Monthly News

SAH Chapter News September 2023

Below are the SAH regional chapter news updates received by the liaison during the month of September 2023.

2023 Conference Reminders 


Please make your hotel reservations for the 2023 SESAH Conference at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in downtown Little Rock as soon as possible. When you make the reservation be sure to use the SESAH conference code “SSH” to receive the $149/night discounted rate within the SESAH room block. Or, Click Here to Reserve your room

If you already made your reservations through a third party such as Expedia, please let Robbie Jones know. We need to ensure that SESAH gets credit for your stay. 

If you’re looking at other hotels, please stay at the Doubletree instead. We have a contract with the hotel to sell a minimum number of room nights, and right now we have not hit our minimum. The room nights ensure the fees for the session venue rentals are waived. Otherwise, we will be required to pay for any unsold room nights at $149/night plus penalties.Conference Registration closes September 13th. Click here to register. For additional information on the conference, please visit our website here.

NEWSLETTER OF THE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA CHAPTER SOCIETY OF ARCHITECTURAL HISTORIANS VOLUME 26, NUMBER 2 Fall 2023Photo: Aerial view San Diego iStockphoto––continued on page 3NCCSAH Fall Program Draws Us to the West Coast’s “Plymouth Rock” NCCSAH president, Ward Hill interviewed architectural historian Diane Kane, who created our San Diego program for this fall. What follows is a response to Ward’s inquiry about the highlights of the tour she has planned for us.Known as the “Plymouth Rock” of the West Coast, San Diego is one of America’s oldest cities; yet it is also one of its newest cities, with most of its built environment from the last 100 years. Once a health-seekers haven and a Navy town, tourism and real estate are now the biggest industries, with bio-tech and edu-cation fast becoming major economic driv-ers. I focused the tour on neighborhoods with interesting histories that create a dia-logue between the past and present. The tour hotel, Le Pensione, is in Little Italy. Once a mixed-use Italian neighbor-hood, it was decimated by the construction of the I-5 Freeway. Today it has an ener-getic, youthful vibe with fabulous eateries, hip boutiques and pedestrian amenities. The LIND block (1999-2002), is a redevel-opment project designed by six prominent San Diego Post-Modernists. They com-bined their talents to create a city block of new and salvaged building parts that pro-vide a sense of “invented history.” The nearby Beaumont Building (Rob Welling-ton Quigley, 1988) contributes to this fanci-ful narrative. After lunch on Tuesday, we’ll stroll the Gaslamp National His-toric Landmark District (1870-1900). At Padres Stadium, we will learn about the “Ballpark Settlement Agreement.” This landmark legal case resulted in adaptively re-using a signifi-cant collection of historic warehouses in East Village (1900-1930), including one that serves as the stadium’s left field foul line! Architect Rob Quigley will lead a tour of his splendid design for the Central Library (2013) and his nearby home/office.

2 NCCSAHAerial view downtown San Diego, 1935, 10 years after death of J.D. Spreckels Photo: clerk files.sandiego.govSon of San Francisco’s Sugar King “Discovers” San DiegoView of San Diego in 1887, the year John D. Spreckels “discov-ered” the small town for which he saw a great future. Photo:—continued on page 6 The European discovery of the Bay of San Diego was made by a Portuguese nav-igator sailing for Spain, in 1542. There is no record of another Eu-ropean visit to the area for 60 years. At that time, 1602, the bay was named San Diego, and the first church was built. Yet another interval of sixty plus years ensued, when rumors spread during the 1760s that Russia was planning expansion from Alaska to the coast of California. At that prospect, King Carlos III of Spain set in motion events that would result in the first colonizing expedition into Upper California. Leading the effort were Gaspar de Por-tola, military governor, and Father Serra, leader of the effort to establish missions in the territory. The first of what would become a chain of 21 missions, Mission San Diego de Alcala, was founded in 1769.Among the earliest non-indigenous Americans to have contact with San Diego, were Boston traders, such as those whose voyage Richard Henry Dana chronicled, in Two Years Before the Mast. On a homeward stop, Dana records, “We were always glad to see San Diego. . .a snug little place, and seeming quite like home, especially to me, who had spent a summer [1835] there.”Twenty-four years later (1859), on a visit to Califor-nia that he recounts, it’s fair to say that Dana was—in modern parlance—blown away by the sight of a full-fledged city as he sailed into San Francisco Bay, and he found signs of growth, though on a much more modest scale, in Los Angeles, as well. But, he reported, “The little town of San Diego has undergone no change whatever that I can see. It certainly has not grown. It is still, like Santa Barbara, a Mexican town. The four principal houses of the gente de ra-zon—of the Bandinis, Estudillos, Argüellos, and Picos are the chief houses now; but all the gentle-men––and their families, too, I believe are gone. . . . I must complete my acts of pious re-membrance, so I take a horse and make a run out to the old Mission. . . . All has gone to decay. The buildings are unused and ruinous, and the large gardens show now only wild cactuses, willows, and a few olive-trees.”Of course, by the time of Dana’s second sojourn (1859), California had entered the Union, and San Francisco’s population had exploded, thanks to its

