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Robert Mosher, San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge Architect, Dead At 94

Michael Schuerman

This undated photo shows the San Diego Coronado Bay Bridge.

Aired 7/28/15 on KPBS News.

The architect whose designs drove the iconic bridge and many other buildings in San Diego and La Jolla has died.

Robert Mosher, the architect who designed the look of the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge and one of the few remaining mid-century architects, died Sunday of natural causes at 94.

In a 2010 interview, Mosher said working on the bridge was one of the great periods of his life. But he also said the bridge engineers should get equal credit for the design.

Architects Mosher Drew

Architects Robert Mosher and partner Roy Drew at the Mosher and Drew offices at the Green Dragon Colony in La Jolla, circa 1949.

"I was only the architect and designer who figured out the way it looked, I didn’t figure out how much steel to put in the pylons," Mosher said. "But I can take credit for the look of it."

Together Mosher and the engineers designed the curve of the bridge, which was necessary to create enough height for Navy ships to pass underneath.

Larry Hoeksema is a principal at Architects Mosher Drew, the firm Mosher founded in 1946 with Roy Drew.

Mosher considered every detail in the bridge project, Hoeksema said.

"There was a sensitivity to the supports, those very graceful arch supports, as to how they would read from a boat or a car or at various distances," Hoeksema said.

"I think it’s just done so beautifully," Hoeksema said. "His sensitivity and what he wanted to accomplish and recognizing its imprint on the skyline here in San Diego, it was just so important to him."

Mosher also designed the NBC high-rise building in downtown San Diego. He was the master architect for Muir College at UC San Diego. He also designed museum additions for the San Diego Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla.

One of his lesser known designs is the Golden Door Spa Resort in Escondido. Mosher was so proud of this complex because he was able to design the space, choose the furniture and pick the art hung at the resort, Hoeksema said.

Mosher will be remembered, said Hoeksema and others in the San Diego architectural community, as a champion of simple, modern design and as a great storyteller.

Video

Robert Mosher, San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge Architect, Dead At 94

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