The most astonishing architectural news this week wasn’t that Pierre Koenig’s Stahl Property was amongst 10 Case Study Homes awarded landmark status by the National Register of Historic Locations, but that this masterwork wasn’t currently on the list. Was it truly achievable that Case Study House #22, immortalized in Julius Schulman’s 1960 photographs, was awaiting protection from the wrecking ball till now?
The Case Study System, launched in 1945 with the purpose of creating reasonably priced, Modernist single-loved ones homes, remains a seminal moment in residential architecture, with southern California’s eternal sunshine and rugged topography the perfect backdrop for experimentation with flat roofs, glass walls and dramatic cantilevers.
Demolition and significant alterations by unimpressed owners have befallen some Case Study Houses, but a noble, decade-extended effort by the Los Angeles Conservancy has finally earned these Mid-Century jewels—and their iconoclastic architects—a measure of considerably-deserved respect.
Pictures: Julius Schulman through Craig Krull Gallery