––continued from page 1A late afternoon tour of Balboa Park will explore the his-tory of the Spanish Colonial Revival Style, first intro-duced by architect Bertram Goodhue at 1915 Panama California Exhibition. Preservation archi-tect David Marshall will discuss the process of renewing once tempo-rary buildings from 1915 & 1935 exhibitions with more permanent materials, while landscape histo-rian Nancy Carol Carter will iden-tify exotic plants introduced by horticulturalist Kate Sessions. Wednesday morning, the trolley takes us into Old Town State Park, where a mixture of adobe and wooden buildings (c. 1830-1870) sur-round the rectangular plaza laid out per the Spanish Law of the Indies. At the newly refurbished Serra Museum (Richard Requa, 1930) we’ll view a new exhibition on the Presidio. We’ll next explore neighbor-hoods on both sides of the San Diego River, including Craftsman Era Mission Hills (1910-1930), the trendy gay neighborhood Hillcrest, the new SDSU West Cam-pus and Civita Park (2020), site of an abandoned quar-ry. We’ll see how the trolley and restoration of the San Diego River are transforming this narrow corridor into a high-density neighborhood rich with natural amenities. On Thursday, the trolley will take us north to UCSD, one of the nation’s top STEM campuses and innovators in bio-tech, to enjoy its fabulous collection of modern ar-chitecture. Highlights include William Pereira’s Geisel Library (1970), the Stuart Art Collection and nearby Salk Institute (Louis Kahn, 1965). In La Jolla, we’ll visit the historic Irving Gill “Cultural Zone” (1908-1930), an-chored by the SD Museum of Contemporary Art, recent-ly renovated by Minimalist New York architect Annabelle Seldorf.I am excited to share San Diego with you and look for-ward to a fun and intellectually stimulating visit for NCCSAH members. San Diego Geisel Library, UC San Diego. Photo: UCSDPhoto above: Diane KaneFor biographical information, go to:Diane Kane, Architectural Historian –

4 NCCSAHSpring Program Explored Maybeck’s Berkeley WorksOn June 8th NCCSAH celebrated the great Bay Area architect Bernard Maybeck in an event at the University of California, Berkeley, Faculty Club, a Maybeck design dating from 1902. Our thanks to Christine Berlin, the club’s catering manager, for many hours spent organizing our morning event and lunch. The day started with coffee and pastries in the Hyens Room where we viewed the splendid documentary, Pursing Beauty: The Architecture of Bernard Maybeck,made by award winning film maker Paul Bockhorst. The film features fascinating interviews with many prominent architectural historians such as Richard Longstreth and Robert Judson Clark. The film also has several charming and touching interviews with enthusi-astic owners of Maybeck houses.We deeply regret Paul Bockhorst could not join us for the screening of his film, Pursuing Beauty, because of an injury that prevented him from traveling from his home in Southern California. We had many Bockhorst Productions documentaries on DVDs for sale at the event. Following the film, geographer Gray Brechin (who also appears prominently in the film) discussed Maybeck’s architecture and showed many slides of the master’s rarely seen drawings. We appreciated having Gray share with us his vast knowledge of the architect and his work. The morning ended with lunch in the Faculty Club “Great Room,” one of Maybeck’s most magnificent spaces.After lunch, Gray led the group to the Hearst Memorial Gym, the only Maybeck collaboration with Julia Mor-gan, to view the beautiful swimming pool and surround-ing sculpture. We then continued south to see what many consider to be Maybeck’s greatest and most in-ventive building: The First Church of Christ Scientist, Berkeley. The President of The Friends of First Church, Lynn Bohannon, gave us a tour of this truly spectacular building, providing many insights into its design and construction. Thanks to Ms Bohannon for her fascinat-ing insights into Maybeck’s magnum opus and for mak-ing it possible for us to see this remarkable building.Photos: top to bottom: Gray Brechin and Jan Berckfeldt, ED the May-beck Foundation, at portrait of Maybeck; photo: Paul Turner. Pause for lunch in the Great Hall, UC Faculty Club; photo: Paul Turner. Sun-day School Addition, Christian Science Church; photo: Phil Bellman.

NCCSAH 5 Photo Gallery: NCCSAH Berkeley Maybeck TourPhotos: top left, Great Hall, UC Faculty Club; photo: Bill Kostura. Top right, Lynn Bohannon addresses our group at Berkeley’s First Church Christ, Scientist; photo: Paul Turner. Bottom left, Hearst Memorial Gym, UC; photo: Paul Turner. Bottom right, detail Christian Science Church; photo: Jane Shabaker

6 NCCSAH 5th Avenue Streetcar, in 1912. Spreckels acquired San Diego’s horsecar lines and converted them to electric service. Photo: Digital Archives City of San Diego. sandiedo.govGaslamp Quarter, Old City Hall, San Diego. Photo: Wikipediaproximity to gold country. Census figures show that San Diego’s population about the time of Dana’s second visit stood at 731. Its population grew only modestly, until the 1890 census record-ed 16,159 residents, a striking 512.8 percent in-crease over 1880. The arrival of a long-awaited transcontinental rail link in 1885 contributed to the increase but did not bring the hoped-for prosperity.It was just two years after the arrival of the railroad that John D. Spreckels, scion of the wealthy San Francisco family, first visited San Diego (1887). He dropped anchor there in his yacht to restock supplies. He saw great potential and moved quick-ly to profit from that potential. He was not the first.Spreckels biographer, Sandra E. Bonura, writes (Empire Builder: John D. Spreckels and the Mak-ing of San Diego. U. of Nebraska Press, 2020), “‘Modern’ San Diego’s history began in 1867, when. . .Alonzo Erastus Horton arrived from San Francisco and saw potential in the ‘little old rem-nant of a Spanish town’.” He quickly began to ac-quire tracts of land near the waterfront and sold off lots for potential development, encouraged by the hope of a transcontinental rail link. The Panic of 1871 put an end to the possibility of a rail connec-tion to San Diego any time soon, and with it, an end to Horton’s dreams. If, in Bonura’s words, Horton was, “The Father of San Diego”, then John D. Spreckels was, she writes, “The Foster Father of San Diego.”John Diedrich Spreckels (1853-1926), son of German immigrant parents, Claus and Anna Christina Spreckels, was born in Charleston South Carolina. In 1856, after a brief residence in New York City, the family moved to San Francisco, where Claus ran a brewery. By the mid-1860s, he settled on the busi-ness that would bring him great wealth and earn him recognition as California’s “Sugar King.”John joined the family business after 1872. He over-saw various operations, including the company’s in-terests in the Kingdom of Hawaii, where he lived for a time, before settling in San Francisco. He was a San Francisco resident at the time of his “discovery” of San Diego, and though his financial interests increas-ingly focused on the Southern California town, he remained a San Franciscan until he relocated with his family to San Diego following the 1906 earth-quake.From San Francisco, Spreckels oversaw his San Diego interests, developing vital infrastructure, in-cluding the securing of a source of water, purchasing the street railway and replacing the horse-drawn transit service with an electric streetcar system (1892). He also acquired two newspapers, The San Diego Union, in 1890, and the San Diego Evening Tribune, in 1901. —continued on page 7––continued from page 2

