Tuesday, September 30

Bill Lawrence's BORREGO MODERN site is now up. Head on over and check out what he's got cookin'.

Thanks to everyone who showed up to our screening of "My Architect" last Thursday. It was a fantastic turnout - not to mention a great film. Film blogger Beth Accomando wrote a nice piece HERE. Additionally CityBeat, The Reader and others gave some ink to the affair.

If you haven't yet, sign up for a free tour of Louis I. Kahn's Salk Institute by clicking HERE.

Thursday, September 25

Join Modern San Diego and the San Diego Architectural Foundation this evening for a screening of the film "My Architect: A Son's Journey." Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The film screens at 7:30 p.m. for a suggested donation to the Foundation of $10.00 at the door.

The U.S. Navy is ignoring the recommendation of the chairman of the federal committee on historic preservation who earlier this year urged the mothballing of the former's Gunner's Mate School, also known as Building 521. The Navy will demolish the landmark. Designed by Bruce Graham (of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill), the architect of Sears Tower. The 54-year-old structure contains the DNA of the steel-and-glass architecture that reshaped the face of Chicago and much of the world. Read more HERE.

A new exhibit in Zurich, "Heidi Weber: 50 Years Ambassador for Le Corbusier", exposes a rich collection of sketches, oil paintings, tapestries and other masterpieces that often go unnoticed in the shadow of Corbu's architectural renown. Read more HERE.

IF you were looking for a reason to be upset with the AIA – here’s one for ya. The AIA Committee on Design (COD) is currently asking the profession to submit sketches to the international 2009 COD Ideas Competition. The project? “Design a new house to replace the recently demolished Raymond House (architect: Eleanor Raymond, FAIA). Regarded at the time of its construction as the first true Modern house in New England, and one of the earliest in the United States, the Raymond House was a signature work of one of the most prominent American women architects of the 20th century. Submissions to this competition must follow the same program as the original house, interpret the ideals of Modernism, and follow guidelines for sustainable design.”

The new plans for the Edward Durrell Stone’s One Columbus Circle (1964) have been unveiled HERE.

Wright has unveiled their online preview for this Sunday's auction HERE.

Sunday, September 21

Put this Thursday in your calendar! Cut/paste the following to make it easy -- ""My Architect" at Luce Loft - 6:30 p.m."

Robert Royston, one of the leading modernist landscape architects in the country, died at his Mill Valley home on Friday. He was 90. Robert partnered withGarrett Eckbo to form THE landscape architecture firm at the mid-century Eckbo, Royston and Williams. Read the obituary HERE.

A new text "Gregory Ain: The Modern Home as Social Commentary" by Anthony Denzer will be released on September 30th. Buy it on Amazon HERE.

Read about a new exhibit, "Modernism for the Borderland: The Mid-Century Houses of Robert Garland and David Hilles," which is in the Stanlee & Gerald Rubin gallery at the University of Texas at El Paso HERE.

Eero Saarinen's latest exhibit is inspiring an examination of Minnesota Modernism. Read more HERE.

Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois announced their list of landmarks that are endangered last week including a couple of structures in Elgin, IL. On the list is Bertrand Goldberg’s Medical Surgical Building. Read more HERE. Landmarks Illinois published a decent interactive map of the sites HERE. Listen to Chicago Public Radio reports on the topic HERE and HERE.

Art Daily looks at the exhibit "Birth of the Cool" HERE.

A rumor has surfaced on the Lotta Living forums that Craig Ellwood’s South Bay Bank (1955-57) at 1800 Sepulveda Boulevard in Manhattan Beach may be heading for a "makeover." Posts one commenter: "Long story short, I met with the current bank manager of one such building that Craig Ellwood designed and had built in 1958. The manager was a little curious why I took such an interest in the current Citizen's Bank building as I had my Nikon camera in my hands. He said that a number of local residents wanted 'something done to the exterior' to 'bring it up to current standards'. The bank is looking into perhaps demolishing the front of the building." The LA Conservancy's Modcom committee is looking into the possibility of nominating the building for landmark status at the state level.

Several of the best known names in architecture have created gas stations, around the world, including Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies Van der Rohe, Willem Dudok, Jean Prouve, Arne Jacobsen and Norman Foster, but nobody created a design package that was as enduring and comprehensive as Elliot Noyes for Mobil. Explore the "Top 15 Modernist Gas Stations" list (with photographs) HERE.

Australian modernist Harry Seidler’s widow has emerged as the latest hindrance to plans to build a new national headquarters for the federal police. The Edmund Barton building is on Australia’s national estate register as "an outstanding example of the late 20th-century International Style of architecture in Australia" and the federal police's plans have generated concerns in architectural circles. Read more HERE.


Craig Ellwood's South Bay Bank (1955-57) in Manhattan Beach

Thursday, September 18

Next Thursday the website you are on right now will be presenting the film "My Architect." Please attend - it's going to be a fantastic opportunity to relax. Go HERE for more information.

While homeowners along the Fox River fretted over damage caused to their homes, we here at Modern San Diego are worried about the fate of Mies Van Der Rohe's Farnsworth House in Plano. On Sunday September 14th flood waters rose above the 5-foot risers on which the steel and glass home sits, leaving its interior covered in another two feet of water. For the sixth time in 60 years, the Farnsworth House, one of the most famous examples of Modernist architecture, has been overtaken by a swollen Fox River. Read the first article HERE and a follow-up article published on September 16th HERE.

