Mead visited again in early 1906 on an exploratory trip after resigning from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. (Mead, Part I). It appears unlikely that the future partners would have crossed paths in 1903 but it seems more plausible that they could have met in March of 1906 as Gill was beginning to spend more time in Los Angeles around that time. (See my "Gill-Laughlin, Part I" for example). Mead may have made his way as far south as San Diego on that visit as well. There is about a year long gap unaccounted for in Mead's biography between his late March 1906 return to New York and the first evidence of his presence in San Diego in May of 1907 when his name originally appears on the Melville Klauber Residence plans in partnership with Gill. Perhaps Mead had been on another one of his wanderlust-driven trips abroad. He also likely reconnected with the Curtises in New York while Natalie was wrapping up work on The Indians' Book. (Mead Part I). (Author's note: I also speculate that Mead might have followed his close friend Lon Megargee to New York during the latter's studies at the Art Students League or any combination of the above).
Mead plausibly could have been working with Hebbard and Gill as early as mid-1906 as many historians suggest but until concrete evidence surfaces I speculate that some version of the former scenarios is more likely. Furthermore, there is no trace of Mead in the 1906 San Diego City Directory. He is first listed in 1907 in partnership with Gill and residing in one of Gill's cottages at 3732 1st St. (now Robinson Mews). (See above). Another indication that Mead had most likely not been employed by Hebbard and Gill in 1906 is that he obtained his State of California architectural license sometime in July 1907. ("Personals," American Architect and Building News, August 10, 1907, p. 27).
The earliest date I have found placing Mead in association with Gill is May 3, 1907 when the Gill & Mead banner first appears on plans for the Melville Klauber House prepared by draftsman Maury Diggs (see above). The son of pioneer San Diego wholesale and retail grocer Abraham Klauber, Melville was at the time vice-president of the National Bank of Commerce, first vice-president of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce and co-manager of Klauber-Wangenheim food empire with his brother Hugo (see family portrait).
"The ground must not be leveled. It was as uneven as the waves of the sea. Huge boulders and small stones were outcropping in every direction. He selected as smooth a place as possible, and ordered the men to match the heap of reddish rocks into a foundation. Of course, the top of the foundation is level but the foundation of it fits into the ground as if it had grown there. The inside of the foundation was a mixture of upstanding boulders and hollows. The rooms were built to fit them! Every room has a floor on a different level." (Roorbach, Eloise, "A Seaside House That Fits Its Site," House and Garden, June, pp. 485-6).
"Indian rugs are on the floor and hang from the balcony. Indian baskets are on the walls, holding brown grasses or gay flowers. They are used for waste paper baskets; rows of them are on the shelves. Indian pottery, saddle ornaments, blankets, etc. have been placed in decorative ways here and there. The table runners, pillow covers, even some of the book and magazine covers, have been ornamented with a pattern from the Indian rugs. Where it has not been possible to keep strictly to the Indian scheme of things he has filled out with material in similar colors from Mexico." (Ibid, pp. 485-6).
"I confess I rebelled when they suggested it. A red Steinway! (See upper left). It seemed sacrilege; but at length I agreed. They scraped the ebony slime off and laid over it an opaque red, not harsh or crude, as I had imagined, but a light, flat Chinese red. And they were right; for now the piano belongs to the room, and the room belongs to the house, and the house belongs to the sea and the sky and the cliff." (Curtis, Natalie, "A New Type of Architecture in the Southwest," The Craftsman, January, 1914, p. 332).
"The crowning touch of originality is in the piano. The dark mahogany of the Steinway grand seemed to him to be a jarring note. It did not look at all like the rest of the room. With such courage as only a man can show, he painted it a rich Indian red! Not a common coat of paint, but a soft, rich sort of lacquer. Not a woman on earth would have ventured so original a trick. It would appear a most shocking absurdity in the ordinary drawing-room, but here, where he has had the joy of doing everything just as he wanted to, it is entirely suitable. The flood of sunlight pouring into the room, the sparkle and glitter from the ocean, seen through them, the barbaric coloring mellowed by the shadows from the high ceiling, the Indian-red piano, with a great, round bowl of sprawling sprays of red geranium, the flame of the open fire, combine to make as cheery, harmonious and original a room as can be found anywhere. It is full of the charm that always comes from a fearless expression of taste. It is a man's picture, his own technique, his own idea of comfort and cheer. It is complete, and left me nothing to suggest in the way of homey contrivances that make for convenience. Never could there be a neater home. My doubts as to man's ability to build pleasantly are stilled for ever." (Roorbach, p. 486).
Roorbach was also intrigued by the multi level design.
