Halloweenday October 31st, 2009
Lawrence Halprin, a San Francisco-based landscape architect who pushed the design of America's urban spaces in new directions over a career that spanned 60 years, died Sunday of natural causes. He was 93. Halprin settled in the Bay Area after the war. He joined the office of landscape architect Thomas Church and then, in 1949, opened his own firm. In the 1960s, Mr. Halprin launched a series of "experiments in environment" workshops influenced by his wife's avant-garde dances. He wrote nine books, and his documentary on Salvador Dali, "Le Pink Grapefruit," won an award at the 1976 San Francisco Film Festival. He helped plan and design Sea Ranch, a 5,000-acre stretch of the Sonoma coast fashioned to remain a distinct terrain despite the addition of more than 1,500 houses. Read more HERE.
In his new book "The Bauhaus Group: Six Masters of Modernism", Nicholas Fox Weber (author of "Le Corbusier", 2008), profiles six key artists and architects from the Bauhaus: Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky and the husband-and-wife team of Josef and Anni Albers. Read a review HERE. Check it out at Amazon HERE.
ObjectsUSA will present "Objects: Fall 09" between November 13-15. Check out their site for more HERE.
Sunday October 25th, 2009
This coming Thursday (10/29) at 630 p.m. the San Diego Architectural Foundation will host the first in a series of “Inside the Architect’s Studio” events at the Neurosciences Institute,. The inaugural event will be an interview with Robert Mosher about his life and career. Ticket information is HERE. Read a bit more fro mRoger Showley's angle HERE.
No plans today? A Valley Center historic home tour of the J. Cliff Garrett Residence by Cliff May will offer the first public look at this fantastic estate. Drop by 30845 Cole Grade Road between 1-5 p.m. Cost is $25. Read more about the house HERE.
Thank you to all attendees of my lecture "Homer Delawie, FAIA; Early Projects". We packed the San Diego Historical Society's theater!
Modernist sculptor Ruth Duckworth, 90, died after a brief illness last Sunday. Born Ruth Windmuller in Hamburg, Germany, Ms. Duckworth left with her family for England in 1936 -- her father was Jewish -- and she studied art at various schools in the UK. She started out working in stone, metal and wood. When she took up clay and ceramics, she approached the medium as a sculptor rather than with the traditional methods of a potter. Her abstract pieces put her at odds with the prevailing aesthetic of the day, the more utilitarian approach of fellow Brit Bernard Leach. In the U.S., she found more acceptance for her big abstract pieces, and for that reason stayed in Chicago.
Monday October 19th, 2009
The Valley Center historic home tour of a Cliff May-designed residence (circa 1945) on October 25 will offer the first public look at this fantastic estate bordering the defunct Bell Gardens. Check it out at 30845 Cole Grade Road between 1-5 p.m. Cost is $25. Read more about the house HERE. But please note -- according to Cliff May's archivist, this is actually recognized as the J. Cliff Garrett Residence - purchased by Allyson/Powell after it was built.
The guys at ObjectsUSA are gearing up for another 'show and sale' the weekend of November 13. Make sure you are in town for this one!
Saturday October 10th, 2009
Sometimes the greatest finds have always been right under your own nose. One of our intrepid reporters, found that R.M. Schindler designed not one but two projects in San Diego County. Today we add the Dr P.M. Lovell Ranch (1925-26) in Fallbrook to his page. The same client that hired Schindler for the Lovell Beach House in Newport Beach, and Richard Neutra to design the Lovell Health House, Dr. Lovell’s Fallbrook ranch, designed in 1923, was one of only three houses by Schindler to utilize his "slab tilt" construction. Schindler's Kings Road House for his family in Los Angeles was one of the other two. The house or some portion of it burned in the late 1960s. Apparently a renter at the house accidentally started the fire. We will keep you posted when we find the address and what's on that lot in 2009!
