Duncan Nicholson, founding member of The John Lautner Foundation and fine architect in his own right, died this month after a short illness. Duncan was always a good friend and valuable contributor to the Foundation as well as a dedicated architect in service to the truth. Duncan’s office and family have consented to our sharing their information on a memorial service for Duncan:
A memorial service will be held for Duncan at St. Martin Catholic Church on Saturday, February 7th at 11:00 am.
Or by mail:
The John Lautner Foundation
P.O. Box 29517
Los Angeles, CA 90029-0517
We hope to see you there to honor the life of a great man, architect, and friend.
We will publish a tribute to Duncan in this space next week. If you would like to contribute your own memories or thoughts on this great man, please send them to Judith Lautner at firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday, February 1. Later submissions may be added to the tribute.
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.
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.
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:
Contact the owners for reservations or with questions through the hotel website at http://www.hotellautner.com.
Curbed LA announced the sale of a residence formerly owned by film director Robert Aldrich, noting that it contains an addition by John Lautner. See the article. In fact, Lautner did three projects for Aldrich, each at a different location. Only the third appears to have been built: a pool and den at the residence currently for sale, completed in 1978. The pool still exists but it is difficult to determine what, if anything, is left of the den addition.
The September 6, 2013 edition of LA Times’ Home of the Week features the 1968 Stevens Residence, for sale by noted modernist rescuer Michael LaFetra. In other articles, LaFetra notes that he is expecting a baby in his life and that baby-proofing this home would damage its architectural character. LaFetra spent significant amounts of time and money restoring the elegant beach home to near-original, and enjoyed living there. Even Stevens’ daughter, invited to visit, is delighted with its current condition. The home is more than suitable for a family, as Stevens’ own experience testifies, but yes, it would be tricky for a toddler. We can expect that LaFetra will take care that the next owner is right for it.
The September 2013 edition of Grand Designs, a British magazine based on a television show of the same name, lists the Chemosphere (Malin residence) as one of “the most iconic homes of the twentieth century”. The article notes that the six homes chosen in the article have all “played key roles in redefining the benchmark for modern residential architecture”. The chemosphere shares space with Wright’s FallingWater, Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye,Shigeru Ban’s “paper house”, Gerrit Rietveld’s Schroder house, and Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth house.
The article, which begins on page 139 of the September issue, features the Chemosphere on the first page.
One of the events in the celebration of John Lautner’s birth in 2011 was a panel discussion, “Preserving Lautner’s Legacy”, held at the Wilshire Christian Church in Los Angeles. This discussion is now available on youtube, at http://youtu.be/rINak85pUzk and can be seen here as well:
The panel was hosted by The Los Angeles Conservancy and The John Lautner Foundation, with the support of the Getty Conservation Institute. Linda Dishman, Los Angeles Conservancy Executive Director, moderated the discussion. Members of the panel were:
Helena Arahuete, Principal, Lautner Associates; architect consultant to the Harvey Residence (1951); Advisor to The John Lautner Foundation Frank Escher, board member of the John Lautner Foundation; Principal, Escher GuneWardena Architecture; architect consultant to the Malin Residence (Chemosphere) (1960); Member of the Board of Directors of The John Lautner Foundation Mark Haddawy, current owner of the Harpel Residence (1956); Advisor to The John Lautner Foundation Michael LaFetra, board member of Los Angeles Conservancy; current owner of the Rawlins Residence (1980); Advisor to The John Lautner Foundation Ron Radziner, FAIA, Principal, Marmol Radziner; architect consultant to the Garcia Residence (1962)