"Every room has a floor on a different level. ... The large reception room is up a step or so. From this room one steps up to the fireplace "snuggery." The dining room is reached by mounting four or five steps (see above). The kitchen is down a few inches around the corner. The guests' rooms are reached from a balcony that runs across one end of this large reception room. The bath room is down a step from this level. His bedroom is up a step or so. An outdoor sleeping porch must be stepped down into. There is a little writing room under the main stairway." (Roorbach, p. 454).
"The chairs were the most original note in the room. They were copied from Spanish-Cuba, and were a sort of camp-chair with back and seat of cow-skin, the hide with all its decorative markings of black, white or red, being uppermost, tacked to the wooden frame with big brass nails." (Curtis, p. 333).
"Those days at "Hilero" were to us a sort of California idyll, a song of the Pacific coast; and we felt that the charm of the house lay in the fact that it seemed the very voice of California. History, tradition and the spirit of the country seemed blended into it. Later on I realized that it was Mr. Mead's aim to make each house the expression of its environment and that what seemed in him a natural impulse toward the picturesque, was also the fruit of study and much conscientious thought." (Curtis, Natalie, "A New Type of Architecture in the Southwest," The Craftsman, January, 1914, p. 334).
Since becoming general manager of the ranch Allen and his family were living in the old Victorian inherited from Henry Cooper (see above). The house burned to the ground in 1906 prompting Allen to commission Lummis's and the Curtis's mutual friend Frank Mead to design the below fire-proof cube. A kindred friend of the Indians, Allen had almost certainly visited Wheeler Bailey's "Hilero" in La Jolla emboldening him to hire Mead and Gill to design his new home. The Allens had to live in the company packing shed until moving into their almost completed new house on March 14th. (GDC Diaries). Mead finished up his final punch list and inspection was signed off on April 4, 1908. (Schoenherr, p. 40).
"Realizing that the thoughts, the morals, the lives of the younger Indians are molded in the Government schools, Mrs. [Charlotte Osgood] Mason and I have felt that the singing of Indian songs in the schools would be one way in which something of the native spirit might be kept alive within the coming generation." (Natalie Curtis to Franz Boas, March 3, 1907, cited in Patterson, p. 184).
Natalie likely first visited the Sherman Institute at its opening dedication ceremony in February of 1903. (Mead, Part I). The school, one of the largest off-reservation boarding schools in the United States, followed other federally funded boarding schools of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in promoting the assimilation of indigenous people into mainstream America. Many Hopi schoolchildren, deeply conversant in Hopi values and traditional education before being sent to Sherman Institute, resisted this program of acculturation.
Tawakwaptiwa and his wife and other tribal elders were instrumental go-betweens for their people after relocation to Sherman, easing their children's assimilation while helping to keep their culture intact with native song, dance and arts and crafts. After returning to Oraibai in 1910 they used their new skills, fluency in English, and knowledge of politics and economics to advance their people. During her 3-4 month stay at Sherman "The Song Woman" as Natalie was affectionately called, helped in this process by teaching Indian music and art classes to the Hopi children, forever endearing herself to Tawakwaptiwa and his people. (Pages from Hopi History by Harry C. James, University of Ariziona Press, 1994, p. 173).
"As for what I am doing in this country, please to know that I am a cowpuncher; my cabin at the springs is an outpost of a larger ranch. By what drift of circumstance I came here, it would perhaps be more interesting not to relate. I ride the limits of our range, keeping watch on the cattle; such as have the Wanderlust (and they are many) I follow up by their tracks and drive back. I also see to it that the neighbouring Indians do not encroach with their bands of sheep." (Ibid, p. 5).
Mead quickly moved on to the better paying position of Superintendent and Special Disbursing Agent at the Pala Reservation (see above) at an annual salary of $1,600. He had first learned about Pala from Charles Lummis during his fateful June 1903 visit to "El Alisal" where Lummis filled him in on his and Russell Allen's Warner's Ranch Commission and their help in selecting and purchasing the Pala site for the displaced Cupeño Indians. (Mead, Part I).
By January 1911 Mead had already laid out an ambitious plan for improving conditions at Pala. The Sacramento Union quoted his intentions,
"I will fight for these Indians," says Superintendent Mead. "They shall have title to their lands, decent houses to live in, pure drinking water piped from springs, an experimental farm and instruction in agriculture and a good doctor, for whom I have built a comfortable house (see below perhaps). And their graveyard shall not be violated if I can find any way to prevent it.” ("Father Hughes to Speak on Indians," Sacramento Union, January 29, 1911).
The move placed him in much closer proximity to George who had by this time also returned to Southern California from his two-year stint at the Bennett Ranch. Finally fulfilling his dream to become a gentleman rancher, in early 1910 George purchased a 20 acre spread in Foster, about 20 miles northeast of San Diego. While steadily making improvements to the property he began raising bees and selling honey. Mead remained at Pala through much of 1911. George's 1911 diaries list numerous get togethers with Mead in Foster and San Diego and a trip to La Jolla with Wheeler Bailey, indicating a strong renewal of their mutual friendships. ("Indian Service Changes for the Month of August," Carlisle Arrow, December 2, 1910, p. 4 and An inventory of the Pala Indian Agency Records by James Russell Young, Dennis Moristo, and G. David Tenenbaum, American Indian Treaties Publication, American Indian Studies Center, University of California, 1976).
