Motel exterior. Photograph by Karol Lautner Peterson
On March 4, 2011, Tracy Beckmann and Ryan Trowbridge welcomed guests to the newly renovated Desert Hot Springs Motel, designed by John Lautner in 1947. The motel is now surrounded by a protective wall and includes a small relaxation pool at the rear. Inside the wall is desert planting similar to that inside each unit.
Just three of the four units are available right now. The owners have had to contend with torrential rains that flooded all of the units,which set back their plans. New drains have been installed and the ground elevation modified to avoid any further flooding.
Tracy Beckmann and Ryan Trowbridge outside the motel. Photograph by Judith Lautner
For more information visit the hotel’s website.
Interior of one unit. Photograph by Judith Lautner
Kenny Caldwell, architectural writer, interviewed Murray Grigor, director of Infinite Space, after the screening of the film in San Francisco. The interview, with pictures, is published on one of Caldwell’s blogs, Design Faith. The perceptive questions reveal much about Lautner’s relationship to the earth and to his clients as well as offer insight into the making of the film.
Today’s Los Angeles Times features an article on Luisa Lambri, Italian photographer who tries to evoke a sense of “being there” in her photographs of buildings. The article discusses how she works, what she has done, and notes that most of her pictures of the Sheats-Goldstein residence are of the sky and perhaps a few lines of the building.
Read the article in this pdf version.
Leland Lee, architectural photographer who photographed several Lautner buildings during his career, will be honored by a special reception at the Michael Lord Gallery in Palm Springs February 18. An exhibit of his photographs is on view there from February 12 through March 12, 2010.
Lee considers his time photographing the Elrod house a peak experience in his career. Now in his 90s, he can still be found attending architectural events and playing card games with a friend who owns a Lautner house.
The Michael Lord Gallery is at 1090 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs.
CA-Modern, a magazine that partners with the Los Angeles Conservancy, is featuring a photograph of the Elrod residence taken by architectural photographer Leland Lee many years ago. The article is about Lee and the tragic loss of most of Lee’s negatives and other photographic materials in a flood in the 1980s, and the loss of the remaining materials in a fire in 2002. Lee, now 91, is trying to resurrect his archive. Additional photographs of Lee and of the Elrod house are included in the article.
See the article in CA-Modern in a flip-book version online (requires Flash). Scroll down this page from the LA Conservancy to find the Elrod photograph and link to the flip-book.
The Foundation archive is at the Getty Research Institute, Special Collections. The archive contains plans for virtually every Lautner building, and photographs of most (although the foundation does not have the rights to many of the photographs). These materials can be copied or loaned under certain circumstances.
Start here: http://library.getty.edu/vwebv/holdingsInfo?searchId=603&recCount=25&recPointer=12&bibId=778807
Search to see if there are plans or photographs of the buildings you are interested in. If you can get to the Getty you can request permission to see what is available. For more info on borrowing materials from the Getty:
The Foundation’s archive contains many photographs, but the Foundation does not hold the rights to most of them. To obtain photographs of Lautner buildings, contact the photographers directly.
Julius Shulman: contact the Getty Research Institute, Special Collections.
Michael Moore: 206.780.3405 P.O. Box 11137 Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 email@example.com
Art Gray: firstname.lastname@example.org