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CSUB presents “Bakersfield Built: Architecture of the 1930”

Exhibition, Symposium and Home Tour 2014

This fall, Bakersfield's leading academic and cultural institutions are coming together to celebrate the city’s architectural legacy with “Bakersfield Built: Architecture of the 1930s,” the first exhibition, symposium, and architecture tour of its kind in Bakersfield.  The exhibition is part of CSUB’s celebration of the 75th anniversary of the publication of John Steinbeck's 1939 classic, The Grapes of Wrath. The community is invited to a free viewing of the exhibit on opening night on Friday, October 24th from 5-7:30pm in the Todd Madigan Gallery at CSUB. Preceding that event at 4:30pm will be the official ribbon cutting of the new Visual Arts Building.  “Bakersfield Built” will run from October 24-November 21.

The cornerstone of the project is an exhibition of architectural drawings, photographs and other archival materials about Bakersfield architecture during the 1930s.  The exhibition traces the Modern, Art Deco, and Streamline Moderne buildings that defined the city. From projects funded by the federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) to residential commissions by modern masters such as Richard Neutra, Franklin and Kump, and S. Charles Lee, the exhibit paints a picture of a unique city that attracted the talents of internationally renowned architects.

The exhibit also features the work of several Bakersfield-based architects whose work has largely been overlooked by historians outside the Central Valley, including Charles H. Biggar, Stanton Willard, and Frank Wynkoop.  In addition, there will be a display of archival materials from the office of Clarence Cullimore, Sr., FAIA, whose pioneering work in documenting, engineering, and designing “modern adobe homes” during the 1930s set a national standard of excellence.

Following opening night on Saturday, October 25th, there will be a Symposium and Home Tour from 9am-5pm. The morning symposium, which will take place at the Little Harvey Auditorium at Bakersfield High School, will feature national and local experts, architects, and historians, who will place the work in context and help to answer the question of how Bakersfield was positioned to become a fertile ground for modern architecture during the Great Depression. That same afternoon, symposium participants are invited to visit the finest examples of Bakersfield architecture in the 1930s, so many of which have not been opened to the public for years. They include the Clarence Cullimore Residence (1930, Clarence Cullimore, Sr.), the Zimmer Residence (1937, Clarence Cullimore, Sr.), the Maguire Residence (1939-40, Franklin and Kump) and the Davis Residence (1936-7, Richard Neutra).

On the evening of October 25th, country music legend Marty Stuart will perform at the Fox Theatre, one of the landmarks of 1930s architecture that is part of the afternoon’s tour. From 5:30 to 6:30 pm, Bakersfield Built guests will be invited to a private reception in the balcony. Doors for the concert will open at 6:30 pm for the 7:30 show.

Admission to the Symposium and Home tour is $65, and cost to attend the concert is $35. Tickets can be purchased at The exhibition and symposium are generously funded through CSU Bakersfield's School of Arts and Humanities, with support provided by the Bakersfield Museum of Art. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

* Note: October 24th, 6-8pm, the CSUB Alumni Association will be hosting their signature event Party in the Park from 6- 9 pm at CSUB Alumni Park. For tickets and information, visit

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