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The post-modern era is most associated with architecture appearing since the late 1970s, continuing through today. Often post-modern architecture is referred to as neo-eclectic, representing essentially a revival of period styles for houses, and an unending variety of forms and sleek, asymmetrical designs for commercial buildings. Post-modernism is based on several reactions: a rejection of modernist thought; a return to traditional, historical precedents; and a re-awakened interest in history and heritage. Post-modernism coincides quite well with both the historic preservation movement and the new urbanism movement.

In turning away from "anonymous glass box" architecture of the International style, with post-modern design anything goes, and historical features tend to be widely exaggerated. Post-modern architecture does not necessarily try to replicate historic styles of an earlier age, but instead uses a wide variety of historic forms, simplifying and mixing them, sometimes with an unorganized look and intentionally clashing forms. In many cases the designer superimposes one geometric structure upon or against another disparate form, trying to create a memorable effect.

There is a growing number of buildings in Fullerton with post-modernism architecture, which can be seen throughout the city with both residential and commercial structures. Fullerton City Lights, the four-story apartment offering single-person occupancy rooms at 224 E. Commonwealth Avenue (2001) exhibits a post-modern design by combining various period styles for its front façade and employing bold colors on the exterior. Similar styling is seen with University House Fullerton, a mixed-use development at 555 N. Commonwealth Avenue (2013). The Hydraflow Building (2002) at 1881 W. Malvern Avenue represents the style in a large commercial building. The single-family residence constructed in 2003 at 401 Marion Boulevard demonstrates the style with a custom, one-of-kind design. Other examples of the style are the 5-story southwest tower of the St. Jude Medical Center complex at 101 E. Valencia Mesa Drive (2009) and the Gastronome building on the CSUF campus (2011).

Read More about Post-modernism Architecture:

  • "Angels and Franciscans: Innovative Architecture from Los Angeles and San Francisco. " Edited by Bill Lacy. New York: Rizzoli, 1992.
  • Ghirando, Diane Yvonne. architecture after Modernism. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1996.
  • Jencks, Charles. The New Paradigm in Architecture: The Language of Post-modernism. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002.
  • Klotz, Heinrich. The History of Postmodern Architecture. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1988.
  • Sutro, Dick. West Coast Wave: New California Houses. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1994.

Fullerton City Lights (2001) - 224 E. Commonwealth Avenue
Fullerton City Lights (2001)
224 E. Commonwealth Avenue


Hydraflow Headquarters Building (2003) - 1881 W. Malvern Avenue
Hydraflow Headquarters Building (2003)
1881 W. Malvern Avenue


Residence (2003) - 401 Marion Boulevard
Residence (2003)
401 Marion Boulevard


Southwest Tower of St. Jude Medical Center (2009) - 101 E. Valencia Mesa Drive
Southwest Tower of St. Jude Medical Center (2009)
101 E. Valencia Mesa Drive


Gastronome (2011) - CSU Fullerton campus
Gastronome (2011)
CSU Fullerton campus





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