The rift resulted in Requa leaving Gill's employ and opening his own office in the McNeece Building at the northwest corner of 5th and F Streets (see below). Despite being unlicensed Requa misleadingly listed himself as an architect in the period San Diego City directories. Still unlicensed at the time of publication of a 1913 autobiographical sketch, Requa's brazen account of his break with Gill read,
"He came to San Diego in July, 1900, and here he again took up electrical engineering but later turned his attention to architectural drawing and for three and a half years was associated with I. J. Gill, an architect of this city. Feeling that his training and experience were sufficient to qualify him to engage in business on his own account he opened an office in December 1910, and has since specialized in the construction of fine homes." (San Diego County, California: A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement, Volume II, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1913, pp. 215-6). Author's note: Despite Requa's statement that he turned his attention to architectural drawing during his time Gill, an exhaustive search turned up no evidence of that in the plans emanating from Gill's office during that period. The 1908-11 San Diego City Directories instead listed him as Gill's [field] superintendent.).
In the fall of 1907, around the time Mead and Gill and their new field superintendent Requa were busy on the Bailey and Allen houses, Marston summoned a Harvard protege of Frederick Olmsted, Jr., landscape architect and city planner John Nolen, to San Diego to prepare a comprehensive plan for the development of San Diego. While Nolen was in town Fletcher and Marston took him to Pine Hills to help them conceptualize a subdivision plan for their land (see above). In March of 1912 Fletcher commissioned Requa to design the Pine Hills Lodge (see below) as a mountain summer vacation resort for tourists and to provide potential buyers in their new subdivision a place to stay while exploring the area. Two months later 2 cottages and a garage were also designed around the time Mead and Requa began to discuss forming a partnership. (Author's note: In 1919 Fletcher asked Mead and Requa to design a saloon substitute for the Army and Navy Y.M.C.A. for which he was a longtime patron).
In August Marston commissioned Mead & Requa to design his Pine Hills weekend retreat (see below). He hoped the cottage would help entice San Diego's elite to purchase lots on which to build summer homes in the protected forest. (Author's note: Fletcher was also a Director for the 1915 Exposition with Marston and former Mead client Russell C. Allen.).
Mead was likely strongly attracted to Theosophy's esoteric school of thought which strove to foster universal brotherhood and a belief in equality of the sexes, the basic truth of all religion, and "scientific" exploration of the unexplained. He was perhaps attending the group's summer lecture series which included a talk on "Nutrition and Vegetarianism" by Jenny L. K. Haner and another by his soon-to-be client Augustus F. Knudsen on "Theosophcal Pedagogy" (see above). Many of the lectures were conducted in Blanchard Hall in downtown Los Angeles in a successful attempt to attract new members to the Society. (Author's note: Blanchard Hall was where Mead's close friend Lon Megargee would soon be sharing the top floor with artist Hernando Villa while creating 15 mural panels for the new Arizona State Capitol Building in Phoenix. ("Arizona's Cowboy Artist" by Cindy Winkelman)).
While forming their fledgling colony Warrington's band of Theosophists also began planning an ambitious building program on their recently purchased 12-acre site in Beachwood Canyon overlooking Hollywood (see above). Augustus Knudsen financed most of the $24,500 purchase price of the property from the Hastings estate. Knudsen was a frequent lecturer at Krotona and also the financier of the colony's first building, the Krotona Court. (Krotona of Old Hollywood, Volume I, 1866-1913 by Joseph E. Ross, El Montecito Oaks Press, 1989, pp. 189-190).
"As soon as the friendly vines and plants have softened its lines and decorated its simple plaster surfaces, the building will indeed seem very much at home in its semi-tropical environment." (Ibid).
"The patio, a most indispensable feature of Mediterranean buildings, is here faithfully reproduced in all its charm and floral splendor." (Ibid).
"A quaint oriental balcony of Moorish "Musharabiya" or grille work connects the principal rooms of the second floor. By this means the privacy of the apartment is maintained but permits interesting glimpses of the patio and the devotional or "esoteric" room beyond." (Ibid).
"The dominating feature of the patio is the large lily pond, where blooming aquatic plants, playing gold fish and the ripple and patter of incoming water add greatly to its interest and charm. At night the entire surface of the pond can be made to glow by reason of numerous electric lamps below the water's surface, ingeniously concealed under the projecting edge of the border." (Ibid).
