Tuesday, September 19 2017
Los Angeles-based architect Gin D. Wong recently passed away at age 94. While Wong has been long recognized for his LA projects including LACMA, LAX and a delightful Union 76 gas station in Beverly Hills, San Diegans often forget his role as project architect with William Pereira & Associates on UC San Diego’s Central Library (now Geisel Library) and one of the best houses in all of Mission Hills – a 1957 residence for Tom Lai located at 3872 Bandini Street. According to the LA Times, Wong was born in Guangzhou, China - moving to Los Angeles with his family as a child. Following his service in the US Army Air Corps during World War II (where he participated in major air battles over Japan as a navigator and radar bombardier)… Wong enrolled at USC, where one of his professors was the prolific architect William L. Pereira, who would later become his colleague. Shortly after Wong’s graduation in 1950, they established William L. Pereira & Associates where he worked prior to launching Gin Wong Associates in 1973.
On Saturday, November 18th, architect Hal Sadler and I will co-present Evolving Styles: From the Sixties to Now - A Dialogue with Hal Sadler and Keith York at NewSchool of Architecture beginning at 9:30 AM. For more information, click HERE.
Prior to the La Mesa Historical Society's 12th Annual Historical Society Home Tour - scheduled for November 4, 2017 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm - myself and others will be making presentations on the region's architctural highlights on October 28th. Make sure you register and join us! More information is HERE.
Case Study House #10 by Nomland & Nomland (1947) is for sale. Read more HERE.
A. Quincy Jones' Marion Israel House (1949) in Brentwood is up for sale for the first time since 1962. Read more HERE.
Tuesday, September 5 2017
Hello Everyone! I have been super busy selling my home and buying the home pictured above in addition to work and family. I will post more upates as soon as I have some time... For those attending the California Preservation Foundation conference I will be moderating a discussion on 1970s modernism with several local architects. In October I will be discussing the work of CJ Paderewski at a La Mesa Historical Society event. In November I will be joining Hal Sadler for a presentation on his life and work for the Friends of San Diego Architecture. Keep in touch at email@example.com!
Tuesday, July 25 2017
If you're unfamiliar with Esther McCoy and her role in Southern California modernism, read a great primer HERE.
Monday, July 24 2017
Thanks to AB Squared Creative Group for the virtual tour of my house HERE. One of the principals is also working on a documentary about San Diego modern homeowners -- the site for the documentary and the trailer can be found HERE.
My house hit the MLS -- for RedFin junkies, you can see it HERE.
Sunday, July 16 2017
Craig Ellwood's Bobertz House update: Thanks to the team AB Squared Creative Group, you can now take a virtual tour HERE. The house will likely hit the MLS on Thursday, July 20. One and only open house is scheduled for July 30 between 9-11am. The book on Craig Ellwood I contributed to, and that prominently features the home, is now due out in March 2018 - learn more HERE.
Fantastic buildings in Asmara, Eritrea have contributed to its naming as a World Heritage Site. Learn more HERE.
Edward Durrell Stone's Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer in Nebraska was recently restored. In contrast to Stone's Scripps Green Hospital being remodeled over the years, and his church in Poway being demolished! Read more HERE.
Louis Kahn's Point Counterpoint II is in jeopardy. Read more HERE.
Monday, July 10 2017
Photographer Darren Bradley just posted a fantastic survey of Wisconsin projects by Frank Lloyd Wright HERE.
Saturday, July 8 2017
Remodels and demolitions of buildings always raise questions - from turning a vintage/original condition kitchens into something that belongs in a contemporary 'shelter magazine' or entire demolition of structures in the name of progress...
Liebhardt & Weston's 1965 harborside project - Anthony's Fish Grotto - has always been a favorite of mine especially considering Julius Shulman's photos following construction. The building is a goner -- read more HERE.
And these issues don't simply reside in San Diego's modernist inventory. Los Angeles buildings face similar issues -- even with a 1961 Millard Sheets building! Check out what's going on with Sheets' 1961 Scottish Rite Masonic Temple HERE.
Friday, July 7 2017
Architect Dick Lareau studied under sculptor John Dirks and painter Jean Swiggettat while attending San Diego State College prior to transferring to Cal/Berkeley. Following his return to San Diego, Dick started his professional career in the office of Kitchen & Hunt and later for Paderewski, Mitchell & Dean until he opened his own office on 6th Avenue in 1957. Over the years, Mr. Lareau built a successful practice – often noted for the designs for the Cal Western campus (later Point Loma Nazarene). Mr. Lareau will speak on his career and experiences on Thursday, November 16th at the Point Loma Assembly from 5-7pm.
It was recently announced that Lareau’s Mission Bay Visitors Information Center (1969), which for decades welcomed tourists and locals, “…will be transformed into a casual restaurant with outdoor dining, plus beach and bike rentals,” according to the UT. Following San Diego City Council approval of a new long-term lease with San Diego-based Playground Concepts, the 2.6-acre city-owned site on East Mission Bay Drive will be renamed Shoreline Mission Bay.
Thursday, July 6 2017
Artist John Baldessari, once told former KPBS reporter, Angela Carone, “"I still read about myself and say, who is this person?" he said. "You can take the boy out of National City, but you can’t take National City out of the boy." As far back as the 1950s, while in National City, Mr. Baldessari painted – he painted with friends and colleagues, and showed his work. He also taught. As the paintings piled up in his studio he reflected on the inventory with Ms. Carone, "I thought, you know I’m young," he said. "At this point I’m going to be inundated with paintings. No one is ever going to buy them. The pleasure for me was doing them, so I don’t have to own them." His next move was to rid the world of his paintings, his own version of Bob Matheny’s Art Disposal Service, became a work unto itself as he burned dozens of his paintings in a Logan Heights crematorium. "There was a crematorium there and they said yeah they would do it, but only at night," he explained. "So it got even more macabre. And then, even better, the guy that did the cremating had studied art in college and he really got into it." Baldessari, at age 85, has a new show up in Los Angeles. It closes on July 15. You can read more HERE.
