Read Homer Delawie's Obituary HERE.
Monday June 29th, 2009
My thanks go out to the staff of Mingei International, participants and attendees to this Saturday’s symposium PERSPECTIVES ON MID-CENTURY CALIFORNIA DESIGN. It was fantastic to meet Jerome and Evelyn Ackerman as well as the exhibition’s curators, the folks that relaunched Heath Ceramics and of course Gerard O’Brien. While I missed the after-party Saturday night at The Pearl, it was a full, stimulating day of discussion about our region’s unique history and the byproducts from its mid-century design explosion.
As many of you know I am invested in the history and legacy of Craig Ellwood & Associates’ work. When an Ellwood designed structure is threatened, remodeled or a house comes up for sale, I take note. In March of last year Ellwood’s Johnson Residence (1953) at 1515 Tigertail Road in the Crestwood Hills neighborhood, reportedly arrived on the market, in restored condition, for $3.7 million. The house is now listed HERE for $2.795 million. Take a look at the early listing HERE and an update HERE.
Soon after they take down their current show “Carlo Mollino Interiors” Sebastian + Barquet London will present an exhibition of works by iconic Italian glass manufacturer Venini. Opening in July, the exhibition will present twenty works created between the 1930s and the 1970s, the result of the company’s successful collaborations with seminal modernist designers including Gio Ponti and Carlo Scarpa. The show will illustrate how Venini embraced modernist trends expressed in both art and architecture and how he effectively transferred them to glass production.
Great houses have great stories. Pierre Koenig's Case Study House No. 22 (1960) is no different. The family of the original tenants, C.H. "Buck" Stahl and his wife Carlotta, were just profiled by the LA Times HERE.
Wednesday June 24th, 2009
This coming Saturday, don’t miss the symposium PERSPECTIVES ON MID-CENTURY CALIFORNIA DESIGN between 12:30 – 5:30 pm at the Mingei. Presenters include exhibition curators Jo Lauria and Dale Carolyn Gluckman; Gerard O’Brien, owner of Reform Gallery in Los Angeles; Dave Hampton, co-founder of the Objects USA; and the owners of Heath Ceramics. A panel discussion with questions from the audience will conclude the program. Advance reservations are required. $25 members and students/ $35 non-members. Information: 619-239-0003, ext. 405
Ben Thorne's and Eliza Howard’s restored home is Los Angeles' best-known example of a modernist prefab house by the General Panel Corp. The design of which is credited to Walter Gropius (founder of the Bauhaus) and Konrad Wachsmann (USC’s director of the Institute for Building Research). Read more about the couple's restoration efforts of their home built by General Panel's Burbank factory -- formally the Lockheed plant for the P-80 Shooting Star fighter jet – HERE.
Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House (1924), perched on a Los Feliz hilltop, and backdrop star of “Bladerunner”, is up for sale for $15 million by the private foundation that has been restoring it. Read more HERE.
Over Fathers' Day weekend the Eames Foundation held a silent auction fundraiser, selling off 13 items including an overnight stay in the Eames Studio adjacent to the Eames House. Read more HERE and see the auction items HERE.
State historians, The Ohio Historic Preservation Office, and preservationists are turning their attention to mid-century Dayton. Between 1950 and 1960, 1.8 million homes were built in the state, including 127,000 in Montgomery County alone. Efforts are now underway to preserve the region’s significant architecture. Barbara Powers of the Ohio Historic Preservation Office will head the year-long study, dubbed “Ohio Modern: Preserving Our Recent Past,” documenting the historic themes and buildings of the mid-20th century. Read more HERE.
