BLOG ARCHIVE - June 2008


Hotel for Mr. Frank E. Naso by Robert Platt and Associates Architects, now The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma

Monday, June 30

Planning an architourism trip to Columbus, Indiana? Read THIS ARTICLE before you do!

Frank Escher, co-curator of anexhibition opening July 13 at the Hammer Museum, "Between Earth and Heaven: The Architecture of John Lautner," is profiled HERE.

A new exhibit, "Vancouverism", showcases Vancouver's celebrated architecture - modernist, sustainable and performative. Read more HERE.

Watch a great slideshow focusing on Frank Lloyd Wright's Price Tower in Oklahoma HERE.

Florence, Alabama purchased, restored, and preserved a dilapidated Frank Lloyd Wright house, then opened it to the public. Read more HERE.

A painting by Italian Futurist Gino Severini sold for a record 15 million pounds ($29.6 million), while works by Pablo Picasso and Alberto Giacometti beat top estimates at an auction by Sotheby' showing continued demand for 20th-century art. Read more HERE.

At 94, Ojai ceramist Otto Heino talks about the 1950s studio movement he and his wife Vivika were at the heart of. The LA Times has published the first in a yearlong series profiling California's living legends of midcentury design. Read about Heino HERE.

From 1957 to 1966, the Ferus Gallery was the catalyst of modern art in Los Angeles a recent documentary, "The Cool School" profiled the amazing group of young artists. If you missed the film on KPBS, check out the film's story HERE.


The San Diego Architectural Foundation's Orchids and Onions website has relaunched.
Check it out HERE and nominate, nominate, nominate!

Thursday, June 26

Between June 26 and September 21, 2008 the Whitney Museum of American Art will present "Buckminster Fuller: Starting with the Universe," the first major American exhibition in decades devoted to the visionary mind and work of Buckminster Fuller, and the most inclusive show to date of Fuller’s work. Learn more HERE.

The World Monuments Fund awarded a prize to Berlin architects Winfried Brenne and Franz Jaschke who restored the Bauhaus-era ADGB Trade Union School in Bernau (circa 1928-30). They are the first recipients of the Knoll Modernism Prize, established to recognize architects and designers who rejuvenate Modern structures.. The prize consists of a $10,000 honorarium and a limited-edition chair made by Knoll.

Tuesday, June 24

The U.S. Postal Service just released 42-cent postage stamps commemorating designers Charles and Ray Eames. Read more HERE and buy them HERE.

Walter A. Netsch, Jr., the maverick, strong-willed Chicago architect whose geometrically complex buildings, including the University of Illinois at Chicago campus and the U.S. Air Force Academy chapel in Colorado (featured in the text  “Modernism at Mid-Century: The Architecture of the United States Air Force Academy”), departed from glass-box orthodoxy and both delighted and frustrated their users, died Sunday at his home in Chicago. He Was 88 years old. “After SOM was commissioned in 1954 to design the Air Force Academy, Mr. Netsch first demonstrated that he would not dogmatically follow the boxy International Style embraced by most architects at the time, including those in his own firm. His soaring, spiky, tetrahedral Cadet Chapel was a church that looked like a church and signaled Mr. Netsch as the maverick he would remain until his death.” Read more HERE.

Alex Finlayson's article on the North Clairemont Library was recently published by The Reader. The article features a reference to ModenSanDiego "San Diego architect Robert Platt’s design “communicates like a billboard, attracting onlookers and passersby to investigate what’s inside,” he says, singling out the unique “diamond-shaped fascia” that runs across the library’s front. According to York, the North Clairemont Branch Library is “among the few and best examples of Googie architecture” left in San Diego." Read the full article HERE.

This recent blog post caught my eye -- read about a great little house in Dallas HERE.

Having left its birthing place, the Orange County Museum of Art, the exhibition "Birth of the Cool: California Art, Design, and Culture at Midcentury" opens at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University in St. Louis on Sept. 19. Read more HERE.

The Des Moines Register featured a great home designed in 1965 HERE.

According to the Victorville Daily Press "The coolest new trend that has evolved out of the mid-mod movement is succulents." Read about the little plants HERE.


