Another vintage image reminding us of what we have
lost - Mission Valley Shopping Center

Friday, May 29, 2009

Don't miss out - tonight Objects USA opens their "Spring '09" exhibition and sale. Having previewed the show already - this is a mid-century art show not to be missed. Festivities kick off at 7 p.m. tonight and go through Sunday afternoon.

The Rose Residence (circa 1953) in Highland Park, IL by A. James Speyer and David Haid, site of the movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" is up for sale. If you don’t recall the scene where a vintage Ferrari is destroyed by the teens, the cantilevered twin steel and glass buildings are fantastic. Check out the listing HERE.

Pasadena Heritage will present a lecture of work by architect Gregory Ain and his partners Joe Johnson and Alfred Day this Sunday, May 31. The event will begin with a lecture by Professor Anthony Denzer, author of the new book “Gregory Ain: The Modern House as Social Commentary.” The lecture will be held in the auditorium of Caltech’s newly opened Cahill Center building, designed by Pritzker Prize winning architect Thom Mayne. Tickets are priced at $25/$30 and can be purchased by calling Pasadena Heritage at 626-441-6333 or online HERE.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The cool thing about Google Sketchup software are folks with time on their hands recreating architectural models. See some of Craig Ellwood's designs in Google's 3D Warehouse HERE.

After a decent amount of work with Cliff May's archivist this week, I have updated the list of the architect's completed projects throughout the county HERE.

According to an NPR report Lego's Frank Lloyd Wright collection will be available in stores soon. The Guggenheim will go for about $40, and Fallingwater will set you back close to $100!

Los Angeles Modern Auctions' June 7th inventory is now available for preview online HERE.

Wright's June 2nd "Important Design" auction is available for preview online HERE.

Rest in Peace: Sam Malloof, pictured here at Ken Kellogg's Silva Residence (in Pt Loma) in 2008

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sam Maloof, designer, woodworker and furniture maker since the 1940s, has died. He was 93. Maloof died Thursday at his home in the Alta Loma section of Rancho Cucamonga. Read more HERE.

Canadian Arthur Erickson, a strict modernist in the tradition of Mies van der Rohe, died on May 20 at a nursing home in Vancouver, B.C. He was 84. In the words of architect Philip Johnson, the urbane, sometimes egotistical Mr. Erickson was "by far the greatest architect in Canada, and may be the greatest on this continent." His work on the San Diego Convention Center circa 1981 is his only local contribution to our built environment.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

On June 6 & 7 HistoricDenver.Org will present their “Mid-Century Modern Hilltop House Tour”. The tour will feature six private residences and one local sacred landmark Denver's Hilltop neighborhood. More info is HERE.

Southwestern College (1964) by George Foster. Photo by Allen Hazard.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Thanks to a ModernSanDiego user reminding us, we thought we would highlight Southwestern College’s architecture. The firm of Kistner, Curtis and (George) Foster was hired back in ’61 to design the campus on its 158-acre site on Otay Lakes Road. At the time George Foster was Sweetwater Union High School District’s architect designing several new high schools to accommodate the growth of the student population during the years following World War II (Helix High School among them). The Governing Board members and Foster agreed on clusters of small buildings with exterior entries and walkways and the exposed aggregate construction on exterior walls. Foster developed the stylized design for the building rooflines, which have been described as "Mayan-inspired" or “Mayan Modern” (a theme also evident at Vacation Village). Ground was broken in February ’63 and the first semester of student registration was fall 1964. Foster would continue on as campus architect for the college district until 1973.

If you haven't yet, check out the gallery showing "Clay Walker, A Retrospective" at Perry L. Meyer Fine Art. The show is up through June 27. More info is available HERE.

Frank Lloyd Wright's unbuilt designs are sparking up new debate. Learn more HERE.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ojects: Spring '09 will showcase one hundred vintage objects. The opening reception will be on Friday, May 29th at 7 pm. Visit for more information.

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art scored a new addition, a 2-inch-tall stoneware espresso cup, designed for their coffee shop by Heath Ceramics. Read more about Heath’s latest creative thinking HERE.

"Cool Jazz on a Hot Night", an after-work event will take place at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park on Friday, June 19.  From 6 – 9 p.m. Visitors will enjoy contemporary jazz by E.S.P. and The Gatherers while viewing the new exhibition "Masters of Mid-Century California Modernism: Evelyn and Jerome Ackerman." Guests are asked to dress in ‘60s style. Visit for more.