Wednesday, July 5 2017
Opening this September at The Queens Museum is novel exhibition - Never Built New York. The show will feature drawings and models of Buckminster Fuller’s Dome Over Manhattan, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Key Project for Ellis Island, Eliot Noyes design for the 1964 New York World’s Fair, as well as Isamu Noguchi & Louis Kahn’s Adele Rosenwald Levy Memorial Playground for Riverside Park in Manhattan. The exhibition is being produced by architecture critic Greg Goldin and the journalist Sam Lubell, who previously created a similar project dedicated to Los Angeles’ unbuilt projects back in 2012. Read and see more HERE.
Tuesday, July 4 2017
The estate of San Diego ceramist and Mingei International Museum founder Martha Longenecker was the focus of a recent Christies auction. Read more HERE.
Monday, July 3 2017
It has been a month since the passing of architect William Krisel -- it's still hard to fathom. If you have been traveling the County over the last few weeks taking in his many designs, you can add a tad of context by perusing the LA Times obituary HERE and the The Desert Sun one HERE.
Sunday, July 2 2017
Caroline and Susan's next event is at the Bali Hai on July 20. Join architectural historian Diane Kane for a journey into Shelter Island Polynesian-influenced work. They have booked architect Richard 'Dick' Lareau for their November 16 event!
Saturday, July 1 2017
The recent exhibition, Women of Abstract Expressionism, at the Palm Springs Art Museum confronted gender bias in a groundbreaking survey of artists working in San Francisco and New York between the 1940s – 1960s. Though abstract expressionism has been widely connected to the work of Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning, the exhibition put a spotlight on Grace Hartigan, Jay DeFeo, Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, Sonia Gechtoff, Ethel Schwabacher, Deborah Remington and many more. Read more about the show HERE.
After the war, San Diego also hosted several fantastic female painters – Marj Hyde, Sarah Roberts, Ethel Greene and others approached canvases with new, fresh ideas. While these painters’ work has yet to be collected into a show akin to Women of Abstract Expressionism I am excited about developments at Grossmont College’s Hyde Art Gallery. Since joining the gallery Alex DeCosta has been evaluating the work of the gallery’s namesake - Marj Hyde. In reviewing a small group of works by Hyde, beyond the three I own, I am excited for a potential survey of her abstract expressionist work being on view at the gallery in the future. Learn more about Marj HERE and the Hyde Art Gallery HERE.
Friday, June 30 2017
Years ago when traveling back & forth to Chicago to visit my girlfriend (now wife), I tried to take in as much of the modernist inventory as possible. On one of our outings, we drove up to Elmhurst to see one of Mies Van Der Rohe's three private residences - McCormick House. The house had been altered significantly by the Elmhurst Art Museum but the detailing Craig Ellwood borrowed from Mies (and deployed in his early houses like mine) was evident. To my delight McCormick is now being restored -- read and see more HERE.
Thursday, June 29 2017
A great story in the LA Times shows that buyers of homes should always write a letter to owners or architect-designed unique homes to convey their intent to preserve, protect, cherish and restore homes that speak to an earlier era. Designer Trina Turk purchased and restored a John Lautner with the same strategy we all should deploy. Read more HERE.
Wednesday, June 28 2017
Back in 2015, Peter Frank reviewed Dave Hampton’s show, In the Abstract, at Oceanside Museum of Art. Two years later, the writer’s opening paragraph resonates even louder than when first published in Fabrik. “America’s love-hate relationship with modern art came to something of a head in the 1940s and ‘50s, when the middle class finally reached a level of security and could afford to exercise a modicum of intellectual curiosity (a modicum maintained with notable intensity by the broadcast media of the era). Also, we went to war to maintain freedom of expression, and if the guy down the block made peculiar things out of cast iron or the pleasantly dotty pharmacist also liked to paint weird shapes, well, that was their hard-won right (unless they were sending secret signals to Stalin, of course). Those amateur, and not-so-amateur, abstractionists were answering to a mid-century Zeitgeist that invited them to look towards Europe—and, increasingly, New York—for cues as to what the imaginative spirit was capable of inventing. This kind of middlebrow sophistication suffused throughout the US especially after the war, culminating in the cultural explosion of the Kennedy years.” Read more HERE.
Sunday, June 25 2017
I will be presenting on Frank Lloyd Wright’s impact on San Diego
architecture – with Wright Apprentice Bill Slatton (and
possibly one more apprentice special guest) on Sunday at 2 P.M., 30
July 2017 at D.G. Wills Books, 7461 Girard Avenue, La Jolla, 858-456-1800.
More info on the store can be found HERE.
Though urban legends persist to the contrary, Frank Lloyd Wright did
not build a project in San Diego County. What does exist here are buildings
by Wright’s sons, his apprentices and disciples, who moved to
the region and spread his ideals across a number of projects from the
As a follow-on to the highly successful exhibition at La Jolla Historical
Society, ‘Frank Lloyd Wright’s Legacy in San Diego: The
Taliesin Apprentices’, I will interview Wright apprentice Bill
Slatton and share the history of Wright’s influence in San Diego.
Prior to his passing in 1959, Frank Lloyd Wright shared his architectural
ideals with his sons Lloyd Wright & John Lloyd Wright and apprentices
Sim Bruce Richards, Loch Crane, Frederick Liebhardt, Vincent Bonini
and Bill Slatton – all of whom moved to San Diego and designed
an array of projects for clients throughout the region.
On July 30, join me and Mr. Slatton for a lively discussion and chronicling his time with Wright between 1956-59, and his move to San Diego where he would collaborate with locals like Kendrick Bangs Kellogg, James Hubbell, Harold Abrams, Leonard Veitzer, William Lumpkins, Loch Crane, Lloyd Ruocco, Homer Delawie and Frederick Liebhardt.
Wednesday, June 12 2017
A new exhibition, Arline Fisch: One of a Kind, just opened at Mingei International Museum. The show offers a comprehensive view of Arline's including necklaces, brooches, bracelets and pendants, as well as body ornaments (like the one above). Learn more about the artist HERE, Esoteric Survey's photos HERE and the show HERE.
Friday, June 9 2017
Two things -- we at Modern San Diego have been speechless since the loss of Bill Krisel; and we are getting an e-newsletter together to acknowledge this and other developments in our community. Stay tuned!
Tuesday, April 25 2017
This evening's event with architect Hal Sadler IS SOLD OUT AND THE PROMOTERS ARE UNABLE TO TAKE WALK-UP REGISTRATIONS!
