We're always searching for more leads on the whereabouts of A. Quincy Jones Sun Villas in San Diego...

Thursday June 30, 2011

Dwell Magazine published an online gallery of images from their trip out to Borrego Springs HERE.

If you're planning to head out to San Antonio before September 11, be sure to check out the McNay's George Nelson retrospective. Learn more HERE.

Left to Right: Lloyd Ruocco, James Britton, Dan Dickey, William Davis, Ethel Ihan

Sunday June 26, 2011

While the photos (above and below) have nothing to do with any 'official reporting', they are just strong reminders of how unique 'modern san diego' is/was. Different than Los Angeles, Palm Springs, etc. In fact the photo above was originally published adjacent to an article critiquing Raphael Soriano's local lecture where the group (pictured above) debated the architect's work, and his manner of delivery (as an Angeleno). Apparently much of the audience for Soriano's presentation walked away angered.

While much of this site feels like it works in a vacuum, I am soliciting your support in mapping out National City modernity. If you are south of the 94 in the coming weeks, please take some time to map out, photograph or offer up any research on your findings. Last week I confirmed addresses for several of E.J. Chrisman's 'Modern Spec Bungalows' simple sub-1000 square foot streamline modern homes dated from the late '30s to early '40s (and then '50s following the War).

I updated A. Quincy Jones' page HERE.

Lloyd and Ilse Ruocco in their 'Il Cavo' house in La Mesa (ca. 1949)
Photograph by Edward Sievers

Saturday June 25, 2011

Our friend Eugene 'Gene' Weston III recently offered his recollections of his post-Art Center time with Charles Kratka, John Follis, Rex Goode, Fred Usher, Paul Tuttle, and Jack Roberts. Published on the Arts & Architecture site, Gene's kinship with designers like Tuttle, and Follis & Goode who launched Architectural Pottery, remind us of a number of important things...well beyond the design professions... Check him out HERE.

Lloyd Ruocco's house for Mr. and Mrs. Isadore Jacobson (ca. 1948) in La Mesa
Photograph by Edward Sievers

Thursday June 23, 2011

Real Estate listings are often a great source of data - architectural history on the fly. Check out a listing for a Gregory Ain home with a Pierre Koenig guest house HERE!

Design Center Advert - Showroom is Stunning!

Friday June 17, 2011

Check out the latest "AOL Weird News" on Los Angeles architecture HERE.

Raphael Soriano's 1939 'Gogol House,' located in Los Feliz, is on the market. Check out photos HERE.

Richard Lareau's Pan-Pacific House is up for sale HERE

Saturday June 11, 2011

There's no denying that one of the key influencers in my appreciation for post-War modernism (and ultimately this site) was John Entenza's Arts & Architecture Magazine and its Case Study House program. Along these lines, I have been interested in profiling projects that exemplified post-War living, technology and design that were held open for locals to experience the cutting-edge at the time such as San Diego's Horizon Home program. Similarly, the 'Parade of Homes' offered promotion of 'contemporary design' for the times by annually providing visitors with a number of open-houses to view. Among the 'Parade of Homes' projects Richard Lareau's Pan-Pacific House in Del Cerro is a stand-out. Not only was the ‘Pan Pacific House’ a 1958 ‘Parade of Homes’ entry but it was among four homes qualified for designation as ‘Medalion Homes’ because of their ‘advanced electrical facilities.’ You can learn more about the project HERE.Lareau's Pan-Pacific joined the 'Better Homes & Gardens Idea Home' built by Severin Construction Co. at 5600 Severin Drive in La Mesa and a home in Del Cerro built by E.C. Roessler as advanced designs presented to San Diegans during National Home Week in September, 1958.

Richard Lareau's Pan-Pacific House is up for sale HERE

Wednesday June 8, 2011

Eleanor Forester died last week in La Jolla. Born in Los Angeles on December 11, 1924 she moved to San Diego with her mother and stepfather in 1939. After graduating from Hoover High School, she worked as a draftsman in San Diego designing barges for the war effort.  At Concrete Shipyards, she met her future husband, Russell Forester. They immediately hit it off, forcing the head of the draftsmen, Lloyd Ruocco, to move their desks apart since Russell spent too much time turning around to talk to her. After the war, Eleanor and Russell married. They spent a year studying at the Illinois Institute of Design in Chicago in 1950-51 under Mies van der Rohe but returned to San Diego when Russell’s mother became very ill.  Eleanor built three houses with Russell; their first house on Rushville Street in 1949, a house on Hillside Drive in 1952 and a spec house in the upper Shores area in the early 1960s. Eleanor was an accomplished interior designer.  Her company, Eleanor Forester Interiors, designed for UCSD, a number of banks, as well as homes for Robert Peterson, Harle Montgomery, Joan Holter, William Karatz, and the Sampson, Mayne, Muzzy, Fayman, Kimmell, and Marston families, among many others. Additionally, Eleanor wrote a monthly column for San Diego Magazine, “La Jollans are Talking About” in the early 1960s.

Atlanta’s High Museum of Art’s latest collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art, New York has yielded a new exhibition "Modern by Design" presenting a selection of works from MoMA's design collection and exhibition history. Including the pivotal shows "Machine Art" (1934), and "Good Design" (1950-1955), the exhibition is on view exclusively in Atlanta from June 4 through August 21, 2011. "Machine Art", curated by Philip Johnson, showcased machines, machine parts, scientific instruments and everyday objects—from springs, ball bearings, and propellers to calipers, glass wares and furniture. The competition/exhibition series "Good Design" (1950-1955), was directed by Edgar Kaufmann, Jr. and is now presented in the context of its significant precursors "Organic Design in Home Furnishing" (1940-1941) and the "International Competition for Low-Cost Furniture" (1948-1950). In all of these projects MoMA joined forces with manufacturers and designers to promote new aesthetics and affordable products. Key works in this section include furniture by the young designers Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen, colorful textiles by Alexander Girard, Tupperware and abstract, sculptural lamps by George Nelson and Greta von Nessen. Learn more HERE.

San Diego State University's Aztec Center

Friday June 3, 2011

Demolition Has Officially Begun - San Diego State University's Aztec Center by Mosher & Drew is on its way out. The community is oddly silent... watching from the sidelines...Drop by this weekend and say your goodbyes.

Curbed LA has posted an unusual take on John Lautner's Chemosphere HERE.

The modern auction season is upon us!
Wright's 'Important Design' can viewed HERE.
Rago Art's 'Modern' auction catalog can be previewed HERE.
LA Modern's 'Modern Art & Design Auction will be on June 26. Their online preview launches on June 8 HERE.

While it remains unclear why the spelling of William Kesling and Kessling Modern Structures is different,
the above is an advert for the company from 1949 in 'Magazine San Diego'.

Wednesday June 1, 2011

Join me for a presentation on Robert Mosher's La Jolla projects this Thursday - June 2 - at the La Jolla Historical Society. More information is HERE.

The LA Times just published an interesting piece on Richard Neutra HERE.



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