About Us

What is the Foundation?

The John Lautner Foundation was founded in 1996 to celebrate and maintain the work of one of last century’s most creative American architects. John Lautner, early apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright, practiced architecture for more than 55 years, creating buildings that are each a unique solution for a particular site. The foundation has an agreement with Getty Special Collections that allows the Getty to control and maintain the vast archives of his work, with usage guidelines approved by the foundation. The foundation serves as a resource for information about Lautner works and intends to increase active participation in the preservation and maintenance of Lautner buildings.

After Lautner’s death in 1994, Karol Lautner Peterson, Lautner’s oldest daughter, headed up the creation of the foundation as a non-profit institution. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, dedicated to education. Our employer Identification Number is 95-4629545.

The Board of Directors

Board of Directors
L-R: Judith Lautner, John English, Christopher Carr, Frank Escher, Karol Lautner Peterson, Eleanor Schapa
  • Judith Lautner, President, Treasurer. Former city planner, assistant to John Lautner, daughter of John Lautner
  • Christopher Carr, Vice-President: past Board Member and Director of the Taliesin Fellows Archives
  • Frank Escher, Former Administrator of the John Lautner archive: editor of John Lautner, Architect 
  • Eleanor Schrader, Secretary, architectural and interior design historian and consultant, teacher of the history of architecture and interior design at UCLA Extension and Santa Monica College
  • John English, Preservation consultant. Los Angeles-based architectural preservationist

Honored Past President: Karol Lautner Peterson (deceased)

Honored Past Director: Duncan Nicholson (deceased)

The Advisory Board

  • Cheryl Berenfeld
  • Will Bruder
  • Barbara-Ann Campbell-Lange
  • Crosby Doe
  • Lord Norman Foster
  • Mitch Glazer
  • James Goldstein
  • Elizabeth Honnold Harris
  • Jan-Richard Kikkert
  • Kelly Lynch
  • Richard (Kip) Serafin
  • Howard Rodman
  • Leonard Malin
  • James Morris
  • Oscar Rodolfo Munoz
  • June Perez
  • Tina Peterson
  • Robin Poirier
  • Joseph Rosa
  • Tycho Saariste
  • Julia Strickland
  • Julia Silliman
  • Dorothy Tomilson
  • Louis Wiehle
  • Melissa Metuscak
  • Trudi Sandmeier
Honored past advisors:
Ann Friedberg
Martin Daoust
Bette Jane Cohen
Eric Lloyd Wright

The Archive

The collection of drawings, models, photographs, and other materials that belonged to John Lautner comprise his archive. The Foundation donated this archive to the Getty Museum Special Collections in 2007.

The archive contains:

  • Approximately 9,000 working drawings (389 tubes), 800 sketches (five flat-file archival boxes), 100 (mounted) renderings (two flat-file archival boxes), 200 presentation drawings (one flat-file archival box), 200 negatives of the presentation drawings (one flat-file archival box), 250 reduced working drawings (one flat-file archival box).
  • Thousands of construction and project photos, slides and prints, up to 8 1/2 X 11 inches (approximately 130 binders), hundreds of oversized, mounted photos for exhibition purposes (14 flat-file archival boxes).
  • Job and client files (nine file boxes), structural calculations and files (two file boxes)
  • Approximately 20 models.
  • Comprehensive collection of bibliographical and periodical material, from 1940 to 1994 (13 archival file boxes)
  • Professional and private correspondence (four archival file boxes)
  • Film and exhibition reviews, transcripts of lectures, panel discussions, interviews (four archival file boxes)
  • Miscellaneous other documents and papers (four archival file boxes)
  • Video and audio documents of lectures and interviews, copies of documentary film “Spirit of Architecture” by Bette Cohen (one file box)
  • Portfolios (one flat-file archival box)
  • Citations and awards (one flat-file archival box)

To request copies of items or to view materials in the archive:

Start here:


For more information on borrowing materials from the Getty:


There may be some items not available at the Getty that the Foundation retains. To request such an item, use this form:

Request form (pdf file)


Donations of any amount are welcome any time.

The Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization. The Foundation derives income from memberships, donations, events, grants, and miscellaneous minor sources. It pays for event costs, postage, web hosting, legal and other clerical costs, preservation activities, and incidental expenses.

The Foundation’s board of directors is a “working board”. All volunteers, the board members do almost all of the work required to keep the organization running. Members of the Foundation’s Advisory Board are occasionally called upon to assist, also on a voluntary basis. To assure competent reporting of income and expenses, the Foundation employs a part-time bookkeeper. From time to time, support help is paid by the hour to respond to requests. On a contract basis, the Foundation occasionally engages legal assistance.

The Foundation does not have an office. Work is done from the various offices and homes run by individual board members, in between and beyond normal working hours.

No glitzy chrome desks, no glass-walled offices, no air-conditioned space-aged copy room, no orderly file system, mega-scanners. No director, no legal office. Ours is a small operation run by dedicated volunteers.

The Foundation could use your help. You can be assured that any financial assistance you give will go toward meeting the goals of the Foundation.

 OR you can send a check to the address below! Thank you.


You can help support the Foundation by becoming a member.  Visit the membership page to sign up!

Contact us

Contact the Foundation by mail:

The John Lautner Foundation
P.O. Box 116
Los Angeles, CA 90272

By email:
Send comments and questions to comments (at) johnlautner.org

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