NCCSAH 7 Early on in his focus on San Diego, Spreckels had a hand in development of the famed Hotel Del Coronado (opened 1888). It was under construc-tion when an economic slump threw the project into crisis. John D. provided financial assistance to keep the work going. In the end he bought out the developers and retained ownership until his death, in 1926. His heirs continued to hold the property until 1948 (unusual, since the Spreckels heirs, as historian Bonura points out, divested themselves of John’s assets fairly quickly).Although he claimed he was “not a philanthropist”, Spreckels did contribute much to the pub-lic good. He provided substan-tial support for the founding of the now-famous San Diego Zoo, and he built theaters and a library. He was a booster and financial supporter of the Panama-California Exposition, to “showcase” San Diego, the first American port en route from the Panama Canal. The expo’s built legacy is still very much on view.John D. typically did not seek publicity for acts of generosi-ty. Years ago, baseball’s Ted Williams told of growing up in a San Diego suburb with a single mom. With the family in straitened circumstances, and threatened with the loss of their home, John Spreckels quietly paid off the mortgage. Spreckels became a multi-millionaire and, far and away, the wealthiest man in San Diego. As a partial listing of his assets (taken from Bonu-ra) illustrates, his interests were widespread. “At various times, he owned all of North Island, the San Diego and Coronado Ferry Company, the Union-Tribune Publishing Co., the San Diego Electric Railway Com-pany, the San Diego & Arizona Railway, and the Mis-sion Beach Amusement Center, which became Bel-mont Amusement Park. He had built several down-town buildings. . .including the Union Building, the Spreckels Theater and office building, the Hotel San Diego, and the Golden West Hotel and much more.” John Spreckels bought out developers of the Hotel del Coro-nado when the project had financial difficulties. His heirs re-tained ownership until 1948. Photo: San Diego History Center Spreckels Theatre. Photo: c. James Seggie/—continued on page 9

8 NCCSAHSan Francisco: Is It The City that Used to Know How? October 14, 1911, at the ceremonial groundbreaking for the Panama Pacific International Exposition (held in Golden Gate Park, since the fair grounds had not be yet been chosen), President Taft de-clared San Francisco to be “The city that knows how.” When that fair opened in February of 1915, among its wonders was a massive pipe organ, reportedly the seventh largest organ in the world at that time. After the fair, the company formed by civic and business leaders to finance and manage the exposition gave the organ to the City. It was installed in Civic Auditorium, which was also a gift of the expo com-pany. An official city organist performed regular concerts for several years, and the opera and symphony made occasional use of the in-strument until the Opera House opened, in 1932. Summer pops pro-grams, offered from about 1950 until the opening of Davies Sym-phony Hall, occasionally included a work that featured the organ. In San Diego, John D. Spreckels and his brother Adolph commis-sioned Austin Organs, Inc., the same company that built the Exposi-tion instrument for the PPIE, to build an organ for their city. The brothers donated the instrument and commissioned the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, built 1914, in Balboa Park for the Panama-California Exposition. It is said to be the world’s largest pipe organ in a “fully outdoor venue”.A project to renovate and restore the San Francisco in-strument began in the mid-1980s. It was nearly com-pleted when the 1989 earthquake damaged the organ. In late 1991, the City returned it to Austin Organs, Inc., in Hartford, Connecticut (where it had been built, 75 years earlier) for repairs. Meanwhile, several months after the project to restore the organ began, the city made other plans for Civic Auditorium and, deciding not to continue with the instrument’s restoration, or-dered its return to San Francisco, where it went into storage beneath Civic Center Plaza. It languishes there to this day.Over time, proposals to bring the great Exposition or-gan back have surfaced. In 1998, San Francisco pro-posed installing the instrument in an organ pavilion at the plaza in front of the Ferry Building, now freed from the blight of the Embarcadero Freeway. However, a 2004 bond measure that would have included funding for the pavilion failed at the ballot box.Meanwhile, these days, although there are citizen advocates who still hope to bring the organ back to life in a new home, locally, it sounds like the City of San Francisco may be looking for someone—anyone, any-where—to take the Exposition organ off its hands. (See Peter Hartlaub, “A 40-ton organ sits under City Hall. San Francisco is trying to give it away,” S.F. Chronicle, August 18, 2023) In San Diego. . .the City offers Sun-day organ concerts on its exposition instrument year-round, as well as special concerts, free of charge.Photos: Festival Hall PPIE,; Spreckels Organ Pavilion:

