Scope and Contents of Collection
Title: Homer Delawie Papers
Identifier/Call Number: MSS 727
Mandeville Special Collections Library
La Jolla, California 92093-0175
Language of Material:
7.5 Linear feet
8 archives boxes and 25 oversize folders
Date (inclusive): 1945-2007
The papers of San Diego architect Homer Delawie. The papers, ranging in date from 1945-2007, document Delawie's career as
an architect, with information for projects, both completed and unrealized. While files exist for many projects, the collection
contains very few actual architectural plans. The collection does include correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings,
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. Materials range in date from 1945 through 2007
and are arranged in five series: 1) BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS, 2) CORRESPONDENCE, 3) PROJECT FILES, 4) PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES,
and 5) SUBJECT FILES.
SERIES 1: BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS
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.
SERIES 2: CORRESPONDENCE
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.
SERIES 3: PROJECT FILES
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.
SERIES 4: PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES
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.
SERIES 5: SUBJECT FILES
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
The videocassette in Series 5: SUBJECT FILES is restricted. Researchers must request a user copy be produced.
Homer Delawie Papers, MSS 727. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Architects / Delawie Wilkes Rodrigues Barker.
Architectural firms--California--San Diego
Architecture -- California -- San Diego
Architecture -- California -- San Diego County -- 20th century
Architecture, Domestic--California--San Diego--20th century
Public architecture--California--San Diego--20th century