Neutra House in Silver Lake

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Neutra House in Silver Lake

Postby modfan » Fri Jun 29, 2007 1:41 pm

Dunno where else to fit this and the search function didn't return the appropriate topic. BUT.......

I just drove by it and there was a moving van outside and furniture on the sidwalk loading or unloading? I guess Cal Poly Pomona is in charge of it.

But does anyone know what's going on here, hope it's not something tragic.

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Postby nichols » Fri Jun 29, 2007 3:22 pm

An urgent message from Dion Neutra:


I attended a meeting thrown by Cal Poly at the Richard and Dion Neutra, VDL Research house yesterday. They disclosed that an important source of funding has just dried up. They literally are running out of money to even pay the utilities, never mind the necessary repairs of which there are many. It is not clear what will happen, but this is a DIRE CRISIS situation that has come up without notice!

Could you put it out there amongst the membership that Cal Poly badly needs partners SOON who will sponsor the upkeep and repair of this historic monument of the City of LA? They need 10K/mo. Just to keep the doors open even as much as they do. There is a sagging roof beam that needs a flitch plate added. Their estimate for this 10K job is 100K! Why? Because they feel that by raising the deck 1/2â€￾ they will so disturb the asbestos based plaster that much of it will have to be removed and replaced! They even worry that the glass in the penthouse will crack and have to be replaced.

I think if this is done very carefully and maybe over a period of several days, none of these bad things will happen and vast amounts could be saved. We need an imaginative and supportive contractor to look at this with a fresh eye, and an understanding that we just don’t have the big bucks here.

We need to ask the membership:
1. Know any such conscientious contractors who might give us a break; maybe do the work on spec and take a note?
2. Who could we get to commit to some donations really quickly to rescue this situation from real trouble?
3. What other ideas can people come up with to help Cal Poly hang in there?

Talk about a case for a crisis response; this is IT!

Obviously over the longer term, we need a much more comprehensive plan for conservation of this historic resource. Ideas from ANY quarter would be welcome. Cal Poly has been steward for 17 years now. Despite salwart efforts, they’ve been unable to orchestrate meaningful fund raising or endowment.

LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU CAN DO?

Best, Dion

neutra.org

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This woulda been

Postby modfan » Sat Jun 30, 2007 10:55 am


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Postby nichols » Thu Apr 17, 2008 3:21 pm

LOS ANGELES TIMES

The clock is ticking for Richard Neutra's VDL Research House II house

It could take $2 million to get the architect's personal residence restored and kept open for public tours.


By Janet Eastman, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

IT has been a tough year for the Neutra VDL Research House II, the fabled glass box overlooking Silver Lake reservoir. Already in need of costly repairs, the house where Richard Neutra lived and worked was damaged further by winter storms that overwhelmed its flat roof, poured rain into the walls and flooded the floors. Then a steady $10,000-a-year revenue stream used to pay for basic expenses dried up.

Now the house's owner, the nonprofit Cal Poly Pomona Foundation, has announced that it might be forced to sell the landmark and close it to the public if supporters can't raise upwards of $2 million
...

http://www.calendarlive.com/tv/radio/cl ... 2592.story

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Postby ch » Thu Apr 17, 2008 6:17 pm

Similiar issues with the Freeman House owned by USC. After watching these houses just rot away, I really think that they should sold off to the private market. It's sad but the institutional money is just not there. Perhaps it is better to turn them over to individuals wth deep pockets to ensure their survival. Of course it's best if the houses do remain open to the public, but the Freeman house is so deteriorated that it hasn't been open for years and it seems the the VDL house in on this path too. So what's the point of institutional ownership?

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Postby egads » Thu Apr 17, 2008 7:34 pm

I agree that in a private collectors hands,perhaps paying Marmol Radziner big bucks to do a restoration (how about back to it's pre fire look?) would be a better idea. Then it would probably be on tour occasionally. All these architecture students living there for free couldn't seem to get out there and clean the gutters and roof decks of leaves. (I bet Neutra himself did that into his 80s) A little Henrys roof cement here and there and it would not be in the shape it's in today. It's pretty basic, you have to direct water away from a house. If you do not it will deteriorate quickly. Neglect and rebuild seems to be the way we take care of landmarks here in LA. :roll:

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Well

Postby modfan » Thu Apr 17, 2008 8:16 pm

Before it goes to private hands are their any protections/deed restrictions
That would keep it from being unrecognizably altered by potential owners?

