Walter S. White: Inventions in Mid-Century Architecture
Walter S. White (1917-2002) was a mid-20th-century modern architect and inventor who deserves to be better known: his architecture reverberates with today’s concerns for environmentally sound and socially inclusive ways of buildings.
This online exhibit is an adaptation of the 2015 exhibit curated by Professor Volker Welter, from the UCSB History of Art and Architecture Department. It was on display in the Art, Design and Architecture Museum from September 12 until December 6, 2015. Some text in this online exhibit was adapted from Professor Welter's book, Walter S. White: Inventions in Mid-Century Architecture (Santa Barbara, CA: Art, Design and Architecture Museum), 2015.
White learned how to build from his father, who owned a construction business in San Bernardino, California; honed his technical skills in a Southern California airplane factory during World War II; and worked in the offices of noted architects Rudolf M. Schindler, Harwell Hamilton Harris, and Albert Frey. By the mid-1940s White was a designer, builder, and developer to the growing number of desert dwellers in California’s Coachella Valley. After moving to Colorado Springs in 1960, White designed many of the private residences in the exclusive Kissing Camels Estate. In the 1970s he established a reputation for designs that relied on passive solar energy.