USC Says Fickett

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A California home designed by Edward Fickett, circa 1966.

If you want to understand just how under-appreciated California architect Edward Fickett is just try finding a picture of any of his work online, and then compare that task with finding something by his contemporaries Richard Neutra and Rudolph Schindler. Fickett, who died in 1999 at the age of 83, was no slouch. To name a few of his accomplishments, he designed the passenger and cargo terminals at the Port of Los Angeles, Edward Air Force Base, Dodger Stadium, a bevy of hotels and restaurants, mansions for hollywood stars, and some 60,000 light and airy tract homes known as the “Fickett Houses.”

A Lt. Commander in the Navy for five years, he also served as architectural advisor to president Dwight D. Eisenhower. However, he is barely known, and rarely spoken about even in architectural circles. There’s a chance now that Fickett’s star will rise again. His widow, Joycie Fickett, after years of jealously guarding the man’s collection in his former offices, has agreed to donate his collection of blueprints, renderings, photos, and marketing brochures to the University of Southern California. Fickett spent his undergraduate years at USC, where he formed the architectural guild. “He really is a kind of unsung hero,” Claude Zachary, a USC librarian, told the Los Angeles Times. “We’re privileged to have an opportunity to bring this incredible material in and preserve it and make it available… and hopefully get Mr. Fickett’s name much better known.”

2 Responses to “USC Says Fickett”

  1. Aaron Betsky says:

    This is very good news indeed. He was one of the most interesting architects working in Southern California in the 1950s and 1960s. As a former inhabitant of one of his buildings, on North Hayworth in West Hollywood, I have long been a fan and worked with Mrs. Fickett to try to persuade USC to accept the archives. I am very happy to hear that they have finally done so and hope that this will lead to a serious appraisal of his work.

  2. Regina O'Brien says:

    Fickett designed West Hollywood Library on San Vicente currently slated for demolition in October! Please contact is you support adaptive reuse for this building.

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