NCCSAH 9 John D. Spreckels: In His Own Words—continued from page 7“The San Diego bug got me!”“I was out to find a big opportunity to do big con-structive work on a big scale—and in San Diego I thought I foresaw just such a chance. So I started to buy real estate, to erect buildings, to finance enterprise, and to develop our local re-sources. In short, I began to lay foundations deep and wide enough to carry the big ideas I had of helping to turn a bankrupt village into a city.”While one of every fifteen San Diegans worked for Spreckels by 1910, and he paid 10% of the property taxes in the county, not everyone laud-ed him. He responded to his critics: “How long do you progressive men mean to stand for this sort of small town stuff? It paralyzes progress, it punctures prosperity; in short, it hurts San Diego, not me. Think it over, gentlemen, and see if you do not think it is about time to make up. I do”He could be impatient: “What is the matter with San Diego? Why is it not the metropolis and seaport that its geographical and other unique advantages entitle it to be? Why does San Diego always just miss the train, somehow?”“Gentlemen, I love San Diego.”—Sandra E. Bonura, Empire Builder: John D. Spreckels and the Making of San Diego.San Diego Population1850650 1860 73118702,300 1880 2,637189016,159 (512.8% over 1880)190017,700 1910 39,578192074,361 1930 147,9951940203,341 1950 333,8651960573,224 2020 1,386,960For a detailed account of the San Francisco or-gan: Google “Pulling Out All the Stops to Save a 40-Ton, 100-Year-Old World’s Fair Pipe Or-gan,” by Ben Marks, January 17, 2014. See also Friends of the Exposition Organ San Francisco.Over time, Spreckels was president of several companies, including the Oceanic Steamship Company, the Coronado Water Company, the San Diego and Coronado Ferry Company, the San Diego and Coronado Transfer Company, the San Diego Electric Railway, and the San Diego & Arizona Railway Company.On a final visit to San Francisco, a cold day in January 1925, John Spreckels dedicated a pipe organ, at San Francisco’s Palace of the Legion of Honor. He commissioned the instrument as a memorial for his recently deceased brother, Adolph, who with his wife, Alma, had funded the museum’s construction. John D. Spreckels died, in Coronado, on June 7, 1926. His ashes were interred in the family mausoleum at Cypress Lawn, Colma. Two months later, the City of San Diego held a memorial service at the Spreckels Organ Pavil-ion. In his address to the more than 2000 peo-ple in attendance, the mayor reminded San Diegans of John’s importance to the city: “. . .everywhere you turn, transportation sys-tems, great buildings, banks, parks, beach con-struction, water development, everything that touches our city life has been advanced by his work. . . .”

10 NCCSAHSchedule for San Diego Tour October 17-19Tuesday, October 17, 2023SD Airport to Le Pensione, 660 West Date Street, Little Italy12:00 -12:45 pm Gather for lunch at Little Italy Food Hall (550 West Date Street near the hotel)12:45 – 1:00 Walk to Blue Line Trolley (West Cedar/Kettner two blocks from Hotel) travel to 5th Ave.1:00 – 2:15 walking tour of Gaslamp Quarter (Gaslamp Quarter Association)2:30 – 3:45 Tour Petco Park, Library, East Village3:45 – 4:00 Gaslamp Quarter/Convention Center(Petco Park) Green Line Trolley (return to hotel)4:45 – 5:00 Taxi/Uber or Charter Bus to Balboa Park 5:00 – 6:30 Balboa Park Tour, including Botanical Garden, Organ Pavilion, Alcazar Garden6:30 – 8:00 Prado Building and Gardens. Dinner El Prado restaurant .8:00 – 8:15 Taxi/Uber or bus back to hotel Wednesday, October 18, 20239:00 – 9:30Meet in hotel lobby, walk to the Blue Line, Little Italy/County Center stop (two blocks from hotel) 9:30 – 10:00 travel Blue Line Trolley to Old Town State Park 10:00 – 12:00 Old Town State Park tour12:00 – 1:00 pm lunch at Fiesta de Reyes in Old Town1:00 – 4:30 Charter Bus to Presidio Park & Serra Museum, Civita Park and San Diego River Restoration4:30 – 5:00 return to Hotel. Dinner on your own in Little Italy.Thursday, October 19, 20239:00Meet in hotel lobby walk to the Blue Line station Little Italy/County Center stop (near West Cedar/Ket-tner two blocks from hotel) 9:30 – 10:00 travel to UCSD10:00 – 12:00 UC San Diego Central Campus Tour (Design & Innovation Building, Epstein Amphitheater, Geisel Library, Stuart Art Collection, Engineering Complex, Ridge Walk, Torrey Pines & Learning Center)12:00 – 1:00 pm buffet lunch at UCSD Faculty Club1:00 – 1:30 travel by Charter Bus from Faculty Club to Salk Institute1:30 – 2:30 tour of the Salk Institute2:30 – 3:00 Travel to La Jolla Cultural District and Museum of Contemporary Art3:00 – 4:00 Tour MOCA (Kathryn Kanjo, museum curator)4:00 – 5:30 Tour Cultural District in La Jolla5:30-6:00 Charter Bus back to the Hotel/Dinner on your own or return to Bay Area (last flights c. 9:00 pm)

