Favorite Lesser Known Mid Century Architect

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Favorite Lesser Known Mid Century Architect

Postby sdmod » Sat Jan 14, 2006 4:44 pm

One of the things that I really enjoy about the mid-century period of architecture is discovering or rediscovering the regional, lesser known architects that helped to define the aesthetic in their respective areas. It is always amazing to find a fantastic well designed home and find the architects name that helped to create it. Most of us are aware of the work of Lautner, Schindler, Neutra, Ellwood, Soriano etc but I was curious as to the names of the architects that you have come across that we have not heard of. Who was the guy/ or gal who designed homes in your area that the rest of us haven’t heard of. Here is your chance to give them a little recognition.

In San Diego (check www.modernsandiego.com for more info)

Lloyd Ruocco ( here is a real shock for those who know me)
Sim Bruce Richards ( if you know a little about this guy you should know more )
Ken Kellogg ( puts the O in organic )

In LA

Jack Simison ( I guess with so many amazing architects in LA attention was hard to come buy)

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Postby Chimay » Sat Jan 14, 2006 5:30 pm

In San Diego, don't forget Henry Hester, Homer Delawie, and Russell Forrester! Also, Wally Cunningham, who has collaborated quite a bit with Kellogg.
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House pics at http://www.flickr.com/photos/88017382@N ... 387250721/

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sid
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Postby sid » Sat Jan 14, 2006 5:53 pm

Karl Schwerdtfeger
SID

MISSING my long and straight beams, stretching from the outside and piercing through the interior and back out again; seeing it all in one glance! WOW, it was gorgeous!

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Postby SDR » Sat Jan 14, 2006 6:01 pm

That's easy for YOU to say. . .! Actually, Sid, I'm only getting a photographer by that name when I Google. What can you tell us ?

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Postby Mod Diva » Sat Jan 14, 2006 6:12 pm

I got one..
Henry Doelger
Westlake Village Daly City, CA.
Every home in that neighborhood.. Gorgeous!!
I love to drive by whenever I get to see my parents in the Bay Area!
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sid
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Postby sid » Sat Jan 14, 2006 6:56 pm

He was one of the "Pasadena Modernists" featured last spring. He designed a home for his parents (The Schwerdtfegers) in Pasadena, as well as a few others. If I remember correctly, he had a hand in Bob Hope's Palm Springs House.

I believe he's a USC grad.
SID



MISSING my long and straight beams, stretching from the outside and piercing through the interior and back out again; seeing it all in one glance! WOW, it was gorgeous!

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Postby sid » Sat Jan 14, 2006 7:01 pm

SID



MISSING my long and straight beams, stretching from the outside and piercing through the interior and back out again; seeing it all in one glance! WOW, it was gorgeous!

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Postby sdmod » Sat Jan 14, 2006 7:21 pm

Hey Chimay,

I was just going for my favorites; shoot if I named everyone locally that I liked I would be at the computer most of the day.

But as long as I am here........what Chimay said +

Fred Leibhardt
Eugene Weston
John Reed
James Hubbell (for excellence in art and architecture)

I wasnt aware that Cunningham had ever worked with Kellogg??? I would like to see that project/s.

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Postby tikiyaki » Sat Jan 14, 2006 10:13 pm



Hey Sid, I've seen those houses pictured before. Amazing stuff. Definitely unique in comparison to other modernists of the era.

I especially like this one...

http://www.dalycityhistory.org/westlake ... lery7.html

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Postby Joe » Sat Jan 14, 2006 10:41 pm

Paul Hayden Kirk, Seattle. Went to school with A. Quincy Jones at University of Washington.
Last edited by Joe on Mon Jan 16, 2006 12:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby robinCO » Sun Jan 15, 2006 7:27 am

Arthur Swab

I'm biased 'cause he was my husband's grandfather and rode a horse for the first time in _70_ years at our wedding ;-).