This site is about architecture and design. I am, as many of you know, not an architect or a
designer. But I did have a hand in creating this thing above. My wife Jessica is pregnant with
the little creature in the center of this ultrasound image. "Baby Tron" is approximately 9 weeks old.

Sunday, June 15

San Diego artist Russell Baldwin is remembered by friends and fellow students HERE.

Design/One is holding a party to celebrate their one-year anniversary at their shop located at 3789 1/2 Park Boulevard on the evening of June 28th. Check out their site and their party.

Residents of Suffield are still fretting over their decision whether to demolish and replace the Kent Memorial Library in Suffield, at a cost of $13.6 million. The library was designed by Warren Platner, who designed the original Windows of the World restaurant in the fallen World Trade Center, and was living in Connecticut when he designed Kent in 1972. Read more HERE.

Victoria's Secret, J. Crew, Playboy and Levi have benn heading out to Palm Springs for years now. Making for great advertising and catalog shoots, houses like recent Richard Neutra's Kaufmann House have been managed by location-scouts. Read more HERE.

Alfred (“A.L.”) Lewis Aydelott, arguably the father of modern architecture in Memphis, passed away. He was 92. Aydelott designed several prominent buildings in the city – the Memphis City Hall, the Downtown federal building, Immaculate Conception High School, Christian Brothers University and now-sought-after residential designs. Read more HERE.

A Ft. Meyers writer reflects on living in what he understands as internationally recognized Sarasota School architecture and watching houses razed routinely. Read more HERE.


Armor Goetten Residence designed by John Goetten, Escondido

Friday, June 13

I wish more visitors to this site would send in such emails as those I received this week from Darin & Sheri Redfern. Ecstatic about their mid-century home, they wanted to share a great story with the rest of the site's users - knowing they would be as enthusiastic. Please send pictures and the story of your home to me HERE.

The Redferns live in the Armor Goetten Residence at 2616 Puebla Street in Escondido. Armor (b. 1911 - d. 2001) was a set decorator for numerous TV shows and movies such as Beverly Hillbillies, Mr. Ed, Disneyland, Petticoat Junction, and Sargent Preston of the Yukon. Armor was also the brother of actress Alona Marlowe, June Marlowe and director Louis Marlowe. Mrs. Goetten was the first female principal of a Los Angeles city school, Taft High School, in 1952. The house was designed by Armor's son John Goetten and built in 1965. "During our remodel we discovered it was built with materials that made it more of a commercial building than a home. All electrical is in conduit and ALL plumbing including vent stacks are copper. The ceiling joists are 2" X 16" 16 inches on center, blocked and X-blocked. The overhangs are cantilevered without supports except for the one used to support the overhang of the original structure built in 1952 and incorporated into the house in 1965," Sheri reports.


Can you identify this building in Sorrento Valley before it is destroyed?

Thursday, June 12

The above building in Sorrento Valley at the end of Industrial Court is slated to be demolished and the whole block developed. The Torrey Pines Community Planning Board is slated to review this project for the discretionary permit. City staff has noted in the Cycle Review letter that the building is potentially of historic value, old, and by a master craftsman.  My assertion by looking at the photograph it is by Loch Crane circa 1960-1965. If you know anything please contact Diana Scheffler.

Yale's major new building comprising the renovated and restored Art & Architecture building (by Paul Rudolph) will welcome students and staff in August 2008. The Art & Architecture building will be renamed Paul Rudolph Hall and will be officially rededicated on November 8, 2008. The project has been designed by Charles Gwathmey, of Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects, whoreceived his Master of Architecture from Yale in 1962, while Mr. Rudolph was chairman of the Department of Architecture. Read more HERE.

The InterContinental Hotel Group plans an Indigo hotel to open a location in Cleveland's old Ameritrust bank tower designed by modernist architect Marcel Breuer.

The last house in Palm Beach, Florida designed by architect Alfred Browning Parker received a 60-day reprieve from demolition from town council members who heard from architectural experts as well as the home's former owners this morning. Council members asked the homeowners to meet during that time with some of the experts who said the home should be designated a landmark because it represents some of the best work of an important architect. The owners of the modern home asked the town's architectural commission to allow them to demolish the house to make way for a new "British Colonial style home" that would better meet their needs. Modern architecture specialists have flooded the town with letters and e-mails, describing the home's significance.