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Postby L.A.kevin » Sun Apr 20, 2008 4:00 pm


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Postby rockland » Sun Apr 20, 2008 5:09 pm


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Postby Stephen » Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:54 pm

This does make me quite sad. How many people on this message board, do you think, would love the opportunity to live in and/or work on this house?

I know this may be a bit of an unpopular view, but I'm not terribly fond of public ownership of architectural homes. In the case of most mid-century homes, these are not institutional mansions that feel like five-star hotels (ie: Biltmore Estate), these are machines designed for living and to see them not used for that purpose breaks my heart a little -- it's like seeing a racecar on a display in a museum instead of hitting the asphalt at Goodwood.

Furthermore, it seems pretty clear that the public ownership model isn't working too well for this house and some others like it. I'm curious, is there a precedent for any public / private partnerships? For example, I can see an organization as the "steward" for the property -- being granted a certain amount of access and control over renovation -- while the property is owned and lived in by a private party. So, for example, Cal Poly Pomona sells the house to a family, but they retain a certain amount of public access (a certain number of days per year) and may approve / deny modification requests. With the money they make from the sale, they will have a wonderful endowment for maintenance. This could be done in the form of a deed restriction so the access requirements continue with future owners.

I can hear some of you saying that it's not fair to the public or to Cal Poly but I look at the potential results: 1. the house will be maintained, 2. one lucky family will have the privilege of living in a *working* masterpiece 3. members of the public who *really* want to see it will have the opportunity to do so 4. because of the deed restrictions the property sale price will be lower, making the purchase (slightly) more accessible to people who *really* want to live in a Neutra.

To me, this sounds like a win for just about everybody involved. [/i]
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Postby Perks » Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:03 pm

Andy Perkins, Broker/Owner

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I wonder if

Postby modfan » Sun Apr 20, 2008 9:44 pm


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Postby kjansma » Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:37 pm

Why don't some of the actors in this town who profess to love architecture so much throw a few bucks at it? Or is there not enough glory in this for them? Or is it not worth it if they can't turn it over for a few million bucks in a few years? Wouldn't a big fat donation from the Cox Arquette family offset some of the taxes they have to pay on their Lautner sale?

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Postby Tony » Wed Apr 23, 2008 7:58 am

I don't think people are going to donate to the upkeep or rennovation of a house unless there is a responsible owner. And I doubt that anyone would consider Cal Poly Pomona to be responsible.

I wonder, are there any succcessful examples of a school or university owning an architectural house?

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Postby Izzy » Wed Apr 23, 2008 8:08 am

i agree with stephen, let a private party live there... very sad to see such a cool house looking like that.
Hey brad pitt likes architecture! it could be brangelinas newest adoption!
adopt-a-home, the newest craze in hollyweird.

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Postby jesgord » Thu May 01, 2008 8:42 am

House got some nice exposure in the NY Times home section today!!!!




CURRENTS | Richard Neutra’s Home Seeks a Down Payment on Its Future

Richard Neutra’s residence in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles was given to California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, by the Neutra family in 1990. But recently the university, which is financially pressed, announced that unless private financing is found to sustain the house, it may have to be sold.


Stephanie Diani for The New York Times
Sarah Lorenzen, the resident director of the house.
To help raise money for repairs and an endowment, the architect’s youngest son, Raymond, is working with the actress Kelly Lynch, who owns a 1959 Neutra house in Lone Pine, Calif. Ms. Lynch, who has contributed $1,000 to the campaign herself, said their goal is to raise $30,000 by October and $1 million by December 2009. But she added: “We’ll take $5, $10, whatever people feel they can give. We realize this is going to take a whole community to get behind us.â€￾

After their first fund-raising event last weekend, they are within $10,000 of the first goal, said Sarah Lorenzen, the resident director of the house. “The charge when the family donated the house was that principally it would be an educational tool,â€￾ Ms. Lorenzen said. And in a city where Neutra houses are coveted, she noted, “it is the only one open to the public.â€￾ The house is at 2300 Silver Lake Boulevard. Information: neutra-vdl.org.

