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a visit to the Lodge at Torrey Pines

Given that the New York Times recently opened up their archives, I've been spending lots of time looking for interesting A&C related articles. Just found this gem by Barbara Lazear Ascher, dated September 2002. The first few paragraphs are below; visit the NYTimes site to see the full article.

I'm driving down a twisting, clinker-brick driveway banked by boulders, wildflowers and rare Torrey pines. Ahead is a green-stained, cedar-shingled building, which from my East Coast perspective resembles an Adirondack lodge. Then I am reminded of Frank Lloyd Wright's prairie houses with their celebration of the horizontal line. An outward sweep of unpainted, broad roof overhangs, projecting outriggers, and rafter tails appear to dance with the light.

This isn't Surfin' Safari, Southern California. John Ruskin, William Morris and Charles Rennie Mackintosh have come to La Jolla.

I'd heard about the recently opened Lodge at Torrey Pines from my stepdaughter in San Diego. Tucked between the Pacific Ocean and Torrey Pines State Reserve by the 18th green of the South Course of the famed Torrey Pines Golf Course, the hotel is a result of its owner William Evans's love affair with California's Arts and Crafts Movement.

I'm curious how a hotelier in the Era of Asphalt will interpret the movement's reverence for nature and craftsmanship. How will he tip his hat to Ruskin, whose espousal of the meditative and redemptive qualities of crafting and living in beautiful surroundings inspired the movement in England? And how is it possible to integrate into a 175-room hotel the intimate details of Mr. Evans's inspiration, the 1907 Blacker and 1908 Gamble Houses designed by his idols, the Pasadena architects Charles and Henry Greene?

I drive beneath the port-cochere composed of massive timbers stacked horizontally on one another like a bird's wing feathers, which impart an ironic sense of lightness, as though the entire lodge could be carried skyward on these outstretched wings.

photo of the Torrey Pines Lodge courtesy of Flickr user John Koss