Read a review of the new book, Oscar Niemeyer: Curves of Irreverence, possibly one of the richest historical, cultural, and aesthetic assessments of an architect’s work HERE.

Back to the Future: Sir Basil Spence (1907-1976) a new retrospective eshibition opens at Coventry's (as in England) Herbert art gallery on June 20th. Read a review HERE.

The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum in St. Louis will host two major travelling exhibitions focusing on modernism in the coming months. Read a review of both the Birth of the Cool and Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future exhibits HERE.

Check out an Eero Saarinen slideshow courtesty of Slate HERE.


Dan Dickey Residence by Sim Bruce Richards in Crown Point
- recently sadly remodeled
Photograph courtesy of Daniel Soderberg

Sunday, June 8

Last night's AIA San Diego Design Awards 2008 was covered by Roger Showley HERE.

British brutalist structures continue to be threatened by the wrecking ball. Read about the fight to save Robin Hood Gardens in London HERE.

Paul Rudolph's Riverview High School in Sarasota, Florida continues to be under threat as the School Board builds a new facility adjacent to the 50 year old project. Read more HERE.

Architourism, attracting traveler's to Egypt's great pyramids is now turning attention to Le Corbusier's Chandigarh, Oscar Niemeyer's Brasilia, Mies Van Der Rohe's Farnsworth house, Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater and Kentuck Nob (both in the rural region of Pennsylvania). Read more modernist architourism HERE.


Artist Dan Dickey's father atop the Sim Bruce Richards designed Dickey Residence

Saturday, June 7

I am MC'ing tonight's AIA San Diego Design Awards 2008 at the Neurosciences Institute. For ticket pricing and to purchase on-line go HERE. Tickets will be available at door on June 7th if still available.

The MAK Center for Art and Architecture in Los Angeles has acquired R. M. Schindler’s Fitzpatrick-Leland House (circa 1936).  The three-level L-shaped house, with its interlocking volumes, was a gift from Russ Leland, who bought it in 1990 and spent years restoring it to its original design. The MAK Center said the house would be used for its new Urban Future Initiative program, which grants two-month residencies to researchers from around the world exploring urban issues like sustainability, immigration and social justice. Read more in the LA Times HERE or in Architectural Record HERE.

German artist Franziska Pierwoss has created a new installation at Rachid Karami International Fairground by Oscar Niemeyer (1962). Read the review HERE.

In response to Philip Johnson's Glass House and Richard Neutra's Kaufmann House auction, writer Daniel Gross asks "Can historic modernist homes be treasured, shown, and monetized like Warhols and Gauguins?" Read more HERE.

Speaking of such things, LA Times Architecture Critic Christopher Hawthorne asks a similar set of questions as Kaufmann, Louis Kahn's Esherick House and Pierre Koenig's Case Study House #21 have all hit auction blocks recently - with varied results. Read more HERE.

Atlantan Debra Johnston, a real estate agent, bought her Jerry Cooper designed (1959) ranch home in 1992. Read more about her renovation efforts and see pictures HERE.


Dan Dickey Residence by Sim Bruce Richards in Crown Point - second floor
Photograph courtesy of Daniel Soderberg

Monday, June 2

Robert Pincus summarized artist Russell Baldwin's career nicely for SignOn HERE. Those of us that knew him, miss Russell dearly.

On June 14, Sotheby’s New York will hold a sale of Important 20th Century Design, among the postwar offerings, the auction will include a prototype table for the Alcoa Forecast Program by Isamu Noguchi from 1957; additionally American woodworkers George Nakashima, Arthur Espenet and J.B. Blunk will be represented. Read more HERE.

A three-day 20th century antiques and design event will come to the Del Mar Fairgrounds (Bing Crosby Exhibition Hall) on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 21, 22, and 23, 2008. The show will showcase over 100 high quality exhibitors in the genres of Arts & Crafts, Mid-Century Modern, Mission, Monterey, Art Nouveau and Art Deco. Read more HERE.

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