|Birth: ||Mar. 27, 1924, USA|
|Death: ||Dec. 12, 2009|
James Beauchamp Alexander "Beach"
After a full life of study and consultation on the subject of architectural history, James Beauchamp (Beach) Alexander died peacefully on December 12, 2009, surrounded by friends. He was born to Claude and Alice Beauchamp Alexander on March 27, 1924, and is survived by his cat, Molly, and the many friends who loved him. As a young man, he traveled extensively throughout Europe with his maternal grandmother and became interested in architecture. He was particularly proud of the fact that his family founded Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, in 1833, which was widely regarded as the avant-garde institution providing liberal arts education for women. Beach also enjoyed a close personal relationship with his grandmother's dear friend, Maude Adams, an American stage actress, who achieved her greatest success as Peter Pan. He co-founded both the Sonoma League for Historic Preservation and the California Heritage Council, where he later became the Executive Director and pioneered the preservation of California architecture. He studied architectural history at Les Ecoles D'Art Americaines de Fontainebleau, the Royal Academy at Copenhagen, and the National University in Mexico City. He did his undergraduate work at Washington and Lee University in Virginia where he was a member of the Kappa Alpha fraternity. In 1942 Mr. Alexander joined the U.S. Army Reserve Corps. After serving two years as a medical technician on the European Front, he spent two months in a German prison camp and was honorably discharged in 1945. In 1950 he was recalled for a year of active duty in the U.S. Air Force in Japan and Korea. Throughout his professional life, he became particularly interested in the work of Andrea Palladio, and designed his home in this style, building most of it himself. He named it Villa Demeter and it was his pride and joy. Mr. Alexander's additional achievements included authoring 'Sonoma Valley Legacy,' a 1986 book on Sonoma Valley adobes as well as a comprehensive book, co-authored in 2002 with James L. Heig, on San Francisco architecture, 'San Francisco - Building the Dream City.' During his long retirement, Mr. Alexander volunteered countless hours to historical preservation in California and the Sonoma Valley. We will miss him greatly. A public tribute to Beach Alexander will be held on Saturday, January 2, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. at the Sonoma Mission in Sonoma. All are welcome. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made as a memorial tribute to Beach's love of historic buildings, and particularly to preservation efforts for the Blue Wing Inn in which he lived at one time. Contributions may be sent to the 'Blue Wing Inn Fund' at the Community Foundation of Sonoma County, 250 D Street, Suite 205, Santa Rosa, CA 95404.
Published in Press Democrat from December 23 to December 24, 2009
Created by: Geraldine "Gerry" Hume...
Record added: Dec 23, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 45751568