"The pergola protected corridor in the home of Mr. Lorenze W. Barney in San Diego exhibits in a pleasing manner the intimate relation of house and garden wherein the two are intertwined. Taking it all in, we may confidently say, in viewing this work, that Messrs. Mead & Requa are following along the right lines in their quite successful attempt to provide interesting and sane homes of moderate cost by the use of simple forms, with only just sufficient elaboration in some special feature or features to provide the necessary contrast to plain and restful backgrounds." (Mitchell, W. Garden, "Some Picturesque Homes in Southern California," Architect and Engineer of California, March, 1918, pp. 39-49).
In early May of 1913 Mead and Requa broke ground on a store in La Jolla for Arthur G. Merriam, son of Homer Merriam, former president of the Merriam Publishing Co., publishers of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Merriam (see above) was a close friend of photographer and noted Indian artifacts collector Edward H. Davis (see below). Like Mead, Davis was fascinated by Indian life and culture, and befriended his neighbors, the Mesa Grande Indians. In 1907 he became a ceremonial chief of the tribe which allowed him to participate in their meetings and ceremonies. Mead certainly would have visited nearby Mesa Grande in conjunction with his duties while Superintendent at the Pala Reservation. Davis also would have photographed at Pala and possibly crossed paths with Mead even earlier in Arizona. Coincidentally, Davis also served as photographer for Lummis's and Russell Allen's 1903 Warner's Ranch Commission sojourn which resulted in relocating the Cupeños from Warner's Hot Springs to Pala. (Mead, Part I. Author's note: The location of the store Mead and Requa designed for Merriam is unknown he was listed in the 1914-15 San Diego City Directories as residing at 1369 Cave in La Jolla, current site of the Cave Store.).
"The Hopi architecture can be kept, adapted, and developed just as we have kept, adapted, and developed the Mission architecture of the Southwest - with the results seen in beautiful Leland Stanford University. The University of New Mexico is, most wisely, modeled on these pueblo buildings; and Mr. Frank Mead, the architect, has done admirable work of the kind by adapting Indian architectural ideas in some of his California houses."
(Roosevelt, Theodore, "The Hopi Snake Dance," The Outlook, October 18, 1913, pp. 365-373).
"We dwelt with Colonel Roosevelt upon the historic and cultural value of the ancient Indian towns of Arizona which, had they been in Europe, would doubtless have been preserved unchanged as living records of successful communistic forms of government whose social and ceremonial life offered a study of the greatest possible importance to our knowledge of mankind as a whole. And we asked: What right have we in "free America" to stretch forth an autocratic hand arbitrarily to change the village life of this ancient and peaceful folk? We spoke of the characteristic architecture of the pueblos, by many centuries the oldest inhabited towns in America, whose flat-roofed, terraced houses are not only in utter harmony with natural surroundings, but constitute, from a practical standpoint, the most successful type of building for desert cities. High above the sands, the flat roof forms a porch for the open-air Indian, whereon at certain seasons he works, rests, receives his guests, eats, and sleeps."Remembering her discussions with Mead regarding the vernacular architecture of his world travels she continued,
"In North Africa, in Spain, in Asia Minor, where climatic conditions are similar to those in Hopi Land, the same flat roof may be found. But we think we know better! In a land of burning sun, the slanting, hot, tin roofs of the government dwellings clinging in an inherited architecture of rain-soaked central Europe, cut their incongruous outline against a rainless sky, impotent in their longing to shed water! And the sun streamed into their big European windows, inviting myriads of flies, and forming a contrast indeed to the shadowed cool of the thick-walled Indian houses, whose open fireplaces insured at all seasons wholesome ventilation, in spite of high, narrow windows. And yet the white man's unpractical transplanted house, brought from far other climes, is urged upon the Indians as "civilized." With no eye to either beauty or fitness, our arbitrary standards (rarely, in the Indians' case, put to the test of experimentation first) are forced upon a people who through centuries of experience have learned how to conquer conditions foreign to us. Improvements there might certainly be in the Indian's manner of life but why not along those lines which nature has taught as most appropriate?" (Curtis, Natalie, "Theodore Roosevelt in Hopi-Land: Another Personal Reminiscence," The Outlook, September 17, 1919, pp. 87-88).
Their next Pueblo stop was at Oraibi on Third Mesa where the Curtises and Mead had first crossed paths ten years earlier. Natalie introduced Alice to Tawakwaptiwa, her and Mead's old friend from both Oraibi and the Sherman Institute in Riverside (see above and below). After Alice drew Tawakwaptiwa's portrait he inscribed her copy of Natalie's Indians' Book next to his photo, “Hopi Chief/Orababi/August 24, 1913.” (Peterson, p. 13).
