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Yeon Center Lecture: An Architecture of Many Scales—The Buildings and Landscapes of John Yeon

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 5:30pm to 7:00pm

Lawrence Hall, 177
1190 Franklin Boulevard, Eugene, OR

Few architects have influenced so many facets of a region as John Yeon (1910-1994). Yeon is most widely remembered as an architect of innovative houses—most prominently, the 1937 Aubrey Watzek House—that drew an international spotlight to regional modernism in the Pacific Northwest. Yet he wielded equal vision and influence as a landscape designer, planner, conservationist, historic preservationist, and urban activist.  

Largely self taught, and working independently, Yeon designed distinctive buildings, shaped precedent-stretching gardens, and fought to preserve some of the Northwest’s most treasured vistas—the Columbia River Gorge, the Oregon Coast, Olympic National Park. Yet, whether crafting a cabinet pull, shaping a roof line or a garden, or lobbying to save coastal or gorge vista, Yeon saw both design and conservation as visual arts.

The UO School of Architecture and Allied Arts is the steward of Yeon’s two most far-reaching designs: the National Historic Landmark Watzek House and The Shire, a 78-acre picturesque landscape in the Columbia River Gorge, as well as the 1950 Cottrell House. 

Randy Gragg, current director of the UO John Yeon Center for Architecture and the Landscape, will offer an overview of Yeon’s unique outlook on design and conservation, the properties that A&AA operates, and the upcoming retrospective, Quest for Beauty: The Architecture, Landscapes, and Collections of John Yeon, opening May 13, the most comprehensive exhibition the Portland Art Museum has ever devoted to an architect.

The lecture is cosponsored by the Department of the History of Art and Architecture and the Historic Preservation Program as part of the A&AA Signature Event series.

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