BLOG ARCHIVE - March 2006

Thursday March 30th 2006

My apologies, dear readers, for my absence. So much has been on the calendar that reporting on the activities of the MSD staff has fallen by the wayside. I spent time in the last week at Sim Bruce Richards' Larrick and Schmock residences. Herschell Larrick Jr. ran Solana Lumber where Richards bought all of his cedar for his San Diego projects. Donald Schmock died in the late 1960s, but the house is still occupied by his widow, Joyce, and their son Jonathan. Last Sunday I interviewed Robert Mosher about his time in the offices of Harwell Hamilton Harris and Templeton Johnson -- not to mention an interesting connection to Phillip Johnson. That night was spent at the Forester Residence (circa 1969) with our lovely host, Russell's widow Christine. Bree Mercer emailed the Forum (if you haven't joined yet, please do so) about a John August Reed house for sale built circa 1958. This week the staff is off to a retreat in Arizona to do research on Richards at Taliesin, tour Cosanti, and do some research on Arizona modernist arts and crafts. Photos and more details on all of this will be posted soon. Have a great week (and thanks to Cesar Chavez for the day off tomorrow!).

Thursday March 23rd 2006

This morning was spent with Mark Bauer, the general contractor on seven of Sim Bruce Richards' later homes. Starting with hand-building his father's house, a Richards design, in 1965 (in the east county), Mark fostered a strong friendship with the aging Richards in the mid- to late 1970s. After a fruitful conversation, I drove through Solana Beach to photograph three houses for you dear readers. On the right are new pictures of the Childs Residence (1952) being remodeled extensively, the beautiful butterfly-roofed Larrick Residence in pristine condition and the Morrison House (remodel circa 1978). I will be taking more photos of Larrick on Saturday when the owner is at home. Today I am off to spend the afternoon with J. Herbert Brownell's son. Stay tuned for a bio page on Brownell, the architect responsible for the Compact Houses on Agate in Pacific Beach.

Tuesday March 14th 2006

Lots of great stuff going on -- I am thinking we need a slogan. Something cheesy like "Modern Fever... Catch It" would be better than most of the lame bumper stickers found on automobiles. Anyway... Several days ago Jess and I spent the day with Lynne and Jerry Lipetzky. Their Sim Bruce Richards home in Alpine is stunning. For those more interested in earthy/organic mid-century architecture (Richards, Kellogg, Harris, Wright, Goff etc), this home is really special. The owners informed me of an outsider-artist/architect that built his own house (ala Gaudi, Hubbell) in Alpine in the 1950s. I will post more information as it comes in. While up in Oceanside recently we snapped this (not so great) photo of Richards' LaGrange Residence. We've been invited back to get a better snapshot. Mitch and Kristin Wade sent in photos of their Richard George Wheeler home (circa 1948) at 3703 La Cresta Drive in Point Loma. Many thanks to them. Show your appreciation by driving by and waving. I have an appointment set up with Wheeler's widow, so his portion of the site will be vastly improved in mid-April. Also, Elena emailed a picture of her neighbor's house in Fletcher Hills by an as yet unknown architect. If you have any ideas on the house (to the right), drop us a line. Todd and I recently knocked on the door of the original John Sigurdson Residence (by Sigurdson himself in 1959) at 1084 Hacienda Drive in Fletcher Hills. After seeing this fantastic residence, we are hot on the trail of Sigurdson's work (including SDSU on-campus fraternities). Shortly we will post a page on Sigurdson after we interview him. Upcoming updates include next week's visit with Mark Bauer, Sim Bruce Richards' contractor/builder on his later designs (1970s-1980s). A week later, I will be spending the day with the son of J. Herbert Brownell (designed the Compact Houses on Agate Street in Pacific Beach) -- so expect a whole new set of pages on his designs.


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