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Lesser Known Architects in California

Postby Josquin » Sun Jan 15, 2006 11:56 pm

Neill Noble. Just based on his house at 154 Jaxine, Altadena, California. One of the finest houses I've had the pleasure to experience.
Gordon Drake. What excellent rare work for such a short career. Although, he is probably too well known to be on this list.
Boyd Georgi. He did many excellent local building and should be better known. His residential work is full of great ideas.
Foster Rhodes Jackson. I stumbled upon his organic houses in Live Oak Canyon one day and couldn't believe my eyes. A Wrightian village in the hills of Pamona. Who would have guessed!
Jack Hillmer. The Ludeken's house alone is the work of a genius.
Charles Warren Callister. Many excellent projects to his name. Also, probably too well known for this list.
These are just a few of my local favorites.
Last edited by Josquin on Sun Jun 10, 2007 7:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby sdmod » Mon Jan 16, 2006 7:42 am

Josquin,

Great list. I am a huge fan of some of the period residential work around Altadena, La Canada. Boyd Georgi did a few smaller homes that are fantastic. There seem to have been a whole bunch of guys that were fairly prolific in and around Pasadena. Eugene Weston that is primarily known (when known) for his San Diego stuff did some really great homes in that area as well.

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Postby SDR » Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:05 am

Perhaps these names should be grouped geographically ? We've been introduced to several midwestern and Chicago-area architects (Randal McDonald, Bob Wendt, Edward Dart, Paul Schweikher, Nelson/Chadwick -- who am I omitting ?) and the two, last (but not least ?) on Josquin's list above, are primarily SF Bay Area practitioners, happily still with us (Josquin, where have you seen coverage of Hillmer's elusive Ludekens residence ?).

Maybe a "master list" is in the making. . .and a real boon would be for each submission to be accompanied by a helpful identifier or even a link, for those of us new to some of these hidden treasures. . .?

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Postby Joe » Mon Jan 16, 2006 12:09 pm

Gordon Drake, California. great ideas for expandable, prefab homes. Death in car accident cut short a promising career.
Last edited by Joe on Mon Jan 23, 2006 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Joe » Mon Jan 16, 2006 12:16 pm

Roger Lee, SF Bay Area.

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Postby Joe » Mon Jan 16, 2006 12:21 pm

Chris Choate, California

huge Modernist influence on Cliff May. Was key in the design of Cliff May's prefab tract homes and the "Experimental House." Like other contemporaries, he was greatly influenced by 19th Century Japanese architecture and design. USC grad, taught architectural illustration at UCLA. Designed entrance to USC. Worked with Welton Beckett. Switched to set design in the '60s in Hollywood.

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Postby moderns-r-us » Mon Jan 16, 2006 1:50 pm

David Benton Runnells, Kansas City.

He went to Cranbrook back in "The Day" (circa 1940) and worked for Eliel and Eero Saarinen while he was there. He did some theoretical projects with Cranbrook classmate and Case Study Architect, Ralph Rapson and somehow ended up in Kansas City by the end of WWII.

Runnells was well published in the late forties and early fifties and was also partners with George Matsumoto who later moved to North Carolina to teach.

Go to www.KCMODERN.com, go to Galleries, then Drummond and click on the Revere Home to see one of Runnells houses designed as a production home.

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Lesser Known Architects

Postby Josquin » Mon Jan 16, 2006 1:54 pm

Thank you sdmod, I'm familiar with Eugene Weston's work in the La Canada, Pasadena and Tujunga. His beautiful and rigorous post and beam houses are so well sited. I can easily see why his L.A. houses were so widely published in the early and mid fifties.
Last edited by Josquin on Sun Jun 10, 2007 7:51 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby moderns-r-us » Mon Jan 16, 2006 2:02 pm

If we want to talk Bay Area, besides Roger Lee, we have...

William Wurster

Henry Hill

John Funk

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Lesser Known Architects

Postby Josquin » Mon Jan 16, 2006 8:06 pm

SDR,
My favorite references for the Ludekens House are an article by Alan Hess in the December 1985/January 1986 "Fine Homebuilding" and the "The House Beautiful Treasury of Contemporary American Homes" by Joseph Barry. The House Beautiful book has five pages of full color photos of the Ludekens house and the Fine Homes magazine article is six pages with full color photos and drawings.

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Postby SDR » Mon Jan 16, 2006 8:31 pm

Josquin -- Thanks for that. I owned the Fine Homebuilding issue until a regrettable episode of "unburdening." It was my introduction to the house -- hadn't heard of Mr Hess until more recently !

There are two or three vintage b+w photos in another book (which I can't remember) -- but the Joseph Barry volume sounds like one I should seek out. Do you know when it was published ?

Another Jack Hillmer house is found in a recent collection of California work: http://www.lottaliving.com/bb/viewtopic ... ht=hillmer

See also, this thread -- half-way down first page -- for more on Mr Hillmer, by a friend: http://www.lottaliving.com/bb/viewtopic ... ht=hillmer

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Contemporary American Homes

Postby Josquin » Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:01 pm

SDR,
"The House Beautiful Treasury of Contemporary American Homes", By Joseph Barry was published in 1958 by Hawthorne Books, Inc. Publishers. The book includes California houses by Rodney Walker, Frank Llyod Wright, Joseph Esherick and Aaron Green among others. Also, there is a Texas house by H. H. Harris.