California Historical SocietyExhibition: Rare, Historical, and Curious: Selections from the CHS Collections, presented in the street-lev-el windows at678 Mission St., San Francisco https://www.californiahistoricalsociety.orgNational Trust for Historic PreservationPastForward National Preservation Conference.November 8-10, 2023. Washington, DC tour: Revisiting Urban Renewal in Western Addition. Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption, 1111 Gough St., San Francisco. October 14, 2023, 10:00 am – 12 noon. Francisco HeritageHeritage Happy Hour: no-host gathering, 5-7 pm, 2nd Thursday each month, at a registered Legacy Bar or Restaurant. See schedule: sfheritage.orgMembership DuesIs your membership current? At $30 per year, NCCSAH membership is still a great deal. Please see the coupon on the last page for details.Berkeley Historical SocietyWalking tours: September 23 & 24, October 7 &14, November 11. berkhistory.orgEvents Calendar20th Annual Architecture + the City Festival, Through September 30, 2023, presented by the Center for Architecture + Design with AIA San Francisco. Events celebrating San Francisco’s his-toric and emerging architecture. centersf.orgRegistration: San Diego Tour[please print]Name _____________________________Affiliation __________________________Address ___________________________City/State/Zip _______________________Email address ______________________Telephone number ___________________Number of places on the tour:_____ Members @ $250 $__________ Non-members @ $280 $_____Price for non-members includes one-year NCCSAH membershipTotal enclosed: $ _________Please make checks payable to NCCSAH and mail to: Ward Hill—San Diego Tour 3124 Octavia Street, #102 San Francisco, CA 94123NCCSAH 11Oakland Heritage AllianceLecture: Sam’l of Posen Comes to Oakland! Richard Schwartz. September 21, 2023, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm. Chapel of the Chimes, Oakland. oaklandheritage.orgBerkeley Architectural Heritage AssociationAnnual House Tour: September 17, 2023: Marking 100th anniversary of the Berkeley Fire. Virtual lecture: Wildfires in Berkeley: Where Are We Today?berkeleyheritage.comCalifornia Preservation FoundationSoliciting ideas for CPF conference, in Los Angeles, spring of 2024. Proposals due August 31, 2023. californiapreservation.orgProgram is fully booked. To get on a waiting list, contact Ward Hill, whill@pacbell.netRemember, you do not have to be a member of the National SAH to become a member of NCCSAHJoin or Renew Now!!Individual $30.00Make checks payable to NCCSAHTo become a member of the Northern California Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historiansor to renew your membershipreturn this form and your dues check for $30 made out to NCCSAH toWard Hill, NCCSAH3124 Octavia StreetSan Francisco, CA 94123 Name ________________________________ Affiliation ______________________________ Occupation ____________________________ Street Address _________________________ City, State, Zip _________________________ Cell Phone ____________________________ Home Phone __________________________ E-mail address _________________________NCCSAH is a 501(c)(3) organizationPlease send your ideas or comments concerning The Newsletter to

AUTHORS ON ARCHITECTURE:Cronan on Southern California ModernismZoom PresentationSunday, September 24th, 1:00 PM PST
A new look at how modernism came to dominate in Southern California… Read more…
Have a conflict for Sunday? Buy a ticket and we will send you a link to the recorded program you can watch at your leisure…Read more…

Chapter News, September 2023

LANDSCAPE HISTORY CHAPTER of the Society of Architectural Historians
August 2023 With the start of a new academic year, we honor a long history of university landscapes and gardens. Established in 1224 by Frederick II, Holy Roman EmperorUniversity of Naples Federico II in Italy is the world’s oldest state-funded university in continuous operation.

Dear colleagues:
I hope the term has started well for you who are beginning the year- and for those who are in the middle of their academic year, our best to you as you enter the spring term.

Please send announcements, inquiries, and any other materials you want included in our newsletter to  wayt01@do   

Check out It would be helpful to expand our list of resources. If you are interested in helping us inventory resources, let me know. 

As always, I encourage you to share your publications with us. It would be great to have a list of books out in the past year or so- so let me know of your publications or the new books on your shelves. 

Best, Thaisa et al…
Director | Garden & Landscape Studies | Dumbarton Oaks | Trustees for Harvard University


