John Carl Warnecke: In the Shadow of the Eternal Flame




John Carl Warnecke (1919 -­ 2010) designed one the most visited American Presidential monuments, John F. Kennedy’s Eternal Flame in Arlington National Cemetery. Given our cultural fascination with the Kennedy clan, how is it that the architect selected to honor Kennedy’s memory is himself not more prevalent in our architectural memory? Was his contextualism overshadowed by contemporary interest in the singular, isolated structures of the Modern Movement? Were his designs, in retrospect, not as contextual as they were touted to be? Or did Warnecke, like his projects, blend in, rather than stand out among his peers?

Join us for this fascinating presentation by Bridget Maley, architectural historian and founder of architecture + history (a + h) who will examine how Warnecke’s work reveals a deeply contextual approach which began early and continued throughout his career. 

Image credits:
(Inset) From John Carl Warnecke & Associates Portfolio housed at UC Berkeley, Environmental Design Library; (Main/Top) 1962, JFK Library, Boston, MA | Abbie Rowe 


Bridget Maley, architectural historian and writer, founder of architecture + history, llc

As owner of architecture + history, llc (a + h), a San Francisco-based architectural history and historic preservation consulting firm, Bridget focuses on collaborating with clients and colleagues to create engaging stories that bridge the history of architecture with contemporary design and urban planning. Bridget has participated in award-winning projects including: the rehabilitation of San Francisco’s Conservatory of Flowers; development of the Historic Downtown Los Angeles Design Guidelines; completion of the San Francisco Civic Center Cultural Landscape Inventory; and work at Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove where she became interested in the broader portfolio of John Carl Warnecke. She currently has collaborative preservation projects throughout the west, including significant projects in state and national parks, as well as historic campus related work. Bridget served as President of the San Francisco Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board, is a former board member of the Chicago-based Society of Architectural Historians, and has been an alumni participant on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia.

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