BLOG ARCHIVE - November 2006

November 29th, 2006

If anyone has noticed that Fashion Valley's May Company store has been remodeled to launch Bloomingdale's, you may have also noticed how they have painted over the beautiful waterfall on the east facade. This building is significant in a number of ways (an additional one when we find out who designed the waterfall feature) -- The building was designed by the large Los Angeles firm A.C. Martin. At the time Martin's lead architect on the project was Ward Deems, who with its designer Bill Lewis, would leave the firm (circa 1958) to establish their own practice in La Jolla. When you head out to do your holiday season shopping take a minute to admire the building's exterior.

November 28th, 2006

As the holiday season settles in around us, the area's modernists have been relatively quiet. One assumes family, friends and seasonal travel is taking priority over photography, research and discussion of our local cultural assets. At least one piece of note has been written recently -- Stanley J. French's obituary was published by the San Diegon Union here.

Thanksgiving Eve 2006

While many of this site’s visitors may not find this interesting, as the owner of Modern San Diego, I find the latest site-traffic summary to be fascinating. Maybe I am just “a numbers guy” or just maybe the evidence that this site is being used by more people than are in my family, live in my neighborhood and certainly vastly outnumber friends + acquaintances delights me on Thanksgiving Eve.

In 2002, MSD had a paltry 565 visitors. By 2003, site traffic improved by 70% with a total of 1,377 users. During the following year (2004), 22% more fans (1,763 of 'em) of Modern San Diego showed up in the bitstream. Since 2006 isn’t over yet, 2005 traffic set a new record – 9,961 keyboards, mice and monitors logged onto my little URL.

Between January 1st and February 5th, 2,366 of you searched these pages and hopefully found something of interest – and maybe you even learned something. Traffic continued to grow up through our most recent report summary – between 9/10/06 – 11/22/06 these typed biographies and scattered amateur photos brought 7,310 of you to these pages.

An average of 172 persons per day are currently perusing these .html pages. I would like to thank each and every one of you.

Saturday November 18th, 2006

Check it out -- it's all done (for now) Join the discussion forum, and plan your trip out east and share what you learn in the Discussion Forum.

Friday November 17th, 2006 is now live. I will be moving the Cape Cod section of this site over to that address in the coming days. thanks to the help of the French family, Stanley French's site now has notes and pics. An obituary will be published soon in the UT.

Tuesday November 14th, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me. Happy Birthday to Me. Today was a grand day, despite the weather, to go outside and explore. Following coffee with Robert Mosher, I drove up the hill to the mid-century haven on Crespo Drive. While designs by Benedict and Richards next door to one another drew me to the location, there are a great number of interesting houses remaining on this street high up in the hills above La Jolla's beaches. Several houses are being taken down by McMillionaires with little to no taste - but for the time being, the gems are worth the drive. At 1631 Crespo is a stunning glass and stucco box reminiscent of Russel Forester or Henry Hester. Following the driving tour, I met up with Jeff and Dave at the Mingei to see our friend John Dirks' latest exhibition JOHN DIRKS SCULPTOR – A Retrospective (running through February 11, 2007). I encourage everyone to see this fine display of John's work -- a local woodworker, furniture maker, sculpture, educator, and much more -- reflects nearly five decades of his work. My birthday splendor peaked at dinner with friends at Taka Sushi. Yum.

Monday November 13th, 2006

Back from Florida. Finally. While tomorrow kicks off with coffee with La Jollan Robert Mosher (not to be confused with the Taliesin Fellow named Bob Mosher), it was today that Todd turned me onto a new Wright/Taliesin Fellow - Hiram Hudson Benedict after we both (independently of the other) discovered a beautiful house in La Jolla. I am gathering information on him for a biographical micro-site - if you know anything or have any resources you can point me towards, please email me.

Sunday November 12th, 2006

Stanley J. French died yesterday. The San Diego County Juvenile Detention Center (1967) is a project he was still proud of in later life. The design for this building included some solar power considerations that were ahead of their time. French recently stated, "The entire line of exterior sunscreen panels moved so that screens were protecting exterior glass and were activated by solar clocks. They automatically returned to the starting position at night."

Among many designs (some while the lead architect at Boyle Engineering), he contributed some significant work to Southern California's built environment including:

Kircher Residence, Point Loma
San Diego Zoo - SkyFari and Wegaforth Bowl
San Diego County Juvenile Detention Center (1967)
Spanish Landing Park on Harbor Island
Aztec Stadium at SDSU (demolished)
Pacific View Memorial Park, Newport Beach
El Camino Memorial Park, San Diego
Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood
Mountain View Cemetery, San Bernardino
Pacific View Memorial Park, Newport Beach
Montecito Memorial Park, Colton
Santa Clara Memorial Park, Santa Clara

Friday November 10th, 2006

The New York Times published a new article on Cape Cod Modern. You can read it on the NY Times site here or read the text version on our little Cape Cod micro-site here.

Wednesday November 8th, 2006

A crazy day for a number of reasons. I am in Florida. The Dems swept the Senate and House. Rumsfeld "resigned" (read: FIRED) and apparently Donald Goldman's residence for himself (2451 Poinsettia Drive) is in escrow after being listed at $1.285M. And there may be a Homer Delawie in Bonita... Have a good one.

Sunday November 5th, 2006

SignOn San Diego posted an obituary for Henry Hester here.

Friday November 3rd, 2006

I just received the news that Henry Hester died on Tuesday October 31st after a month-long battle with pancreatic cancer. This is truly a sad day for those of us that respect the design work he brought to San Diego. You can read more about Mr. Hester here.


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