___________________________________ CALL FOR PAPERS:
Online Journal Arcadia: Exploration in Environmental History
Annika Stanitzok (she/her)  Arcadia (ISSN 2199-3408) is now inviting new submissions. Arcadia: Explorations in Environmental History is an open-access, peer-reviewed publication platform for short, illustrated, and engaging environmental histories. Embedded in a particular time and place, each story focuses on a site, event, person, organization, or species as it relates to nature and human society. By publishing digitally on the Environment & Society Portal, Arcadia promotes accessibility and visibility of original research in global environmental history and cognate disciplines. Each peer-reviewed article includes a profile of the researcher, links, and suggested readings.Contributors are free to choose their own environmentally themed topics, but for this volume we especially welcome submissions on historical events in Southeast Asia, North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Central Asia, and other areas currently underrepresented on this map.We also welcome proposals for interconnected contributions by individual authors or research groups. Let us know if you are interested in having your submission linked to an existing thematic Arcadia collection or if you would like to edit a new one. Existing Arcadia collections include: National Parks in Time and SpaceGlobal Environmental MovementsWater HistoriesThe Nature StateRights of Nature RecognitionDiseases and Pests in HistoryTerms of DisasterHistories across SpeciesTechnology and ExpertiseCoastal HistoryReligion and Place, and Notions and Nature.Contact Information: To submit, simply send a filled-out version of the sumission form, which you can find on our website here, together with your draft submission to Arcadia’s managing editor, Pauline Kargruber (—guidelines are included in the form. Your email should also include 2–5 images and/or multimedia (with permissions if necessary) and a profile photo. ___________________________________ CALL FOR PANELISTS:
Settler colonialism, boarderlands, and agricultural / rural history
Aly Kreikemeier  The 2024 meeting of the Agricultural History Society will convene near the U.S.- Mexico border in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Borders have been central to global agricultural history as contested, trespassed, flaunted, celebrated, and enforced spaces. These demarcations, whether imperial, physical, cultural, or ecological, have determined the movement of laborers, crops, livestock, insects, and knowledge throughout the world. They sit at the heart of historical debates over trade, technology, migration, and settlement. We gather for the annual meeting in Las Cruces to examine how humans have interacted with boundaries and in-between spaces in agricultural history and to engage with scholarship that might inform contemporary debates around borders. interested in presenting a paper or joining a roundtable addressing settler colonialism please contact Alyssa Kreikemeier ( and Perri Meldon ( with your interest by Oct. 1.___________________________________ CALL FOR PAPERS: 
Ruins and the art of gardening
Vol. 46 of the Cahiers de Mariemont undertakes to explore the various ways in which ruins, real or fake, have been incorporated into the art of gardening.
Deadline for proposals: 15 October

In gardens, man has always sought to make nature, in its most subtle forms, coexist with the most refined artefacts. Among the latter, monumental traces of the past, the materiality of their obsolescence and destruction, and the fragile balance they represent between memory and oblivion, have always aroused interest and fascination. Once seen as a testimony to the past that should be preserved and enhanced, a collapsed or incomplete building, that can no longer fulfill its original purpose, can take on other symbolic or ornamental functions in the garden. In Mariemont, for example, the wealthy entrepreneur and philanthropist Raoul Warocqué had the remains of the palace of Charles de Lorraine (1712-1780) incorporated into the English-style landscaped park surrounding his residence in 1893, combining the romantic staging of the ruin with the enhancement of an archaeological reality. Today, there are other practices. At the Grand archaeological garden in Lorraine and the Saint-Acheul archaeological garden in the Somme department, for example, the art of gardening is used to make the archaeological fact, whether monumental or not, clearer and more accessible. The ruins are no longer just another ornament. These “archaeological gardens” are designed as natural sites planted with trees, in which the ruins are the subject.

The Cahiers de Mariemont therefore calls on historians, art historians, archaeologists, architects, town planners, botanists, gardeners and other garden design specialists to identify the common features and major developments in the practice of integrating ruins into European gardens over the centuries. The aim will also be to identify the current issues and strategies for managing and promoting this practice. More than being
specific case studies, the articles will focus on diachronic, thematic (types of archaeological fact, public, environment, climate, etc.) or territorial analysis and perspective.

Proposals for contributions, in French or English (including an abstract of 2,000 to 3,000 characters including spaces, with a provisional title, a short bibliography on the subject, and a biography of 2 or 3 lines) should be sent to Jean-Sébastien Balzat ( before 15 October 2023. The text of the article as well as an abstract (French and English) and 10 key words (French and English) are expected by 15 March 2024.

___________________________________ ASEH CALL FOR PRIZE NOMINATIONSAll deadlines are November 20, 2023.PRIZESEach year, ASEH awards five prizes for outstanding scholarshipin the field of environmental history. Please read the instructions for submitting your work for consideration for each prize listed below.George Perkins Marsh Prize for best book in environmental historyAlice Hamilton Prize for best article outside journal Environmental History Leopold-Hidy Prize for best article in journal Environmental History (with Forest History Society)Rachel Carson Prize for best dissertation in environmental historyASEH-FHS Graduate Student Essay Prize

____________________________________  CALL FOR JOURNAL CO-EDITORSHISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY- AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF GEOGRAPHERSMichael Wise (he/his)  Historical Geography is a peer-reviewed annual journal that publishes scholarly articles, book reviews, conference reports, and commentaries. Since 1993, the journal has encouraged an interdisciplinary dialogue among scholars, professionals, and students interested in geographic perspectives on the past. The journal is currently published by the University of Nebraska Press and distributed online through Project Muse. The journal is sponsored by the Historical Geography Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers.The journal is currently seeking two co-editors to replace outgoing co-editor Mike Wise (University of North Texas) and John Bauer (University of Nebraska-Kearny). Working with co-editor Chris Dando (University of Nebraska-Omaha), and the journal editorial board, the new co-editors will assist with manuscript solicitation, peer review and editing, as well as journal production and management. The position is voluntary and typically held for a 5-year term.The journal is also currently seeking a new book review editor who will be responsible for actively curating a list of 20-30 book reviews per year in the field of historical geography.We are seeking to build a team with interdisciplinary reach and especially invite environmental historians whose interests engage with critical geographical scholarship to contact us. Please email a CV and a short expression of interest (including mention of any institutional support) to Mike Wise ( and Mark Rhodes ( by November 1, 2023. Any questions about the journal or the position may be directed to them as well. These appointments will begin in 2024, with a transition period in Spring 2024.

