Category Archives: John Lautner Buildings

Iconic Houses Conference Features Two Lautner Homes

The Iconic Houses program at the Getty Center features the Sheats and Garcia residences, among others.  There are many activities scheduled for this month. The registration deadline is tomorrow, February 7.  There are still a few seats left. Click on the logo below for a schedule.


About the Iconic Houses Network
ICONIC HOUSES is an international network connecting architecturally significant 20th century residences open to the public as house museums. The platform focuses on conservation, management, policy, and cooperation. The website was launched November 2012 and lists more than 150 house museums worldwide. The Organizing Board consists of house museum directors Natascha Drabbe (Van Schijndel House Utrecht/Iconic Houses founder), Iveta Cerna (Villa Tugendhat), Kimberli Meyer (MAK Center) and Lynda Waggoner (Fallingwater). Explore around 150 iconic residential masterpieces around the world at
The Getty Conservation Institute and Getty Foundation
The Getty has a longstanding interest in modern architecture, as currently manifested through the Getty Conservation Institute’s Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative (CMAI) which seeks to advance conservation practice, its companion program, the Getty Foundation’s Keeping It Modern grant initiative for 20th century buildings around the world, and the collections of the Getty Research Institute. Visit CMAI at and Keeping it Modern at

Little-Known Bosustow Cabin on the Market

View of cabin from terrace below.
View of cabin from terrace below. Photo by Judy Lautner

A cabin designed for Stephen and Audrey Bosustow in 1972-1976 is for sale. The Lautner-designed home is in Lake Almanor, CA, and features slanted glass panels facing the lake.  Bosustow built the cabin along with Clarence Bergman, using wood throughout.

Photo by Tycho Saariste
Photo by Tycho Saariste

The home is not in original condition. Additions have been made on both sides and its redwood exterior has been painted. A railing was added in front of the glass, and the concrete floor was carpeted. A terrace was added later.

Photo by Tycho Saariste
Photo by Tycho Saariste

Partly because of its remote location the home is not well-known.  The glass panels achieve the effect of no barrier, similar to the Pearlman cabin, because there is no reflection.

Detail photo by Tycho Saariste
Detail photo by Tycho Saariste

For more photogra

Photo by Tycho Saariste
Photo by Tycho Saariste

phs and details of the sale check the realtor’s site.


Nominations Approved by State Board

The “Multiple Property Submission” of eight Lautner homes to the State Historic Resources Commission was approved in Sacramento this morning, January 29, 2016.  The eight properties are the John & Mary Lautner House, the Foster Carling House, the Schaffer House, the Harvey House, the Harpel (Hollywood) House, the Pearlman Mountain Cabin, the Elrod House, and the Walstrom House.

The commission noted that seven letters had been received in support of the nominations.

The primary authors of the application, Lauren Bricker and Luis Hoyos, both teachers of architecture at Cal Poly Pomona, were present, as was Christine Lazzaretto of Historic Resources Group, who prepared the final revisions, and Judith Lautner representing the John Lautner Foundation. Students in the Cal Poly classes did the initial research and preparation of the application. Commissioners complimented the Cal Poly professors on their efforts in introducing their students to this process.

Staff offered a clip from the movie "Diamonds are Forever" in its presentation of the project.
Staff offered a clip from the movie “Diamonds are Forever” in its presentation of the project.

The multiple property submission will now be forwarded to the State Historic Preservation Officer for nomination to the National Register. The final determination is made 45 days after receipt by the Keeper of the National Register in Washington, D.C. As there have been no objections to the listing and the properties meet the criteria of the National Register they are expected to be listed.

The success of this application opens the door for additional applications by Lautner building owners and others. Much of the base work has been done. The Foundation is happy to assist with research and other aspects of the process. Please contact the Foundation through this form if you would like more information: 

Elrod House to be Listed for Sale Next Week

Living room from pool. Photograph by Melaina Mace & Marco Recuay, use courtesy of Michael Kilroy

The Elrod House, one of the best known of the homes designed by John Lautner, will be listed for sale early this coming week, according to owner Michael Kilroy. Built in 1968 atop a ridge overlooking Palm Springs and the southern Coachella Valley, providing views also of the San Jacinto Mountains to the west and San Bernardinos to the north and east, this home has been featured in the James Bond movie “Diamonds Are Forever” and in many high-end advertising campaigns.  As well-known and high-profile as the Elrod House is, Kilroy has helped create different kinds of memories of it for many people.

entry stairs to guest house
Entry stairs to guest house. Photograph by Melaina Mace & Marco Recuay, use courtesy of Michael Kilroy

Judith Lautner first saw the house as a young woman working for her father, when the two visited Arthur Elrod soon after it was built and then later when he was working on the Hope residence.  Lautner and Elrod had become good friends during the design and construction of Elrod’s house. Judith says that she loved visiting it at different times of the day because it became a different house every hour. Arthur’s death was a great loss to all who knew him and to the broader design world. He was both a major design force — John Lautner once remarked that no house he designed was better furnished than when Arthur furnished the Elrod House — and a kind man who generously helped many in the various communities around him.

