Sunday, February 28, 2010

William Krisel, Architect: Los Angeles Premiere, April 13th, Getty Museum Harold Williams Auditorium


Poster art for "William Krisel, Architect"

The long-awaited documentary on the life of architect William Krisel (see above trailer) will be premiering in Los Angeles on April 13th at the Getty Museum's Harold Williams Auditorium at 7:00 p.m.

I was privileged to be part of the film by providing: research assistance, interview candidates and questions, building location scouting, hi-res scans of stills used in the film including material from my private collection, and interview of myself by film maker Jake Gorst.

Film maker Jake Gorst at work. Location scouting by John Crosse, Airport-Marina Towers, 1971, William Krisel. Photo by John Crosse.

Jake Gorst and I had the distinct honor of being the last people to interview Julius Shulman on film before his passing last July (see below).

Film maker Jake Gorst filming me interviewing Julius Shulman in his studio. Photo by Phil Weyland.

Go to the Design Onscreen link to learn more about their other films and philosophy.

It's hard to believe, but even though Krisel is responsible for thousands of dwellings in Palm Springs, he was so prolific a designer that his desert work constitutes only 5 % of his total production. For more on Krisel's Palm Springs work see

Chris Menrad House, Twin Palms, Palm Springs, William Krisel, Architect. Photo by John Crosse.

Krisel was honored with a lifetime achievement award at the AIA-LA Design Awards Party at the Egyptian Theater on Oct. 21st.  The above photo announcing same was published in January/February 2010 issue of "Form: Pioneering Design." Krisel also had an exhibition of his work at the MODAA Gallery in the Studio Pali Fekete, Architects Building in Culver City last November. (see below).

Photo by Julius Shulman. Poster design by Studio Pali Fekete.

Krisel's archives were recently acquired by the Getty Research Institute where they will reside in the pantheon of Southern California Mid-Century Modernism alongside those of Julius Shulman, John Lautner, Pierre Koenig, Ray Kappe and others. The archives couldn't have found a better home. The Getty Research Institute is fast becoming a most important one-stop location for the in-depth study of the region's unique brand of  modern architecture studied and emulated by architect's and researchers around the world.

Bill Krisel, Wim de Wit, and Christopher Alexander previewing Krisel Archives, 2009. Photo by John Crosse.

Krisel commissioned me to organize his papers and drawings in anticipation of the Getty's acquisition. The above photo is of Wim de Wit, Head of the Getty Research Institute's Department of Architecture and Contemporary Art and assistant Christopher Alexander previewing Bill's archives at his Rancho Santa Fe Compound last spring. My summary of the archive's contents can be found at the link below. See also the Getty Research Institute link under my Links of Interest to the right.

William Krisel Archive

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pasadena Heritage Presents: Buff & Hensman The Art of Modernism: A Drive-yourself House Tour Sunday, March 28, 2010 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Tickets go on sale March 1st

Pasadena, CA – Pasadena Heritage presents Buff & Hensman -  The Art of Modernism, a drive-yourself tour of six beautiful, privately-owned residences designed by these Pasadena-based Case Study House program architects. Conrad Buff and Donald Hensman had remarkable careers that started during their time together as students at USC’s School of Architecture in Los Angeles and continued until Conrad’s death in 1988. Cal Straub and Dennis Smith were principals of the famous firm at intervals, and their combined contribution to California Modernism is unparalleled.

Featured residences on the tour will include the 1954 John Norton House which is individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a designated contributor to the Laguna Road Landmark District. The Alvaro Bea House of 1957 was studied by Dennis Smith while he was an architectural student. He later was involved in two phases of renovations and restoration. Dennis Smith will be available to answer questions during the tour at the 1983 Dunn House where he was the principal architect.

Also open for visits will be the Thompson/Moseley House, designed in 1959 by Buff, Straub and Hensman. This house has the unique distinction of winning two Merit Awards, in 1960 and 1992, from the Pasadena Foothill Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (A.I.A.). The Rabinovitz House was uniquely designed to incorporate a 1920’s cottage on the existing property. Don Hensman’s last design project in 1999 was the Moseley House. Alex Moseley will be on site to talk about the unique design of his home and to share stories of his longtime friendship with Conrad Buff and Don Hensman.

Guests will drive themselves to the featured houses where docent-guided tours will be ongoing between 9:00 am – 4:00 pm., rain or shine.  We suggest 5 hours to complete the tour.  Tickets go on sale March 1.  Advance ticket prices are $36 for the general public and $32 for Pasadena Heritage members.  Tickets on the day of the tour are $40. Tickets can be purchased over the phone at (626) 441-6333 or online at

The event is sponsored by The Capital Group Companies & the Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Enduring Contribution of Julius Shulman, Sunday, February 21 at the Schindler House

Woodbury University’s School of Architecture and the MAK Center are co-sponsoring a memorial symposium honoring Julius Shulman. The event will take place on Sunday, February 21st from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the MAK Center For Art & Architecture at the Schindler House. The Enduring Contribution of Julius Shulman includes a cocktail/hors d’oeuvres hour and speakers who will share their memories of Shulman, his impact on their careers, and the built environment of Los Angeles. The schedule for the evening and details for attending are attached below.
(Click on the images below to enlarge).

For more information, contact or call (323) 651-1510.