____________________________________ REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS:
GUNSTON HALL National Historic Landmark Update-ASALH- The Founders of Black history Month

The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking the services of a Principal Investigator (PI) or Principal  Investigator(s) through a cooperative agreement with the Association for the Study of African American Life  and History, Inc. (ASALH) to update the National Historic Landmark (NHL) nomination form for Gunston Hall  in Fairfax County, Virginia.
Gunston Hall was designated a NHL in 1960 (NRIS# 66000832) for its association with George Mason and his contributions to the nation’s founding principles, as well as for its architectural importance. The NPS is interested in updating the history and analysis included in the Gunston Hall NHL nomination to reflect a more expansive history that acknowledges the complexities of the period and the people involved. This includes adding information about the centrality of the institution of slavery in Mason’s life and accomplishments, about the people that Mason enslaved, acknowledgment of women’s roles and accomplishments, and a discussion of the complexities and contradictions of Mason and his ideas that inspired the Declaration of Independence.

National Historic Landmarks & National Register Coordinator
National Park Service
National Capital Region
NCR Website
NHL Website  ASEH CALL FOR FELLOWSHIP APPLICATIONSAll deadlines are November 20, 2023.FELLOWSHIPSThe ASEH currently offers four research fellowships: the Hal Rothman Dissertation Fellowship, the J. Donald Hughes Graduate Research Fellowship, the Equity Graduate Student Fellowship, and the Samuel P. Hays Fellowship.The Rothman, Hughes, and Equity Fellowships are reserved for graduate students; the Hays Fellowship is open to all non-student practicing historians.In addition, the ASEH co-sponsors the ASEH–Newberry Library Fellowship for scholars who will work with the Newberry’s extensive holdings in Chicago. 


Hosted by the Garden Conservancy
September 29-30, 2023
More information hereThe inaugural Garden Futures Summit is a two-day, in-person event that looks to sustain the remarkable passion and interest in gardening today by presenting a selection of the most exciting ideas shaping the future of gardens and society at large. The Summit will focus on three essential topics within contemporary gardening: environment, community, and culture.On the first day of the Summit, to be held at The New York Botanical Garden, more than a dozen influential speakers from across the gardening world will participate in sessions organized around the Summit topics. They will discuss the extraordinary potential of gardens and gardening to improve our physical, cultural, and emotional health and well-being.On the second day of the Summit, attendees will be treated to exclusive experiences at both private and public gardens throughout New York City and the greater metropolitan area that embody the forward-thinking and transformative potential in gardens today. Tours will be announced later this summer.The breadth of speakers at the Summit and the combination of talks and tours will be of interest to all gardeners, designers, architects, and students who are passionate about gardens and their enormous potential in society.___________________________________________

CGLHS Annual Conference 
OCTOBER 13-15, 2023

Ukiah, CA

Join us this fall to explore a sweet and little-known corner of southeastern Mendocino County. Nestled in between forested hills covered in a mix of oak woodlands and redwood forests, the rich valley floor is called Redwood Valley. Some of the largest redwood trees in the world are just west of town in Montgomery Woods State Preserve. Presentations and tours on Saturday, October 15, will take place at the Grace Hudson Museum in downtown Ukiah, and focus on local ethnography and history. Sunday will see us head into the Redwoods for a history and ecology tour with partners from State Parks. 

2023 Annual Meeting of the HIstorians of Eighteenth Century Art and Architecture

October 12-14, 2023
Boston, Cambridge, and Providence, USA On the land of the Massachusett and neighboring Wampanoag and Nipmuc peoples, Boston developed in the eighteenth century as a major colonized and colonizing site. Its status today as a cultural and intellectual hub is shaped by that context, making it a critical location to trace the cultural legacies of racism and social injustice between the eighteenth century and today. For whom is “eighteenth-century art and architecture” a useful category? What eighteenth-century materials, spaces, and images offer tools or concepts for shaping our collective futures? In considering these questions, the Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art and Architecture (HECAA) aim to be deliberate about expanding the group’s traditional focus on Western European art and architecture and specifically encourage proposals from scholars working on Asia, Africa and the African diaspora, Indigenous cultures, and the Islamic world. This conference marks our 30th year as a scholarly society dedicated to facilitating communication and collaboration among scholars of eighteenth-century art to expand and promote knowledge of all aspects of the period’s visual culture. ____________________________________ 

EAHN Thematic Conference 2023, Reykjavik: The Third Ecology.
Conference: 11-13 October 2023

For Information click here
The Third Ecology

The effects of the anthropogenic climate crisis has compelled a resurgence of scholarship about the often fraught relationship between the built and the natural environment. The connection between the building sector and the disruption on the physical systems of the planet are not merely coincidental but causal. Currently, global building activity produces nearly 40% of the world’s yearly greenhouse gas emissions, making architecture, broadly, one of the most polluting activities in human history. That a new “climatic turn” appears to be taking shape in architecture history is no surprise, but does the changing climate also require a new methodology forwriting architecture history? If historians now know that architecture is causing ecological harm, how should the field of architecture history respond? Seen through the lens of environmental justice, does the climate crisis impel architecture histories of environment to address decolonization and anti-racism?