There is no evidence that Mead accompanied Klauber and Curtis to rendezvous with Roosevelt although he undoubtedly would have had a strong desire to do so. He was likely too busy to make the trip with the Winsor House nearing completion and the impending commission for his and Natalie's mutual friend Cornelia Chapin's Palomar Apartments. Design work began on the Palomar Apartments in October, about the time of the below Panama California Exposition construction photo. ("Hotels and Apartments: San Diego," Southwest Contractor and Manufacturer, October 4, 1913, p. 23).
"One of the most typically Spanish patios to be found in San Diego is that of the Palomar Apartments. It is not open to the sky but is glass covered, and this makes it possible to have the most delicate of ferns and tropical grasses growing there in perfect luxuriance."
"A circular garden plot is in the center of the patio and here grows a splendid banana tree, bright leaved coleus, sword ferns, and a "jungle" palm. Enclosing this space is a low wall built of highly glazed blue and yellow tile of Intricate design . Balconies from the several upper floors open on this court, and boxes of ferns, myrtle, begonias and coleus are fastened to the artistic Iron grille work which surrounds these balconies."
"The feathery cocos plumosus add to the tropical scene, and prim Italian cypresses lend a formal note. Heavy log beams show through under the arches which are on two sides of the patio. Bold, conventional designs in grey and red display the dominant colors, and navajo rugs have been chosen to harmonize with the wall decorations. The grey and white furniture is unique and appropriate. Another Spanish detail is noticeable in the light green window casements. This patio is winning much well deserved praise and is worthy of a visit. "
"From the roof of the Palomar Apartments (see above and below) an inspiring and expansive view may be obtained of the Exposition; San Miguel and the blue mountains in the distance; the Silver Strand, Coronado, North Island and Point Loma may all be admired from this vantage point. In the immediate foreground are seen the well-kept lawns and shrubs and trees of Balboa Park. On this roof many delightful dancing parties and receptions have been given during the summer and surely no more attractive surroundings could he desired." (Robinson, Ruth Ingersoll, "Palomar Aprtment Patio," California Garden, October 1915, p. 7.
Alice Klauber and Natalie Curtis (and possibly Mead) undoubtedly reunited with Teddy Roosevelt at some point during his July 26-28 San Diego Exposition visit. ("Col. Roosevelt is Heard by Thirty Thousand," Los Angeles Times, July 28, 1915, p. II-7). It was likely during Roosevelt's 4:30-5:00 p.m. "Roosevelt Day" reception in the "Persimmon Room" or perhaps during his 5:00-5:30 stop at the Painted Desert exhibit where he also took great pleasure in witnessing an Indian dance and the christening ceremony of a newly born Indian boy "Theodore Roosevelt" (see below).
Hewett had also sent his very close archaeological pal Lummis a special invitation for the Exposition's "Roosevelt Day" proceedings and other events. Before reconnecting with his former Harvard classmate, Lummis and his son Quimu visited the Guatemalan exhibition in the California Building to reminisce about their 1911 archaeological expedition with Jesse Nusbaum (see above). They viewed reproductions of the Mayan monument known by archaeologists as Stela K and other Mayan artifacts commissioned by Hewett for the main rotunda of the California Building (see below). (Author's note: This material also provided inspiration for Frank Lloyd Wright's designs for Aline Barnsdall's Hollyhock House and his Freeman, Storer and Millard Houses in the early 1920s as described in my "Gill-Laughlin, Part II").
"Hewett was on the wing, as usual; and I took Quimu the rounds of the California Building and especially the wonderful replicas of the Guatemalan monuments which he knows in life; and finally Hewett caught us there (see above). ... So Quimu and I trotted over to the New Mexico Building and investigated that."At the New Mexico Building they met the daughter of Pat Garrett who captured "Billy the Kid." They then took in the Brazil and U.S. Navy exhibits before having lunch with Hewett at the Cristobal Cafe, site of a banquet honoring Roosevelt the following day (see below). (Charles Fletcher Lummis Journals, July 26, 1915, Occidental College Library).
"...had a good time at the Painted Desert exhibit - though chagrined to find that our San Ildefonso friends had all gone home. But the Lieutenant Governor of Acoma was there (who knew me very well) and was very nice. And several of his relatives and friends who knew me slightly. And Quimu felt very much at home in this reproduction of the Pueblo country."
"After a long wrestle with his tie in which I had to assist like a surgeon, we got away at last to the Exposition and found Colonel Collier and President Davidson and Hewett on deck. And also Russell Allen who was with me on the Warner Ranch Commission. Finally Teddy and Mrs. Roosevelt and their party arrived. The matter had been kept absolutely quiet and the doors were locked and none of the outside crowd caught on at all to what was proceeding.
Teddy was more than cordial, and Hewett and I had him a large share of the time for more than two hours in going over the exhibits in the California Building and in the Science of Man Building and the Indian Arts Building. He was enormously interested, and full of original thought and cognate learning. He thought these exhibits among the most interesting he had ever seen - particularly Hrdlicka's incomparable display. Poor Mrs. Roosevelt was very much tired - but very game...