Wednesday, March 9 2017
For those that missed my presentation on Robert Mosher's legacy at All Soul's Episcopal Church, you can watch the entire presentation HERE. James Hubbell's windows are amazing! Thank you to all that hosted and attended the event!
Saturday, February 25 2017
Michael Brown and I have just launched a 'Modernism San Diego' Meetup group. We are in the midst of planning our upcoming calendar - but it's going to be a fun group to share with. Consider joining us on future outings HERE. If that does not work feel free to send me your name and email address and I will sign you up HERE.
After spending the day with architect Norm Applebaum, and his client Dick Matheron, I updated his page a tad HERE.
I am looking for more information on Gene F. Pedersen (1923-2004). Born in Chicago on June 27, 1923, Mr. Pedersen served the United States as an Army Captain in the South Pacific during World War II prior to attending USC where he studied Architecture. He practiced architectural design, building and land development across five decades in San Diego. His design-build and construction company, Professional Planning Corp, was established in 1961 at 8047 La Mesa Blvd (later moving to PO Box 1617 La Jolla 92037). Mr. Pedersen died on November 25, 2004 in La Jolla. According to his obituary, Mr. Pedersen left behind his widow, Joanne Pedersen, daughter Kristin Wright of Rancho Santa Fe, and sons, Lief Pedersen of Leucadia and Dean Pedersen of La Jolla. If you know of any information about Mr. Pedersen’s life, career and building designs, please drop me a line HERE.
Monday, February 13 2017
Chicago Patterns writer Rachel Freundt is analyzing Louis Sullivan’s Charnley House in her wonderful city. Contextualizing Charnley is a fascinating read – especially when the author mentions Sullivan’s role and that of his employees at the time being Frank Lloyd Wright and Irving Gill. While there is some dispute over authorship of Sullivan’s Charnley House, his employee, Irving Gill did design, with partner Frank Mead, the Russell C. Allen House (1907) in Bonita. Allen, as Freundt writes, “greatly resembles the Charnley House built 15 years earlier during the time Gill worked for Sullivan.” One of only four houses produced under the Gill & Mead partnership, the Allen House, Freundt surprisingly asserts “…may be the first intentionally anti-ornament structure ever built. Although architect Adolf Loos is usually credited with designing the first stripped-down, anti-ornament residence with the Steiner house (1910) in Vienna, Gill’s Allen house was designed three years earlier and deserves recognition.” Read more HERE.
Friday, February 10 2017
Learn more about A. Quincy Jones' house for La Jolla developer A.C. Hvistendahl HERE.
I just created a draft bio of artist Donald Brewer HERE.
Thursday, February 9 2017
Join James Hubbel and I tomorrow night (Friday 2/10/17) at 6:30pm for a free event! Join us at All Souls' Episcopal Church to learn more about the architecture of Robert Mosher, the stained glass design of James Hubbell and the ceramic work of Rhoda Lopez. Point Loma Modern! RSVP HERE.
Check out this interesting book -- Mid Century Houses Today - HERE.
LACMA is going to raze their amazing campus! Sad to see William Pereira's masterwork taken down. Learn more HERE.
Congratulations to the owners of Hal Sadler's Mitch Cory Residence and John Dirks' home for his own family. Both homes in Mt. Helix were designated by the County as Historic Sites. More HERE.
While no one asked my opinion, apparenly Richard Wheeler's San Diego Gas & Electric needs a facelift! More HERE.
If you're interested, there's a great book on architecture photographer Maynard Parker. I am buying myself a copy! Check it out HERE.
Jeff Bridges is starring as Mies Van Der Rohe in an upcoming film! Maggie Gyllenhal is playing Mies' client Edith Farnsworth! Surely, you must be joking! Is this Fake news? "The feature film will follow the relationship between Van der Rohe and his client, Chicago nephrologist Edith Farnsworth, during the design and construction of the glass-box dwelling. Learn more HERE.
Friday, January 20 2017
Thank you to all who attended last night's screening of 'Claremont Modern'. Prior to its big screening during Palm Springs Modernism next month. Ours was only the second public showing since the film was completed! I hope those that attended enjoyed the trailer for the upcoming documentary 'Modern in our Midst'. We hope to provide a debut screening when the film is done.
I added a new page on architects Smith and Williams' work in San Diego. I am hoping to learn more about the Linda Vista, National City and Chula Vista work Whitney Smith did in the 1940s - let me know if you know anything!
While working on the Smith and Williams page, I learned that Whitney Smith met John Lautner while they both worked for William Templeton Johnson here. I hope to learn more about their time together (ca. 1942-43) -- as they remained lifelong friends in Los Angeles after their time here in San Diego. Drop me a line if you know of Lautner's time in San Diego.
Wednesday, January 18 2017
Author and curator Alan Hess has a new show, ‘Aaron G. Green and California Organic Architecture,’ opening this Saturday at Palos Verdes Art Center. Alan will speak during the opening reception (6-9PM) on January 21. Green (1917-2001) launched his career in Los Angeles after World War II and his practice produced designs for custom homes, public housing, churches, schools, and internment facilities. He was widely published in House Beautiful and Architectural Digest. But his additional role as Frank Lloyd Wright’s associate in their joint San Francisco office also placed him at the forefront of some of America’s most visionary architecture during the fruitful final decade of Wright’s life – working on the Marin County Civic Center after Wright’s death. Green reportedly worked with Del Mar building designer Herb Turner to develop Reportedly, Green lectured on his work with Frank Lloyd Wright at the San Diego Museum of Art and had a comprehensive exhibition of his own work at the ArtistSpace gallery in Del Mar. Also, Green may have collaborated with Herb Turner on his Bernardo Mountain housing project that was not built. Randolph Henning’s new book on Aaron Green will be out in October: Aaron G. Green: Organic Architecture Beyond Frank Lloyd Wright. Learn more HERE.
Friday, January 13 2017
I just posted a short piece on banks and art HERE. I will expand on this topic in the future as there's a ton of great stories surrounding the topic of bank executives deploying artists to enhance branches.
Oscar Niemeyer's Hotel Nacional recently reopened. Check it out HERE.
Richard Neutra's VDL House in Los Angeles has been designated! Learn more HERE.
