The Lloyd Ruocco Papers contain materials relating to prominent San Diego Architect Lloyd Ruocco, including some of his professional
portfolios, correspondence, and articles written by and about Ruocco.
Born in Maine to an English mother and Italian father, Lloyd Ruocco (1907- May 10, 1981) eventually became one of San Diego’s
most influential architects. He was raised in Canada and moved to San Diego in 1922. After completing a degree in architecture
at U.C. Berkeley, he returned to San Diego and became known as a “visionary architect” for both his private residences and
his public buildings. He later married Ilse Hamman, a professor of art at San Diego State University who worked with him as
an interior designer. Ruocco’s best-known accomplishments include the Children’s Zoo (1955), the Geophysics Building at the
Scripps Institute of Oceanography (1964), and the Civic Theatre (1965). His office on Fifth Avenue, known as the “Design Center,”
became famous for its unique style that integrated humans and nature. Ruocco also designed numerous homes around San Diego
including his own home completed in 1945 in La Mesa, which he called “Il Cavo.” In 1945 Ruocco co-founded the Allied Artists’
Council, and in 1961 he founded the Citizens’ Coordinate for Century 3, an action group that sought to promote urban design
and aesthetics. In 1974 Ruocco became a fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Lloyd Ruocco was well known for his
ideas of a “kinderpath” town,” which would connect human structures with nature, and of Centre City, an idealized urban center
that would promote the well-being of its residents. Ruocco openly professed his ideas of how modular homes could be the answer
to the problem of tract housing, specifically the ability to grow with a family. Though none of these ideas were ever actualized,
Ruocco’s contributions to San Diego architecture and his charitable works are still recognized throughout the world.