The architectural legacy of Columbus, IN is, once again, discussed HERE.
exhibit, MASTERS OF MID-CENTURY MODERNISM – Evelyn and Jerome
Ackerman, The Mingei has launched HOLLYWOOD MODERN – MODERNIST
SET DESIGN IN MID-CENTURY CINEMA. The film series includes:
Friday June 12th, 2009
Mingei International Museum will present a symposium, “Perspectives on Mid-Century California Design”, on Saturday, June 27 from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Museum in Balboa Park. The program is offered in conjunction with its current exhibition, MASTERS OF MID-CENTURY CALIFORNIA MODERNISM – Evelyn and Jerome Ackerman. Reservations are $25 for members and students and $35 for non-members at 619-239-0003, ext. 405. Topics ranging from “The California Design Aesthetic” to “Heath Ceramics” and “San Diego Designer-Craftsmen at Mid-Century” will be presented by respected authorities including exhibition curators Jo Lauria and Dale Carolyn Gluckman, San Diego collectors and modernism website founders Dave Hampton (ObjectsUSA) and Keith York (ModernSanDiego.com) and the owners of Heath Ceramics, Catherine Bailey and Robin Petravic. Gerard O’Brien, whose Reform Gallery in Los Angeles specializes in twentieth century decorative and fine art from the post-war period, with a concentration on California design, will present Julius Schulman’s photographs of the gallery’s 2005 exhibition “California Design 1956-1976,” and discuss the wide array of production and hand-crafted design that was part of that show. In addition, it is expected that Evelyn and Jerome Ackerman will attend with their daughter Laura Ackerman Shaw.
Monday June 8th, 2009
There’s a wealth of interesting homes for sale across the county. Drop us a line HERE if you are on the hunt for something cool.
In La Jolla there
are several good mid-century homes on the market:
Across the bridge
in Coronado we found some great little charmers, we’re still
If you are looking for buildable lots, we’ve got our eyes on a few of those as well. Drop us a line.
which the city initiated as part of its bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics,
is under way on Chicago’s collection of buildings designed by
Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius. The city intends to send 28 structures
on the South Side Michael Reese Hospital campus to a landfill! The
interior of one building was stripped this spring, and other features
have been looted. Several weeks ago, a memorial plaque commemorating
Gropius' participation in the project disappeared. A garden sculpture
was also removed last month, presumably by looters. Visitors to the
37-acre campus in April watched city-contracted workers remove fixtures
from a building and turn them over to a salvage operator. According
to the city "no demolition has begun." Any items that were
removed from the buildings in March and April have been returned or
put in storage.
Thursday June 4th, 2009
John Edward Weir (June 5, 1923 - Feb. 27, 2009)
John Edward "Jack'' Weir, one of the founders of Weir Bros. Construction passed away on February 27th at the age of 85. And as expected, Modern San Diego was a day late and at least one dollar short of contacting the elder Weir to begin documenting the company’s efforts in building custom homes across the county. For decades, Weir Bros. specialized in custom adobe structures – some designed in-house (by brother Larry) while others would enhance the talents of local architects like Sim Bruce Richards who adored adobe when not building in redwood, cedar and mahogany.
Jack Weir was 12 when his mother passed away while giving birth to her sixth child. Growing up motherless during the Great Depression shaped his independent nature that would serve him well in life. As a teen he worked for a traveling summer carnival. At age 18, he joined the Navy and became an aviator during WW2. After the war, Weir and his wife Connie settled in Encinitas, where he ran a gas station and auto body shop with his brother Larry. He lived in the apartment above the shop in a small wood building that still exists across the street from Swami's sandwich shop.
After a large debt was paid with an acre of land on Idaho Street, Weir decided to build a home for his family on it. With a $3,000 loan and some old adobe bricks he acquired in another trade, he erected his first "mud'' house. Weir quickly sold the home for several thousand dollars, which he and his brother used to build six more homes on Windsor Avenue. Each was built with bricks made of sand and clay, mixed with water, and dried under the sun. By 1948 Weir Bros. Construction was up and running. In 1951, Weir moved to Escondido. There, he had access to a large supply of adobe at what is now Kit Carson Park. His company grew to 80 employees.
In 1988, Weir retired and turned the business over to his only son, Robert. The company now goes by the name of Weir Bros. Custom Homes Inc. and is located in Rancho Santa Fe.
In an effort to document the whereabouts of the early adobe structures (Weir eventually had to change the focus of his company toward wood and stucco construction when building codes and earthquake standards dealt a blow to adobe dwellings in California) I am soliciting any and all help from the public in locating and identifying structures. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you know where a Weir Bros. adobe is.