Urban History Association (UHA)
October 26-29, 2023
Pittsburgh, PA
The conference theme is “Reparations & the Right to the City”. It not only responds to increasing global calls for restorative justice and rights to the city for all, it also aims to set and reset the role and mission of Urban History at present and into the future as an intensely interdisciplinary and transnational enterprise focusing on all aspects of metropolitan, urban, and suburban history. Join upwards of 750 urban historians, writers, scholars, policymakers, urban planners, activists and journalists participating in approximately 100 panels, plenaries, roundtables, and tours during the four-day event. The conference will take place October 26-29, 2023 in Pittsburgh, PA, where the 1st UHA conference was held in 2002. The conference will be held at The Westin Pittsburgh in the heart of the downtown business and cultural district.____________________________________ 

American Historical Association (AHA), January 4-7, 2024, San Francisco, CA

American Society for Environmental Historians (ASEH), April 3-7,2024, Denver Colorado
Organization for American Historians, April 11-14,2024, New Orleans, LA The current cascade of crises—viral, racial, economic, political, constitutional and environmental—shape and shadow our communities and our nation. History and historians have a role to play in addressing these crises; documenting, writing, amplifying, and mediating stories that can inform our moment and promote social justice.Join the community in New Orleans, Louisiana or at the Virtual Conference Series in cooperation with NCPH, in 2024 as we honor and explore the ways in which individuals, communities, and historians work and learn together.____________________________________ 
Society of Architectural Historians 2024 Annual International Conference (SAH), APRIL 17–21, 2024,  ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO

Join the Society of Architectural Historians in Albuquerque, New Mexico, April 17–21, 2024, for an immersive, in-person experience that includes paper sessions, events at off-site venues, and guided architecture tours in and around the city. Attendees can look forward to connecting with colleagues at social receptions, meeting publishers in the exhibit area, and conversing between sessions, all valued moments at the face-to-face conference.

Society for American City and Regional Planning History (SACRPH)October, 2024, San Diego, CA
_________________________________________ OFFICERS

Kathleen John-Alder
Rutgers University

Vice President
John Davis
Knowlton School, The Ohio State University

Royce Earnest
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Newsletter Editor
Thaisa Way
Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Colleciton

Advisory Board
Finola O’Kane Crimmins
University College Dublin

Georges Farhat
University of Toronto

Mohammad Gharipour
University of Maryland

Margot Lystra
Independent Scholar

Stephen Whiteman
The Courtauld Institute of Art

Jan Woudstra
The University of Sheffield

Take Note/ Resources;
______________________ TEACHING AND PEDAGOGYIn the September Issue of the American Historical ReviewMark Philip Bradley | Sep 18, 2023The new #AHRSyllabus project launches in the September issue of the American Historical Review, the journal’s first sustained effort at bringing teaching and pedagogy into its pages. This collaborative and collective syllabus project is designed to help teachers and students look “under the hood” at how historians currently practice history. Each edition of the syllabus will feature a practical hands-on teaching module that foregrounds innovative uses of historical method in the classroom. All modules will be freely available to encourage wide classroom adoption.


Check out the Institute of Historical Research- blog- On History:

Recent Books of Interest

Here are books, and an article or two, with a historic narrative of landscape that have been published relatively recently:

Kris, E., Parshall, L. B., Felfe, R., & Tchikine, A. (2023). The rustic style. Dumbarton Oaks, Trustees for Harvard University.

Biggs, Mathew, editor, 2023. Garden: Exploring the Horticultural World, Phaedon Press.

Padua, M. G. (2023) “Illuminating a Hidden Site: the Recovery of a Sacred Black Landscape”, Landscape Journal42(1) pp 53-75

Wain, Anthony. 2023.  “Searching for Common Ground in the Gardens of the Past | AJLA.” Issue 5, Article 5. Accessed August 19, 2023.

Bsumek, Erika Marie. 2023. The Foundations of Glen Canyon Dam: Infrastructures of Dispossession on the Colorado Plateau. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Blackhawk, N. (2023). The Rediscovery of America : Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History. Yale University Press.

Whiteman, Stephen H. 2023. Landscape and Authority in the Early Modern World. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Avila, Eric, and Thaisa Way, eds, 2023. Dumbarton Oaks Colloquium on the History of Landscape Architecture 44, Segregation and Resistance in the Landscapes of the Americas. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

Goldstein, Brian 2023, new, expanded edition The Roots of Urban Renaissance: Gentrification and the Struggle Over Harlem.

Hämäläinen, Pekka. 2022. Indigenous Continent : the Epic Contest for North America. First edition. New York, NY: Liveright Publishing Corporation, a division of W.W. Norton & Company.

Duempelmann, Sonja, ed. 2022. Dumbarton Oaks Colloquium on the History of Landscape Architecture 43, Landscapes for Sport : Histories of Physical Exercise, Sport, and Health. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

Ferrari, Carlyn Ena,. 2022. Do Not Separate Her from Her Garden : Anne Spencer’s Ecopoetics. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press.

Way, Thaisa. ed. 2022. Garden as Art: Beatrix Farrand at Dumbarton Oaks.Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

O’Brien, William E. paperback 2022. Landscapes of Exclusion : State Parks and Jim Crow in the American South. Amherst, [Massachusetts] ; Boston, [Massachusetts]: University of Massachusetts Press, in association with Library of American Landscape History.

Rein, Richard K. 2022. American Urbanist : How William H. Whyte’s Unconventional Wisdom Reshaped Public Life. Washington, DC: Island Press.

Birnbaum, Charles A., Arleyn A. Levee, Dena Tasse-Winter, and Cultural Landscape Foundation issuing body. 2022. Experiencing Olmsted : the Enduring Legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted’s North American Landscapes. Portland, Oregon: Timber Press.

Freytag, Anette. 2021. The Landscapes of Dieter Kienast. Zurich: gta Verlag.

Padua, M. G. (2020) Hybrid Modernity: the Public Park in Late 20th Century China,Routledge

Helphand, Kenneth. 2020. Hops: Historic Photographs of the Oregon Hopscape, Corvallis: Oregon State University Press, 2020. (Finalist Oregon Book Award, 2022.)

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