It was a memorable evening for all concerned and the close of it distinctly like Teddy. When he shook hands goodbye, with Quimu, he said in his characteristic way when he wishes other people to hear (and all were gathered around as he took his auto) "I have known your father a great many years and I value and believe in him. I hope you do as well." Which was very nice for Mr. Quimu to remember." (Ibid).
"... and Miss Lee (the Colonel's cousin) and other guardians had their hands full to try to get her to rest by the wayside. They would get her to sit down but in about two minutes she would hop up to hear what was being said and to see what was being shown. She is a most lovely lady and I was glad to have Quimu meet her." (Charles Fletcher Lummis Journals, July 27, 1915, Occidental College Library).
"...and there I was grabbed by various San Diegans and rushed onto the platform in the front row, while Quimu went with the Hewett party upstairs. I was within 8 feet of Teddy and could see his action and hear his words. And they were Some Words. He had an audience of 20,000 people and he talked for and hour and three-quarters, and he rubbed in the Teddy Gospel most characteristically. I don't know if I ever heard him speak in better fettle, nor fuller of humor and sarcasm. And his quickness of wit was illustrated several times when there were interruptions. ... It was really a memorable evening. ...
After the talk, I caught Quimu and Mr. Bailey and the latter brought us down in his Juggernaught, which was very welcome after a day of all the trotting we needed. And he also arranged with us tomorrow's gadding."The next morning it was over to the Grant Hotel for another Roosevelt address.
"And Mr. Grant kindly took us up to his private balcony where we could watch the parade of 800 Annapolis middies from the Ohio, Wisconsin and Missouri, with the fine cavalry stationed there and many other gallant features. It was a handsome showing the youngsters made and I had an uncommonly pleasant talk with Mr. Grant. He looks more and more like his distinguished father though he now has a clean-shaven face. But he talks more in five minutes than the old general did in an hour."After a late lunch and rest back at the hotel,
"A little before 5 along came Hewett and Mrs. Hewett and Mrs. McLean (who is to take the Bishop's School there) with Bailey in his car to La Jolla, a very pretty ride. He is a funny little old bachelor somewhere near my age, who has built an uncommonly and cozy nest right on the edge of the cliffs at La Jolla and has gathered a good many Indian relics of the buyable sort. And takes more comfort in his house and more pride in it than most people. He is also sort of a Mr. Leo Hunter, and his chief delight is to capture someone who is known and take him to see his place. He is now finishing what he calls a Hopi House, which is very well done outside and in but adapted to civilized life. And it stands within 30 feet of the ocean. I suppose it would make a Hopi laugh to see his desert architecture up there - since the only ocean he ever saw is the sea of endless sands, without enough water to irrigate a blade of grass. But the house is attractive and comfortable and artistic and it is Bailey's chief delight." (Ibid). (Author's note: Oddly Lummis makes no mention of Mead in any of his journal entries thus it is not clear whether Bailey ever shared with Lummis (or others) whom the architect(s) might have been.).Bailey took the group back to town in time for Lummis and Quimu to catch the midnight train back to Los Angeles.
Concurrent with the Palomar during November 1913, construction began on the Wyman House for Wheeler Bailey's sister and brother-in-law Francis O. Wyman on Princess St. in La Jolla next door to the east of "Hilero" and it's recently added servant's quarters, also apparently designed by Mead and Requa (see above). As mentioned earlier above, Wyman was a cement tycoon with beginnings in Toledo, Ohio before moving to Los Angeles. The Wyman's main residence was in Pasadena but they could not resist the lure of a prime lot in La Jolla neighboring "Hilero." George Curtis's diaries reflect that Natalie stayed with the Wymans in both Pasadena and La Jolla during this period further indicating their close mutual friendship with Wheeler Bailey.
As the Palomar Apartments and Wyman house were nearing completion in February of 1914, design was completed and construction began on a residence for George Curtis's former Houck, Arizona ranch employer and Indian trading post operator James W. Bennett. Possibly upon Mead's or Curtis's recommendation, beginning in 1912 Bennett had been making exploratory forays to San Diego to scout out opportunities to profit from the Exposition. In early 1914 he commissioned his old friend Mead to design a home at 2475 C St. and opened an Indian curio shop at 1236 5th Ave. (San Diego City Directories, 1912-15). Interestingly, the house was located next door to the Frederick Webb residence completed in early 1913. It is not yet known whether there was a connection between Webb and Bennett but the proximity of the two houses seems more than coincidental.
Echoing Natalie Curtis's January 1914 Craftsman title for her "Hilero" article, the author of the descriptive captions for a four-page spread on the Sweet Residence in the October 1915 issue of Western Architect dubbed Mead and Requa's work as,
"A type of new architecture of the Southwest where nature is called upon to complete the architectural effects. The plain wall surfaces, the straight lines and sharp angles will soon be relieved and enlivened by masses of foliage and color such as only the climatic conditions of Southern California can produce." (Ibid).
