Dr. Lance V. Bernard is a native of Oakland, California. He was educated at the University of California, Santa Cruz (B.A., 1987), San Jose State University (M.A., 1993), and the University of Nevada (Ph.D., 2002). His chief academic interests are twentieth-century American cultural history, regionalism, and urban history. He currently lives and teaches in Reno, Nevada.
2007 0-7734-5340-7 This work examines the creation and expression of the San Francisco Bay Area’s sense of regional identity, which it expressed through its unique architectural idiom – the Bay Tradition. In the late nineteenth century, Bay Area elites developed a sense of what Bay Area living meant, based on contact with (and appreciation of) the region’s attractive landscapes and mild climate, and from this emerged an architectural style that expressed eclecticism, cultivation, and appreciation for the physical environment. Architects such as Willis Polk, Bernard Maybeck, William Wurster, and Ernest Kump used urban landscapes as a means of regional self-expression, much like Appalachia expressed its regional identity through music and folk arts, the Deep South through literature, and New England through history-based tourism. By the 1930s, it incorporated modernist ideas but retained its essential identity through its use of native woods (particularly redwood), large windows, and open, airy spaces that allowed comfortable contact with the mild, clement outdoors. In the 1940s and ‘50s, the Bay Tradition was popularized by Sunset Magazine, which began in the Bay Area and conflated its concept of the region’s lifestyle into its larger vision of “Western living;” although the Bay Tradition fell out of favor by 1970, its influence remains widely visible.