Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy Holiday Season

Looking Back
It has been a busy year for the Lilian J. Rice project with many events attended and presentations shared. It has been gratifying for me to spread the word about the important yet largely forgotten lady architect who helped define a regional architectural style for Southern California. Audiences have truly appreciated my bringing Ms. Rice into the light from the shadows of history and little by little her fan base is growing.
La Valenciana Apartments, Rancho Santa Fe.                                              

Social Media
If you are a user of social media and you have a facebook account please visit the page that I have created Fans of Lilian J. Rice, and “like” it. I post regular comments and images and other related material that help retell the story of Lilian Rice and the role women have played in our history. You will find a link to Elsa Savilla's recent episode of San Diego's Historic Places that featured your's truly talking about Rancho Santa Fe and who else...Lilian J. Rice.

Casablanca Rowhouse, Rancho Santa Fe

People often ask me why it is so important to me to keep Lilian Rice’s memory alive. From day one of beginning this commitment my mission was an educational one. Lilian Rice represents all women and by looking back at her accomplishments in the 1920s and 30s, when there were few career woman, we may learn about her determination and be inspired by her drive and talent.
Mostly though I liken Rice’s work, her buildings, to works of art, and with this concept in mind how sad that so much of her work has fallen to the wrecking ball. By learning about Lilian Rice and those she influenced, we may have a greater appreciation for her buildings, and historic architecture in general.
Award-Winning Book
It’s not too late to order a signed, dedicated copy of my award-winning book on Lilian Rice, for a Holiday gift. I have an inventory of first editions of “Lilian J. Rice: Architect of Rancho Santa Fe, California” available. I do accept VISA and Mastercard or check. Each copy with shipping, handling and tax is $58.50. The book is a hard-bound, beautifully published coffee-table book, which makes for a lovely gift for someone who enjoys architecture, learning about our local history, or appreciates the biography of our very own San Diego born lady architect. Email me for more information at

A page from Rice's UC Berkeley scrapbook

A Precious Gift
This past year also brought a very precious gift. Two sisters–whose grandmother, Louella Mordhorst, purchased the Rice’s National City home in 1940, along with all its contents–agreed to pass along Lilian Rice’s scrapbook that documented her last two years at U C Berkeley. It had been in the care of Elyzabeth, the elder of the sisters, for decades. I was delighted when she wished for me to become the new steward of this scrapbook, with its pages richly filled with all manner of treasures lovingly saved by Lilian, which give us a window into her world at university in 1909 and 1910, the year of her graduation. I have begun to photograph each page as a digital record and will begin sharing those online.

Trailblazer Nominee
It’s not too late to place your application to enter Lilian Rice’s name as a worthy inductee into the Women’s Museum of California’s hall of fame, as a trailblazer. Follow the link to download an application and mail off before the end of December. Lilian J. Rice is so deserving of this recognition; her place in the Hall of Fame is long overdue. I'd like to thank all of you for your continued support in celebrating Lilian J. Rice. My sincerest wishes to you and your loved ones for a wonderful Holiday Season, and a Happy New Year.