The new Herman Miller showroom just opened in a former warehouse near Culver City at 3641 Holdrege Avenue. While much of the new showroom is devoted to office furnishings, it's also the place to see new Eames 670 lounges and even a George Nelson's Marshmallow sofa in cowhide. Check it out next time you’re up in L.A.
From one “Three Small Houses in an Orchard” (designed ca. 1935), one of Richard Neutra’s many residential projects comes many interesting stories. The latest from the restored home, also known as the Jacqueline Johnson Residence, is a series of lectures “The Legacy of Modern”. Among the upcoming speakers are Raymond Neutra, M.D., youngest son of famed modern architect Richard Neutra, will offer a personal view of his parents and their legacy (November 12); author Alan Hess (December 3); and – David Weinstein, author of “Signature Architects of the San Francisco Bay Area” (Gibbs Smith, 2006) and contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle, will discuss the architects who designed houses for developer Joe Eichler (on January 7th). For more, click HERE.
Los Angeles’ most significant modern landmarks increasingly need protection from demolition, and even from benign disregard. But as "The Sixties Turn 50," a new Los Angeles Conservancy campaign meant to bring attention to threatened 1960s architecture, makes clear, the effort to round up support for postwar buildings is often far from straightforward -- and can easily prove a minefield of contradiction and irony. Read more HERE.
Tuesday October 6th, 2009
I finally took an inventory of the Scripps Estates Associates neighborhood in La Jolla. Check it out HERE.
Just a reminder - Modern San Diego will be hosting a presentation on Homer Delawie's early career highlights on Wednesday, October 21st at the San Diego Historical Society. RSVP HERE to guarantee yourself a seat.
On October 29th at 630 p.m., at the Neurosciences Institute, the San Diego Architectural Foundation will host the first in a series of “Inside the Architect’s Studio” events. The inaugural event will be an interview with Robert Mosher about his life and career. Ticket information is HERE.
Please check out MERCERYORK.COM today, and visit regularly – we're making changes daily. And if you know someone looking to NOT live in a cookie-cutter home, send them along.
I FINALLY updated the Events page. Click HERE to see it. If you have something you want to add to the calendar drop me a line
Monday October 5th, 2009
To make way for its 368-unit Cresta Bella Apartments in Rancho Peñasquitos, Atlantic & Pacific Management, has demolished Leisure Life Village. The 248 single-story homes built in the late 1960s and rented mostly to seniors with federal housing subsidies, the loss of Leisure Life Village as a local cultural asset is upsetting to say the least. Leisure’s developer, Irvin J. Kahn (who also worked with Palmer & Krisel on area residential designs), had bought the 14,000-acre Los Peñasquitos Rancho in 1962. The Village is history, and it’s hard to believe that Cresta Bella, a $44 million project on 31 acres (32 buildings including a mega-mansion that contains 10 apartments), works in the current economy. Way back in ’62 Kahn signed US Steel, Rheem Manufacturing Co. of New York and Rohr Corp. of Chula Vista to build a modular steel-framed complex based in part on the Rohr Modular House being built in Riverside. Promoters at the time spoke of it as a “breakthrough” in residential construction. The 248 homes were designed by the firm of Wexler, Perlin Boggio. Architect Donald Wexler, and his engineers Bernard Perlin and George Boggio established their Palm Springs firm in 1961 and became widely recognized for their steel-framed homes including the “Style in Steel” house in Buena Park (ca. 1967). According to the Union Tribune (dated 6/30/1963), also included in the list was the local firm of Hester and Jones, La Jolla architects; and Guy Winton, project engineer. More on the “Style in Steel” house can be found HERE and HERE.
Brazilian-born modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer is the subject of an expansive exhibition on view through November 22nd at Madrid’s Fundación Telefónica Curated by Lauro Cavalcanti, an architect and a friend of Niemeyer’s for decades, the show includes original drawings and sketches, architectural models, photographs, a sculpture by the artist and an example of his furniture, as well as film and video projections. If you read Spanish, check out more HERE.