RANDELL L. MAKINSON
June 29, 1932 - August 13, 2013
Randell L. Makinson, for decades the acknowledged expert on the work of architects Charles and Henry Greene, died of cancer on August 13, 2013 in Pasadena, Calif. He was 81.
Makinson, who graduated from the USC School of Architecture in 1956, returned to the university in 1958 and stayed until 1992. He was a member of the architecture faculty and then director of The Gamble House, the 1908 Greene & Greene masterpiece that he helped save from demolition at a time when the Greenes' work was relatively unknown. He was given the title of Director Emeritus upon his retirement.
Makinson championed the house and its significance to the City of Pasadena and the USC School of Architecture, and it was deeded to both by Gamble family heirs in 1966. Under Makinson's 26-year directorship, The Gamble House became an international model for authentic architectural sites, containing nearly all of its original, architect-designed furnishings. Makinson also developed a model volunteer organization, made the house accessible to the public and scholars, and positioned the house and its operations to be economically independent. The Makinson model has been used on properties in Chicago, Buffalo, New York City, Seattle and other American cities as well as others in Scotland and Japan.
Another important initiative undertaken by Makinson was the establishment of the Huntington Library's permanent Greene and Greene Exhibit and Archives. Makinson also worked on important Arts and Crafts and architecture exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Cleveland Museum of Art and others.
He authored six books on the Greene brothers and their architecture, as well as chapters in other books and publications. His books include A Guide to the Work of Greene and Greene (1974); Greene & Greene Architecture as A Fine Art (1977); Greene & Greene Furniture and Related Designs (1979); Greene & Greene: The Passion and the Legacy (1998); Greene & Greene: The Blacker House (2000), which he wrote with photographer Thomas A. Heinz and actor Brad Pitt; and Greene & Greene: Creating a Style (2004), with photographer and AIA architect Thomas A. Heinz.
His awards included an honorary American Institute of Architects designation in the late 1990s, an honorary Millennium Recognition Design Award from the Pasadena/Foothill chapter of the American Institute of Architects, a key to the City of Pasadena in 1992 and a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the USC Architectural Guild in 1997.
In 1992 after his retirement from The Gamble house, Randell formed Randell L. Makinson Associates and continued his architectural practice in the restoration and consultation of Greene & Greene, and other Craftsman properties, as well as projects in Modern & Contemporary architecture. He continued working until 2 months before his death.
Makinson was born on June 29, 1932 in Los Angeles and was raised in Glendale. He is survived by a sister, several cousins, a niece and a nephew, seven great-nieces and great-nephews and several godchildren.
Services will be held at 9:00 AM on Saturday, August 24, 2013 at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills. 6300 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90068. A Celebration of Life Luncheon will follow at the conclusion of the services.
In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested in his name to The Gamble House, 4 Westmoreland Place, Pasadena, CA 91103.