Kitchen. Photograph by Melaina Mace & Marco Recuay, use courtesy of Michael Kilroy.
Kitchen. Photograph by Melaina Mace & Marco Recuay, use courtesy of Michael Kilroy.

Judith Lautner didn’t see the house again until many years later, when she and her sister Karol Lautner Peterson first met Michael Kilroy after he bought the property in 2003.  Judith says, “Michael spoke highly of both the work of John Lautner and of the efforts of the John Lautner Foundation, then asked if Karol and I had ever stayed in a home designed by our father. Moments later, he offered to lend the house to us and members of the extended Lautner clan, so that we could all stay together in a home designed by John Lautner. It was a week-long stay which none of us will soon forget, one during which we drew lots for the privilege of spending the night in the main bedroom and cooked each night in the generous kitchen. I liked the guest bedroom so much I didn’t give it up all week.”

This generous sharing of the Elrod House with others became the norm under Michael’s ownership. When the Hammer Museum was organizing its landmark exhibition of the work of John Lautner, the first comprehensive exhibit of his work, and Michael learned that architectural historian Nicholas Olsberg and the other curators of the exhibit had never stayed in a Lautner house, he lent them his, his only caveat being that they stay for at least three nights, so they could “start to really get some of the subtleties of the design.”

As noted in the film “Infinite Space: the Architecture of John Lautner,” when the Dutch architects and students who were traveling to every known Lautner project arrived in Palm Springs and reached Michael by phone that morning, he asked where they were staying that night, then put them up in the house. Michael also provided the house to numerous groups for charity events, like the Palm Springs Preservation Society’s Retro Martini Party in 2010 (half of the profits went to the Foundation), and a series of TEDActive events in 2012, and opened it to the general public for multiple days of tours during Modernism Week 2012 with the proceeds donated to the Los Angeles Conservancy. Michael  continued to share the property while a dispute over lender manipulation of mortgage interest rates dragged on between a multinational bank and hundreds of property owners including himself; the dispute lasted more than seven years and involved more than four years of litigation in half a dozen legal venues before that bank settled with him last year.

Pool deck below living area. Photograph by Melaina Mace & Marco Recuay, use courtesy of Michael Kilroy
Pool deck below living area. Photograph by Melaina Mace & Marco Recuay, use courtesy of Michael Kilroy

Michael’s sharing of the Elrod House in a variety of different ways, for more than a dozen years now, has meant that many more people than would otherwise be the case have been able to experience first-hand one of the greatest works of John Lautner. We are fortunate that owners like Michael Kilroy have been so impressed by John Lautner’s work that they not only buy and preserve these wonderful properties but also go out of their way to share them with others in ways which can greatly spread the enjoyment and understanding of these great designs.

The Elrod House will be listed by Tyler Morgan, Keith Markovitz and Todd Monaghan of HK Lane/Christie’s International Real Estate in Palm Springs.

National Register Nominations to go to State

The Foundation is pleased to announce the submission of eight Lautner buildings,  a “Multiple Property Submission”,  to the National Register of Historic Places.  The application is to be heard on the State Historic Resources Commission agenda on January 29, 2016, in Sacramento.  Members of the public are welcome to attend. The meeting will start at 9 am at

Sacramento City Hall Council Chamber
915 I Street
Sacramento, Ca 95814

Carling Residence

The application was prepared by  two Cal Poly professors: Lauren Weiss Bricker and Luis Hoyos, with assistance from their students, and with revisions by Christine Lazzaretto of Historic Resources Group.  It was a joint project of the Cal Poly professors and The John Lautner Foundation, which provided information and funding where needed.