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Postby Futura Girl » Tue Jan 17, 2006 1:02 am

Congratulations!

This thread qualifies for a BEST OF LOTTA LIVING.

May it serve us for a very long time collecting the names and locations of the unsung artists and architects of the MidMod era...
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George Matsumoto

Postby moderns-r-us » Tue Jan 17, 2006 7:47 am

I mentioned him earlier, but I think that we should add George Matsumoto to the list.

He is another Cranbrook alumus and a great residential Architect. He practiced for a short while here in KC and was widely published for his buildings for the Kansas City Art Institute with Architect, David B. Runnells.

His own house, which I understand is still in pretty good shape is in Raleigh, North Carolina. It was published in Record Houses and an excerpt of that article appears in The Second Treasury of Contemporary Homes, pp 151-153.

The house received a
1957 Award of Merit, National AIA Award Program
1957 Award of Merit, AIA House & Home, Better Homes & Gardens and NBC Award Program

Another Matsumoto designed home in Raleigh was published in the book, Practical Houses for Contemporary Living, pp 38-41.

Most recently a Matsumoto house was featured in an issue of Dwell magazine and a HGTV program called Dream Builders. The home was relocated to save it from demolition.

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Postby doctore » Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:35 am

Here in the Midwest, we have a bevy of em'. Most all influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright and to a lessor extent Louis Sullivan.

My list for Milwaukee would include:

John Randal McDonald
William Kaeser
Russell Barr Williamson

I have long been a fan of all three of these architects and the "Wright and Like" tour here in WI regularly showcases their houses: http://www.wrightinwisconsin.org/Wright ... efault.asp

I live in a JRM home so, obviously, I am biased. When I figure out how to post pictures I will share some with you. I know there are many others, I am simply better aqainted with the above architects' work.

Great Topic!

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Postby PacificaModern » Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:48 am

Not exactly unknown, but I like the efforts of

Albert Frey

and

Donald Wexler

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Postby CapitalMod » Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:44 pm

George Dahl

A Dallas-based architect who ironically designed the former, beloved home of the Washington Redskins and present home of the Washington Nationals, RFK Stadium (fka DC Stadium).



http://www.dcwatch.com/photos/RFK.jpg



One of the last Mid Century stadiums along with Dodger and Shea.

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Postby Joe » Wed Jan 18, 2006 11:19 am

Pietro Belluschi
(b. Ancona, Italy 1899; d. 1994)

Pietro Belluschi was born in Ancona, Italy in 1899. He trained as an engineer at both the University of Rome and at Cornell University, emigrating to the U. S. in 1923. After working as a mining engineer, he joined the Portland based architecture firm of A. E. Doyle. Belluschi acted as chief designer with A. E. Doyle for several years before becoming a partner in 1933. He assumed control of the firm under his own name in 1943.

During his years in Portland, Belluschi designed several commercial buildings in the evolving International Style. Although his commercial designs owed much to the International Style, his domestic and religious work showed a preference for regional traditions and native materials. While contemporary firms rejected tradition, Doyle's office maintained a strong Beaux Arts tradition.

From 1951 to 1965, Belluschi acted as Dean of Architecture and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In his fifty years of practice, both in Portland and in Massachusetts, Belluschi designed over 1000 buildings.

(bio from Great Buildings web site)

He designed several homes in Eugene. He also deisgned the Life House for Eichler http://www.eichlernetwork.com/ENStry18.html

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Wrightian Architects

Postby Josquin » Thu Jan 19, 2006 4:28 pm

James Delong- I particularly like his little wooden usonian houses on Sea View on Mt. Washington. Here is a link to one of his houses for sale: http://www.thevalueofarchitecture.net/a ... rty_ID=406. Here's some really tiny photos: http://www.aiapf.org/content.asp?contentid=539
This is a house by him in Altadena. Not his best work.

Aaron Green-He worked in both northern and southern California. See SDR's discussion at this link: http://www.lottaliving.com/bb/viewtopic ... ht=hillmer I'm surprised Aaron's work is not better known some of it is truly spectacular. http://www.agaarchitects.com/
Last edited by Josquin on Sun Jun 10, 2007 7:46 am, edited 2 times in total.


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