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NOCA MODERN Architect Detail

Body of Work:
Century 21 Theatre

Vincent Raney 200 dpi


Vincent Gerard Raney was born in Loogootee, Indiana in 1905.  The son of a building contractor, he studied architectural engineering at the University of Illinois.  After graduating in 1929, Raney continued his education with post-graduate studies in law and finance at the University of Arizona.

In 1931, Raney obtained work as an apprentice for the San Francisco-based architect, John Linden.  Roughly a year later, he was working as a draftsman for the firm of William I. Garren, AIA.  Raney obtained his California license to practice architecture in 1934. He continued working for Garren as he secured independent commissions.

Some of Raney’s earliest projects were “Flying A” service stations designed for the Associated Oil Company of San Francisco.  Initially, Raney worked as a subcontractor for the firm of Masten & Hurd.  But by 1935, Raney could call the Associated Oil Company account his own.

In 1938, Raney received his first commission to design a movie theater.  Soon thereafter, he became a specialist in movie theater design.  This specialization would later lead to a position as the exclusive architect for the Syufy chain of theaters, best known for their signature Century dome, a Raney design.

In 1942, Raney received his first church commission and by 1950, he was known as a specialist in church design.  Raney’s experience with churches soon led to commissions for private schools – everything from administration and classroom buildings to interior decor in the dorm rooms.

By 1960, the firm Vincent G. Raney & Associates could boast a broad project portfolio with some 1,000 building projects.  The name Vincent G. Raney could be associated with custom residences, gas stations, churches, schools, commercial buildings, shopping centers and movie theaters.  Raney continued to practice architecture until his well-earned retirement in 1996 – a remarkable career spanning 65 years. Raney passed away in 2001.

Member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 1942-2001

Body of Work:
Round House Restaurant, San Francisco (1938);
Home of the West (AKA “The Sunshine House”) for the Golden Gate International Exhibition (1939);
St. Gregory’s School, San Mateo (1951);
St. Martin’s Church, San Jose (1952);
St. Hilary’s Church, Tiburon (1954);
Serra High School, San Mateo (1955);
Century 21 Theater, San Jose (1964);
Capitol Drive-In, San Jose (1971)

Frederic A. Sharf, Suburban America 1930-1970: An Architectural Perspective, Newburyport Press, 2001.

Joyce Raney



DOCOMOMO US/Northern California

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