Fallingwater / VKG

 Van Keppel Green chairs and table at Fallingwater, outside in the snow. That just doesn't seem right. California chairs like the sun. 

Source: Kellan

Most of the furniture in the house are originals by Frank Lloyd Wright. I wonder how and when the VKG furniture ended up there? They're too late to be original to the house. I'm thinking Kaufmann liked the VKG he had at his Neutra pad in Palm Springs and decided he wanted a little CA in the PA.
Source: Wright House

Here is Frozenwater today. I hope they brought the VKG in.

Source: Fallingwater

Tackett / Thursday

La Gardo Tackett for Freeman Lederman

California's Designing Women / Book Signing

California's Designing Women 1896-1986 Book Signing Event. 

Join author Bill Stern and designers Marilyn Austin, RenĂ©e Firestone, April Greiman, 
Judith Hendler, Gere Kavanaugh Cher Pendarvis and Deborah Sussman for this special event 

WHERE: Heath Ceramics Studio & Store  - 7525 Beverly Boulevard, LA

WHEN: Saturday, February 1, from 2 to 5 PM. 


More about the book can be found here and here

Schlessinger / Schindler

Phillip and Phyllis Schlessinger House (1954) by Rudolph Schindler in Los Feliz
Here is your chance. Unique California Property is representing the sale of the last residence designed by Schindler.
More information, here.

The furniture in the house is great. John Kapel for Glenn of California cabinet, Eero Saarinen Grasshopper chair for Knoll, Knoll stool, Vista of California VKG daybed, and that Bill Lam table!
Nelson chairs / Eames DTM

Nice VKG set up in the kitchen

More VKG out back
Source of all the photos: Unique California Property

Hi / Fi

Craig Ellwood for Laverne, custom for the Rosen House
Source: California Design, 1930--1965: "Living in a Modern Way"

I.M. Pei, custom for his own apartment

Alexander Girard, custom

George Nelson for Herman Miller

Here is the stereo cabinet above when it's open.

Paul McCobb for Bell and Howell

Vladimir Kagan for Kagan-Dreyfuss Inc.
Source: 20C Objects

Jens Risom

Dieter Rams for Braun

George Nelson
Source: Wright

Albert Frey, custom
Source: Wright


Pierre Koenig and Gerald McCabe unit from Koenig's Bailey House, CSH 21 
Photo by Shulman

Weekend / Stuff

Greta Grossman

Evelyn Ackerman

Fullerton / Civil Unrest

Hunt Foods Library (1962) in Fullerton, CA by William Pereira


The building was a gift to the City of Fullerton from the Hunt Foods & Industries Foundation, which was headed by Norton Simon.

The City of Fullerton has decided not to fund this branch and it is now closed. There appears to be no long term plans to reopen the library. Read more about that here.  The City has struck a deal to lease the building to a church for at least two years. Why have a building full of books when you can have a bunch of people thump just one?
The City Council recently voted to support an application to place the building on the National Registry of Historic Places. Hopefully this means a steeple won't be added by the new tenants.
Fullerton City Hall (1963) by Smith, Powell & Morgridge

They call it "New Formalism"

A protest was underway next to City Hall in reaction to the acquittal of the two Fullerton police officers who beat unarmed homeless man Kelly Thomas to death.

Some citizens left some nice notes on the front of Police Station.

Being a cop must be a rough job. On the other hand, if you've followed this story and have seen what they did to Kelly Thomas, I don't see how anyone could justify what they did to that poor man. There's some shady stuff going on in Fullerton.  Those two bastards should be thrown in prison. Receiving daily beat downs for the rest of their lives would be getting off easy.  
After I left, things started to heat up.
Image:  Voice of OC
14 protestors were arrested. Read about this very sad story here and here.
Image:  Voice of OC

Tackett / Thursday

Julius Shulman's house and studio by Raphael Soriano. Count the Tackett pieces. Photos of the house 50 years later can be seen here.
Photo Julius Shulman via

Ain / Mar Vista

On the surface, Gregory Ain's architecture is not exactly sexy, especially when compared to architects like Craig Ellwood or John Lautner.  Ain was less interested in making visual architectural statements and focused his attention on using modern architecture to solve "the common architectural problems of common people".  
Ain and firm partners Joseph Johnson and Alfred Day, teamed up with landscape architect Garrett Eckbo, and private developer B.M. Edelman to build the Mar Vista Housing project.  Built in 1948, the goal was to build a tract of cost-efficient housing that created a "community in a park" atmosphere. At this time Ain got away from building custom houses for individual clients and was focusing efforts on housing for "common people".  He took a problem-solving approach to the social and functional aspects of housing.  He developed the Mar Vista tract with similar house models to promote unity, but changed the orientation for variety. Flexible floor plans and open kitchens were used to fit the needs of various family types. Eckbo added variety with his landscape design for individual houses, but also worked with Ain to create common space in order to blur the lines between public and private property.  If all this common land and housing for the working class is starting to sound a little lefty-communist-like-- it sort of was. In fact, at the time, modern architecture, with those flat roofs, was considered attractive to those with left-leaning political views. Although Ain was perceived as a communist, he wasn't actually looking to express political ideals through Mar Vista, but only wanted to promote efficiency and social interaction through his housing prototypes. 
Source: Arts & Architecture, May 1948 

Source: Arts & Architecture, May 1948

Source: Arts & Architecture, May 1948

This model is the reverse of the above.

Source: Arts & Architecture, May 1948

VKG in the house
Source: Gregory Ain, by Anthony Denzer

Marketing efforts were made to proclaim Mar Vista as "Modern & Unique", a tactic Ain probably didn't care for.  The campiagn wasn't very successful and the houses were not quick sellers.  They were priced at $11K in an area that was not very desirable at the time. Due to slow sales and a lack of affordability, financing was pulled by the FHA and only the first phase of 52 houses were built.  The original plan was for 102. 
Although Ain was disappointed they couldn't get below the $10K sales price and the full plan was never realized, the project was still seen as a success.  The list of former tenants also attests to this success. Some of the early tenants included Max and Rita Lawrence (Architectural Pottery founders); film director Joseph Strick (later commissioned the only Oscar Niemeyer house in the US); Barbara Billingsley (June Cleaver from Leave it to Beaver); and there were also a host of academics and creative types. In Gregory Ain, by Anthony Denzer there is a quote by Max Lawrence where he recalled: "These houses brought these disparate types of people together.  And even though there were different backgrounds politically, socially, and all, somehow by living in the housing they did influence all of us, and made us feel unique, with a common bond." A second quote in the book, by a chemist names Rachel Rosenbach, stated: " We found neighbors that followed our line of thinking politically, and that's another reason why we felt so comfortable."   

I know it's in LA, but on my walk through the neighborhood last weekend I did notice a fair number of Prius hybrids parked in driveways. Perhaps the social experiment is still working?
 OG sidewalks
In 2003, the Mar Vista Tract was designated as a Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ), the first for any post-war development in Los Angeles. A preservation plan has also been established to protect the integrity of this historic development. More about the HPOZ and the history of the development can be found here.