The Chicago Architecture Foundation offers a 7-hour tour of works by Mies Van Der Rohe in and around the city including the IIT Campus, 860 and 880 North Lake Shore Drive and the Farnsworth House. Read more HERE.

THE Chicago-based auction house, Wright, is offering their latest online preview of their upcoming "Modern Design" auction on October 7 HERE.

Daily Icon published some great photos of Case Study House #21 HERE.

The Los Altos Neutra House Project committee has scheduled the grand opening of the recently renovated Neutra House with a one-day tour showcasing contemporary modern homes including the Neutra House (1935) located in Los Altos on October 25. Learn more HERE.

Frank Lloyd Wright's residential design in Phoenix for his son David has hit the market with an asking price of $4 million. The house was built in 1951 and was the home of David Wright until he died in 1997. His wife Gladys continued living there until her death earlier this year. Learn more HERE.

Walter Gropius' house for his family (circa 1938) in Lincoln, Mass is discussed HERE. If you ever are in the neighborhood I encourage you to witness the spectacle and two of its neighbors by Marcel Breur.

Julius Shulman photographing Oklahoma architecture is discussed HERE.

The Art Museum of the America's is marking legendary modernist Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer's 1ooth birthday with a retrospective of his career through October 26th. Learn more HERE.

East of San Diego in Indian Wells "the village," a 1957 development has stood the test of time. Read more about the nearly intact "pod" of architecture HERE.

Stephen Coles, a writer and graphic designer living in the San Francisco Bay Area runs a great site MidCenturyModernist.Com.


Louis I. Kahn
(1901-1974)

Thursday, September 11

Louis I. Kahn is considered by many historians to have been the most important architect of the second half of the twentieth century. While Kahn's artistic legacy was a search for truth and clarity, his personal life was secretive and chaotic. His mysterious death left behind three families -- one with his wife and two with women with whom he had long-term affairs. The child of one of these extra-marital relationships, Kahn's only son Nathaniel, set out on a journey to reconcile the life and work of this mysterious man. Revealing the haunting beauty of his father's monumental creations and taking us to the rarified heights of the world's celebrated architects and deep within his own divided family, Nathaniel's personal journey becomes a universal investigation of identity, a celebration of art and ultimately, of life itself in the film “My Architect.” Nominated for numerous awards including Best Documentary Oscar this film is a must-see. Join ModernSanDiego on Thursday, September 25 for a screening of “My Architect” at Luce Loft. Doors open at 6:30 p.m, film screens at 7:30 at 1037 J Street San Diego, CA 92101.

The St. Louis Art Museum will present "Action/Abstraction: Pollock, de Kooning and American Art, 1940-1976" beginning October 19.  "Action/Abstraction" promises to bring a number of bona fide masterpieces by members of the New York School to St. Louis including Arshile Gorky's "The Liver is the Cock's Comb" and Jackson Pollock's "Convergence". Works by David Smith, Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Frank Stella in addition to Pollock, de Kooning and Gorky.

Read an interview with Frederick Noyes, Eliot Noyes' son HERE.

One of the earliest works by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill architect Bruce Graham may be demolished if preservation groups can't convince the Navy to spare it. Learn more about the 1954 glass-and-steel structure known as Building 521 at Naval Station Great Lakes in Lake County, Illinois HERE.

The Dallas home for Nieman Marcus founder Stanley Marcus has been saved from bulldozers. Learn more about the International Style house, commissioned in 1938, by local architect Roscoe DeWitt HERE.

The exhibit “Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future” opens at the Walker Art Center this Saturday, September 13 and runs through January 4. Read more HERE.

Next Friday, September 19, the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum will present "Birth of the Cool: California Art, Design, and Culture at Midcentury," the traveling, sprawling multimedia exhibition that investigates how the sleek West Coast aesthetic — at once playful and poised, laid-back and sharply articulated — emerged as cultural shorthand for crisp sophistication. From painting and architecture to music, film, furniture and the graphic arts, “Birth of the Cool” shows how 1950s Los Angeles was an epicenter of American modernism. Read more HERE.

While mostly bent on contemporary architecture for sale, a new site sanfranciscomodern.com also incorporates the region's inventory of mid-century designs including Eichlers.


Senterfit Residence by Homer Delawie (1960)

Tuesday, September 2

The Homer Delawie designed Senterfit Residence is already in escrow. Fingers crossed that the new owners, paying $650,000 for an 800 sq ft house, understand what they just bought.

Chandigarh, India is on the short list of cities to see. Among the few cities to be designed and built from scratch and inhabited afterwards (count Oscar Niemeyer's Brasilia, Brazil on that list as well), Le Corbusier's Chandigarh is now in its 50th year and in much need of help. Read the article HERE.

John Nyquist may not be a top name, but his made-to-order furnishings command top dollar. The Long Beach woodworker has hand-built his legacy among aficionados of midcentury design for almost 50 years. Read the LA Times profile HERE.

The Vitra Design Museum at Weil am Rhein in Germany will celebrate the 100th anniversary of George Nelson's birth with a retrospective of his work, opening September 13. Read more HERE.

Mark Rothko's "chapels", or rooms of his work, as presented in Houston and London are discussed HERE.

The first annual Philadelphia Modern home tour will be held October 25th. Homes by Louis Kahn, Frank Weise, Irwin Stein, Thomas  Mangan, Irving Maitin, Alan Berkowitz and others will be included. Learn more HERE.

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