Special Exhibition Highlighting Eichlers of Orange County

Image copyrighted by Crussell Fine Arts
Joseph Eichler was a real-estate developer and not an architect, yet the cool houses he built  throughout California during the late fifties and sixties stand the test of time.  These "atomic ranch" homes epitomize the mid-century modern aesthetic that many often refer to as "California Modern."  Originally designed and built for the common man using newly discovered processes and materials developed during the second world war, Eichler designed and built cool neighborhoods in Northern and Southern California.

Artist Jeffrey Crussell has a beautiful online gallery celebrating the homes Eichler built in Orange, California.  A special exhibition, beginning February 20 and running until March 20, 2010, "will consist of 50 pencil drawings available as archival pigment prints in small editions and displayed in a 1964 Eichler designed by the architectural firm of Claude Oakland."  Please visit the Eichler page at Crussell's Fine Arts page for more information.



Wexler Weekend in Palm Springs

Every time I think of Palm Springs, I evoke images of Frank Sinatra or some other cool movie star sipping cocktails by the pool of a hip mid-century modern home.  Located over 100 miles east of Los Angeles, California, Palm Springs became an  oasis for modern architecture in the desert.  One of Palm Springs' most celebrated mid-century modern architects is none other than Donald Wexler

After graduating from the University of Minnesota, working for the famed Richard Neutra in Los Angeles,  and moving to Palm Springs in 1952, Wexler eventually began designing signature mid-century modern homes such as, the Alexander Steel Home.  By the way, he also designed the Palm Springs home for the aforementioned Frank Sinatra among others.

For those of you who can leisurely find the time to travel, the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation is sponsoring the "Wexler Weekend" from January 22-24.   Unfortunately, the film screening of "Journeyman Architect: The Life and Work of Donald Wexler" is sold out; however, you can view the following clip to get an idea and to whet your visual taste buds.

Journeyman Architect: The Life and Work of Donald Wexler from Design Onscreen on Vimeo.

Fortunately, this is a great opportunity to get prepared for the upcoming  Modernism Week 2010 in Palm Springs.


Modern Views: A Conversation on Northwest Modern Architecture: Preview

Seattle is known for the futuristic looking Space Needle (built for the 1962 World's Fair). Nevertheless, there are other Modernist architectural examples in the city as well.  For Midcentury Modern buffs, there are several prominent neighborhoods such as, Eastlake, Hilltop, Bellvue, and Hidden lake.

This short film by the University of Washington, Department of Architecture, and Studio/216, highlights some Seattle area Modernist architects such as Arne Bystrom, Gene Zema, Fred Bassetti, Wendell Lovett, and Ralph Anderson. Examples of their work are shown as well.

Modern Views: A Conversation on Northwest Modern Architecture from studio/216 on Vimeo.

More information about Modernism in the Pacific Northwest can be obtained at the Documentation and Conservation of the Modern Movement, Western Washington (DOCOMOMO-WEWA) website.


Happy New Year

As 2010 begins, I would like to wish everyone a happy new year.  Please remember, that what we take for granted may not last forever.  This is especially true in the case of modern architecture.  Each day fewer and fewer examples of classic modern architecture remain for us to enjoy and study.  Developers buy these buildings and homes only to demolish them in order to construct superficially designed structures.  Get involved with a local or national preservation trust, and help save these gems now!

Happy New Year from Modernesia!