San Diego's Modern Masters


Beginning in the early nineteenth century in Europe and followed closely in America, new and revolutionary principles of architecture began to change the way architects approached the design of their projects, and architectural appearance of buildings.

In San Diego, architects such as Irving Gill, and later Lloyd Ruocco, adopted these principles. Following World War II, a number of younger architects committed to Modernism took up the cause so that now, after some sixty years, there's a wealth of Modernist architecture in our community.

In traditional architecture there was a perceived understanding of the principles that governed it; however Modernist architecture, being a simpler and understated design expression, is not as well understood, and thus there's a greater threat of its being destroyed. When this occurs it's a significant loss of an important part of San Diego's heritage, and leaves a void in the continuity of our architectural history.

In order to aid in understanding and appreciating this important phase of our architectural legacy, the San Diego Architectural Foundation's Modern Masters Committee have written a guide to define the meaning of Modernism in Architecture as they interpret it. The guide is written for all members of the San Diego community concerned about our built environment; our public agencies, general public, historians and students, in hopes that the principles shared will be applied as they evaluate projects for purposes of preservation.

Currently under revision, Modernist Architecture in San Diego soon be available for purchase. For information about sponsoring its publication, or to receive a .pdf version of the guide, please contact

More information about Modernism in San Diego is also available at

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San Diego Architectural Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organziation dedicated to education and promotion of outstanding architecture, planning and urban design throughout the San Diego region.

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San Diego, CA 92112-2228
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