed in 1942 on 2.4 acres can sell for under $900K here.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

RIP: Designer Charles Herman Lewis (1923-2007).

Born on December 20, 1923, in Vienna, Austria, Charles grew up in Santa Monica and during World War II he enlisted in the Navy and served on Okinawa as a military government medic. Post-war studies earned him a B.A. degree in 1948 at Pacific Union College and an M.A. in Interior Design in 1958 at UCLA. After a year at Herman Miller Furniture Company as sales representative, he opened a design studio and office in West Los Angeles.

Early in his career, he created interiors for the first Showcase House and two later Showcase Houses, both by Architect Wallace Neff. His interiors appeared on the covers of "Architectural Digest" and "House Beautiful", and in the Los Angeles Times "Home Magazine", and the Herald-Examiner "Pictoral Living".

Charles was a champion of the Modern Design movement of the 1950s. He loved architecture and sought to design interiors that enhanced architects' work. His major commissions in a 47-year career were interiors for the architecture of Charles Eames, Craig Ellwood, Richard Dorman, Harold Zook, and Lloyd Ruocco, among others.

It was Lewis' goal to provide design within reach and to inspire others to appreciate the integrated triad of architectural, interior, and landscape design.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

City Beat has published their first issue focusing on good local design. "Better Building: A Special Issue on Architecture in San Diego" is on newstands today. Be sure to check out my article "Straight and Simple."

Monday, July 9, 2007


RIP: CJ Paderewski 1908-2007

The elder statesman of San Diego Modernism, CJ "Pat" Paderewski died this morning. Pat was to turn 99 years old in only five short days. More details to follow as they come in.

The North County Times profiled local "organic" architect Kendrick Bangs Kellogg. Read more about him here.

Saturday AKA 7-7-7

Even in a mecca of modernist architecture like Chicago, great building designs are threatened.

The Chicago Tribune presented the case today. Writer Blair Kamin wrote, "There's an inconvenient truth that preservationists typically gloss over in their ever-more-pressing fight to save mid-20th Century modernist buildings from demolition: Many (though certainly not all) of these buildings are tough to love... Perhaps it's their cool abstraction, or their labyrinthine floor plans, or their harsh materials, like the serrated concrete that can practically cut your skin. Whatever the reason, the American public has yet to cotton to these buildings. A survey of America's 150 favorite works of architecture, released last February, didn't contain a single structure by Chicago's master of steel and glass, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe... But popularity is one thing; quality is another.

Read the full article "Modernist Buildings in Danger of Being Lost" here.

The modernist home, Studio North, of portraitist August John is up for sale. Read more about the 1933 design by architect Christopher “Kit” Nicholson here.

Thursday July 5, 2007

The New York Times reported today that "tours this year of [Philip Johnson's] the Glass House and related sites are sold out. Tickets can be purchased for next year’s guided tours...weekend tours in May and June of 2008 are already sold out." Read more about the Times' review of their visit to Johnson's estate and its buildings here.

The archives of Ray Kappe and John Lautner are going to the Getty, where they can be accessed by the public. The centerpiece of the Getty's Modernist collection arrived in 2005: photographer Julius Shulman's archive consisting of 260,000 contact prints, negatives, transparencies and other images of more than 7,000 projects by Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, Schindler, Charles Eames, Koenig and Lautner. Learn more here.

Wednesday July 4, 2007

The Contemporary Arts Center of Cincinnati will offer a new exhibit "Graphic Content: Contemporary and Modern Art and Design" between Dec. 9, 2007 - Feb. 11, 2008. The show will feature mid-century modern design and painting that focuses on the work of Cincinnati-based artists. Learn more here.

Also on view, at MOMA in NYC (between July 18 to October 29, 2007), will be "Lost Vanguard: Soviet Modernist Architecture, 1922-32." This exhibition of contemporary photography captures avant-garde structures built in Soviet Union during the 1920s and early 1930s - many of which are now severely dilapidated and threatened with demolition. The exhibition highlights neglected modernist structures from Moscow and St. Petersburg to Kiev, Baku, Ivanovo, and Sochi. Learn more here.

Tuesday July 3, 2007

Celebrating the birth of our nation by blowing your right hand off with fireworks? If not, you may enjoy a nice armchair (say Nelson's Coconut chair), a cool beverage and a good read. Start here with an interior designer's respectful work with Mies' Seagrams Building.

Phoenix is losing its mid-century bank buildings to developers' hands. Read more about how the Chase Bank is currently threatened.

The modernist architecture of the Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites for its "unique example of 20th-century modernism integrating urbanism, architecture, engineering, landscape design and fine arts. See a picture here.

Kate Spade has created a trio of new bags, “The Raleigh Group,” named the modernist architecture movement that thrived in Raleigh, NC during the mid-20th century, thanks to a "dream team" of modernist architects who were teaching at N.C. State's College of Design. Learn more about the bags here.

If you find yourself in Raleigh soon check out Dorton Arena, designed by Matthew Nowicki; the Kamphoefner House designed by Henry Kamphoefner at 3060 Granville Drive; and the Matsumoto House designed by George Matsumoto at 821 Runnymede Road.

Kallmann McKinnell and Knowles’s Boston City Hall has been controversial since its completion in 1968. Many architecture critics praise its Brutalist aesthetic...but detractors, including Mayor Thomas Menino, cite the building... as unwelcoming and inefficient. Read more about the controversy to demolish this building here.

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