Vassar College alumna Vanessa Beloyianis and her adviser Nicholas Adams, a professor of art at Vassar, discovered a lost Eero Saarinen design in December ’07 and will be putting it on public view in June. In the basement of Vassar’s Main Building, the sleuthing duo found (and later restored) the model of The Emma Hartman Noyes House designed by Eero Saarinen (circa 1958). Learn more HERE.

Another shot of Loch Crane's La Jolla Racquet Club (1965)

Friday, May 15, 2009

The annual Father's Day tour of James and Anne Hubbell's home in Santa Ysabel is right around the corner. For more information on this amazing experience, click HERE.

The New York Times reviewed the new exhibit “Richard Neutra, Architect: Sketches and Drawings,” on view at the Los Angeles Downtown Library’s Getty Gallery. Calling it a “…treasure trove of the architect’s travel sketches, figure studies and architectural drawings, curated by Thomas S. Hines..”, the Times piece can be read in full HERE.

A new Taschen release, “The Complete Frank Lloyd Wright” by Wright scholar Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer is an exhaustive three-volume monograph featuring all of Wright's 1,100 designs, both realized and unrealized. Learn more HERE.

Interview publisher Brant Publications has launched “Modern,” a quarterly print magazine about design. “Modern covers all of the facets of collecting modern design, from aesthetics to market conditions, emphasizing information important for any serious collector, as well as material appealing to any fan of design,” the company said. With an $8.00 cover price and an initial 50,000 circulation, Modern will be mailed to subscribers of Brant’s two art magazines—the Magazine Antiques and Art in America—in select regions and will be available on newsstands polybagged with the June issue of Art in America. Modern will publish three times in 2009: May, October and December.

Another shot from the Borrego Modern III tour. This photo is of an early '70s design by John Mortenson.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington announced a "Modernism + Recent Past Initiative" to focus on the preservation of "significant buildings, structures, and landscapes of the modern movement." Learn more HERE.

Last weekend, the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association (BAHA) presented the tour "Hillside Houses of the Early- and Mid-20th Century" which has recieved at least one positive review.

Phoenix real estate agents looks to mid-century for ideas HERE.

Interior decorator Luanne Bradley finally discovered Heath Ceramics AND wrote about it HERE.

After checking in at William Kesling's The Desert Club (1949), we began our trek through SOHO's
Borrego Springs Modern tour. A few weekends ago we walked through De Anza Fairway Cottages
(above) designed by Richard Zerbe in 1959, Henry Hester's Givler Residence (1958), a fine example
of one of Palmer & Krisel's Borrego Golf Club Estates (circa 1959), John Mortenson's Yale Residence
(circa 1973). Though we missed the tour's stop at the Harrington Residence (circa 1956) and the
evening cocktail party, we were able to have a fantastic lunch at the Borrego Palms Resort (1958)
before heading back to San Diego.

Monday, May 11, 2009

One of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s buildings on the campus of Illinois Institute of Technology is now slated for demolition. "The Test Cell" or "the Gunnery” structure will soon be demolished to make way for a new metro station that will bring riders to U.S. Cellular Field. Preservationists have yet to file convincing arguments to save it. Read more HERE.

The Palm Springs City Council recently voted to designate E. Stewart Williams’ Santa Fe Savings & Loan at 300 S. Palm Canyon Drive was designated as a Class One Historic Site. Now the Wessman Development Co must run their plans for the four-story mixed-use Baristo Lofts retail and condo project back to the Historic Site Preservation Board for more review.

Historic Fort Worth added “Mid-Century Modern” to the 2009 Texas Most Endangered Historic Places list. HFW, like SOHO locally, releases its list in May during National Historic Preservation Month. Added to the list were the Public Health building, 1800 University Drive, and the Tarrant County Medical Society Building on Tulsa Way.

More images from the Oklahoma City Museum of Art exhibit “Julius Shulman: Oklahoma Modernism Rediscovered” can be viewed HERE. Blogger Brandy McDonnell reviewed the exhibit HERE.

Read a review new exhibit, “Modern Times: The Untold Story of Modernism in Australia” at the Heide Museum of Modern Art (through July 12) HERE.

Alan Hess has a new book out. “Oscar Niemeyer Buildings” (published by Rizzoli International, 2009) presents both the major buildings of his career as well as his lesser-known designs punctuated by all-new photographs by Alan Weintraub. Learn more HERE.

The Paul Rudolph Foundation has a blog. Check it out HERE.



The La Jolla Racquet Club, designed by Loch Crane circa 1965

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Looks like former gallery guy has been buying stuff from! In his latest blog for Interior Design he shows off his pieces by San Diego mid-century sculptor Charles Luedtke. Read his article HERE.

