Dale Naegle graduated from USC's architecture program in 1954 in the height of Southern California's modernist movement. With mentors William Perreira and A Quincy Jones helping form his approach to design, Mr. Naegle was one of several Los Angeles ex-patriots (like Robert Jones and Hal Sadler) to bring the Case Study House design ideology to San Diego.
Dale Naegle grew up in Van Nuys among walnut groves, chicken farms and movie stars. While living in Santa Barbara during his teens, Dale spent 15 years as a musician in dance bands through WW2 with Al Jarvis. Following the War, Mr. Naegle moved to the San Fernando Valley, only to realize because of the GI Bill, many of the area universities were full. Dale had no scholarship, and not having been a veteran, no GI Bill either.
While in high school Dale Naegle loved to draw, and kept up with classmates in math. Instead of pursuing these combined talents, Dale played music. Without television, everyone around him played a musical instrument. So Dale played music in the valley, among the farms and movie stars. Dale traveled around Southern California during the war playing for soldiers via the USO.
On his way to rehearsal (for the Hollywood Junior Orchestra) one day Dale Naegle realized he was not in the same league as his musician peers. He began to notice that many older musicians were not successful. He liked to draw. And because of his handicap, he had to sit down to work. Dale needed to make this work.
While living in Santa Barbara Dale Naegle bought books on Mies Van Der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright. He did not read up on the Bauhaus (as he saw it as a sham) but appreciated its California interpretation. He wasn't educated in architecture but continues to believe since back then that the designers of the greatest spaces of all time are still unknown.
With USC's program full, Dale Naegle went in the back door, he entered his architecture studies by attending night classes 2 to 3 times per week. He was still able to study under faculty like A Quincy Jones. Dale was not a typical undergrad - he didn't participate in any activities on campus, instead he remained off campus working for variety of architects during the daylight hours. It was time to leave Los Angeles. "I felt like I was drowning in LA because of all the big names there... I knew nobody," Mr. Naegle admitted.
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