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1931
In San Francisco Seals Stadium at 16th and Bryant streets, a $1.5 million single-deck cement structure, was designed by H.J. Brunnier. The baseball stadium had a public address system and lights for night games. It was also home to the Mission Reds until 1938. Seals Stadium was demolished in 1959.
Links: USA, SF, Baseball, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1931
In San Francisco the El Rey Theatre, designed by architect Timothy Pfleuger, was built at 1970 Ocean Ave. It closed in 1977 and the structure was taken over by a Pentecostal church.
Links: USA, SF, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1932
In San Francisco the Roman Catholic church St. Anne of the Sunset was built at 850 Judah St. It was designed in a Romanesque style by architects Shea & Lofquist.
Links: USA, SF, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1932
In San Francisco a series of homes were built on the 1500 block of 36th Avenue in the storybook style designed by architect Oliver Rousseau.
Links: USA, SF, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1932
In San Francisco the 3-story, Art Deco style, telephone exchange building at 1930 Steiner, designed by E.V. Colby, was completed.
Links: USA, SF, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1933 Apr 30
The 70-story RCA Building, later renamed the GE Building, opened to the public at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in NYC. A mural in the building by Diego Rivera that included a picture of Lenin was destroyed in Feb 1934. The “top of the Rock” observatory closed in 1986, but was re-opened in 2005.
Links: Artist, USA, NYC, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1933 Aug 23
Adolf Loos (b.1870), Austrian and Czech architect and influential European theorist of modern architecture, died in Vienna.
Links: Austria, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1933 Dec
The US National Park Service began the Historic American Building Survey (HABS) after Charles E. Peterson of the National Park Service submitted a proposal for one thousand out-of-work architects to spend ten weeks documenting "America's antique buildings."
Links: USA, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1933
Yakov Chernikhov (d.1951) Russian architect, authored "101 Architectural Fantasies." His adventurous designs were poorly regarded by Soviet authorities and few of his buildings were constructed.
Links: Russia, USSR, Architect, Books     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1933
Harold Peto (b.1854), English architect and gardener, died. In 2007 Robin Halley authored “The Great Edwardian Gardens of Harold Peto.”
Links: Britain, Architect, Botany     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1934 Aug 12
Hendrik Petrus Berlage (b.1856), the father of modern Dutch architecture, died at The Hague.
Links: Netherlands, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1934 Oct 12
In San Francisco the new Coit Tower in Pioneer Park on Telegraph Hill opened to the public. At least 8 frescoes, painted by 27 artists employed by the WPA, were washed out and eliminated because they were “architecturally inharmonious.” The July 7 opening date had been cancelled due to controversy over the new frescoes. Victor Arnautoff (1896-1979), Russian-born social realist, was in charge.
Links: Artist, USA, SF, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1934
Chicago’s Art Deco tower at 135 La Salle St. was built.
Links: USA, Chicago, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1935
The Griffith Observatory opened in Los Angeles. It was donated to the city by Col. Griffith J. Griffith and designed by architects John C. Austin and F.M. Ashley. In 1976 it was designated a city historic-cultural monument. In 2002 it closed and re-opened in 2006 after a $93 million makeover.
Links: USA, California, Architect, Astronomy     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1935
A.G. Rizzoli, SF architectural visionary, created his work "Mrs. Geo. Powleson Symbolically Portrayed."
Links: Artist, USA, SF, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1936
The 76,000 seat Berlin Olympic Stadium was designed by Albert Speer.
Links: Germany, Olympics, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1937 May 27
The newly completed Golden Gate Bridge connecting SF and Marin County, Calif., was opened to pedestrian traffic. The bridge was designed by Joseph Strauss (d.1938). Over 200,000 pedestrians walked across on opening day. The bridge towers stood a record 750 feet. In 2007 Frank Stahl and Daniel Mohn authored “The Golden Gate Bridge, Report of the Chief Engineer, Vol II.” They gave credit to engineer Charles Ellis of the Univ. of Illinois for much of the technical and theoretical work that went into the bridge. He was fired by Strauss before construction began.
Links: California, SF, Architect, SF Bay Area     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1938
In Romania Bran Castle, owned by Queen Marie, was bequeathed to her daughter Princess Ileana. In 1948 it was confiscated by the Communists. In 2006 the fabled “Dracula’s Castle” was transferred to Dominic van Hapsburg, a New York architect who inherited it from Princess Ileana.
Links: Romania, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1938
Walter Gropius (1883-1969), German architect and Bauhaus founder, built his modern style Gropius House in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Gropius had fled Germany in 1934.
Links: USA, Germany, Massachusetts, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1939 Jan
In SF the new bathhouse and Aquatic Park public space was dedicated. It was part of a WPA project. The bathhouse was designed by city architect William Mooser Jr. 35-foot speaker towers were included in the park. The Streamline Moderne design resembled a ship in its dock. It included a mural by Hilaire Hiler depicting the underwater world of Atlantis. In 1951 it was converted into the SF Maritime Museum. Renovation of the structure was completed in 2008.
