Tributes celebrating the life and career of Norm Applebaum, who passed away on March 25, 2020:


Norm Applebaum was presented with the American Institute of Architects San Diego Chapter’s 2018 Robert Mosher Lifetime Achievement Award on October 18th, 2018.

Watch and listen to the presentation video



Julius Shulman, Architectural photographer:

You are a master at what you do. Your work is tied to the Modernists of Southern California, Harris, Shindler, Wright -- yet it is fresh, new and exciting.

See photos and information from the exhibition “Julius Shulman: Modern San Diego”, on display at the San Diego Public library, below.


Lynette Jennings, graduate architect and Discovery Channel TV host
on location at a home designed by Norm Applebaum:

I only have eight minutes, to do this right, we'd need a documentary.


Michael John Pittas, Dean of the Otis Art Institute of the Parsons School of Design, from a letter to Applebaum clients, Mr. and Mrs. Carlton Appleby:

I want to once again commend you on the most extraordinary architecture of your home. One rarely finds such quality of craftsmanship, detail and drama in a contemporary home. You are indeed very fortunate, and we as architects are doubly fortunate to have experienced this truly masterwork.


David Gebhard, Architectural Historian, University of Santa Barbara:

Your Matheron House in Escondido is very impressive, and its location overlooking the Wild Animal Park ideal.


Dirk Sutro, journalist, architecture critic and author:

Norm Applebaum is the creator of the quintessential San Diego home.


Cliff May, The late master of the California Ranch House,

admired the architect's work and photographed one of his homes in 1989. They had mutual interests in great architecture and fine music.


Kensington Home & Garden Tour brochure, 1997:

The Mueller Residence, "La Casa Dracena" a contemporary expression of sophisticated simplicity designed by architect Norm Applebaum. Norm's creations are influenced by the Japanese House, where visual spaciousness is achieved by use of dropped walls and an abundance of glass panels... Meditate, contemplate, ponder and experience this enlightened masterpiece.


Joseph O. Wong, FAIA, excerpt of letter of nomination of Norm Applebaum, AIA to the College of Fellows. (Read entire letter Read letter):

Norm is a devoted designer, artist, and master-craftsman. He has elevated the profession nationally with his personal practice. His thorough devotion to his clients and projects, his aptitude at originating, expressing, and promoting innovative design when approaching a challenge, his dedication to invention, and his exceptional manner of supporting local appreciation for architecture, all set him apart from his colleagues.


Mary E. Nichols, April 26 though April 29, 2010. Comment made by famous architectural photographer for Architectural Digest at a shoot of "Suncatch", The Estate, Rancho Santa Fe, California.

I have never seen anything like it.



Matheron Residence "Wings"
Photography Norm Applebaum


Julius Shulman, September 25, 2005. Comments made by the world famous architectural photographer at the house warming of "Suncatch", The Estate, Rancho Santa Fe, California.

This is the finest house in the world, your genius is beyond words.


To Julius Shulman
April 21, 2009

Dear Julius,
Thanking you for years of dedication to architecture
through the eyes of your genius, the architectural image.
It's been forty one years since we first met and I still
believe there is no other like you.

With affection and admiration always,

Norm Applebaum Architect


Norm Applebaum & Julius Shulman



The San Diego Public Library presented the exhibition “Julius Shulman: Modern San Diego” on display from September 28, 2019 through January 19, 2020.

“Recognized for his work in Los Angeles and Palm Springs, it is not widely known that between 1934 and 2007, architectural photographer Julius Shulman (1910 - 2009) shot over 200 projects in San Diego. His clients were architects, publishers, construction companies and developers.

Shulman's work, spanning several decades, documents the region's evolving 20th century architectural landscape and his instrumental role in sharing California's unique psot-War modernism with a wide audience. However, his images of San Diego have not been widely shared or published. This exhibition will present selected photographs from Julius Shulman's projects in San Diego, represented in both vintage and contemporary prints, and ephemera that contextualize this historically significant work. Curated by Keith York.”


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