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Mosher (Robert) Architectural Drawings
MSS 0720  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Biography
  • Preferred Citation
  • Publication Rights
  • Acquisition Note

  • Descriptive Summary

    Languages: English
    Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
    9500 Gilman Drive
    La Jolla 92093-0175
    Title: Robert Mosher Architectural Drawings
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS 0720
    Physical Description: 36 Linear feet (5 archives boxes, 4 flat boxes, 24 oversize folders and 88 rolls of drawings)
    Date (inclusive): 1945-2011
    Abstract: Architectural drawings of San Diego architect Robert Mosher. The collection includes drawings, project plans, proposals, photographic materials, correspondence and other documents relating to Mosher's career spanning six decades.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Architectural drawings of San Diego architect Robert Mosher. The collection includes drawings, project plans, proposals, writings, photographs, and some professional correspondence. Arranged in four series: 1) BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS & WRITINGS, 2) PHOTOGRAPHS, 3) PROJECTS, and 4) SUBJECT FILES.
    SERIES 1: BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS & WRITINGS contains Mosher's professional correspondence, as well as papers and articles written by Mosher on modernism, design principles, and building program outlines. Includes interviews with Mosher, and articles about Mosher and San Diego modernist architecture.
    SERIES 2: PHOTOGRAPHS is arranged in two subseries: A) Buildings and Interiors and B) Mounted Exhibit Photographs.
    A) Buildings and Interiors.
    B) Mounted Exhibit Photographs: Photographs used by Mosher for a 2011 exhibit and lecture at the La Jolla Historical Society. For materials in FB-541 and FB-542, a list of buildings is included for identification.
    SERIES 3: PROJECT FILES comprises the bulk of the collection. Materials are arranged by format. This series contains three subseries: A) Rolled Drawings, B) Project Files and C) Oversized Drawings and Photographs.
    A) Rolled Drawings: Mosher's large architectural drawings, organized by project number and rolled in tubes (though a few materials are flat and two items are framed). Most projects contain multiple drawings which may include site plans, landscaping plans, building plans, design studies, alterations and additions. A detailed description of Mosher's projects created in 2011 is included in this series. The projects range in date from 1945-2011.
    B) Project Files: Historical assessments of some of Mosher's residences and buildings. These files may also contain correspondence with the owners of residences about design, remodel or financial considerations.
    C) Oversized Drawings and Photographs.
    SERIES 4: SUBJECT FILES consist of materials related to other prominent San Diego or Modernist architects.


    Robert Mosher was born on September 27, 1920 in Greeley, Colorado. His family moved to Los Angeles, California when he was a young child. He first knew he wanted to be an architect at the age of 9 when he built a workbench in his garage. Mosher attended The Art Center School in Los Angeles in 1939, the University of Southern California School of Architecture from 1939-40, and earned his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Washington, Seattle in 1944.
    In 1944, Mosher moved to La Jolla and apprenticed with the firm Myron Hunt & H. C. Chambers. It was there he met his future business partner, Roy Drew. Mosher went to Los Angeles to complete his state architectural exams and worked for 8 months with the firm Harwell Hamilton Harris; he later described Harris as a great teacher who influenced his designs. He then returned to La Jolla and worked at William Templeton Johnson before founding his own firm in 1946. His father, Jack Mosher, purchased the Green Dragon property in La Jolla in 1944. This site, a former artist colony, became home to Mosher's firm Architects Mosher Drew in 1948. The firm's early work was primarily residential and commercial commissions in La Jolla, though landmark projects soon followed. In the late 1960s, Mosher was commissioned to lead a team of architects to design the cluster of buildings which became Muir College at UC San Diego.
    Mosher is best known for pioneering San Diego's modern architectural movement. His designs have been described as "humanist/modernist," and he was greatly influenced by the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. Mosher and his firm have won numerous awards, including the American Institute of Architects' Excellence Award for design of the art gallery at UC San Diego in 1966. In 1970, Mosher was elected to the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows for design.
    Architects Mosher Drew gradually expanded and by 1984, the firm had outgrown its Green Dragon Colony office and moved to Point Loma. In 2005, the firm merged with Architects Larson Carpenter, and continues its work on major design commissions throughout San Diego.

    Preferred Citation

    Robert Mosher Architectural Drawings. MSS 720. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    Acquisition Note

    Acquired 2010-2013.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Architectural drawings (visual works)
    San Diego (Calif.) -- Buildings, structures, etc. -- Pictorial works
    Buildings -- California -- San Diego
    Architecture -- California -- San Diego
    Architects -- California -- San Diego
    University of California, San Diego -- Buildings
    Mosher, Robert, 1920- -- Archives
    Mosher and Drew, Architects -- Archives