Wednesday, December 28 2016
The Don Diego Clock Tower at Ye Olde Del Mar Fairgrounds is being razed. Read more HERE.
Modern San Diego is sponsoring the debut of Paul Bockhorst's new film 'Claremont Modern'. Last time I sponsored one of Paul's films with the Mingei it sold out quick - so get your tix soon HERE.
Steve Aldana shared a great piece that he contributed to - on Richard Neutra, Palm Springs, the Kaufmann House, Eames DCM chairs and graphic design..and more HERE.
Friday, December 23 2016
Furniture designer Jens Risom just died. He was 100! More HERE.
Saturday, November 26 2016
Tuesday, November 8 2016
Monday, November 7 2016
Thank you to all 600 tour-goers! The La Mesa Historical Society Modern Home Tour was a great success! I can't wait until our next outing... and that's already in discussion.
Thursday, October 20 2016
Sunday, October 16 2016
Architect Arthur Erickson, often cited in discussions of the San Diego Convention Centre (ca. 1989), designed a fantastic home near Edmonton, Alberta in 1960. Among this earliest work as a young architect, the Dyde House was recently unveiled as a time capsule by the heirs as they donated it to the University of Alberta. Explore the Dyde House via a fantastic article with embedded videos HERE.
The LA Times posted a nice article about a couple that just brought back to life architect Ed Killingsworth’s 'model residence for Marina Towe'r (ca. 1958) in Long Beach. Read the piece HERE.
Sunday, October 9 2016
Ed Killingsworth’s Seeley House (1953)
in Long Beach.
Long Beach State University’s University Art Museum is hosting their Long Beach Mid-Century Modern Home Tour on October 15. This year’s tour is a fundraiser to support the upcoming exhibition Frank Bros.: The Store That Modernized Modern, to open in January 2017. Long Beach retailer Frank Bros. “Furniture was the primary U.S. source for the most coveted mid-century design at the height of the modernist era, furnishing nearly half of the Case Study Houses for Arts & Architecture Magazine. The store emphasized the principles of aesthetics and functionality in furniture design, and blurred the boundaries between art, design, and commerce with their exhibitions, innovative graphic design, marketing, and public relations.” The home tour will feature projects by Hugh Davies, Edward Killingsworth, Cliff May, George Montierth, Richard Neutra, and Raphael Soriano. Learn more HERE.
Friday, September 30 2016
Widely acknowledged in our region as one of the most important post-War artists, John McLaughlin created a body of work focused heavily on geometric paintings devoid of any connection to the world around him. Layering rectangular bars on adjacent planes of muted color, McLaughlin created provocative works. John McLaughlin Paintings: Total Abstraction opens at LACMA on November 13. The exhibition of paintings, collages and drawings is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue – McLaughlin’s first hardcover book! More HERE.
Following the new homeowner of architect Jean Roth Driskel's Jacobs Residence in Pauma Valley informing me of her wonderful home, I wrote up a quick biography with the help of Jean's son HERE.
The Getty Conservation Institute has initiated restorative work on Louis Kahn's Salk Institute in La Jolla. Learn more HERE. The conservation efforts at the Salk will be the subject of a presentation on October 5 at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. The career retrospective, Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture, will open at San Diego Museum of Art on November 5.
Friend of Modern San Diego, architect John Ike's Point Loma remodel was just featured in the Wall Street Journal HERE. Another little-known local project by John is a small 'viewing platform' in our yard that takes cues from Mies' Farnsworth House.
Thursday, September 22 2016
I hope you can join us for this event. Hal and I look forward to sharing more with you all.
I spent a good deal of time researching Hiram Hudson Benedict this week - the resulting biosketch is HERE.
Tuesday, September 20 2016
While the above demolition is horrifying, there is hope (elsewhere). Read and see photos of the recent restoration of RM Schindler's Lechner House (1947) in Los Angeles HERE.
Wednesday, September 14 2016
Sunday, September 11 2016
The Venice Family Clinic is hosting a fantastic home tour in Crestwood Hills – the amazing Brentwood enclave founded by musicians as a social living experiment in the 1940s. Crestwood Hills is one of those rare post-War utopian communities defined by homes designed by A. Quincy Jones, Whitney Smith, and Edgardo Contini. Your $175 donation to the Venice Family Clinic provides you access to a rare VIP tour of five homes and refreshments on October 1 at 10:00am. All proceeds fund vital health care for more than 24,000 low-income and homeless people Venice Family Clinic serves. More information can be found HERE.
The La Mesa Historical Society is offering a half-day symposium in advance of the home tour. Join us for presentations and discussion on local mid-century modern archtiecture and architects on October 8. More information is HERE.
The La Mesa Historical Society's 11th Annual Historic Home Tour this year will focus on mid-century modern architect designed homes in the area. Buy a ticket HERE for the November 5 event.
Sunday, August 28 2016
The Architecture & Design Museum Los Angeles is featuring a fantastic overview of architect William Cody's work - including San Diego project Mission Valley Country Club and Hotel! On view through September 25, 'Fast Forward: The Architecture of William Cody' is worth a visit. More info is HERE. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo hosts Cody's archive - more info is HERE.
While highly regarded as a modernist architect, Russell Forester’s sculpture and painting put him at the top of our region’s post-war artists. A new one-man show ‘Space, Structure, Light: The Art of Russell Forester’ at Oceanside Museum of Art presents an amazing survey of his earliest work through to his final paintings before his untimely passing. According to a recent UT article HERE, Forester’s art was influenced by “…geometry of architecture… and… American abstract expressionist Mark Tobey, whom he eventually met in Basel, Switzerland, where Tobey lived, and the Swiss-born expressionist and cubist Paul Klee.” More HERE.