Links: USA, SF, Architect, Museums     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1940 Jun 29
Paul Klee (b.1879), Swiss-German painter, tutor (Modern Art), died in Switzerland. In 2005 the Klee Center, designed by Renzo Piano, opened in Bern.
Links: Artist, Germany, Switzerland, Architect, Museums     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1940 Jul 1
The Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington state opened to the public. The initial design by Clark Eldridge had been redesigned by NYC consultant Leo Moisseiff, who replaced a 25-foot deep stiffening truss with an 8-foot truss to reduce costs.
Links: USA, Architect, Washington     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1940 Nov 7
The middle section of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington state, nicknamed "Galloping Gertie," collapsed during a windstorm. In 1950 a new fortified bridge was built on the original piers.
Links: USA, Architect, Washington     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1941 Sep 11
Ground breaking ceremonies were held for the Pentagon. The 38-acre Pentagon was built in Arlington, Va., over the next 2 years. Construction was ordered by Brig. Gen. Brehon B. Sommervell to consolidate the 17 War Dept. buildings. It cost $83 million and was located on a plot known as Arlington Farms, that was bordered by 5 roads. In 2006 James Carroll authored “House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power.”
Links: USA, Virginia, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1942 Feb 17
Sidney Newsom (b.1877), California architect, died. He and his brother Noble created homes that recalled Spanish haciendas, English cottages, French chateaus and American colonial homesteads.
Links: USA, California, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1942
Nikolaus Pevsner (1902-1983), German-born British architectural researcher, authored “An Outline of European Architecture.”
Links: Britain, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1945
Brainerd Jones (1869), Petaluma architect, died.
Links: USA, California, Architect, SF Bay Area     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1948
Francis J. Violich (1911-2005) and T. J. Kent, co-founders of Telesis, laid the groundwork for the creation of UC Berkeley’s Dept. of City and Regional Planning. With Telesis they tried to integrate principles of social activism into new approaches to city planning.
Links: California, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1948
In San Francisco the new I. Magnin store at Geary and Stockton opened. It was designed by Timothy Pflueger.
Links: USA, SF, Architect, Retail     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1949
In SF the V.C. Morris Gift Shop at 140 Maiden Lane was converted to the 2-story Circle Gallery Building by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. In 1979 it became the Xanadu Gallery.
Links: USA, SF, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1949
In San Francisco the 3-storey Sailors’ Union building, designed by William Gladstone Merchant, was completed at 450 Harrison.
Links: USA, SF, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1950 Oct 14
In Washington state westbound traffic opened on the new fortified bridge over the Tacoma Narrows. The new design was approved after a model passed wind tunnel tests designed by engineering Prof. Frederick Burt Farquharson.
Links: USA, Architect, Washington     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1951
In San Francisco the North Beach Place, a public housing project designed by Ernest Born (d.1992) and his wife Esther Born (d.1987), opened on both sides of the cable car turnaround at Taylor St. It was torn down in 2001.
Links: USA, SF, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1952
In San Francisco the one-story US post office at 15 Onondaga Ave., designed by Fred Shaw, was built.
Links: Postage, SF, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1953 Sep 15
Eric Mendelsohn (b.1887), German-born Jewish expressionist architect, died. From 1941 he lived in the US and established himself in San Francisco. The Russell at 3778 Washington St. in SF is the only house he designed in SF.
Links: USA, SF, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1953
W.W. Dixon (b.1883), storybook home architect, died. Most of his homes were built in the East Bay of the SF Bay Area.
Links: Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1954
The Fontainebleu Hotel in Miami Beach, designed by Morris Lapidus (1902-2001), was completed.
Links: USA, Florida, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1955
In San Francisco the 25-story tower at 100 Montgomery was completed. The Equitable Life Building, designed by Wilbur D. Peugh, was the city’s first tower since the Depression. Flawed marble panels were later replaced by crystallized glass.
Links: USA, SF, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1957
Bill and Daisy Myers became the first Black couple to buy a house in Levittown (Willingboro), Pa. State police were required to protect them. They lived there until 1961. In 1999 Daisy was given a reception and an apology from the Bristol Township Mayor Sam Fenton. Levittown was created by William Levitt, who kept costs down by bringing in ready made walls and buying appliances directly from manufacturers. In 2009 David Kushner authored “Levittown: Two Families, One Tycoon, and the Fight for Civil Rights in America’s Legendary Suburb.”
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Black History, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1957
Iraq commissioned Le Corbusier to design the Baghdad Gymnasium as a small part of a planned Olympic city. It was only completed in 1982, under the rule of Saddam Hussein, under the guidance of Georges-Marc Presente, an associate of Le Corbusier, who ensured the strict application of the designer's clean, industrial, modernist principles.
