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University of Southern California

May 11, 2016

The libraries of the University of Southern California are proud to announce the additions of several new digital archive collections featuring architects and architectural photography.

The Fritz Block and Pierre Koenig slides are two of the smaller unique collections in the possession of the USC Libraries. They document examples of 20th century California architecture that developed stylistically from the foundations of the International Style as established by the 1932 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, titled Modern Architecture: International Exhibition, and of European pre-World War II Modernism. Koenig. Fritz Block (1889-1955) was a German-trained architect, who moved to Los Angeles in 1938. He shot slides of many private homes, as well as of some housing developments. Pierre Koenig (1925-2004) was among the most important Modern architects working in Southern California, and a long-time faculty at the USC School of Architecture. He is noted, among many projects, for participating in the Case Study House program, and for designing Case Study Houses #21 and #22. The digitized slides were selected by Pierre Koenig. Funding for digitization of the Architectural Teaching Slide Collection was provided by Victor Albert Regnier, ACSA Distinguished Professor and Professor of Architecture and Geronotology at the USC School of Architecture. This information was provided by Ruth Wallach, Head (1999-2014) of the Architecture and Fine Arts Library, USC.

The archive of Wayne Thom, a renowned architectural photographer who shot only with natural light, worked without assistant and meticulously printed his own images," came to the University of Southern California Libraries in September 2015. "Thom’s stunning photographs of landmark buildings throughout the American West and Asia... include many buildings on the USC campus, including images of von KleinSmid Center, the 1968 USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism building, Heritage Hall, Varian Hall and others." The collection dates from the 1960s through 2012 and in addition to his photographs include his extensive graphic design work such as architectural brochures for clients. [All quotations are from Allison Engel. "Architectural photographer Wayne Thom's beautiful images head to USC Libraries" in USCNews (2015 August 31)]

USC alumnus Carl Maston was an influential Los Angeles mid-century modern architect. Upon graduation, Maston worked for the offices of Floyd Rible, A. Quincy Jones, Fred Emmons, Phil Daniel, and Allied Architects before opening his own office. His homes, shopping centers, military housing units, and university buildings can be found throughout Southern California. Known for his stark, no-frills modern buildings such as the Maston (or Marmont) Residence and Hillside House, his career spanned over 40 years in public and private sectors. The bulk of the collection consists of architectural project files as well as architectural photographs by longtime-collaborator Julius Shulman.

The Edward H. Fickett Collection contains a selection of items digitized from the archives of the architectural office of Edward H. Fickett (1916-1999), FAIA, in Special Collections, USC Libraries. The physical collection contains 664.04 linear feet of architectural drawings, renderings, and photographs as well as other material stored in 360 boxes, including 99 long boxes, 163 document boxes, 2 banker's boxes, an additional 96 boxes of various sizes; and 52 flat file drawers. Another set of renderings is stored in flat folders. In addition, there are 4 3-D models of Fickett projects. The entire physical collection dates from 1945-2013. Examples in the digital selection include some of Fickett's more notable designs: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles Police Academy, Hotel Cabo San Lucas, Los Angeles City Hall tower renovation and the Port of Los Angeles Passenger and Cargo Terminals. The rights to the archive as well as the physical materials were transferred to USC. The USC Digital Library acknowledges the support provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission in making this material available online.

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