Friday, August 12 2016
This month’s PechaKucha Night – presentations of 20 images, each for 20 seconds – ‘Building Roots: Uncovering San Diego’s Architectural History’ will be hosted by the La Jolla Historical Society. Join me for my slides – ‘Frank Lloyd Wright’s Legacy in San Diego: the Taliesin Apprentices’ - on Thursday, August 25 starting at 7:00pm at Wisteria Cottage, 780 Prospect Street in La Jolla. This FREE (Suggested donation $10) outdoor event, is best enjoyed with low beach chairs/blankets and suggested picnic dining. In addition to my slides, Heath Fox will do 20 slides on ‘Historic Preservation in the 21st Century’, Scott Paulson will cover ‘Historic La Jolla in 3-D’, David Marshall will show ‘Old & Odd: La Jolla in Postcards’, Jack Carpenter will profile architect Robert Mosher’s work and Ione R. Stiegler, FAIA will synopsize her ‘Wisteria Cottage Renovation.’ You have to RSVP HERE FIRST.
The La Mesa Historical Society is offering a lecture and panel discussion on local mid-century modern archtiecture and architects on October 8. Buy a ticket HERE to the home tour and learn more about the special event on 10/8.
Oceanside Museum of Art is hosting an opening for their new exhibitions on Irving Gill and Russell Forester on August 27 at 6:00pm. More information can be found HERE.
Friday, July 8 2016
I am looking for more information on Carl Hotten. A licensed engineer and a member of AIA San Diego in 1953, Mr. Hotten has been recognized for the following projects locally - Grossmont Medical Building at 8911 La Mesa Blvd., W.R. Shipman Residence at 3536 Emerson and a house at 1314 Trieste Drive. Any additional information on his life and career would be most helpful. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, July 4 2016
The La Jolla Historical Society's latest exhibition, From Jazz Age, To Our Age: Landmark Homes in La Jolla, features a fantastic section on Rudolf Schindler's El Pueblo Ribera. The above photograph highlights the section devoted to James Rega's home - including Schindler furniture reproductions. The show is open through September 4. More HERE.
Wednesday, June 15 2016
Thursday, May 19 2016
The Oceanside Museum of Art has opened a new exhibition dedicated to the jewelry design by local modernists Svetozar and Ruth Radakovich. It's a must-see show. Learn more HERE.
Thursday, May 12 2016
Next Thursday, a U-Haul facility in St. Louis will hold a wine & cheese event celebrating the restoration of a long-lost Noguchi installation from the late 1940s. In the lobby of the Magic Chef building by architect Harris Armstrong, Noguchi installed one of a handful of his 'lunar landscapes' only to be covered for years by a drop ceiling and fluorescent overhead lighting. Learn more about this amazing story HERE.
Wednesday, May 11 2016
The San Diego Museum of Art and Panama 66 are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the museum's West Wing opening on Monday May 16. In 1966, architects Robert Mosher and Roy Drew completed the creation of the West Wing—in addition to more gallery space, and the James S. Copley Auditorium, it is now home of the Research Library, Panama 66 and the May S. Marcy Sculpture Court and Garden. Learn more about the tours, food, drinks, and live music next Monday HERE.
New York’s Jewish Museum plans to open a new exhibition, Pierre Chareau: Modern Architecture and Design, on November 4. This show will be the first US-based show focused on Chareau (1883-1950) a prolific designer in France - best known for his 1928 Maison de Verre (“Glass House”) as well as lighting and furniture designs. Learn more HERE.
Sunday, May 1 2016
The 50th anniversary of the University Heights Branch Library (1966) will be celebrated by the Friends of the San Diego Public Library UH chapter, along with the University Heights Community Association. These supporters are gearing up for a series of events to help raise money for much-needed work on the building.
The La Jolla Historical Society’s Secret Garden Tour on May 14 will feature Kendrick Bangs Kellogg’s Atoll House (1972) and Wallace Cunningham’s Brush Stroke (ca. 1995). In addition to these two fantastic homes, a variety of other gardens ranging from large estates to small cottage landscapes will be featured. Tickets to the self-guided tour are $40 for members and $50 for non-members. A Platinum Tour, featuring a brunch at a local resort and transportation on small buses, is also available. Tickets are available through the Society’s website HERE or by calling (858) 459-5335.
Darren Bradley did it again! His post on Redlands architect Clare Day is a real delight. Check it out HERE.
I am looking for information on local furniture company - San Diego Manufacturing Company in La Mesa. At this time all we know is that the company produced well designed iron furniture that included a rubber stamp attribution on the plywood undersides of its dining chairs. You can see a photo of one chair, posted on 4/26/16, on Steve's blog HERE. Email me with any info HERE.
Wednesday, April 6 2016
Images, like the one above of Ruocco's Bauman Residence, remind us of how important the information captured in a single photograph can be. The shot highlights the power of indoor/outdoor living, contemporary furnishings and lifestyle of San Diegans in the recent past. For researchers, images like these can help locate lost works of architecture (the Bauman house has fallen victim to loathsome mini-dorm operators) and owners revive and restore them. All of that in one image! USC Digital Libraries recently made available over 1,300 photos of Los Angeles and Palm Springs area projects by the likes of Charles Eames, John Lautner, Richard Neutra, Rudolph Schindler, Albert Frey, Frank Lloyd Wright and Pierre Koenig among others. Koenig (1925-2004), and Fritz Block (1889-1955), who owned a color slide company, snapped the photos a great deal more casually than Julius Shulman, Marvin Rand and other professional shooters of the day. Block was a German-trained architect, who moved to Los Angeles in 1938. He started his own color slide company in Hollywood. Check out the images HERE.
Tuesday, March 29 2016
Recently the UT reported that the 1961 Bill Lewis designed May Company building was sold for $16.5M and that Macy's, who currently occupies the space, has a lease through next January. Of note is that the buyer, The Westfield Group, appealed its historic designation with HRB in February. Since that article, Facebook has lit up in an effort to communicate the value of this site HERE.
Monday, March 14 2016
In case you missed it, Roger Showley wrote a nice obituary about Loch Crane HERE.
Roger also memorialized former UT architecture critic Kay Kaiser HERE. Kay recently passed away of lung cancer.This town needs another round of strong architectural critique.
Sunday, March 13 2016
For the last several years, we have been celebrating our region's post-War contemporary art community. The art and the artists who created this amazing body of work is best communicated in a show - rather than here online. And with Dave Hampton's latest show,Portrait of Pomeroy, seasoned veterans and those new to this important narrative are in for a real treat. Yesterday's opening justifies every celebratory word, sentence and paragraph that we have uttered in awe of local artists like Richard Allen Morris, Guy Williams, Ethel Greene etc. Please go see this new show at the Downtown Library's 9th Floor gallery before it comes down in mid-May. You don't have to take my word for it either as others agree - read Esoteric Survey's post HERE; The Urbanist's HERE; KPBS's story HERE; Voice of San Diego's article HERE; and City Beat's profile HERE.