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Well

Postby modfan » Thu May 01, 2008 8:59 am

At least a wealthy celeb is paying attention albeit anemically.
Unfornately it's take what you can get. Celebs you can do much better than this, Kelly coulda contributed the last $10000, it's chicken feed to a celeb of that caliber unfortunately it's probably typical, hate to be a downer but it's probably true. :|

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Postby Stephen » Thu May 01, 2008 9:05 am

It's pretty clear that there are people putting in Herculean efforts to save this home. I hope they are successful. With that said, I still want to reaffirm my belief that 100% public ownership / control *is not* the best model for stewardship of homes like these. I see this property as an opportunity to define a better way of preserving and retaining public access for significant single-family residences.

However, I'd much rather have this house be maintained than be proven right. I've made my donation and I suggest anyone who really believes in modern architecture do the same. If just 1,000 people donated $30 -- the goal for immediate repairs / expenses would be met.
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Postby mwl » Thu May 01, 2008 1:36 pm

Hey everyone. I know this is a touchy subject but please don't beat up on Kelly Lynch. She does a lot for preservation. We should all do as much as we can. Just my 2 cents.

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Postby grh122 » Thu May 01, 2008 2:12 pm


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Postby Tony » Thu May 01, 2008 5:13 pm

Haven't seen their Neutra, but they did a great job on their Lautner!

But I still think, given Pomona's past history, it's going to be hard to get people to donate to Pomona.

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Postby egads » Thu May 01, 2008 5:21 pm

In addition to her contribution, she also co-hosted the recent fundraising
breakfast.

http://www.lottaliving.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=12099

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Postby nichols » Wed May 14, 2008 3:30 pm

California Preservation Foundation has donated $1000 to support the restoration of Richard Neutra's VDL House in Los Angeles.  We ask our members and supporters to join us as we help Cal Poly Pomona reach their goal of raising $30,000.

Send your donation to:
Carrie Geurts, Director of Development
College of Environmental Design
Building 7, Room 107
Cal Poly Pomona
3801 W. Temple Avenue
Pomona, CA 91768

The check should be made payable to Cal Poly Pomona Foundation, and in the memo line please write: For Neutra VDL.

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Postby nichols » Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:22 pm

Modernica will donate a portion of its sales from the annual warehouse sale this Saturday to the Neutra VDL organization, a fund to restore a historic Silver Lake residence.


http://www.lottaliving.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=12355

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Postby Tony » Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:02 pm

Sorry to be so negative, but is this Carrie Geurts, Director of Development, the person responsible for the horrible condition of the VDL house? Or is she just the designated scapegoat, perhaps innocently covering up for the real criminal?

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Postby scottkaycee » Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:35 pm

Ms. Geurts, is in charge of raising money for the College of Environmental Design at Cal Poly, Pomona. I was a student there 1995-2002, and in that time they were largely committed to raising money to build a permanent design studio building for the Architecture department, they had obtained the parts used for the UCLA temporary library "The Towell" as it was called while the Powell Library was retrofitted. The dream was to reassemble the parts as new studio space. As far as I know they didnt work that out.

The house has been in a constant state of benign neglect since it was built, really. There have been a series of Dean's over the years and various political battles probably pushed the house out of priority. Being a state institute with very few "generous" donors to the program, their priorities have been to maintain accrededation by emphasising the studio environment on campus. The program outgrew it's facility and so the overcrowding threatened that, so most of the resources went to address that issue instead. For some reason the state can't use it's money for the house, and so that has been a problem finding extra money.

So the "responsible" party is probably the administration rather than any one employee, the faculty were always appreciative of the property but it seems to have none the less slipped through the cracks.
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