Travel sketches, figure drawings and building renderings by Richard Neutra, will be on display in the exhibit “Richard Neutra, Architect: Sketches and Drawings” at Central Library’s Getty Gallery Read more HERE.

The unfortunately “renovated” Dinah Shore Residence (1963) in Palm Springs  by Donald Wexler is up for sale. A cool $5,995,000 will get you the 1.3 acre retreat. Or for the more budget conscious, check out the slide show HERE.

In an excerpt from his new book, "Militant Modernism," Owen Hatherley challenges architects to embrace the progressive social impulses at the heart of the "movement." Read Hatherley's excerpt HERE.

Carlo Mollino, one of Italy’s most influential mid-20th century designers, was just profiled by the New York Times. Read about his studio-museum in Turin and his dark side HERE.

Read a review of the new text by Ralf Bock "Adolf Loos: Works and Projects" HERE.

Check out the review of a new book, "Writings on Architecture", a collection of writings providing insight into the thought processes that created Paul Rudolph’s complex work HERE.

KCModern recently profiled Ted Seligson, architect, and professor of architecture at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Learn more about Seligson HERE.

The Portland architecture and historic preservation communities lost one of their most accomplished members last week when Alfred M. Staehli passed away. Staehli helped save Frank Lloyd Wright's Gordon Residence from being demolished back in 2000. Read more HERE.

Four of the five homes on Lafayette, Indiana’s "Back to the Future: A Mid-Century Modern Home Tour" were designed by Robert Smith, a professor of architecture at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign. The Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana committee and the Wabash Valley Trust for Historic Preservation are holding the tour on May 30th. Read more HERE.

The most recent view of the Homer Delawie-designed Senterfit Residence. At this point, we are beyond
bad taste, and now at reckless behavior.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The staff at Modern San Diego have long hoped the original terminal of San Diego's Lindbergh Field (by Paderewski, Mitchell & Dean) would gain the recognition (and eventual restoration of the interior courtyards) it deserves. Read an article on saving the nation's modernist airport terminals HERE.

New York’s Museum of Modern Art will reflect on its series of ‘Good Design’ exhibitions. “What was Good Design? MoMA’s Message 1944-56” presents over 100 selections from the Museum’s collection. On display will be domestic furnishings and appliances, to textiles, sporting goods, kitchen utensils, graphics and more by such luminaries as Marcel Breuer, Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, and Hans Wegner. Learn more HERE.

The national American Institute of Architects meeting will be held in Boston May 28-31, with the first part of a conference called "Roots of Modernism," tracing the work of Walter Gropius, Breuer, and others in the Boston area. In September, the AIA will meet in Germany to visit the Bauhaus and other pioneering modernist works.Modern House Magazine posted a slideshow of Julius Shulman and his images HERE.

The Oklahoma City Museum of Art will opened a new exhibit “Julius Shulman: Oklahoma Modernism Rediscovered”. See a fantastic Julius Shulman photo of the Greene Residence (aka the “Prairie Chicken House”) by architect Herb Greene HERE.

Prior to the National Trust for Historic Preservation assembling its annual roster of America’s most endangered historic places, the New York Times reflected on the concept HERE. The National Trust of Historic Preservation's 11 most endangered historic sites list was published HERE. Read about the plan to demolish The Century Plaza Hotel in "Los Angeles' space-age Century City complex" HERE. Los Angeles Times staffer Tim Rutten makes a good case for preserving the Century Plaza Hotel (1966) by Minoru Yamasaki (he even brings up Irving Gill’s Dodge House in his argument). Yamasaki would later design New York's World Trade Center towers. Check out Rutten’s blog entry HERE.

Alison King, the force behind, is profiled HERE.

Brandeis University's Rose Art Museum is back in the news. There's a great, albeit small, image of the original building at the top right HERE.

The two Bacardi Buildings in Miami (built circa 1963) are up for historic designation. The question remains if the folks at the rum company will seek designation. Read more HERE and HERE.

Portland Mayor Sam Adams no longer intends to demolish Memorial Coliseum (by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill) to make way for a minor league baseball stadium. Oddly Adams stated "Our goal is to keep it, at least the skin." Some background on the debate to demolish the building can be found HERE. The largest collection of buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright is crumbling due to deferred maintenance, heat, and humidity. The 12 Wright buildings on the campus of Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Fla., need more than $50 million in restoration and repairs. Read more HERE.

Read an interview with architect William Krisel (of Palmer & Krisel) HERE.



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