While Requa was traveling in the Caribbean, Krotona Court patron Augustus Knudsen gave Mead what was possibly the firm's largest residential commission ever in May 1914. He asked Mead to design a 2-1/2 story and basement, frame and plaster residence for his mother Mrs. Valdemar Knudsen, on a hillside site at the head of Vista Del Mar Ave. just downhill and across the street from Krotona Court (see below). A period article in the Times described it as being "designed to be in keeping with the Krotona executive building, which is above it, at the head of a pretentious reinforced concrete stairway" also designed by Mead and Requa. Due to Knudsen's travels construction under contractor Charles H. Richmond did not begin until November as the above-mentioned Sweet Residence was nearing completion. (Ibid, Southwest Contractor and Manufacturer, November 21, 1914, p. 15, and "For Hillside Site," Los Angeles Times, November 22, 1914, p. VI-3).
Krotona Court stairway (left) and Knudsen House (right), Vista Del Mar, Hollywood, Mead and Requa, architects. From Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection.
While the Gird House was still under construction, in September Mead and Requa were commissioned by Harry T. Sinclair to design a striking residence on what is now Fairview Road in the foothills of the Topatopa Mountains above Ojai. The commission came about when Sinclair visited Mead and Requa's recently completed residence for Robert Winsor in the Sweetwater Valley and decided he wanted one like it built in Ojai. (Werner, Willis, "Town Builder," San Diego Union, December 27, 1958).
Sinclair was a wealthy Midwesterner from Toledo, Ohio where he was close friends with glass manufacturer Edward D. Libbey. Retired world traveler Sinclair first "discovered" Ojai (at the time Nordhoff) around 1900 and lured Libbey to visit in 1907. Libbey immediately purchased considerable land holdings and soon built a winter home designed by Myron Hunt and Elmer Grey. Like the Klaubers, Wangenheims, and Ed Fletcher, the Sinclair family amassed their family fortunes in the wholesale grocery business. It is unclear who in San Diego Sinclair may have been visiting in 1914 when he fell in love with Winsor's house but he was almost certainly would been given a tour of Mead and Gill's nearby 1908 house for Winsor's cousin Robert C. Allen discussed earlier above. He also would have been shown Mead and Gill's 1908 Klauber house, their 1907 Wheeler Bailey house and Mead and Requa's recently completed mansion for Judge Sweet.
"Those ladders with unequal uprights outlined against the sky were certainly most strikingly decorative. Naturally Mr. Bailey must have so distinctive a Hopi feature to give color and atmosphere. As a matter of fact, this ladder is not an absolute necessity, for the majority of guests prefer to reach the roof, where they assemble for the full enjoyment of the sunset play of colors, by way of the steps along the wall-those wide, safe steps that go up on one side and down the wall on the other, as may be seen by a glance at the accompanying photographs." (Rose, Ethel, "A New Hopi Architecture On the Old Mesa Land, The Craftsman, July 1916, p. 374.
"an uncommonly cozy nest right out of the edge of the cliffs of La Jolla...very well done outside and in, but adapted to civilized life. I suppose it would make a Hopi laugh to see this desert architecture up there - since the only ocean he ever saw [was] the sea of endless sands, without enough water to irrigate a blade of grass." (Charles Fletcher Lummis, "Memoirs," typescript, Special Collections, Mary Norton Clapp, Library, Occidental College, Los Angeles, cited in Eddy, Lucinda, "Frank Mead and Richard Requa," in Toward a Simpler Way of Life: The Arts and Crafts Architects of California edited by Robert Winter, University of California Press, 1997, p. 237. Author's Note: While exhibiting in Los Angeles Cassidy visited Lummis at "El Alisal" in July of 1915. ("El Alisal" Guest Book, July 11, 18,, 1915).
"Many novel and interesting features have been planned for the interior, and the general exterior design is the simple type of building suggestive of the Mediterranean countries - plain plastered walls relieved by delicate window grilles and oriental overhanging balconies.
The red tile roofs and the window hoods will combine with the green of the planting of the numerous flower boxes and receptacles to furnish color and variety to the plastered surface. The main roof parapets enclose an extensive roof garden reached in true oriental fashion by an outside stairway.
The main floor contains a spacious reception hall, living room, conservatory, den, dining room, kitchen and the service rooms. A sitting room and the sleeping room and porches comprise the second floor and a stairway from the main hall leads to a spacious billiard and recreation room in the basement."
"The Moorish idea was kept constantly in mind in designing the interior. The main rooms in particular savoring the orient, especially in the magnesite tile floors and stairways having the richness and charm of oriental tiling. The east end of the living room is of glass opening into the conservatory, where trellised vine-covered walls (see below) and the masses of semi-tropical plants, with the splashing little fountain in the wall, serve as a harmonious link between the house and gardens."
