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Delawie (Homer) Papers
MSS 0727  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Biography
  • Scope and Contents of Collection
  • Restrictions
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Publication Rights

  • Descriptive Summary

    Languages: English
    Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
    9500 Gilman Drive
    La Jolla 92093-0175
    Title: Homer Delawie Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS 0727
    Physical Description: 7.5 Linear feet (8 archives boxes and 25 oversize folders)
    Date (inclusive): 1945-2007
    Abstract: Papers of San Diego architect Homer Delawie. The papers document Delawie's career as an architect, with information on both completed and unrealized projects. While files exist for many projects, the collection contains very few actual architectural plans. The collection does include correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, and ephemera.


    Homer Delawie was born in Santa Barbara, California in 1927. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy at age 17, shortly before the end of World War II. Following his time in the military, Delawie joined the U.S. Forest Service in Los Padres National Forest. He left forestry work to study architecture at California Polytechnic State University, in Luis Obispo. Delawie graduated in 1951, later becoming the school's first licensed architect.
    In 1954, while visiting San Diego, Delawie met architect Lloyd Ruocco. The two architects began working together, forming a partnership in 1958. Delawie struck out on his own in 1961, running his own firm until 1966, when he partnered with Al Macy. Two years later, they were joined by John Henderson. That firm split and, at the time of Delawie's retirement in 1997, the firm had become Delawie, Wilkes, Rodrigues, Barker, and Bretton Associates.
    Delawie and his firm designed numerous modern residences throughout San Diego, as well as exhibit space for SeaWorld and the San Diego Zoo, Thurgood Marshall College residence halls on the UCSD campus, and the Coronodo Ferry Landing. Along with his architectural practice, Delawie participated in civic planning and development issues. He served on the City of San Diego Planning Commission, the Housing Appeals Advisory Board, and the Historic Resources Board. Delawie was a founding member of Save Our Heritage Organisation, helping to save the Sherman-Gilbert House. He received lifetime achievement awards from the California Council of the American Institute of Architects in 1997 and Save Our Heritage Organisation 2002.
    Homer Delawie died in 2009, at age 81.

    Scope and Contents of Collection

    The Homer Delawie Papers document Delawie's career as an architect in San Diego. While the collection mainly consists of photographs and clippings that illustrate various architectural projects, it also contains a small amount of correspondence, drafts of a book featuring Delawie's work, and ephemera related to his life and career. Arranged in five series: 1) BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS, 2) CORRESPONDENCE, 3) PROJECT FILES, 4) PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES, and 5) SUBJECT FILES.
    The BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS series is arranged in two subseries: A) General and B) Datebooks.
    A) The General subseries contains certificates and awards, magazine and newspaper clippings about Delawie and his work, photographs of Delawie, and material related to his career as an architect.
    B) The Datebooks subseries is comprised of Delawie's personal datebooks from 1960 through 1984. The books contain information related to both Delawie's personal and professional life.
    The CORRESPONDENCE series is small and letters are generally professional in nature. The series is arranged chronologically with correspondence from George Hasslein and photographer Douglas Simmonds filed seperately.
    The PROJECT FILES series comprises the bulk of the collection. These files mainly contain newspaper clippings and magazine tearsheets, as well as photographs, many taken by photographer Douglas Simmonds. In some cases, files contain additional information such as proposals for unrealized projects, historical designation reports, and ephemera related to the sale of homes designed by Delawie. The series contains only a small number of architectural drawings. These oversize drawings are identified as plans and listed, by project, in the PROJECT FILES folder list. The series also includes one reel of microfilm that contains drawings for several residential, educational, and commerical projects, ranging in date from 1959-1971. The microfilm does not include drawings for any of Delawie's own homes.
    The series is arranged alphabetically by project, with unidentified projects located at the end of the project list. Also, one folder related to Delawie's furniture design is located at the end of the series.
    The PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES series brings together Delawie's activities outside of, but often still related to, his architectural practice. The series is arranged in two subseries: A) Committees & Lectures and B) Writings.
    A) The Committees & Lectures subseries reflects Delawie's service on many city and professional committees, including the City of San Diego Planning Committee and the San Diego Historic Site Board. While the collection contains minimal information about that work, it does contain a small amount of correspondence, meeting minutes, and committee reports. Two folders contain student responses to lectures given by Delawie at the California Polytechnic State University. The subseries is sorted by committee or event, then arranged chronologically.
    B) The Writings subseries is comprised of material related to the publication of a book about Delawie's work, Homer Delawie, FAIA, as well as a 2005 calendar with images of Delawie's many residential projects.
    The SUBJECT FILES series contains information collected by Delawie on professional colleagues and architectural interests. Files for Rob Roy Bittman Jr. and Lloyd Ruocco include information regarding their advancement to Fellow of the American Insittute of Architects. Also included in the Lloyd Ruocco files is a videocassette showing the construction of Ruocco's Design Center on 5th Avenue. The footage, clearly reformatted from an original film not in this collection, was filmed ca. 1949. The series also contains slides of San Diego. The majority are images of the city's downtown, most likely from Delawie's time on the Planning Committee.


    The videocassette in Series 5) SUBJECT FILES is restricted. Researchers must request a user copy be produced.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired 2010.

    Preferred Citation

    Homer Delawie Papers, MSS 727. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Public architecture -- California -- San Diego -- 20th century
    Architecture, Domestic -- California -- San Diego -- 20th century
    Architectural firms -- California -- San Diego
    Architecture -- California -- San Diego County -- 20th century
    Architecture -- California -- San Diego
    Delawie, Homer -- Archives
    Delawie Bretton Wilkes Associates