Here are a few interests which have contributed to my career as an architect...
Computers: I began work with Computer-Aided Design when one of the principle CAD programs was at version 02, when I first saw a main-frame computer draw plans at ten times the speed of a draftsman I knew that architecture would be changed forever as the power of the computer was utilized. I started with this technology some 20 years ago. There were no menus available for small CAD systems so I had to write my own. I knew if you could create plans electronically you could send them anywhere in the world in a matter of minutes. This makes no project an architect designs out of reach of his office. I have often wondered what the master, Frank Lloyd Wright, would have done with this marvelous technology had it existed during his lifetime.
Art: My interest in drawing began at an early age. Buildings and landscapes were a fascination. I began working at an art studio at the age of eight cleaning up after classes in order to get my lessons. I had the good fortune to be the clean up boy in the studio that was training the animators for Fleischer's Studio. This studio was the only competition that Walt Disney had during those early years. Besides learning to draw Popeye and Betty Boop, I was introduced into the basics of the art of animation. I had a chance to meet the background artists who worked for the studio. These were amazing men who when they were not making detailed backgrounds for the villages in the movie, made a living doing covers for some of the leading magazines. Gulliver's Travels was an animated film produced in 1935 and was the only full length animation made outside of the Disney Studios.
The picture shown above: Is from the animated movie Gulliver's Travels and illustrates the contributions made by these fine designers who were all architects in their own way. Every young person has to have something that moves him or her towards a lifelong goal. I found it in the admiration I had for these artists who inspired me in the field of design.
There was a very famous architect who never actually practiced outside of the field of animation, The Great Ken Anderson..... He was one of the famous old men of the Disney Studios having arrived to work for Disney just after the completion of the animation Snow White. Many of his creations including the wonderful interiors found throughout many of the Disney productions. He designed Pinocchio's house and all the interior woodwork as well as details found throughout every Disney film made until he retired, soon after the death of Walt Disney. His work included the backgrounds for Fantasia, Bambi, 101 Dalmatians among many others. With these films he has established a legacy of wonderful visions that will outlive almost all the work of many of the architects who are practicing today.
I left school to go into the armed forces in 1942. As a member of the Coast Guard my first assignment was on a PT type boat that was assigned the task of locating German submarines in American waters. This was called the American Theatre of war. The Germans sank over 400 ships off our coast in the early days and we lost more than 4,000 men. This was the biggest navel defeat our country has ever suffered.
A year later I was transferred to the U.S.S. Davenport where I spent over two years. Our assignment was to act as anti-submarine protection for convoys into the European Theatre of war. After the Germans signed the treaty to end the war we were reassigned to duty in the North Atlantic and patrolled deep into the area above the artic circle. I served on board as a combat photographer and artist among my many other duties. I submitted cartoons to Stars and Stripes, an armed forces publication, showing the trials and tribulations of life in navel combat. The Photograph shown above was taken of my ship on an unusually calm day when we were in the North Atlantic off the coast of Greenland. The captain wanted a picture of our ship so I was lowered in a lifeboat to comply with his request. I have very few pictures left after over 55 years.
Many people believe that the Coast Guard protects only the waters of the United States. It may come as a surprise that during the war we served in every major navel engagement, no matter in what part of the world it took place.
This is also a good opportunity to say thanks to the wonderful people of Davenport Iowa, for which our ship was named. These wonderful people sent us gifts and books that helped us pass many lonely hours at sea.
For the generation that may never see the reward we received for our service, I am including this picture showing a few of the medals I received for serving our great country in World War 2. These are the ones that give me the greatest pride.
1. The American Theatre of War..... There are very few of these awarded. They were only issued to ships that were responsible for action against German submarines in American waters.
2. The Victory medal..... issued to all the service men who served to the end of the war.
3. The European Theatre of War..... issued to commemorate the men who fought in the European, African, and Middle Eastern Campaigns.
4. Not shown here but the best award that could ever be given "The GI Bill" for education. Without which I could never have gotten the education necessary to become an architect.
NOTE: There is a Web-Site dedicated to the U.S.S. Davenport. There you will find posted many of the photos I took during my days of service during WW2.
After my discharge, I attended college and received a degree in fine art. Then there were more colleges and finally as an architect I had the opportunity to truly create structures which had a foundation in art.
Chinese prints and designs have had a
profound effect on my thinking in art. Frank Lloyd Wright also had a great love of
Japanese prints. He had an outstanding collection. Most of his prints were
obtained in Japan during the construction of the Imperial Hotel. His renderings show
how he had mastered the art of omission in his
drawings. This technique was necessary for him to create the monumental effects he
needed in the presentation of his ideas to his clients. When a design in
architecture varies greatly from the established criteria, or when the client cannot
visualize a structure which the architect may see clearly, an artistic presentation
may be the only way of getting the project approved. I believe it is
the spirit which comes through in a rendering. The computer may have the
ability to print out drawings in 3D but there is always
something missing. An original rendering of Falling Waters by
FLW says it all. There is no computer generated image that has ever been done,
and there has never been a movie made that could capture the soul of
Falling Waters as he did, in about one hour, using graphite, colored
pencils, and Japanese paper. With these basic items he said it all.
Since my service years as a combat photographer, I have continued my interest
in photography to document my projects. With my cameras, I have been
able to provide pictures of my work which have been featured in many
architectural publications. The photographs appearing on
my web-site, that were not done by me, have been credited and are noted below
the picture. All photography is copyrighted, as many have appeared in national
& international publications.
The early morning as the first rays of light fall on the rear of the residence
Here I am when I am off the computer and looking at site planning by GOD...