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

Thursday May 31, 2012

Of the house pictured above, Barbara Greaves wrote: “One of Ruocco’s most dramatic, and most talked about, designs is this spectacular circular home, belonging to Mr. and Mrs. Isadore Jacobson, in Mt. Helix. Built to take advantage of a U-shaped lot, the home commandes a 360-degree view of the surrounding valley. ‘Moving into it was like going onto a different planet,’ its owners comment.” At the time, James Britton commented "There’s been a lot of nonsense written about the Southern California way of life, but the basic fact remains that elements of it have changed the manner of living for many Americans. Set down in a new and friendlier climate and eager to cast off the bonds imposed by the rigorous weather of the states they had left behind, the new natives experimented, made their houses and their gardens different from the rigid patterns to which their fathers and their fathers before them had conformed." Certainly that is food for thought...

MODERN SAN DIEGO REAL ESTATE: Join us for open houses this weekend at 3200 Sixth Avenue to see our listing (photographed below) for a 3-bedroom condo lease. We will be showing the property from 10a-12p on Friday (6/1) and between 1-3pm on Saturday (6/2). Stop by and say hello!

P.B. MODERN! - We updated our Pacific Beach page HERE. While updating this section I learned about the Fred Johnson House – his own design (ca. 1966) at 4856 Noyes. While I do not have a full picture of Johnson’s work – here is what I do know about him: Frederick Arthur Johnson was born in Los Angeles on June 17, 1916 and finished his education at Los Angeles City College in 1936. He joined the local AIA chapter in 1956 after which he ran the firms Johnson & Anderson (1959-62), Fred A. Johnson & Associates (1962-68) and Johnson & Munroe (from ’68 on). The latter was located in a pretty cool little building at 2828 Fourth Ave. The firms designed Western Lumber Co. Offices in National City (ca. 1960), Florence Elementary School (1962), Bell Jr. High School (1968) and Coronado’s Fire Dept. Headquarters in 1970. If you know anything about his life/career, please drop me an email HERE.

EL CAJON MODERN! - We updated our El Cajon page HERE.

Rago is holding its next Modern auction on June 17. Check out the catalog HERE.

Christie's is holding its next Important 20th Century Decorative Art & Design auction on June 14. Check out the catalog HERE.

The Los Angeles Review of Books posted a dual review of Architecture of the Sun : Los Angeles Modernism 1900-1970,  and Sympathetic Seeing : Esther McCoy and the Heart of America and Living in a Modern Way : California Design 1930-1965 HERE.


Photograph by Darren Bradley

MODERN SAN DIEGO REAL ESTATE: 3-bedroom, 3-bath condo lease at 3200 Sixth Avenue.
Email us for more information HERE.

Sunday May 20, 2012

I posted a page on architect Richard Leitch HERE. If you know anything about his life/career, please drop me an email HERE.

Also, I updated our Escondido page HERE.

Wright's next 'Important Design' auction is June 7. Check it out HERE.



Recently 'Mosher Point' was unveiled on Prospect Street. The 'Mosher Point of View' bronze plaque unveiling was attended by local architect's and their spouses (many whom wore a T-Square to express their allegiance to their partner's profession). Picture: Robert and Joanie Mosher

Friday May 18, 2012

Despite Palm Springs preservationists, students and parents urging Palm Springs Unified School District Board of Education to not demolish the administration building designed by Donald Wexler and Richard Harrison in 1957,  the district replace it with a new 9,000-square-foot Performing Arts Building post-modern structure replete with Spanish style arches! Read more HERE.

I posted a page on architect William Rosser HERE. If you know anything about his life/career, please drop me an email HERE.

The Dwell-Lego-Pacific-Standard-Time toy modern homes contest finalists have been posted HERE.


Russell Forester's 'Unfinished Man' sculpture in three different views (from L-R 1962, 2012, 1962)

Friday May 11, 2012

While on a trek around the County to find Russell Forester's larger-scale works, the staff at La Jolla Country Day School were delightfully proud of their Russel Forester inventory. While Forester's fountain has been disassembled (and awaiting reconfiguration on the grounds), 'Unfinished Man' has been simply relocated and attractively lit in the evening.

Dave Hampton's Contemporary Art Wins a Beachead is still on view at the Oceanside Museum of Art (through July 8). Please check it out. Read more HERE.

John Baldessari: A Print Retrospective comes down this Sunday. Check it out this weekend! Read more HERE.

The Los Angeles Modern Auctions' 'Modern Art & Design Auction' results from Sunday (and remaining unsold items) are posted HERE.

At the request of CityBeat editors, I penned a quick 'n' dirty self-guided tour of the area's mid-century curiosities. Check it out HERE.


The Keller Residence (#3) by Lloyd Ruocco ca. 1963 at 9405 La Jolla Farms Road.
Photograph by John Oldenkamp

Wednesday May 2, 2012

Vanity Fair writer Paul Goldberger has stated something about modernist architecture that should turn a few (political) heads. Not only does he hope that  better heads prevail in the debate over Paul Rudolph’s Orange County Government Center, he rationalizes that destroying a modernist structure reflects on the sad state of contemporary politics! Here’s a taste: …If Orange County destroys an important building of the late 20th century to build that, it won’t just be demolishing a major work of Paul Rudolph’s. It will be rejecting the high ambitions and noble intentions Rudolph wanted his building to symbolize. But maybe that’s just the point. In the age of the Tea Party, who wants a government building that was designed to suggest dignity, creativity, innovation, and belief in the new? Government is supposed to be curtailing its ambitions, and doing as much as it can to disappear. This is not architecture for an invisible government. It’s a building that flaunts its idealism. And it demands a lot from you. If the Orange County Government Center is demolished, Orange County will have figured out a whole new way to carry out the agenda of the anti-government era: by not just getting rid of government programs, but getting rid of a work of architecture whose very essence symbolizes a time when government sought to be a creative force. Read the full article HERE.3

Lloyd Wright's Moore Residence in Palos Verdes Estates is no more. Following a 3-year study, and little support from the neighbors that seem to revel in their empty spanish, colonial, and italian facades and granite countertops, the owner who, seemed to dislike his own house which he refers to as 'art', bulldozed it. Enjoy the stomachache that THIS ARTICLE offers.

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