Residential designer to discuss Frank Lloyd Wright’s work at La Jolla’s Wisteria Cottage
By Dave Schwab
The topic of Spencer Lake’s speech, the sixth in La Jolla Historical Society’s 10-part Contemporary Architects Making History 2011 Lecture Series, is a preoccupation of his — famed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright who died in 1959 at age 91.
“Some consider him to be the greatest American architect and rank him right up there with Thomas Jefferson,” said Lake. “He was labeled a titan in the field in his own lifetime.”
Lake will discuss Wright and his impact on La Jolla architecture at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 21, at the Wisteria Cottage, 780 Prospect St.
A residential design professional and self-avowed “ accidental historian,” Lake said Wright and his work has been a subject of study for him for 50 years.
Lake said he has an interesting, “layered” story to tell about Wright’s trips to San Diego, and his personal and professional lives. “I’m going to talk about the architects in San Diego who were influenced, either directly or indirectly, by Wright,” he said, adding he’s going to attempt to place Wright and his architectural style in the physical and historical setting of San Diego.
“When historians want to really tackle a subject, they almost have to step into H.G. Wells’ time machine and go back into the past and study what shaped history,” he said.
Lake will give a slideshow on Wright with a question-and-answer session afterward.
One of the most noteworthy things about Wright and his architecture, in Lake’s view, is that Wright was ahead of his time.
“He was interested in ecology and the environment, his work was hooked into the environment, it has the character of the landscape,” he said. “His interiors and exteriors, the boundaries between them just seem to vanish. Not a lot of architects had the same emphasis at that time.”
Born in Ohio and the son of a newspaperman, Lake graduated in architecture from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. After serving in the Army in the ‘60s, he worked with noted architects Sim Bruce Richards, Homer Delawie, Kendrick Kellogg, Wayne Donaldson, Hal Sadler and Liebhardt, Weston and Goldman.
Tickets are $10 for La Jolla Historical Society members: $15 for nonmembers.
For more information visit www.lajollahistory.org.
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