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Violeta Autumn

Sausalito, California, United States of America
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Violeta Autumn (May 20, 1930 - February 5, 2012) was a Peruvian-born, naturalized American citizen, who became a noted architect and artist in the San Francisco Bay Area, based in Sausalito, California. She was best known for her works in Organic Architecture, the home she built for herself, and her winery designs with her associate John Marsh Davis. In addition to architecture, Autumn served on the Planning Commission and City Council for Sausalito from 1965 to 1980.

She was born in Chiclayo, Peru to Russian Jewish immigrants, whose father was artist Alberto Eidelman. She lived in Peru until she was fourteen, when she and her brother moved to the United States. Eidelman completed her elementary schooling in Lima and began her high school education in Panama, before moving to the United States to complete her secondary education at Norman High School. Her parents remained in Panama so that they could earn money for the children's education. Eidelman studied architecture at the University of Oklahoma under Bruce Goff, graduating in 1953, the third woman to graduate there with a Bachelor of Architecture, having also taken two years of engineering.


Her first experience in architecture was preparing construction drawings for Harold Dow. She also illustrated renderings for other architects and authors, and designed murals. In 1959 she designed and built her home and architectural studio on Sausalito Boulevard in Sausalito, California on the up-slope of a narrow winding street with a unique structural system on a vertical cliff site.

She was known for her strong environmental protectionism, opposition to council members economically benefiting from projects they approved, and her outspokenness. She served from 1974 to 1978 during the height of the rebuilding of a closed-over 100 acre shipyard sold by the US Government after World War II, Marinship on San Francisco Bay. During her term as City Councilwoman she played a significant role in the redevelopment of this and other former Marinship properties working with other architects including stopping over-development projects offering to stud the shoreline of one of the most noted waterfronts in the world. One of these projects that was stopped was the first application of the Schoonmaker Project in 1972 on 37 acres by William Wurster and Don Emmons of Wurster, Bernardi & Emmons and one that was reduced in size was the six building Deak Office Park project to two buildings.

Autumn also worked with Wright's apprentice John Lautner and had an architectural vocabulary based strongly on her former instructor, Goff. During the seventies she had an architectural partnership Davis-Autumn & Associates, with another University of Oklahoma architectural graduate John Marsh Davis. The firm won awards for their work in winery architecture including the 1974 American Institute of Architects Bay Area Honor Award for in Design Excellence for the Souverain Winery with Schaaf-Jacobs-Vinson Engineers in the Napa Valley AVA, a juxtaposition of French country-architecture with Organic Architecture. Other notable buildings include projects with her partner Davis such as Joseph Phelps Vineyards, Rutherford Hill Winery, Sullivan Vineyards, all in Sonoma Valley and Napa Valley California, the Caletti Jungsten building (1986) in Mill Valley, California. As an artist and interior architect she completed a variety of handcrafted murals for the 1st National Bank of Nevada in California and Nevada locations. The murals, housed in Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas and Reno, depicted pioneering figures of the west and were completed in an expressionist style.

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Sausalito, California, United States of America
bostjan, September 11th, 2017
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