Sunday, February 21 2016
Over several decades, San Diego’s Walter Pomeroy assembled an extensive private collection of paintings and drawings by local artists of the 1950s and 1960s. Pomeroy's accomplishment has remained one of the best-kept secrets in San Diego's art community – until now. A new exhibition by Dave Hampton, Portrait of Pomeroy, offers an overview of this historically invaluable collection and provides insight into the personality of this unique collector for the very first time. Opening on Saturday, March 12 in the Art Gallery on the 9th Floor of the San Diego Central Library at the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Common, Portrait of Pomeroy runs through May 15, 2016. A public reception (on Saturday, March 12 from 12 to 2 p.m.) will kick-off this amazing presentation. We hope to see you there.
Saturday, February 20 2016
It is with a heavy heart that I share that architect and friend Loch Crane passed away on Thursday night. Loch supported my efforts to build this collection of post-War San Diego in a number of ways. Most recently he and his family were instrumental in supporting my show Frank Lloyd Wright's Legacy in San Diego including sharing photographs like the one above. Mr. Crane spent time at Taliesin in 1941-42 before serving in World War II. Following the War, Mr. Crane enjoyed a very prolific career as an architect, and a long life with his wonderful wife Clare.
Monday, February 8 2016
Escondido History Center’s Adobe Home Tour is on the horizon - and this years’s tour features four Larry Weir designs going all the way back to 1955. Learn more HERE.
Thursday, January 28 2016
Michael Good's 'HouseCalls' column reflected on Frank Lloyd Wright's Legacy in San Diego and mid-century modernism in Uptown News HERE.
Wright's Sturges Residence in Brentwood is being auctioned off at next month's Los Angeles Modern Auction. Learn more HERE.
The La Mesa Historical Society is planning a mid-century modern home tour this spring. More details to come!
Sunday, January 17 2016
Today is the last day of my show, Frank Lloyd Wright's Legacy in San Diego, on view at La Jolla Historical Society. Please check it out today!
On Tuesday, I am presenting on the Point Loma work by architect Sim Bruce Richards (who studied with Wright between 1934-36). Please RSVP to Susan Diamond HERE.
Years ago I wrote an article on the Horizon Homes in San Diego HERE. The LA Times just published an article on this program in prelude to the forthcoming book Horizon Homes: Living the Concrete Dream HERE.
Friday, December 18 2015
My show, Frank Lloyd Wright's Legacy in San Diego, is only on view at La Jolla Historical Society for a few more weeks. Please go visit the show (and bring friends) before January 17! In the decades prior to and following World War II, several apprentices, who studied under architect Frank Lloyd Wright in his Taliesin Fellowship, designed and built a fabulous array of structures throughout San Diego County. Projects by Taliesin Fellows Vincent Bonini, Loch Crane, Frederick Liebhardt, Bill Slatton and Sim Bruce Richards as well as Frank Lloyd Wright and his two sons Lloyd (Frank Lloyd Wright Jr.) and John are explored in this show. More information is HERE.
The Oceanside Museum of Art is planning a major exhibition of Russell Forester's work. Art critic Peter Frank will curate the show and author the exhibition catalog. The show will open to the public on July 30, 2016 and run through January 8, 2017. Oceanside Museum of Art is online HERE.
The San Diego Museum of Art will open Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture on November 5, 2016. Louis Kahn created buildings of archaic beauty and powerful universal symbolism. Among his most important works are the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California (1959 - 65), the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas (1966 - 72), and the National Assembly Building in Dhaka, Bangladesh (1962 - 83). The show will run through January 31, 2017.
Darren Bradley snapped photos of the Jean Charlot House (1958) in Kahala. It is pretty spectacular. Learn more HERE.
Though one of New York City’s most impressive Art Deco buildings has been closed to the public since the 1976, you can now visit its large, historic lobby! Formerly a private office building, 70 Pine Street in the Financial District reopened this month as its developer began leasing apartments. Part of the building will also serve as a hotel. 70 Pine Street in New York was built in 1932 by oil and gas business Cities Service Company and designed by Clinton & Russell, Holton & George. 70 Pine stood as the third-tallest building in the world upon completion. In 1976, Cities Service sold it to American International Group, sealing off the lobby from the general public. Read more HERE.
Friday, December 11 2015
The Anza Borrego Foundation is hosting a 2-day ‘Modern Borrego’ event on December 19-20. Join UC Irvine doctoral candidate Anna Kryczka for an evening lecture followed by a half-day ‘field class’ exploring Modern Borrego. “Through an exploration of the architecture and institutions of 'Modern Borrego', this course will contextualize the town’s development within architectural, environmental and American history. With a special emphasis on the role of the Desert Club, its founders, architect and designers, we will explore the relationship between modern architecture, conceptions of the desert landscape at midcentury, and the changing postwar leisure economy.” Attendance is very limited, so RSVP soon at (760) 767-0446 or by visiting their site HERE.
A new text, Minnesota Modern, by author and St. Paul Pioneer Press architecture critic, Larry Millett, includes the work of Ralph Rapson, Marcel Breuer, Frank Lloyd Wright, Eero Saarinen as well as the local pioneers Leonard Parker and Donald Haarstick, Thorshov and Cerny and others. Learn more HERE.
Sunday, November 22 2015
Darren Bradley's viewfinder documented one of my longtime favorite buildings - Industrial Indemnity (1970-74) by Deems Lewis in Mission Valley. The building, while closed to the public today, was awarded an AIA Honor Award at its completion. See and learn more HERE. Industrial Indemnity, a major player in worker's compensation insurance was purchased by Xerox Corp. then Crum & Forster in the late 1990s.
Monday, November 9 2015
Kinsee Morlan (Voice of San Diego) and Roger Showley (Union Tribune) joined an AIA, San Diego tour of Qualcomm Stadium recently. Frank Hope Jr., the stadium’s original architect, was on the tour, fielding questions about its design. “It looks fine to me,” he said. “After reading what I read in the paper of the sports writers I expected that the whole place was junky, but it looks nice... I do think it’s a very nice piece of architecture... It’s easy to look at. It’s fun to use.” Read Kinsee’s piece HERE and Roger’s article HERE.
