ICAA Chapter News

Northern California

2014 has been an exciting year as our Chapter celebrates its 10 year anniversary. The highlight has been the launch of the inaugural Julia Morgan Awards held at the exquisite Beaux-Arts Carolands chateau. This stellar event, honoring fifteen award winners for their excellence in the contemporary practice and support of the classical traditions, was a tremendous success and a major fundraiser for the Northern California Chapter. We were proud to have Chairman, Mark Ferguson and President, Peter Lyden, among our distinguished guests both presenting awards and speaking about the importance of the ICAA.

Our annual lecture series, “Best of the Bay Area: 20th Century Architecture & Design,” brought Dr. Mitchell Schwarzer, President of Faculty Senate at California College of the Arts, to lecture on the diverse set of mid-century architects who designed houses that modulated the profundities of Northern California topography. Jeffrey Tilman, School of Architecture and Interior Design, University of Cincinnati, engaged our members with an illustrated presentation, based on his book, Arthur Brown, Jr.: Progressive Classicist, discussing Brown within his architectural and social context: from the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, to the reforming spirit and self-reliant confidence of San Francisco and beyond. 

Peter Pennoyer and Anne Walker presented a fascinating look at two of the early 1900s’ most important, but largely forgotten architects, brothers John and Eliot Cross. Members enjoyed a wine reception and signed copies of their stunning new book New York Transformed: The Architecture of Cross & Cross. 

Members also got to see another facet of our Chapter, which is recognizing historic preservation and restoration. David Bolton, Executive Director of the California Missions Foundation, lectured on the rich history of our California Missions and the importance of preserving these cultural treasures for future generations to come. Our Chapter has contributed to this preservation effort by underwriting the digital documentation of San Francisco’s Mission Dolores.

We’ve introduced a new series, “On the Boards,” invitational tours for our members to visit the offices of ICAA professional member firms. A free event, this series provides members the opportunity to share examples of classical projects underway, thereby initiating inspiration and collegial support. Our education series has also expanded and we were pleased to have increased enrollment in drawing courses, outdoor sketching classes (at Arthur Brown Jr.’s San Francisco City Hall), and many lectures.

We have an exciting calendar moving into the fall. In tours, we look forward to exploring the home of local architect and ICAA member Lucia Howard, one of the leading collectors of architectural souvenirs of the European Grand Tour of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. In September, we will have an exclusive tour of the Santa Lucia Preserve in Carmel Valley. The Preserve’s 20,000 acres are home to a private community of 300 families dedicated to preserving and protecting the 1000 residential acres set aside by the Santa Lucia Conservancy. A limited group will have a wonderful opportunity to explore five spectacular homes created by leading architects and designers.   

On October 25, we will hold our 8th annual Designer Day Lunch & Lecture at the San Francisco Fall Antiques Show. Always a sell-out, this year’s guest of honor is San Francisco’s own Paul Vincent Wiseman, who will present a post-lunch lecture entitled “Mindful Design and the Art of Storytelling.” Following the lecture will be a book signing of his newly published book Inner Spaces: Paul Vincent Wiseman & The Wiseman Group (Gibbs Smith 2014).  The end of the year will close with our annual Sponsor Appreciation evening to be held in December.


For more information and to learn more about our upcoming events, please visit www.classicist-nocal.org. 

Chairman Mark Ferguson congratulates winner Andrew Skurman at the 2014 Julia Morgan Awards

Chapter Vice-President Kathleen Taylor with Julia Morgan Award winner Martin Chapman

ICAA President Peter Lyden with winners John A. Gunn, Cynthia Fry Gunn, and Andrew Skurman

The 2014 Julia Morgan Award winners

Julia Morgan Award Winners Suzanne Tucker, James Marzo, and Richard Beard

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Past Events

The Northern California Chapter concluded its 2013 calendar with a brilliant lecture by Victoria Kastner, the last in the William Randolph Hearst Lecture Series. Hearst Castle historian for over 30 years and author of the definitive trilogy on San Simeon, Victoria presented her new book Hearst Farm: Family, Land and Legacy (Abrams) by showing selected images of the spectacular coastal landscape still privately owned, and never seen by the public.

Our “Meet the Authors” book signing series closed a well-received year with Stephen Salny. Presenting his new book, William Hodgins, Interiors (W. W. Norton & Company), members were treated to his vast knowledge of Hodgins as our featured guest of the annual holiday party. Previous speakers included Lucia Howard, who gave an illustrated lecture of her newly published Shingle Style: Living in San Francisco’s Brown Shingles (Rizzoli), highlighting the unique history of the Bay Area’s brown shingle homes. Steven Semes, Associate Professor School of Architecture at University of Notre Dame, also gave a fascinating lecture revisiting The Architecture of the Classical Interior (W. W. Norton & Company) reviewing the principles that operate in beautiful rooms both historical and contemporary.

October was highlighted by two memorable events. “A Weekend in San Simeon” tour was co-hosted together with the Southern California Chapter. This exclusive members-only event with tours of San Simeon village and Hearst Castle was given a welcoming personal touch by the lovely lunch hosted by Mitch Barrett of the Hearst Corporation (with wines of the Hearst Ranch Winery) and an elegant Friday evening reception in Cambria hosted by Evans & Gerst Antiques. Victoria Kastner concluded the weekend tour with a private, illustrated presentation.

The very popular annual ICAA Designer Day Lunch & Lecture at the San Francisco Fall Antiques Show was an event not to be missed! Chapter founder, National and Northern California Board member, Suzanne Tucker, was honored for her work and the launch of her second book Suzanne Tucker Interiors: The Romance of Design (The Monacelli Press). Over 120 members, sponsors, and guests attended the sold out event at the Fort Mason Pavilion where Suzanne spoke eloquently not only about her creative process but of the mission and value of the ICAA.

Our last tour in December of The Swedenborgian Church was in partnership with SFMOMA’s Architecture & Design Forum. Free to members, Dr. Gray Brechin of UC Berkeley lectured on the history of the church and the exciting beginnings of an architectural movement pioneered by Bernard Maybeck and others.

“A Weekend in San Simeon” with members of the Northern and Southern California Chapters at Hearst Castle.

Honoree Suzanne Tucker with Tim Marks and Andrew Skurman at the San Francisco Fall Antiques Show
luncheon and fundraiser.

“Shingle Style” author Lucia Howard with Barbara Scavullo at the Walt Disney Family Museum.

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