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Architect Lilian Rice, shown viewing Rancho Santa Fe's topography. Courtesy photo
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RSF Historical Society readies for special event

RANCHO SANTA FE — In Rancho Santa Fe, the architectural influence of Lilian Rice is abundant. From the Lilian Rice Row Houses, The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, La Valencia Apartments, La Flecha House to the first Rancho Santa Fe School, Rice’s inspiration is at every turn.

The Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society decided to further celebrate the work of Lilian Rice by hosting a special event on Aug. 12 called “Historic Places.” Historian Vonn Marie May will present the interactive talk.

The executive director of the Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society, Sharon Alix, shared that the afternoon event will provide everyone, particularly new residents of the area, an opportunity to learn about their community. For Alix, she believes that people have lost touch with what makes the Village so historic.

“New residents may not know the complete history of how the Ranch came about, and how one woman put it together with the help of the railroad. The presentation that Vonn Marie is going to do will show how the growth of the whole Village happened from nothing to what it is today,” she said.

May will also highlight other notable points in Rice’s life. Alix describes May as a great speaker who has in-depth knowledge about Lilian Rice. As a historic landscape specialist, her talks engage people.

“Vonn Marie knows everything about the architecture and the methods that were used here and in other locations,” Alix said. “She knows how California developed to this point, so it’s wonderful to hear her stories.”

Following the presentation, Alix shared that docents from the Women in Architecture, the

Palomar Chapter, are volunteering their time to do guided tours of the Village. Unlike the Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society walking tours, these will be a more abbreviated version of about four to five Rice locales.

Alix shared that space is limited for these tours to the first 40 people who sign up; a handful of spots are still available for May’s presentation.

The Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club is sponsoring the event, and the venue will take place at the club.

To learn more about Historic Places, call (858) 756-9291 or visit