Thursday, November 5 2015
I will be lecturing on Wright apprentices featured in my show Frank Lloyd Wright's Legacy in San Diego on December 3 at 7PM. Register HERE.
Ann Gardner just wrote a brief piece on post-War architecture in Del Mar. Check it out HERE.
Thursday, October 29 2015
Darren Bradley recently trained his lens and keyboard on architect Robert Des Lauriers - AKA 'Mr. Church' HERE.
Steve Aldana walked through Frank Lloyd Wright's Legacy in San Diego and THIS is what he found.
Friday, October 23 2015
A new short film, Robert Mosher: Legacy, from BreadTruck films debuted at Orchids & Onions a few weeks ago. Now you can see the film online HERE.
Thanks to everyone who attended last night's Modern San Diego events at the Mingei and at Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego! I lost track of the numbers but the attendance was stellar at both sites. I will be presenting on December 3 in La Jolla on Frank Lloyd Wright's San Diego apprentices. We will have the gallery open as well so you can see the show and ask loads of questions! More soon on RSVP info.
Wednesday, October 14 2015
While not connected with my interests in post-War design, I have revived my label Silver Girl Records HERE.
Tuesday, October 6 2015
Modern San Diego will host the film Design for Modern Living: Millard Sheets and the Claremont Art Community 1935-1975 on Thursday, October 22, 5:00pm - 8:00pm at the Mingei. Click HERE and register before it sells out!
On October 22 at 7:00PM, author Alan Hess will deliver his presentation 'How the West Shaped Frank Lloyd Wright (and Vice Versa) at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Register for the event HERE.
Join Modern San Diego on Thursday, November 5, 6:00pm - 8:00pm at Mingei International Museum for Daniel Ostroff’s presentation on his latest book An Eames Anthology: Articles, Film Scripts, interviews, Letters, Notes and Speeches. Click HERE and register before it sells out!
Wednesday, September 30 2015
Laguna Beach architect Mark Singer just died of pancreatic cancer. In the LA Times piece, one passage caught my eye, “…In 1957 his family moved to Baldwin Park in Los Angeles where he and his friends sometimes played on construction sites. In a local library, he came across a book about Frank Lloyd Wright and was enthralled.” I have been asked a great number of times about Mr. Wright, and I feel that so many of us have been ‘enthralled’ and have gone on to find ways to see it manifest – whether we are architects or not. Singers work is quite impressive and Wright’s legacy can be found in the spirit of his work.
Tuesday, September 15 2015
My new show, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Legacy in San Diego, opens to the public on Saturday, September 26. Much of the exhibition, including several drawings by Frank Lloyd Wright, have not been publicly displayed before. Head on over to the La Jolla Historical Society’s Wisteria Cottage Gallery at 780 Prospect any time between 12-4 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. Admission is free.
Sunday, September 6 2015
RIP photographer John Oldenkamp. A draft biography can be found HERE.
Go see curator Dave Hampton's new show In The Abstract: Midcentury San Diego Painting & Sculpture at the Oceanside Museum of Art! The show offers a broad spectrum of abstraction in art (painting, sculpture) by once-prominent San Diego artists working in the years following World War II. Hampton will provide a ‘Walk & Talk with the Curator’ on Tuesday, September 29 between 6:30–8:00pm. More details are HERE.
On September 12, The Art, Design & Architecture Museum, UC Santa Barbara will launch a new show Walter S. White: Inventions in Midcentury Architecture - the first exhibition to examine the work of the ingenious inventor, builder, and architect, Walter S. White (1917-2002). White’s designs in Palm Desert, Indio, La Quinta, and Palm Springs in the 1940s and 1950s addressed the extreme climate with thrilling, expressionistic forms that took inspiration from the natural landscape, while proposing new, ecologically sensitive, and inexpensive construction methods. Learn more HERE.
Modern San Diego will host the film Design for Modern Living: Millard Sheets and the Claremont Art Community 1935-1975 on Thursday, October 22, 5:00pm - 8:00pm at the Mingei. Paul Bockhorst's documentary film provides an account of the important art community that emerged in Claremont, CA in the years following World War II under the leadership of artist Millard Sheets. Following the screening, Bockhorst, will be joined by Sheets’ daughter to discuss the film. Light refreshments will be provided.
Also on October 22, The La Jolla Historical Society will host author Alan Hess for his 7pm lecture 'How the West Shaped Frank Lloyd Wright (and Vice Versa) at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The lecture is one of several related activities to my show 'Frank Lloyd Wright's Legacy in San Diego'.
Modern San Diego will also host Daniel Ostroff’s return to San Diego. Join us on Thursday, November 5, 6:00pm - 8:00pm at Mingei International Museum for Daniel’s talk on his latest book An Eames Anthology: Articles, Film Scripts, interviews, Letters, Notes and Speeches. Copies will be available for purchase at a book signing following the talk.
On December 3rd at 7pm, I will give the lecture 'The Taliesin Architects in San Diego' at the La Jolla Historical Society's Balmer Annex. Learn more HERE.
If you are heading up to Seattle in the coming months, check out a new show, Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture, at Bellevue Arts Museum (January 29 – May 1, 2016). Louis Kahn (1901 – 1974) created buildings of archaic beauty and powerful universal symbolism. The exhibition Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture, organized by Vitra Design Museum, is the first major retrospective of Kahn's work in two decades. Bellevue Arts Museum is hosting the first venue of the American leg of the international tour. Learn more HERE.
Details of the The Escondido History Center's 2016 Adobe Home Tour (in Escondido and Poway) have been posted to their site. Learn more and grab your tickets HERE.
I finally got around to posting a draft biography of San Diego architect James Bernard HERE.
Thursday, August 20 2015
The above photograph gives a sneak peek into the upcoming show 'Frank Lloyd Wright's Legacy in San Diego' opening on September 26 at the La Jolla Historical Society. I am very excited to share the show with everyone!
I finally wrote a bio on photographer Douglas Simmonds HERE. Some of his photographs will be on view in 'Frank Lloyd Wright's Legacy in San Diego'.
