2014 RDA Hometown Tours

San Diego-Tijuana: Architecture at the Edge
January 29 – February 2, 2014
$2,000 pp dbl; $2,510 single occupancy
Registration is closed

Santiago, Chile
June 8 – 14, 2014
Guided by Carlos Jimenez; click here for registration information!

Please join the Rice Design Alliance for a tour of San Diego, guided by architectural historian Stephen Fox with assistance from former RDA President and award-winning landscape architect Jim Burnett. The tour includes four nights in the luxurious US Grant Hotel downtown, dining at the Hotel Del Coronado, George’s on the Cove with its ocean view, and the Prado at Balboa Park, and a crossing into Tijuana, accompanied by Rene Peralta, a native of Tijuana and Director of Master of Science in Landscape Urbanism at Woodbury University in San Diego. To secure your reservation, please complete and return the registration form and the terms and conditions document with your deposit.

San Diego was founded in 1769 as a Franciscan mission to indigenous people and an accompanying Spanish presidio, both named for the Spanish saint, Diego de Alcalá, to whom this territory had earlier been dedicated by Spanish explorers in 1602. The Spanish first visited the area in 1542. San Diego’s original town site (now Old Town San Diego State Park) was developed adjacent to the presidio after 1820. The present downtown, fronting San Diego Bay, was platted by Alonzo R. Horton in 1867 three miles southeast of Old Town’s plaza, nineteen years after Alta California was conquered by the United States. Connected to the national rail grid in 1885, San Diego emerged as a navigational, military, and resort center. One consequence of the railroad boom was the founding of Tijuana, Baja California, in 1889, fourteen miles southeast of downtown San Diego.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, San Diego was home to the proto-modernist architect Irving Gill, whose austere, ingenious buildings provide backdrops for the brilliant sunlight, vegetation, and rugged terrain of the Pacific coast. One hundred years later, innovative young architects in San Diego and Tijuana follow Gill’s do-it-yourself approach, making both cities incubators of exciting trends. Significant works by famed architects (Bertram G. Goodhue in the 1910s, Louis I. Kahn in the 1960s, and Arthur Erickson in the 1980s in San Diego, and Pedro Ramírez Vásquez in Tijuana) enhance the architectural legacy of the sister cities of the Pacific. San Diego (eighth largest city in the US) and Tijuana (fifth largest city in Mexico) today construct architectural culture out of their dissonant contradictions.

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