AIA Central Valley and SacMod Screening of "EAMES: The architect and the painter"

On 12.19.11, AIA Central Valley (AIACV) and SacMod screened "Eames: The Architect and The Painter" to over fifty design enthusiasts.

The event was held at AIACV in Sacramento. SacMod and AIACV took the opportunity to celebrate our native daughter, Ray (Kaiser) Eames. We provided several images from her life in Sacramento.

Ian Merker of AIACV was the best host ever!

Special thanks to Mimomito who brought cupcakes decorated with Ray's fabric pattern to celebrate what would have been Ray's 99th birthday on 12.15.11 and took pictures of our event.

To kick off the film screening, Eames Demetrios graciously Skype'd in and spoke with us about his grandparents and their work.

We are grateful to Miles Treaster & Associates who brought several examples of the Eameses' furniture, an original rare wooden splint developed for WW2, plus several brochures, an Eames coffee table book, and other written materials.

Our friends from Sactown Magazine generously distributed copies of their original Premier Issue from Dec/Jan 2006/2007 (with a well-written and researched article about Ray Eames) and their current issue. Happy 5th Anniversary, Sactown!

Thanks to KVIE for the wonderful gift bag and to Jason Cohn of Bread and Butter Films for printing two film posters for our silent auction.

Last but not least, thanks to those who attended and supported our event! We received great feedback from those who attended. The film provided an intriguing glimpse into the Eameses' creative process and dedication. We highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in their lives and prolific work, which ranges from architecture, furniture, film, textiles, art, industrial design to other intellectual and creative pursuits. This film celebrates their work and humanizes them -- not only highlighting their triumphs but also what went on behind the scenes.

Look for more events in 2012, including the screening of Infinite Space, a documentary about John Lautner -- one of the most revered 20th century architects. We will also be having an event to celebrate a very special residence in Sacramento designed by Terry Waters, an associate of John Lautner.

Merry Christmas from Eichler Homes

Merry Christmas from Eichler Homes! (Circa 1960s ephemera from my collection).

Ghosts of Christmas Past - K Street, Sacramento

Here's a neat peek of K and 10th Streets in downtown Sacramento back in the day. Note various features, such as the Crest Theatre, which I've posted about before here. Also in view are: Roos Bros., Joseph Magnin, Leed's, Green-Hayden Co., Hale's, Hotel Sequoia, Hart's, and others.

Most of Sacramento's retail shopping in the 1940s and 1950s was done in downtown Sacramento - before shopping malls became in vogue.

Then came the shopping malls. The prevalence of suburban shopping malls slowly took its toll on K Street. See for example, this 1957 public domain PR short, "Shopping Can Be Fun: A New Concept in Merchandising", which chronicles the Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo, California.

K Street has since gone through several phases of revitalization efforts -- including a pedestrian mall and, more recently, an attempt to reintroduce traffic on K Street. I'll be featuring a post with more information about the history of Sacramento's 1960s pedestrian mall in the future.

What the future now holds for K Street is anyone's guess, though we hope it's a bright one. In the meantime, we can remember its past.

Happy hyperbolic holidays!

The entryway to the Sacramento Zoo, designed by Rickey & Brooks (1961).
The largest building originally served as a concession stand to all of William Land Park.

The City of Sacramento recently hired consultants from Mead & Hunt to conduct a Historic Cultural / Landscape Survey of William Land Park. Per Mead & Hunt's report, these hyperbolic paraboloid structures "meet the National Register, California Register, and Sacramento Register evaluation criteria as individual properties independent from their association with William Land Park."

Further, Mead & Hunt concluded the Zoo entry structures were eligible "in the area of Architecture – Designed by the local architectural firm of Rickey and Brooks, this series of three interconnected buildings are an important, rare, and intact example of Mid-Century Modernism in Sacramento."

On December 7, 2011, SacMod attended the City of Sacramento Preservation Commission Meeting and spoke in favor of Mead & Hunt's report: "We want to thank everyone involved in the Historic Cultural Landscape survey of William Land Park and support Mead & Hunt's findings, especially those regarding Fairytale Town and the entryway concession buildings at the Sacramento Zoo. SacMod highlighted both of these historic assets as 'points-of-interest' during the first Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour last year. These have been a part of the park for 50 years and are historic landmarks.

The Zoo entrance and Fairytale Town are part of Sacramento's collective memory and provide an irreplaceable and distinct sense of place. In particular, the structures at the Zoo entrance are a rare kind of mid-20th century construction – hyperbolic paraboloids – also known as hypars. I have brought an historic postcard image for you to see them as they originally were. There are few remaining examples of hypars left in Sacramento. The Zoo entrance structures are the most easily recognized examples in town.

SacMod supports Mead & Hunt's recommendations and wishes to see our historic assets preserved. We look forward to working with the City and Zoo in this regard."

Celebrating Ray!

Happy Birthday to Ray Eames, Sacramento's native daughter and one of the most important 20th century modernists! See my earlier post about Ray Kaiser Eames for more background on her Sacramento roots.

She would have been 99 today. We'll be celebrating Ray on Monday, December 19, 2011 at the AIACV/SacMod screening party for "EAMES: The Architect and the Painter." Special thanks to our good friends at AIACV hosting this event. And thanks to those of you who RSVP'd via Brown Paper Tickets -- be sure to arrive by 7:30 to ensure seating. Early arrivals get priority Eames chair seating!!

Festivities for the evening will include:
- a silent auction for two posters from the film;
- a furniture display courtesy of the wonderful folks at Miles Treaster & Associates;
- photos of Ray's life in Sacramento;
- vegan cupcakes from the lovely gals at Mimomito;
plus other displays and surprises!