Palm Springs Modernism Week is celebrating John Lautner this year, by dedicating a sidewalk star to him and offering several other Lautner-related events. Most of the events take place on Friday, February 17, 2017, the day after Modernism Week officially begins. Here is your itinerary, should you choose to attend:
Begin with The Visionary John Lautner, a lecture by Alan Hess at the Annenberg Theatre inside the Palm Springs Art Museum. The lecture is from 10 – 11 am; tickets are $12 each.
Appropriately following at 11:30 in the same place is Arthur Elrod = Diamonds are Forever, a lecture by Adele Cygelman. Cygelman will demonstrate that Elrod in his own right was a designer of lasting value. The event ends at 12:30; tickets are $12 each.
Next on what has informally become known as “Lautner Day” is the dedication of the star. The star will be inset in Palm Canyon Drive outside the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center. There will be brief presentations by special guests and light refreshments afterwards. The event is free and there are no reservations.
The star was one of the goals of Karol Lautner Peterson, who headed The John Lautner Foundation from its inception in 1995 to her death in August 2015. We of the Foundation Board are especially pleased that the architecture and preservation groups in Palm Springs worked so hard to make it happen.
The final event of Lautner Day is the screening of Bette Cohen’s wonderful documentary, The Spirit in Architecture: John Lautner, at the Annenberg Theatre at 4:30 – 6:00 pm. Tickets are $10 each. The film is the 25th anniversary edition, newly updated and remastered from the original 1991 film by Bette Cohen. The screening is dedicated to Bette, who died in October 2016. Bette’s co-producer, Evelyn Wendel, will introduce the film. (See an account of the making of the original film, written by Cohen.)
While this list of events completes Lautner Day, there is still more.
On Sunday, February 19, Hotel Lautner will offer tours of the remodelled Desert Hot Springs Motel at 10 am, 11:15 am, and 12:30 pm. Visitors will be able to tour two of the units. Tickets are $50 each, a portion of which will be donated to the John Lautner Foundation. Members of the Foundation Board of Directors and volunteers will be at a table at the event, offering DVDs of Infinite Space and Tributes for sale and answering questions about Lautner’s work.
That night is a party with a purpose: Hotel Lautner – A Night for Preservation. Hotel owners Tracy Beckmann and Ryan Trowbridge will host another tour of the hotel and will introduce founders Ron Woodson and Jaime Rummerfield of Save Iconic Architecture (SIA). Proceeds will benefit SIA. Tickets are $125 each, 21-and-over only.
And finally, on Wednesday, February 22, Tracy Beckmann, co-owner of Hotel Lautner, will present what she has learned from renovating the Desert Hot Springs Motel (original name). Beckmann will speak at the Palm Springs Woman’s Club from 3-4 pm. The event is free but reservations are recommended.
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 ChristineLazzaretto 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.
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:
Sacramento City Hall Council Chamber
915 I Street
Sacramento, Ca 95814
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.
The eight buildings are:
Foster Carling House
Pearlman Mountain Cabin
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Two Cal Poly Pomona professors are teaching students how to develop a “Multiple Property Submission” for ten Lautner homes, for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.
Professors Lauren Weiss Bricker and Luis Hoyos offered a two-quarter course studying Lautner architecture, including visits to the Getty Special Collections to view plans and photographs, visits to individual Lautner homes, and instruction in the development of applications to the National Register. The work ranged from research of the historical and architectural context to the study of individual details in a home.
The winter quarter class just ended with a review of the students’ work at Hoyos’s home (the home includes an addition and some remodeling designed by Lautner). At this review the students offered short presentations on the historical context, then went into greater detail on five homes: Lautner (L.A.), Pearlman, Tyler, Harpel (Hollywood), and Walstrom. The event concluded with discussion about the application and a tour of Hoyos’ home.
There are many advantages to owners of homes on the National Register, and no real restrictions. Owners can modify or even demolish National Register homes (although by doing so they may lose their NR status, of course). They can receive tax advantages and the registration can help with inclusion of the home on a local cultural monuments list, which may provide additional protections and incentives as well. For more information on the value of National Register status, download this helpful guide, developed by Christine Madrid French of the National Trust.
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.
The Hammer museum exhibit, Between Earth and Heaven: The Architecture of John Lautner, is ending its travels in the Palm Springs Art Museum. Because the exhibit space and lighting is different from what was available at the Hammer the exhibit is laid out differently.
There is an entrance area showing early influences on Lautner, as at the Hammer, then a spiral-shaped path winds its way through the center room, where many plans, sketches, and working models are displayed. The models are in glass cases, allowing close viewing. Finally, an outer ring contains the large-scale exhibit models with their photographic scenic backdrops. Film loops are shown on transparent screens rather than on the wall. Very little material from the original exhibit has been excluded from this smaller-sized version.
The exhibit continues through May 30, 2010. Get an idea of how the exhibit looks through the Foundation’s picasaweb album:
Education about and preservation of Lautner buildings