Monday, August 10 2015
Opening this Saturday at the Oceanside Museum of Art (OMA) is a new show – ‘In The Abstract: Midcentury San Diego Painting & Sculpture’ – curated by Dave Hampton. According to the release, “Abstract art is often an image or object in which line, color, and texture may exist as fully independent subject matter, rather than depicting aspects of the natural world as perceived by the senses. As a visual art practice, abstraction occurs in varying modes and degrees, at times extracting specific elements from sources in nature. From the late 1940s through the 1960s, abstraction became vital to the work of many highly regarded San Diego artists. At no time was this approach more controversial, more charged with excitement and possibility, than during the mid-twentieth century. This exhibition, curated by Dave Hampton, is meant to convey the full spectrum of abstraction that artists working in San Diego employed during this period, and to present a rich variety of their painting, sculpture, and other works. More broadly, the point of ‘In the Abstract’ is to cultivate familiarity with talented and once-prominent artists, most of whom have been underappreciated and inadequately historicized.” I hope you can join OMA in celebrating the opening of this exhibition on Saturday, August 22 between 6:00–8:00pm. Dave Hampton will also be offering a ‘Walk & Talk with the Curator’ on Tuesday, September 29 between 6:30–8:00pm. Reach out to the Oceanside Museum of Art for more details HERE.
Tuesday, August 4 2015
On August 14, check out Darren Bradley’s presentation - Honolulu Modern; Architecture in Paradise – as part of the Tiki Oasis events. According to the Tiki Oasis site, “Hawaii's building boom coincided with the apex of modernist architecture in the United States. In the years following World War II and with the rise of the jet age and America's obsession with all things Tiki, Honolulu was transformed from a sleepy backwater into a booming tourist mecca. The legacy of that mid-century modern tiki paradise lives on today, but is now crumbling and fading quickly. Come see images from Honolulu's boom years, as well as what remains today, as narrated by Hawaii-born architectural photographer Darren Bradley.” Darren's presentation will be held between 11:30AM - 12:30PM on Friday August 14th at the Lagoon Room, Crowne Plaza. Learn more HERE.
MCASD recently published the following press release: MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART SAN DIEGO (MCASD) MOURNS THE LOSS OF ARCHITECT ROBERT MOSHER - On July 26, 2015, architect Robert Mosher passed away in his San Diego home. Mosher, along with Roy Drew as part of the firm Mosher & Drew, was responsible for the 1949, 1959, and 1979 expansions of philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps' La Jolla home, originally constructed by Irving Gill. These expansions were the first steps in creating the building that is now MCASD's La Jolla location. Mosher's 1949 expansion rearranged the living spaces of Scripps' original home to create formal gallery settings. The home had been repurposed as a local art center in 1941, eight years after the late philanthropist's death. Mosher created office spaces from the second-floor bedrooms that are still used today by MCASD's administrative staff. In 1959, Mosher, again with Roy Drew, constructed Sherwood Auditorium, the 500-seet auditorium named in honor of benefactor Franklin P. Sherwood. Along with this project, Mosher also added more "modern" motifs to the façade of the building. Mosher designed the 1979 renovation of the Museum that refined previous additions to the building, and provided the geometric "International Style" appearance it was known for from 1980 to 1994.
The Chicago Tribune posted a comprehensive review of the $23 million rehabilitation of Frank Lloyd Wright's Unity Temple HERE.
Vogue published a great piece on architect Eileen Gray HERE.
I am curious to learn more about architect Richard Young if anyone knows anything out there!
Monday, July 27 2015
REST IN PEACE: Architect Robert Mosher (1920-2015). Please find a way to celebrate all that Mr. Mosher brought us over a long, fulfilling life. You can watch a video or two on YouTube from our past together HERE and HERE. KPBS posted a story HERE. The UT posted a story HERE.
I would like to dedicate my curatorial efforts of ‘Frank Lloyd Wright’s Legacy in San Diego: The Taliesin Apprentices’ to Mr. Mosher. The spirit of my relationship with Robert is woven throughout the show. You may not be aware but key among connections between Taliesin and San Diego, is architect Robert Mosher’s time with Frank Lloyd Wright in the mid-1950s. Following publication of his Point Loma home for Herbert Kunzel, in House Beautiful, Mosher was invited to work for editor Elizabeth Gordon in New York for two years. Of note, during his time on sabbatical, as Building Editor, Robert traveled the US and Europe extensively while writing for the magazine. Renting a small flat in Dobbs Ferry on the Hudson River, Mosher rode the train to Grand Central Station daily – initially on his first assignment on the "...first issue that any shelter magazine had ever devoted wholly to the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. The issue was published in November 1955,” later recalled Mosher. Key among Robert’s total experiences while with House Beautiful, was two weeks spent with Frank and Olgivanna Lloyd Wright as well as key Taliesin Fellowship members Eugene Masselink and Edgar Kaufmann (Jr.). Mosher recalled, “The experience was remarkable. Morning, noon and night, in the presence of this great man, listening to his ideas, expressed with clarity, was, for a young person with little exposure of this kind, like opening the door to a world only dreamed of…we spent our mornings with Mr. Wright in discussion. He talked about his philosophy, his thoughts regarding architecture and design, his belief in the power of music to create a positive atmosphere for creativity and his experiences with his many and varied clients.” During the second week of meetings, Robert Mosher assisted acclaimed photographer Maynard Parker while shooting Taliesin. Following travels to tour many of Frank Lloyd Wright's designs, and shooting the houses with Parker, Mosher published the essay ‘The Eloquence of Materials’ in House Beautiful. ‘Frank Lloyd Wright’s Legacy in San Diego: The Taliesin Apprentices’ opens on September 26 at The La Jolla Historical Society.
Tuesday, July 14 2015
Craig Ellwood's Hunt House is threatened by demolition despite it being in nearly original condition. Read more HERE.
Thursday, July 9 2015
As we think ahead towards our annual summer holiday on Cape Cod, The Guardian posted a great reminder of the modernist homes visitors can rent HERE.
Writer Richard Hawthorne just published a fantastic piece on architect Donald Wexler (RIP) HERE.
I updated architect William Lumpkins' page HERE.
For older posts go HERE.