Links: Iraq, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1957
In San Francisco the Franciscan Crab Restaurant was built at Pier 43½. The front design by Hewitt C. Wells featured a prow-like shape.
Links: USA, SF, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1958
Chicago’s 18-tory Inland Steel Building at 30 W. Monroe St. was built. It was designed by Mies van der Rohe and built by Skidmore Owings & Merrill.
Links: USA, Chicago, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1958
The Lafayette Pavilion Apartments, a part of the Lafayette Park development in Detroit, Mich., was completed. The 78-acre urban renewal project, planned by Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig Hilberseimer and Alfred Caldwell, was originally called the Gratiot Park Development. It was built over the old neighborhood called Black Bottom. Chicago developer Herbert Greenwald (d.1959) assembled the team to demolish the build the project, which was completed in 1965. In 1966 the US national Park Service listed Lafayette Park on the national Register of Historic Places.
Links: USA, Michigan, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1958
In San Francisco architect Henrik Bull (1929-2013) talked a client into spending $75,000 on the Sentinel Building at Kearny and Columbus, which he then fixed up.
Links: USA, SF, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1959 Oct 21
The Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright (1869-1959), opened in NYC. In 2009 the museum published “The Guggenheim: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Making of the Modern Museum.”
Links: USA, NYC, Architect, Museum     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1959
1974
Chicago’s Federal Center at 219 S. Dearborn St. was built.
Links: USA, Chicago, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1959
William Wurster (1895-1973), American architect and teacher, co-founded the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley, Ca.
Links: USA, Architect, SF Bay Area     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1959
In San Francisco the 20-story glass-skinned high-rise at One Bush St. was built. It was designed by architects Skidmore Owings & Merrill and Hertzka & Knowles.
Links: USA, SF, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1959
In San Francisco the barrel-vaulted Marina Safeway grocery store, designed by Wurster Bernardi & Emmons, was built.
Links: USA, SF, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1959
In San Francisco the 13-story building at 100 California was built to house the West Coast headquarters of Bethlehem Steel Corp. It was designed by Welton Becket.
Links: USA, SF, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1960
The new American Embassy in London, designed by Eero Saarinen, was completed. His designed for the building, officially titled the U.S. Chancellery, was completed in 1955.
Links: Britain, USA, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1961
In Cuba construction began on a dance building designed by Italian architect Vittorio Garatti as one of five adjacent arts complexes personally requested by Fidel Castro, who dreamed of building the world's finest art school on the golf course of a country club seized by his revolution. Work was abruptly halted in 1965, with the ballet school lacking only windows, doors and floors. In 2012 dancer Carlos Acosta pledged to rescue the dance school and turn it into an international center for culture and dance.
Links: Cuba, Architect, Dance     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1962 Jun
Supersam, Poland’s first large self-service food store, opened in Warsaw. The structure was designed by a team led by Jerzy Hryniewiecki. The hanging roof was designed by Waclaw Zalewski. In 1991 a management team won control over the store. In 2006 wrecking crews were halted as enthusiasts called for its preservation as a historical site.
Links: Poland, Food, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1962 Nov 17
Washington's Dulles International Airport opened in rural Virginia and was dedicated by President Kennedy. The terminal was designed by Finnish-born architect Eero Saarinen. The airport spawned a high-tech corridor that by 2005 sat in the fastest growing county in the US.
Links: USA, Finland, Virginia, Aviation, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1962
1967
Lawrence Halprin served as the master designer for the Sea Ranch development at the Rancho del Mar sheep ranch on the Northern California coast. His proposal for the FDR Monument in Washington was accepted in 1974. Sea Ranch was completed in 1998 with 1,600 homes on 4,000 acres. In 2004 Donlyn Lyndon and Jim Alinder authored “The Sea Ranch.” Developer and architect Alfred Boeke (1923-2011) hired Halprin for the project.
Links: USA, California, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1962
SF Bay Area property developer Joseph Eichler constructed a set of 2-story townhouses on Amber Drive and Amethyst Way in SF.
Links: USA, SF, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1962
In Brazil the first residents of Sao Paulo’s Edificio Copan, designed by Oscar Niemeyer, began moving in. City hall issued its first residency permit in May, 1966.
Links: Brazil, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1963
France erected giant concrete buildings to house a growing working class and North African immigrants. These included the “Cite des 4,000” in the Paris suburb of La Courneuve.
Links: France, Labor, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1964
Chicago’s Marina Center at 300 N. State St. was built. The pair of 60-story towers were designed by Bertram Goldberg.
Links: USA, Chicago, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1964
In San Francisco the 19-story Carillon Tower was built at 1100 Gough. Architect Donald Powers Smith designed the rounded structure.
Links: USA, SF, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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