"As a part of the design, a simple but effective lath house will serve to complete the garden scheme and also provide a constant supply of greenery for the home. Another interesting feature of the house is the entirely concealed indirect lighting of the dining room, eliminating the conspicuous central lighting fixture." ("Novel Features Planned for New Home," San Diego Union, May 7, 1916).
"Mead & Requa, who are preparing plans for the rebuilding of Ojai (formerly known as Nordhoff), which was recently devastated by a forest fire, states that the work of rebuilding cottages for the fire sufferers at Ojai will begin the ﬁrst of next week. Plans have been prepared for various types of inexpensive bungalows which will be used for the cheaper type of buildings. About twelve cottages will be erected at the start. Besides immediately rebuilding the Sinclair and Robertson houses, the architects have plans under way for residences for Mr. Bristol, Mr. Van Curren, Mrs. Miller, Mrs. Cotta, Mr. Tims and the manse for the Presbyterian Church. Preliminary sketches are also being made for the new St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church. Plans for the Foothills Hotel will be ready for estimates in about ten days." ("Rebuilding Town of Ojai," Southwest Builder and Contractor, July 27, 1917, p. 16).
"... when I emerged to the street, a lovely lady in intimate knickerbockers hailed me. I had to peer twice under her sombrero to make sure it was the notoriuous Natalie Curtis, now Burlin. We were both glad it was she and we Joyfully Jawed some time." (Charles Fletcher Lummis Journals, December 1, 1917, Occidental College Library).
"Had to get up at 8:30 for to be ready for my 10:00 "lecture," and was not half waked when I began it. No idea what I said but it pleased them hugely, and some hundred came up after to congratulate, half strangers. So we were all Satisfied. Audience of 750 (see Museum auditorium above). Then Natalie made a splendid short talk ["The Indian's Part in the Dedication of the New Museum], and two of our San Ildefonso boys did the "Eagle Dance" superbly, with Juan Gonzalez (now their Governor) leading the chorus of 7.
Fine lunch at Hewetts (see below) with the Kelseys, Rolshovens, Peabody of Harvard, [Wheeler] Bailey of San Diego. Hewett has made the stunningest dining room set I ever saw - of the native red cedar, the chairs backed and seated with sea lion skin." (Ibid, November 28, 1917).
"Then a long tramp over to the east side of the "Rio Chiquito" but finally found the distant [home] of Natalie Curtis, despite Hewett's wrong directions. And we had a bully visit for a couple of hours, Mr. Burlin getting back in time to join in, though he didn't add much to the progress of conversation, for he was packing up to go to Zuni in the morning. And I think it was good for his constitution that I got there at that time, for he was not going to take a bed-roll - which I sorta bullied him into taking. If he had got over that 7000-ft. plateau in this weather he would have frozen his young marrow. He seems a fine young fellow - I guess he must be - It certainly was not his painting that won Natalie - for of all the Impressionists I have ever seen, he is the Wustest." (Charles Fletcher Lummis Journals, December 1, 1917, Occidental College Library).
Mead and Requa's striking modernist design was soon recognized by the architectural press. In 1920 the house made appearances in Western Architect, Architect and Engineer of California and House Beautiful where Charles Alden deemed it:
"Type of architecture appropriate to setting against Southern California foothills. Well planned to meet requirements of owner, an artist. Studio at right, effectively lighted with window at north end. Two-storied portion takes care of other household needs with attractive pergola porch at rear and entrance court at front." ("The Three Best Houses in Los Angeles, California," House Beautiful, February 1920, p. 100).
"Architects Mead & Requa of San Diego, have been appointed supervising architects of the army aviation buildings at Rockwell Flying Field on North Island (see above). Architect Albert Kahn of Detroit, prepared the plans for the buildings. There will be a large number of structures of Mission design. The construction will be concrete, hollow tile and wood. The Hampton Construction Company of Los Angeles and San Diego, is the general contractor. All orders for materials must be approved by the supervising architects, Mead & Requa. Mail can be addressed to them at Rockwell Aviation Field, North Island, San Diego. (Southwest Builder and Contractor, March 1, 1918, p. 17).
"Mr. Mead has taken great interest in the development and progress of his community to which he has contributed in every possible way. He is treasurer and manager of the Ojai Valley Company, treasurer and manager of the Mutual Water Company, treasurer of the Ojai Valley Country Club and has charge of all the E. D. Libbey interests in this Valley. With all these connections it can be seen that he is a busy man, but he is so systematic in his methods that he easily handles all of his interests and discharges his duties in an able and satisfactory manner." (Ibid, p. 60).
See Part I at: "Frank Mead: 'A New Type of Architecture in the Southwest,' Part I, 1890-1906"