About Friends of San Diego Architecture

About Ned Paynter

EDWARD ‘NED’ PAYNTER (1935 – 2007)

Ned Paynter was born in Victoria, B.C., Canada, and moved to San Diego as a teen-ager with his family. He received a B.A. and M.A. from San Diego State University and a Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Paynter was an historian of the United States who, since 1982, taught as an adjunct instructor at San Diego Mesa College. During his varied career as an academic he taught also at San Diego State University, University of East Anglia in England, the University of Missouri, St. Louis, and the Goethe Institute of Anglo and American Studies in Frankfurt, West Germany, as well as on U.S. Navy ships.

Through April 2007, Dr. Paynter was a formidable presence in the classroom. Students respected him for his determination and enthusiasm about subjects he addressed in his lectures, from the history of ethnic relations to the role of the United States in international affairs.

He had encyclopedic knowledge of architecture, jazz and baseball, and he was a gifted artist and photographer. Dr. Paynter wrote a blog, under the byline The Irate Codger (Iratecodger.blogspot.com) and, when his time and energy permitted, he turned to political cartooning (captain-freedom.blogspot.com).

He had a longstanding involvement with public radio. He was the News Director for KPFA in Berkeley. At KWMU in St. Louis, he reviewed movies and was a disc jockey on his own jazz show.   And he provided commentaries on many subjects for KPBS, the public radio station in San Diego.

Dr. Paynter was a great fan of Friends of San Diego Architecture and made several presentations—the last was “London After the Millennium” in 2006. He traveled extensively, always with his camera at the ready to photograph the great architecture of the world. It would delight him to know his collection is once again being shared.


The collection consists of 9,791 images taken over a period of forty years.  Photographed on slide film for teaching purposes, they were stored in categories by subject.   Most of the slides were dated and labeled.   Although employed throughout his career as a history professor, Dr. Paynter had diverse interests in many fields of study.

The collection is focused on the work of well-known architects—the Americans, the British, and the 20th-Century Continental Europeans.  The urban landscape is another interest: the cities and towns of the United States and British Columbia; those of the British Isles, with special attention to London’s history and cathedrals; the European cities from Medieval to Modern times; and selected areas of Asia and Australia.   Other categories include World Civilizations, especially those of the Greeks and Romans; Utopian and Futuristic Views; Technology and Visual Arts; and finally,some special niches—ball parks, historic theatres, railway stations, and Mission Architecture.

Sections of the Collection now open are: American Architects, British Architects, Modern European Masters, and Special Niches (excluding ball parks).   Also: the San Diego and Neighbors Gallery, Los Angeles and Neighbors, San Francisco, and California Cities and Towns are the first galleries in the U.S. Cities and Towns Section. Newly added are Edinburgh, Europe and Asia Collections. .....many more galleries to come, so check back often.