this is by far the brightest moment of Fresno Architecture in my opinion and this is a short summary i want to share to @aiacc for this weeks takeover highlighting architecture in fresno by my friend and colleague @andres_diazign.
1932 - museum of modern art curates a show introducing a new movement called the "international style." historian henry russell hitchcock predicts this movement will have major impact.
1944 - over ten years has passed and @themuseumofmodernart decides to curate a follow-up show to showcase the best of modern architecture built in america from 1932-1944. in this show are frank lloyd wright's taliesin west and fallingwater, phillip johnson, walter gropius, ludwig mies van der rohe, richard neutra, eero saarninen, le corbusier, edward durrel stone, essentially the GIANTS of modern architecture. featured among the greastest in american architecture....Fresno City Hall  by legend Ernest Kump Jr.. right there among the best architecture in the country, wildly progressive and fresno's very own seat of govermnent. its easy to place this in "last century" and overlook how boldly progressive Kump Jr. and Fresno were with this city hall. im posting first a picture that shows cars of that era in front of the building. gives you a sense how ahead of its time this was. phillip johnson described the building as "lacking nonsense and clear in its function." two story lobby transparent front to back, split symmetrical entry ramps, pressed fresno red brick and curtain wall in continuous low horizontal bands.
among the moments where we didn't just say "good enough for fresno" and rather aimed to create something that can be critically evaluated alongside the best in the country if not the world.
here's to finding and fueling that progressive spirit again!
SOURCES: MOMA Archives and HistoricFresno.org
lots more i can share about the project. dm me if you are further interested.
to help celebrate #fresno#architecture for @aiacc and @andres_diazign, i am sharing here one of the most meaningful buildings in fresno to me: the mattei building.
why this is a very important project?
first, the idea of getting the world's best in anything to do something in fresno is unreal today, let alone 100 years ago. but that's what happened with the 1920 mattei building at 1177 fulton mall. the local architect, eugene matthewson decided to bring the worlds top high-rise architect at the time, new york based robert von ezdorf - who also designed the @waldorfastoria @newyorkarea.
second, it is an early example of what vincent scully refers to as early modernism. which makes perfect sense when you consider that van ezdorf worked for the legendary mckim, meade and white.
third, it was built for swiss-italian man who had started a wine making business after immigrating to fresno from italy and built the business into one of the top wine-making outfits in the entire country. the 12 story building was built merely as a legacy project for him.
locally, we know the building as the guarantee savings building because the local bank took over the building mid 20th century and installed a huge letter "G" sign on the roof which has become a landmark onto itself.
earlier this year it was announced that @scccd is going to occupy the building and give it new life and new use.
bravo @fresnocitycollge for taking control of this amazing building and making a bold statement about the future of downtown.
so many more great design, architecture and zeitgeist stories like this in fresno - a city which at one point in history sought the best in the world and brought it back here to to us.