Remembrance: George Sweeney was the Peninsula’s architect

While George Sweeney was studying to become an architect at USC, he worked for Walter Swindell Davis, an architect with the Palos Verdes Project, the group responsible for establishing the Palos Verdes Homes Association and Art Jury.

Sweeney passed away on October 10, at age 79.

Sweeney  started his own practice in 1976, in a small office on the west corner of the Gardner building in Malaga Cove Plaza. His first client was a developer who commissioned him to design two homes. His quickly became the architect of choice for Peninsulans who wanted a traditional design with accurate detailing, whether in the style of a Tuscan Italian Villa, Italian Renaissance, French Normandy, Spanish Colonial, or California Ranch.

Sweeney also designed his homes’ the interiors, and landscaping, which he believed were integral to his designs. 

Most of his works was residential, although he did redesign of Malaga Cove Plaza, adding the treelined walkway, in the early 1990s. His homes can be found throughout California, from San Francisco to San Diego.

In the early 1990s Sweeney moved to the best office in the Plaza, the north end of the Casa del Portal building, which he enjoyed for more than four decades. 

He was a mentor to all his employees, many of whom became licensed architects themselves. He was also a lifelong student of architecture. His attention to detail earned him an appointment to the Palos Verdes Art Jury in 1987. Over the subsequent 10 years he served as President. Sweeney also served on the Rolling Hills Architectural Review Committee from 1986 until his death. His commitment to protecting the character of these communities was unwavering and the contribution of his body of work will be revered for lifetimes.  

Sweeney loved chess, champagne, margaritas, cigars and classical music. He loved New York City, his cabin in the Sequoias, a spirited discussion on an ever expanding universe, a good joke (better yet, telling a joke), the cities of Rolling Hills, and Palos Verdes Estates and first and foremost,  architecture, the mother of all arts. Pen


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