Schaffer Residence
Schaffer Residence
Harpel Residence
Harpel Residence

The eight buildings are:

  • Lautner House
  • Foster Carling House
  • Schaffer House
  • Harvey House
  • Harpel House
  • Pearlman Mountain Cabin
  • Elrod House
  • Walstrom House
Harvey Residence
Harvey Residence



The application is the culmination of several years’ work, primarily by Bricker and Hoyos, and contains historical and architectural detail of each building, along with photographs.  If the state commission approves the nomination it will be forwarded to the Keeper of the National Register, who will approve or deny the application.

It is rare for a nomination to be denied after the state office has approved it. If the application is approved, the listing will pave the way for further nominations of Lautner buildings. The Foundation intends to pursue additional nominations either on its own or in collaboration with others and encourages all owners of Lautner buildings to look into the potential for listing their Lautner property. We are happy to assist.

John and Mary Lautner Residence







The application is expected to be on the “consent” agenda, which means that it will not be discussed separately. However, any consent item can be pulled from the agenda and discussed.  Bricker and Hoyos expect to be at the meeting, along with representatives from Historic Resources Group, and members of the Board of Directors of the Foundation.

Walstrom Residence

While not required, support in the form of letters is encouraged.  There is no required format for such letters. We have provided a sample letter (in Microsoft Word format) to get you started.

Letters should be sent to

State Historical Resources Commission
P.O. Box 942896
Sacramento, CA 94296-0001

Or you can send comments by email to

Elrod Residence


The Foundation’s primary purpose is the preservation of Lautner buildings along with the education of the public on the value and importance of Lautner’s architecture. Listing of these eight homes will provide a level of protection for the buildings as well as increased visibility of this architecture.  We are therefore very excited about this application and mark it as a significant point in the Foundation’s history.

Pearlman Mountain Cabin

Carling Residence for Sale

Rendering of original design
Rendering of original design

One of John Lautner’s best-known residences is for sale. The Foster Carling residence, built in 1947 (and remodeled by Lautner in 1991) using the same suspended roof scheme as two other Lautner designs (Poling and Jacobsen), also features a wall that opens outward with the flip of a switch, taking the built-in seating from inside the living area to the outside deck.

For more information on the house and the sale terms, go to the Modern Living LA website. The site contains several excellent photographs.


Crippled Children’s Building Threatened with Demolition

Photo by Mark Picascio
Photo by Mark Picascio

AbilityFirst, the current owner of the Lautner-designed Crippled Children’s Center in Woodland Hills, along with the potential buyer, Oakmont Senior Living, have applied for a demolition permit for the center building.  Although SurveyLA identified the building as a potential historical resource eligible for the California Register and for local listing, the project was not referred to the appropriate office (Office of Historic Resources) within the LA Planning Department. The Planning Department, unaware of its significance, prepared a Mitigated Negative Declaration, a determination that the demolition would not be significant.

Please join the Los Angeles Conservancy and The John Lautner Foundation in asking that the Mitigated Negative Declaration be denied and that an Environmental Impact Report be prepared instead, in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act.

photo by Mark Picascio
photo by Mark Picascio

Go to the Conservancy’s website for full details and information on what to emphasize in your letter to the City Planning Department. Time is limited: please send your email to the project planner,  Jordann Turner, by May 27, 2014.

Little-Known Lautner in Echo Park to go on Sale


The Jules Salkin residence in Echo Park is set to go on the market, probably May 12, 2014. The house has been in the family from the beginning, but for the past 17 years was rented. The family has been unable to do all of the repairs necessary over the years, so it is a little run-down but clearly worthy of the right buyer.

Visit the website developed for the sale to see details and many photographs, including many taken at the Getty, where the present owner visited the Lautner archive and found plans and even early photographs.

Foundation Present at Tours

The Hotel Lautner (Desert Hot Springs) offered tours during Palm Springs Modernism Week, on Monday, February 17, 2014. The hotel owners invited board members of The John Lautner Foundation to be present during the tours, to offer information about the Foundation and to offer DVDs, Tributes, and memberships for sale. Hotel owners will donate a portion of the proceeds to the Foundation as well.

The tours were well attended. There were many positive comments about the improvements the owners made to the hotel.  The Foundation table was busy all afternoon with sales and greetings. Among the many distinguished guests were Leonard Malin (original client for the chemosphere) and his daughter Mary Ann Malin Rollison. A quick view of what guests saw:

Entry to Unit 1
Entry to Unit 1
Inside Unit 4
Inside Unit 4
Small pool at rear
Small pool at rear
Outdoor table and seating areas
Outdoor table and seating areas
Area where future events structure will be located
Area where future events structure will be located

Contact the owners for reservations or with questions through the hotel website at