in November 1935, William Kesling was Southern California's most prolific
and successful practitioner of Streamline Moderne design, then called
Modernistic. His better-known peers, Schindler, Neutra and other modernists
could not so easily desert the principles of economy and austerity. The
unschooled Kesling was not bound by such dogma, nevertheless he was driven
by his goal of bringing high-quality modern design within reach of the
everyday home-buying public.
months after his burst of creativity began, the colorful Kesling pled
guilty to fraud and was sentenced, in March 1937, to prison. After World
War II he reemerged creating noteworthy modern houses for soldiers' young
families. Eventually his business practices caught up with him a second
time and he permanently faded from the scene.
throughout neighborhoods of ubiquitous Spanish, Tudor and Italianate bungalows,
many of his striking, clean-lined houses have been restored by design
aficionados. With never before published photographs by Julius Shulman,
this book is the first exploration of the work of an important yet little-known
player in Southern California's fertile modern movement.