Thoroughly Mod Long Beach

University Art Museum there to host tour of nine modern homes, party, lecture Oct. 15
Thoroughly Mod Long Beach
The Saturday October 15 'Long Beach Mid-Century Modern Home Tour' will feature an impressive lineup of nine mid-century modern homes—just one leg of the day's fundraiser that also includes a cocktail party at one of the homes and a related lecture. The tour includes the Cliff May Rancho pictured above, from 1953. All photos by Denise Dube
Thoroughly Mod Long Beach
Tour house #2: Marina Tower model apartment (Killingsworth, Brady & Smith, 1959).
Thoroughly Mod Long Beach
Tour house #3: The Seeley House (Edward Killingsworth, 1953).

Proud as they are of their town's modernist legacy, organizers of the 'Long Beach Mid-Century Modern Home Tour' admit that said legacy may not be common knowledge.

"I don't think it's the first city that rolls off your tongue when you think of mid-century modern architecture," conceded Brian Trimble, project manager for the University Art Museum at Cal State Long Beach. "We're doing it because it's tied into an exhibition."

It just so happens, Long Beach holds a substantial place in mid-century modern history. Not the least of this is the legacy of Frank Brothers furniture store, the subject of a planned 2017 exhibition for which the Saturday October 15 home tour is a fundraiser, along with a cocktail party at one of the homes and a related lecture.

"If you wanted modern furniture, Frank Brothers was one of the places you made a pilgrimage to in Southern California," said Trimble. "They furnished about half the Case Study houses for Art and Architecture."

The self-guided tour Oct. 15 features nine houses, which includes ones designed by Case Study architects Richard Neutra, Raphael Soriano, and the pride of Long Beach, Edward Killingsworth, as well as by lesser-known modernists, such as Hugh Davies and George Montierth.

"Probably very few people would know that name outside of Long Beach," Trimble said of Montierth.

Frank Brothers is not only the topic to be supported by the tour, but it also served as a modernist guidepost regarding which homes were selected by the tour committee.

"We had to narrow it down," Tremble said of the list of homes considered by the committee, a group including UAM staff, members, trustees, and the university community. "There are a lot of homes on this tour. It'll take all day."

"We were really looking for houses that reflected the aesthetic that Frank Brothers, and also Arts and Architecture, would have featured at the time," he explained.