Docomomo US/Northern California Chapter is raising the awareness of the Modern Movement's rich legacy in the Bay Area and throughout Northern California. The gentle California climate allowed Modern buildings to achieve a response to the outdoors that was not possible in European or East Coast climates. This produced not only a uniquely Modern plan, but a Modern approach to landscape design.
Established in San Francisco in 1996, our mission is to advance the concepts of the modern movement and preserve its built works. Northern California produced important modern designers who were both regionally and nationally influential. Much is known about the "Bay Region Style" (practiced by William Wurster, Joseph Esherick and others) and the work of the San Francisco office of Skidmore Owings & Merrill. Many lesser known, but no less significant, modern architects helped establish the modern movement in Northern California with works of great beauty. In landscape design, Northern California's modern landscape architects, led by Thomas Church, exerted national influence.
Docomomo US/Northern California
Gretchen Hilyard, President
P.O. Box 29226
San Francisco, CA 94129-0226
The Northern California Chapter of Docomomo US engages in the following activities:
Modern Register: The Northern California Modern Register, started in 1997 is an ongoing project that includes approximately 50 entries from around the Bay Area. Fieldwork is performed by volunteers who research and enjoy learning about local modern architectural history.
San Francisco Modern Survey: An ongoing building and landscape survey highlighting selections from our register. This publication focuses only on San Francisco and includes a broad geographic and typological range.
Programs: Lectures, tours, movie screenings, and exhibits on topics related to modern architecture and landscape design are held throughout the year. Past events include: Lecture series on Scandinavian architecture, California Eichler Developments and the work of Erich Mendelsohn. Tours have included a Bus tour of Modern San Francisco put on in conjunction with the San Francisco Heritage Modernism Symposium, a driving tour of Daly City highlighting the schools of Mario Ciampi and a tour of modernism at Stanford University.
Advocacy: Presentations are frequently made to the City of San Francisco's Landmarks Advisory Board, San Francisco Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, San Francisco Heritage, California Preservation Foundation, Berkeley Architectural Heritage and to local architectural firms.
Organizational Development. The Northern California Chapter is a 501c3 and has an 11 member board serving one and two year terms. Development goals include fundraising and forming partnerships with other nonprofit organizations to allow the continuation of programs and publications.