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Bakersfield Built: 1960s
Exhibition, Symposium, & Tour
Saturday, September 21, 2019

Join SAH/SCC, Bakersfield Museum of Art, Kern County Museum, and California State University, Bakersfield, for an exceptional day exploring the modern architecture of Bakersfield. Highlighting the tour will be a visit to the Ablin Residence (Frank Lloyd Wright, FAIA, 1961), one of the last houses designed by the master prior to his death. The tour will also feature homes by local modern architects Whitney Biggar, AIA, Robert N. Eddy, FAIA, William Paynter, AIA, Jack Hayslett, and David G. Cross, AIA.

The day starts with a visit to the exhibition “Bakersfield Built: 1960s” at the Bakersfield Museum of Art, where plans, drawings, photographs, and ephemera will be on display showcasing the city’s modern design legacy. The 1960s were a decade of prosperity for Bakersfield. Although the city was still rebuilding from the devastating 1952 earthquake, population growth continued and the city stretched eastward with upscale residential development. New schools, shopping centers, churches, and other institutions followed. A dozen University of Southern California-trained architects were at the ready to plan, design, and build the eastward expansion. The result was that USC’s training in post-and-beam modernism is on full display throughout the city.

The symposium will feature an impressive list of guest speakers and panelists: Aaron Betsky, Dean of Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture at Taliesin, Scottsdale, AZ; SAH/SCC Member Maristella Casciato, Head of Architectural Collections at Getty Research Institute, LA; SAH/SCC Member Barbara Lamprecht, architectural historian, Pasadena; Arthur Dyson, AIA, architect and former associate of Frank Lloyd Wright, Fresno; and Jeffrey Herr, Curator, Hollyhock House, LA. They will engage in lively discussion about the Ablin Residence and the legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright, FAIA, in Bakersfield. Another panel will explore the lasting legacy of local educator and architect Clarence Cuillimore, FAIA, and his pipeline of talent to and through USC. Participants will also hear from a group of architects who lived and worked in the area during the 1960s, who will share what was really happening on the architecture scene.

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