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Palace of Fine Arts and the Lagoon (San Francisco) 1915 painting by Edwin Deakin, from the collection of the Crocker Art Museum

Palace of Fine Arts and the Lagoon (San Francisco)
1915 painting by Edwin Deakin, from the collection of the Crocker Art Museum

Shasta Historical Society is bringing noted author and architectural historian Mark A. Wilson of Berkeley to give a lecture on three influential 20th century architects: Bernard Maybeck, Julia Morgan, and Frank Lloyd Wright on Saturday, March 21, 2015 at 2 PM at Pilgrim Congregational Church, 2850 Foothill Blvd., Redding CA.

Wilson is the author of the books Bernard Maybeck: Architect of Elegance (2011); Julia Morgan: Architect of Beauty (2007); and Frank Lloyd Wright on the West Coast (2014). 

He first got interested in Maybeck’s architecture while studying at UC Berkeley in the 1970s. “I was a student, living across the street from the Christian Science Church, one of his most famous structures, and I was just struck by its beauty,” he said. After graduating with a BA in history from Berkeley, Wilson went on to earn an MA in history and media studies from California State University, East Bay, where he wrote his thesis on Maybeck.

“The hallmark of Maybeck’s work is that it all manifests the craftsmanship and environmental sensitivity that we now refer to as ‘sustainable architecture,’” Wilson said. “In fact, Morgan, Maybeck, and Wright were all practicing what we now call green design.” In the 1890s, Maybeck and Wright had both – independently of each other – begun working in a nature-based tradition. By the turn of the century, there was a full-fledged movement to integrate buildings into their environment, to tie them to the landscape, and to use natural materials such as wood and stone.

One of Maybeck’s most iconic structures is the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. But there’s also a Maybeck home in Redding, built in 1906 after he gave a Berkeley newlywed couple house plans as a wedding gift. Dudley Saeltzer, son of Rudolph Saeltzer, a founding partner of the McCormick-Saeltzer Store, left Redding to attend UC Berkeley and met Florence Senger there. When they got engaged, Maybeck, a friend of her family, offered to draw up plans for their future residence on West Street, where they built the house on a plot of land gifted to them by Dudley’s father. The Saeltzer family owned the home until 1963, when it was purchased by the Lord family, and it is still occupied John and Pam Lord. John grew up there, one of 10 children. “I have memories of sitting upstairs at night at bedtime and I’d look out the window and watch the fog roll in from south of town. I got a kick out of watching it. It was the house that everyone wanted to see the inside of,” he recalled.

In 1923, Julia Morgan built a residence on the north edge of the Chico State University campus for a physician, whose family lived there until 1945. After that, it was bought by the state of California and served as a residence for university presidents until 1993, when it was vacated for renovations that began in 2000. The home is now the university’s Albert E. Warrens Reception Center.

Pilgrim Congregational Church was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin Architects.

See more at: http://shastahistorical.org/events/#sthash.uaGtVPYu.dpuf