Robert Mosher (September 27, 1920 – July 26, 2015) was an American architect who operated primarily in Southern California.[self-published source] Mosher was an admirer of the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, and a pioneer of the post-war modernist architecture movement in San Diego. He is best known for designing the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, and the University of California, San Diego's John Muir College.
Born in Greeley, Colorado, Mosher moved to Los Angeles as a young child. Mosher's interest in architecture and design began early: at age nine he built a workbench in his family's garage. According to Mosher's late wife Joany, Mosher was first introduced to architecture through a neighbor involved in Pasadena real estate development. With a sustained interest in architecture and design, Mosher went on to attend the Art Center School in Los Angeles in 1939, the University of Southern California School of Architecture from 1939–40, and eventually earned his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Washington, Seattle in 1944.
After earning his degree in 1944, Mosher moved to La Jolla and apprenticed with the firm Myron Hunt & H. C. Chambers. It was there where he met his future business partner, Roy Drew. After completing his state architecture exams and working for eight months at the firm of Harwell Hamilton Harris in Los Angeles, Mosher returned to San Diego to found his own firm in 1946. Mosher's father purchased a collection of buildings in La Jolla known as the Green Dragon Colony, a former artist's colony, to serve as the firm's headquarters. Roy Drew joined as a partner in 1948.
The San Diego region, like much of Southern California, underwent dramatic growth in the immediate postwar years, in turn, providing fuel for the growth of Mosher and Drew's firm. "We got more work and just chugged away at it," Mosher recalled about the period, in a 1988 interview. Mosher's career was advanced when his design for a home for Herbert and Minerva Kunzel of Point Loma, received media exposure by way of Sunset Magazine. This article in turn came to the attention of the editor of House Beautiful, Elizabeth Gordon. Gordon, impressed with Mosher's understanding of architectural theory, invited him to New York City for a two-year stint as architectural editor for the magazine. Mosher accepted the offer. During the period at House Beautiful, Mosher interviewed his hero, Frank Lloyd Wright for a special 1955 issue of the magazine. In preparation for the issue, Mosher shadowed Wright around his studio, Taliesin, in Spring Green, Wisconsin over the course of two separate weeks.
After the stint in New York City, Mosher returned to his practice in San Diego. Mosher's design of the Golden Door Spa in Escondido, opening in 1958, illustrated his aptitude for historical architecture, as well as his usual modernism. The Spa's design was heavily informed by 16th and 17th century ryokan, traditional Japanese inns.
In the mid-1960s, Mosher was hired by the newly created University of California, San Diego to be executive architect for the first building of the university's second college, later after naturalist John Muir. Shortly thereafter, he was designated to lead a team of architects to design the remainder of college's buildings.
- "Robert Mosher". Modern San Diego. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
- Taliesin West by Robert Mosher
- Showley, Roger (27 July 2015). "Architect who 'saved' Coronado bridge dies". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
- "Robert Mosher Architectural Drawings, 1945-2011". Special Collections & Archives. UC, San Diego Library. 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
- Watts, Jennifer A. (2012). Maynard L. Parker: Modern Photography and the American Dream. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. p. 115. ISBN 978-0-300-17115-0.
- Aguilar, Patricia (1995). The UCSD Master Plan Study and It's Antecedents. The Regents of the University of California. p. 14.
- "Mary Bryant Is Engaged". The New York Times. 18 June 1950. p. 73.
- "Mary Bryant Becomes Bride". The New York Times. 12 September 1950. p. 22.
- "Architect for Center Named". Los Angeles Times. 8 August 1968. p. SG4.
- Peck, Stacey (15 August 1982). "Home Q&A: Joany and Robert Mosher". Los Angeles Times. p. M25.
- Warren, Jenifer (21 September 1986). "Architect Wants to Raze Historic Cottages". Los Angeles Times. p. SD A1.
- Spivak, Sharon (15 October 1986). "Council halts razing of historic cottages". Evening Tribune. p. B-1.
- Reza, H. G. (15 October 1986). "Council Votes to Save Historic La Jolla Cottages". Los Angeles Times.
- Hudson, Ken (15 October 1986). "La Jolla cottages protected". San Diego Union. p. B-1.
- Growald, R. H. (25 January 1988). "A genuine gift for building helps overcome principals". San Diego Union-Tribune. p. B-3.
- Harper, Hilliard (4 July 1988). "Restored Building a Tribute to Architect". Los Angeles Times. p. SD C1.
- Monroe, Linda Roach (17 September 1988). "Regents OK 2 UCSD Buildings, New School". Los Angeles Times. p. SD A1.
- Kaiser, Kay (6 November 1988). "Mosher & Drew - Team's 40-year success story built on details". San Diego Union-Tribune. p. F-1.
- Bailey, Eric (19 April 1989). "La Jolla's Green Dragon Colony: City Council Rejects Bid to Acquire Historic Site". Los Angeles Times.
- Glionna, John M. (12 July 1991). "Court Acts Too Late to Save Green Dragon". Los Angeles Times.
- Brass, Kevin (21 October 1992). "Coast Panel OKs Green Dragon Demolition". Los Angeles Times.
- Jarmusch, Ann (4 April 1999). "Celebrating 50 years of fine design". San Diego Union-Tribune. p. H-2.
- Jarmusch, Ann (1 August 1999). "The Partnership - Roy Drew and Robert Mosher take different approaches to the same destination —- shaping the look of San Diego". San Diego Union-Tribune. p. H-1.
- Jarmusch, Ann (8 February 2004). "Saluting Modernism". San Diego Union-Tribune. p. I-1.
- Jarmusch, Ann (8 February 2004). "A house in play". San Diego Union-Tribune. p. I-5.
- Showley, Roger (25 October 2009). "Robert Mosher featured lecturer". San Diego Union-Tribune. p. H-1.
- Watts, Jennifer A. (2012). Maynard L. Parker: Modern Photography and the American Dream. Yale University Press. p. 115. ISBN 978-0-300-17115-0.
- Chute, James (10 July 2014). "Embracing the New - Historical Society opens state-of-the-art space with a showcase of La Jolla's midcentury modernism". San Diego Union-Tribune. p. ND-32.
- "San Diego's Built Environment - Architectural Landmarks". San Diego Union-Tribune. 16 November 2014. p. SD-2.
- Showley, Roger (28 July 2015). "Postwar Architect 'Saved' the Coronado Bridge". San Diego Union-Tribune. p. A-1.
- Carone, Angela (27 July 2015). "Robert Mosher, San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge Architect, Dead At 94". KPBS.
- "La Jolla mourns the passing of famed architect Robert Mosher". La Jolla Light. 28 July 2015.
- Stimson, Brie (28 July 2015). "Coronado Bridge Architect Passes Away at 94". NBC San Diego.
- Sherman, Pat (2 September 2015). "New plaque toasts architect’s design of Coronado Bridge". La Jolla Light.
- "Robert Mosher, longtime La Jolla architect, town council co-founder". sdnews.com.
- "Robert Mosher, 1920-2015". The University of Washington Alumni Magazine.
- "Robert Mosher Architectural Drawings". Online Archive of California.
- "Guide to the Architectural Records Collection" (PDF). San Diego History Center.
- "Our History". Architects Mosher Drew.
- Robert Mosher collection; San Diego History Collection
- Robert Mosher Architectural Drawings MSS 720. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego Library.