Skip to main content

Edward H. Fickett, FAIA, records

Identifier: 5014

Scope and Contents

This collection documents the professional work of the Edward H. Fickett, FAIA, architectural firm from the mid-1940's until Fickett's death in 1999. A majority of the collection consists of project records, including architecural drawings, architectural renderings, photographs, and project files, covering a range of architecural jobs, both large and small, undertaken by Fickett during his illustrative career. In addition, the collection contains professional files showcasing his participation in various professional organizations, such as the American Institute of Architects and the National Home Builders Association; articles about his work and influence on architectural design; and awards he received recognizing his achievements.

Overall, the collection includes architectural drawings, architectural renderings, correspondence, articles, ephemera, mementos, clippings, photographs and negatives, slides, plaques and certificates, samples, and 3-D models.


  • 1945 - 2013


Conditions Governing Access

Advance notice required for access.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Department of Special Collections at Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Biographical note

Edward H. Fickett (1916-1999) was a Southern California native whose body of architectural work personified California architecture in the 1950s and 1960s. Fickett, born in Los Angeles, graduated from Beverly Hills High School (1934), and attended the University of Southern California University College (1934-1938) and the Art Center School of Los Angeles (1937-1942). He worked as a draftsman for two different architects and a structural engineer (1935-1942). In 1942, he joined the U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps, rising to the rank of Lieutenant before his discharge in 1945. Following his tour of duty, Fickett joined Francis J. Heusel as a partner in an architectural firm, and finally in 1949 he embarked on a career of private practice with his own firm Edward H. Fickett Architect. He was elected a corporate member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 1950 and was elected a Fellow by the AIA in 1969.

At the end of World War II, Fickett saw the need for affordable housing for the vast number of men coming home from the war and their families and for increasing the number of architects to design those homes. To help with encouraging college students to become architects, Fickett devised a lecture series with the support of the AIA and the cooperation of leading architects and toured campuses around the country to recruit students to the profession. Also, he himself began to plan and design affordable housing for these veterans and built a successful career meeting the housing needs of the general public.

Fickett, who brought modernist design to large-scale affordable housing in the post-war era, is credited with several advancements in the architectural profession. In addition to his new designs, he developed close working relationships with developers to build homes at a lower cost with new techniques of construction, yet these homes were still contemporary in design and appealed to new home buyers. These new homes had "a free plan, light and space that made Fickett-designed homes unique without being perceived as overly avant-garde on the outside," wrote Sian Winship in her 2011 thesis "Quantity and Quality: Architects Working for Developers in Southern California, 1960-1973." In his successful 1969 nomination for AIA fellowship, Fickett was recognized for his "excellence of design, proportion and scale and the use of regional materials" and his role in developing "modular and structural concepts for early (1947) low cost housing development...[s]ince used extensively on private and federal work."

During his career in private practice, Fickett earned a reputation as a leader in developing the "California Ranch Style" of architecture, or "California Moderne," as noted by Richard Rapaport in his 2014 book California Moderne and the Mid-Century Dream: The Architecture of Edward H. Fickett, with floor-to-ceiling windows and the integration of indoor and outdoor space. Over the course of his career Fickett planned and designed residential communities, both tract housing and planned communities; luxurious private homes; commercial buildings; government and military facilities; parks; resorts and country clubs; restaurants and a baseball stadium club; apartment buildings and condominiums; and hotels. He was also involved in preservation architecture. Examples of his work can be found in both Southern and Northern California, in Nevada and Washington, in New York and Indiana, and in Mexico. His impact on residential home construction alone is estimated at 60,000 homes, with approximately 10,000 located in the San Fernando Valley. In his 1963 nomination for election as an AIA Fellow, Fickett was recognized for the "planning and design of over seventy residential communities containing 40,000 single family dwellings."

