Sunday May 28th 2006

Balboa Park Modernism. How does that grab you? While the NMIMBPies (No Modernism in My Balboa Park) of the Committee of 100 can't stand that there are modernist icons in their park, many of us disagree. Our Balboa Park features a great many interesting, even iconic, modernist statements from Frank Hope's Timken design, to Robert Mosher and Roy Drew's Fine Arts Gallery adorned with Malcolm Leland's bronze gates, fascia and moorish sculpted columns, not to mention Walter Dorwin Teague's Ford Motor Company Exhibition Hall, now the Aerospace Museum. If you climb past the horrible recent arcade re-creations (recreating history ... who's idea was that - Walt Disney's!) crafted to confine the open space and mask two of San Diego's most important public displays of modern architecture, you find two fantastic art galleries. On the west end, you can find modern art in the May S. Marcy Sculpture Court and Garden. Pictures (to the right) from yesterday's Balboa Park tour reflect some of the inventory in the garden. While in the park check out the Sam Maloof and Marth Longenecker exhibit at the Mingei - as well as permanent collection items by Eve Gulick, George and Mira Nakashima as well as Arline Fisch and Sori Yanagi. The San Diego Museum of Art is also holding a 20th Century ceramics exhibit worth checking out. Until the Andy Warhol exhibit displaces the current exhibit, check out works by Harrison Macintosh, Laura Andreson, Otto and Gertrude Natzler, Beatrice Wood and others. Let's rejoice in the amount, and caliber, of modernism in our park.

Saturday May 27th 2006

Despite being an invalid after injuring my lower back wrestling with a steel sculpture taller than me, I made it out to Richard Lareau's office, two homes by Joe Kowalski in Del Mar and Mexican food with neighbors in Lemon Grove. What will follow in the coming days is only the beginning of site updates to Lareau and Kowalski biographical pages. I will be posting the results of combing Lareau's photo archive in late June, and Kowalski's wife just called -- so i I have to run...

Thursday May 25th 2006

Today was a special day. Yes, the weather was grand, my walking commute to the office was spirited, but that makes up a normal day. What was truly grand was - this web-based examination of regional modernism winning its first award. Today, May 25th, 2006, the City of San Diego's Historical Resources Board gave Modern San Diego its "Award of Excellence for Historic Preservation." On behalf of all you, modern mavens, I accepted the award and promised "even better things to come..." For those web-geeks, we will be deploying a couple "Web 2.0" goodies this summer (hopefully by the end of June even)... so stay tuned.

Tuesday May 23rd 2006

I always recall the advertising jingle "Weekends were made for Michelob." I dislike the beer, but the sentiment rings true. This weekend "was made for architecture." We started out with lunch (Roberto's on Carmel Valley Road along the estuary) and pictures of the Brav Residence by Sim Bruce Richards. Todd and I met our new friends Peter and Marti Kaye in their Lloyd Ruocco designed home. The house and yard are exceptional in a number of ways -- from a portion of their slab being the old Pacific Coast Highway, to their ownership of works by two of my favorite artists Richard Allen Morris and Malcolm McClain (not to mention Marti's amazing sculpture). Dinner time arrived soon thereafter and what an event it was -- my friends Kim and Karin invited me over for home-cooked German cuisine, dog-petting, and champagne toasting in their nearly complete restoration of their Loch Crane designed home. You're probably thinking "well that's nice Keith, but what else...?" Loch and Claire Crane joining us for storytelling made it an unforgettable evening. Watching the 85 year-old architect connecting to a long-forgotten house and a thoughtful homeowner almost brought tears to the eyes (that is, if I knew how to...). Loch and Claire held court until nearly midnight sharing stories from their time at Taliesin with Frank Lloyd Wright in the 1940s. Also this week, a former student of Craig Ellwood's, Michael Vallen, sent me pictures of his recently completed home for his family in Spring Valley. I am sure you will agree it is spectacular (and a bit Schindler-esque). Pictures are posted to the right. This week is going to be a great one -- several appointments with elder architects and homeowners on the calendar...

Saturday May 13th 2006

We spent yesterday in Los Angeles - and what a day it was! We started off at the Getty doing Sim Bruce Richards research (his correspondence with Frank Lloyd Wright is in their Special Collections area) and then on to the Isamu Noguchi exhibit. After a bit of lunch and art - we headed to our favorite retail impresarios Reform, OK and the Porsche store. Gerard at Reform had a number of San Diego pieces for sale - but we had to pass (on this day). Jess bought some earrings and I spied the new CaymanS. Off to the Gustav Klimt and Ettore Sotsass exhibits at LACMA we went... and boy were we eating up the fossil fuels in the L.A. traffic. Speaking of eating -- Versailles on La Cienaga was a delicious respite before facing the 405.

Thursday May 11th 2006

Stephen Porter has one of the Palmer & Krisel homes in the Baja Drive Drogin development (College Area) for sale. In recent weeks our discussion forum has heated up over the wealth of San Diego's modernist housing tracts -- so check this one out. Additionally there are a few updates to Eugene Weston's page as well as Kenneth and Robert Gordon's bio.

Tuesday May 9th 2006

The way this site connects people continues to amaze me. Today the grandson of Kenneth Gordon, and son of Robert Gordon, contacted me with information on their architecture career. We are working together on getting their biographical information and project list together so stay tuned.

Wednesday May 3rd 2006

After a 4-day trip to see Austin modern... I only offer updates to Eugene Weston III's bio and furniture design pages today. I am working with Gene to make these pages really robust in the coming stay tuned.


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