Larry Simmons FAIA  turned 80 in May of 2017 and liquidated his extensive real-estate holdings. He retired from architectural practice and development in February of 2017. It was a process that most likely took years to plan and execute. However Larry in his signature modesty did not talk about it much. You can read more in the Press Democrat article here.
Larry is perhaps the most significant Sonoma County architect of the last 50 years. He designed about 25% of Santa Rosa’s downtown and has been one of the largest developers in the region. He came into town at the right time, with the right Idea’s and made the right friends.
He was an early proponent of architect as developer. Learning how by reading a book by John Portman a developer architect of the Hyatte Regency Chain. Portman was run out the AIA because of his unique approach to delivering architecture as an owner/builder. A while later they started giving him awards for his work. Architects seem to have issues with other successful, innovative architects at least at first.

In 1968 Larry toured the work of Frank Lloyed Wright, met Wright and his third wife Olgivanna. He then started his practice emulating the principals and many design themes of the greatest American architect of the 20th Century (also according to the AIA 35 years after Wright claimed that for himself). Larry is shown above in the Sun Cottage where he stayed as a guest of the Frank Lloyed Wright foundation in 2015. It was his first time back to Taleisn after his intial visit. He had gotten very busy building.  He presented his work as architect as developer in a lecture to the Frank Lloyd Wright School or Architecture.

Larry created a uniquely successful business model with the help of his late partner Jim Brecht. He, and his last  partner Joan Woodard  manage and owned with other investors over 30 properties (see Stony Point Road, both sides between 3rd & Gurneville Rd. and the The Corporate Center Parkway complex North West on Sebastopol Ave.), Larry has won 12 design awards. Below are few of his designs including the Rattegan Federal building a few Larry’s many contributions to our built environment.

Basin Street Properties of Reno Nevada best known locally for the Basin Street development at the Petaluma theater district purchased 337,360 sq. ft. of  Mr. Simmons properties.

Before his retirement His firm outlined his accomplishments in these words ( I am not sure if he did not sell the name to basin Street as these still remain on line perhaps  they are moving on with it)

Simons & Woodard is an architecture, development and property management team.  We are highly skilled with office buildings, flex, and medical office.  Our firm is locally owned and managed and our focus is Sonoma County, California. We have been in business for more than 45 years and believe it is possible to create and manage workplaces that are great spaces for people and sensitive to the environment.  We use local materials and labor and design for the longterm.

Established in 1970 as Lawrence Simons, FAIA,. Larry came to Sonoma County in the late 1960′s to practice architecture because he fell in love with the natural environment, quality of light, and the natural resources available, such as redwood and rock.  After years succeeding as an architect, he also became a developer of the buildings he designed, as well as an owner.  This triple focus has made our firm sensitive to managing costs and delivering value for both the short term and the long term. He partnered with another architect, James Brecht, and the company became known as Simons & Brecht.  Mr. Brecht passed away unexpectedly in 2001.  Joan Woodard, a developer and manager, became his new partner in 2006.  The company is known for projects throughout Sonoma County, but projects that are well known include Fountaingrove Inn and Equus Restaurant, Stony Point Lakes, Northpoint Corporate Center, and the new Senior Wing at Finley Community Center.” 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Latest News

  • press add 1906

    Energy Efficiency in Historic Architecture

    To understand the appropriate treatment of Historic Architecture, one must consider its foundational efficiencies. The true value of historic …

  • Entry

    Then and Now; One

      Francisco Terrace by Frank Lloyd Wright 1895 While cleaning out some of my bookshelves I came across The Life and Works of Frank Lloyd Wright …

  • downtownmap18672

    2018 S.R.J.C Walking Tour Guide.

    Historical Walking Tours April  24, May- 1,8,15,22  Thursday Evenings 4:30-6:30 Presented by Mark Parry of Idea Studios (544-4344)   …

  • 20180119_123631 (002)

    A Heroic Family

    Cal Fireman  Dominik Schwab and his parent’s Leo & Mira Schwab received Santa Rosa’s sixth and seventh fire reconstruction permit …

  • 01 cityexhibit notice

    Lawrence Simons FAIA – Retires

    Larry Simmons FAIA  turned 80 in May of 2017 and liquidated his extensive real-estate holdings. He retired from architectural practice and …

  • architecure mirror of the times

    Architecture Mirror of the Times 2018

      Architecture: Mirror of the Times (Canceled)2/13-3/13 2018 SRJC Community Education Historic and Contemporary Architecture from 1637-2018 A …

 

Articles

  • Press Democrat 1906Energy Efficiency in Historic Architecture

    To understand the appropriate treatment of Historic Architecture, one must consider its foundational efficiencies. The true value of historic arch…

  • EntryThen and Now; One

     

    Francisco Terrace by Frank Lloyd Wright 1895

    While cleaning out some of my bookshelves I came across The Life and Works of Frank Llo…

  • 01 cityexhibit noticeLawrence Simons FAIA – Retires

    Larry Simmons FAIA  turned 80 in May of 2017 and liquidated his extensive real-estate holdings. He retired from architectural practice and develo…

  • F.P. Ghery Louis Vuitton Foundation 2014Frank Gehry and the power of encouragement.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This is a story about the influence and power of mentors on our live…

  • zaha-hadid-the-opus-dubai-designboom-04Zaha Hadid enters history….

    We lost Zaha Hadid: Thursday March 24 2016 she was 65.  You can read more here.

    She considered herself one who “pushes boundaries” yet as one who…

  • StraubCalvin C. Straub FAIA (1920-1998)

    Calvin Chester Straub FAIA (1920–1998) was an American born architect who made a significant impact on architecture through design and educa…

 

Copyright © 2013 Artisan Architecture