"A Vision of Place: The Work of Curtis & Windham Architects" with William Curtis and Russell Windham

A grove of steel or concrete tubes now masquerades as columns but lacks curvature, capitals and bases. And most meager: the hearth, the core of the house around which the family gathers, has become a glassed-in black cavity in the wall, without a mantelpiece. And an ominous black flat screen TV hovers dangerously above the heatless gas fire.

At our annual Lunch & Lecture at the San Francisco Fall Arts & Antiques Show this year, we honored architect Gil Schafer (one of ICAA’s founding members). His vision and dissatisfaction led him away from bleak and empty modernism to an architecture of “tradition, style and memory”. He began to create houses of classic dignity, history and grace. Children who grow up in his houses will carry a deep memory of columns, capitals, and sensuous tactile moldings marking transitions between rooms. Overhead, walls and ceilings meet in glorious crowns, and graceful and expressive mantelpieces support family pictures, not the flat black screen.

2017 has been a watershed year for our Chapter. Our calendar included classical curriculum education classes, lectures, tours, arts and artisan events, and two major fundraisers, thereby raising substantial funds for education and scholarships. Our inaugural Legacy Dinner this September, held in the Green Room at City Hall designed by Arthur Brown Jr., honored Chapter and National ICAA Board member Suzanne Tucker for her invaluable vision, leadership and philanthropy. An iconic member of the international design community, Suzanne’s passion and commitment have been inspirational to many ICAA programs, scholarships and events since 2004. We were proud to announce a new scholarship in her name, awarded to an Interior Designer seeking additional training in classicism through the Institute‘s Intensive Programs and international Drawing Tours. Thanks to all the Board Members, Members, and esteemed guests who contributed so generously and cheered our first honoree.

2018 will be a year to concentrate on education. We intend to launch an education program for middle-school students modeled on the New Heights program created by National. We also intend to award more scholarships, which is our mission. Next year also brings our Julia Morgan Awards to celebrate the work of architects, designers and artisans who bring so much to our communities in their continued practice of the classical traditions.

We are proud of what we have been able to accomplish with your help this year. We sincerely thank you for your ongoing support and generosity and hope you will stay with us in 2018. Wishing you and yours a happy holiday season.

In Firmness, Commodity, and Delight!

Fulfilling our mission of advancing the contemporary practice of the classical tradition in architecture, urbanism and the allied arts, the Northern California Chapter offers educational scholarships for study in the Elements of Classical Architecture programs through the ICAA National Institute. Scholarships are open to all students and emerging architects, interior designers, or artisans living/working in Northern California. For information, contact Chapter Director, Nancy O’Connor at info@classicist-nocal.org.

Photos: Drew Altizer Photography





The restoration of the San Francisco Chronicle Building with With Charles F. Bloszies, FAIA

"The Greatest Collection of Perfect Rodins in the World" with Martin Chapman

Preservation history tour of Cavallo Point, the Lodge at the Golden Gate, with Stephen J. Farneth of Architectural Resources Group

Coburn D. Everdell, AIA
Chapter President


Photos: Drew Altizer Photography

Decorative Painting  workshop and Studio tour at Stancil Studios

           THE ART OF FLOWERS with Kiana Underwood at McEvoy Ranch


"Master Architects of Southern California 1920-1940: Gordon B. Kaufmann" with Marc Appleton, Bret Parsons and Steve Vaught


Photos: Drew Altizer Photography


"The Gardens of Brécy: A Lasting Landscape" with Dr. Eric T. Haskell

Exhibition opening celebration of the Piraneseum collection at the SFO Museum, SF International Airport

 As we continue to plan our 2018 calendar, please check our website for other newly announced tours, education classes and lectures, book signings and other first-class programming and events.


In 1927 Le Corbusier wrote the following in his seminal book “Towards a New Architecture”: “A house is a machine for living in.” You can forgive Corbu his era, but let me suggest that’s where everything started to go wrong.

While Le Corbusier was a visionary of a new egalitarian age, in the end no one wants to live in a machine. Less is not more. Less turns out to be, well…less. But from his words grew an aesthetic that turned glass into huge sliding slabs acting both as door and window. The actual door was reduced to a hollow sandwich with no weight and articulation. Lighting became a bulb on a steel tube extending from the wall like a meat hook. Individual chairs evolved into the ubiquitous L-shaped couch.

Copyright @ Institute of Classical Architecture & Art Northern California. All rights reserved.

For more information on the ICAA Northern California Chapter or to become an Annual or Event Sponsor please contact us at info@classicist-nocal.org or call (415) 309-6520

The Northern California Chapter of the ICAA provides this and upcoming newsletters to help
you keep a pulse on what's happening and to let you know about upcoming dates and events.

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"Capability Brown: Designing the English Landscape" with John Phibbs