Specific examples of Fickett's work and his role in shaping the "built environment of the American suburbs" are found in the tract developments and planned communities Sherman Park, Sherman Way Homes, Coronet Construction develoment, Granada Estates, Emerson Place Community, University Park and Moorpark College Campus, and the Pacific Island Village. His noted apartment houses include Sunset Capri Apartments, Los Feliz Riviera Apartments, Cavalier Apartments, Sunset Patio Apartments, Fountain Lanai Apartments, and the Hollywood Riviera Apartments. In the area of government facilities, Fickett planned and designed housing for Edwards Air Force Base, Norton Air Force Base, and Los Alamitos Naval Station. His work on local government buildings included the Los Angeles City Hall, Los Angeles Fire Stations No. 99 and No. 30, the Port of Los Angeles, and the West Hollywood Library. His contributions to public parks included the Silverlake Recreation Center and Van Nuys/Sherman Oaks Park. He designed and planned the La Jolla Fashion Center and the Dodger Stadium Club and Bistro Gardens restaurant. The La Costra Resort and Country Club and Quail Ranch Resort and Country Club show the Fickett style as well. Lastly, he designed private residences for celebrities Dick Clark, Steve Lawrence, and Groucho Marx, and for Georgia Frontiere, Marilynn Mack, Raymond Kay, Dr. and Mrs. George Jacobson, among others, as well as his own homes.

Fickett also participated in a number of professional activities. He wrote articles in several publications; he appreared on panels and juries and gave presentations at professional meetings; he gave lectures to various groups and appeared before government entities promoting zoning and planning codes; he was very active in the AIA, both locally and nationally; he served on the Federal Housing Advisory Board for the Federal Housing Administration, the United States Savings and Loan League Advisory Board, and the American Arbitration Association National Board of Arbitrators.

Lastly, Fickett received a number of awards, certificates and other acknowledgements recognizing his achievements and contributions to the profession and the community. These awards came from among others the American Institute of Architects, the National Association of Home Builders, Progressive Architecture, House and Home Magazine, Parents' Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, Pacific Coast Builders, Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Los Angeles.

Fickett passed away in 1999.


666 Linear Feet (Contains 364 boxes, including 103 long boxes, 163 document boxes, 2 banker's boxes, and 96 boxes of various sizes; and 52 flat file drawers. Another set of renderings is stored in flat folders but not in containers. In addition, there are four 3-D models of Fickett projects.)

Language of Materials



The Edward H. Fickett, FAIA, records primarily contain the archives of the architectural office of noted Los Angeles architect Edward H. Fickett, FAIA. In addition, the collection contains a small set group of Fickett's personal papers.


The collection is organized and described, first, at the series level, based on the Standard Series approach for architectural records developed by Waverly Lowell and Kelcy Sherperd of the University of California, Berkeley, Environmental Design Archives. Then the collection is further divided into sub-series and file levels as needed to make the contents of the collection more easily identifiable and thus more accessible to researchers.

The collection is organized into the following five series: 1. Personal Papers; 2. Professional Papers; 3. Office Records; 4. Project Records; 5. Research Files


Mrs. Joycie Fickett donated the collection in March 2010.


Additional materials donated by Mrs. Joycie Fickett after the original gift are incorporated into the collection.

Related Archival Materials


A. Quincy Jones papers, 1942-1979, Collection No. 1692, UCLA Library Department of Special Collections, University of California, Los Angeles

Julius Shulman photography archive, 1935-2009, Collection No. 2004.R.10, Special Collections, The Getty Research Institute

Maynard L. Parker negatives, photographs, and other material, 1930-1974 (bulk 1940s-1960s), The Huntington Library

Pierre Koenig Papers and Drawings, 1925-2007, Collection No. 2006.M.30, Special Collections, The Getty Research Institute

Thomas D. Church Collection, 1933-1977, Collection No. 1997-1, Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley

Edward A. Killingsworth papers, Collection 0000148, Architecture and Design Collection, Art, Design & Architecture Museum, UC Santa Barbara

Related Printed Materials


Richard Rapaport, California Moderne and the Mid-Century Dream (New York: Rizzoli, 2014)

Winship, Sian, Quality and Equality: Architects Working for Developers in Southern California, 1960-1973 (Thesis, Master of Historic Preservation, University of Southern California, 2011)

Finding Aid for the Edward H. Fickett, FAIA, records
Michael Hooks, assisted by Charles Epting, Stephanie Guerra, Ruth Howell, Rebecca Michelson, Robert Rabens, Carly Rustebakke, and Emma Wood
2014 November
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Processing of this collection was funded in part by the generous support of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Revision Statements

  • 2021 October: Finding aid updated by Bo Doub: rehoused and updated locations for project renderings that had been stored in "VKC cage."
  • 2021 October: Finding aid updated by Bo Doub to include an accrual of unprocessed material and misfiled material found in USC Libraries storage.

Repository Details

Part of the USC Libraries Special Collections Repository

Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles California 90089-0189 United States