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Arts and Entertainment

Upcoming Tour Will Let Architecture Buffs Explore 9 Of L.A.'s Finest Modernist Homes

R.M. Schindler's Oliver House (Photo by Julius Shulman, courtesy of USC Digital Libraries)
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Nine of L.A.'s most significant modern homes will open their doors to visitors next month for a MAK Center for Art and Architecture tour—a rare treat, considering that most of the homes are privately owned. The Oct. 2 tour is intended to highlight the important lineages of modern architecture in Los Angeles: according to MAK, the architects of each of the nine homes "started their careers working for Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, and/or R.M. Schindler (both of whom also worked for Wright)."

The tour, which will be self-guided, will wind through Silver Lake, Echo Park, and Mt. Washington. Each tour itinerary will take approximately four hours.

Here's a preview of some of the homes that will be welcoming tour-goers:

Lipetz House (Raphael Soriano, 1938)
Built in a mix of Streamline Moderne and International Style, the Lipetz House was Soriano's first residential commission. In an interesting detail, the L.A. Office of Historic Resources reports that legendary photographer Julius Shulman was introduced to Soriano at the house, "helping to launch Shulman’s career and establishing a long collaboration."

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A 1936 exterior view of the Lipetz House in Silver Lake. (Photo by Julius Shulman, Courtesy of USC Digital Libraries)

Photograph of an interior view of the Lipetz House, Los Angeles. A rounded part of a sunroom is shown in the image. (Photo by Julius Shulman, courtesy of USC Digital Libraries)
Jules Salkin House (John Lautner, 1948)
Echo Park's Jules Salkin Residence made headlines as a "long lost John Lautner house" when it came on the market in 2014 (it was purchased by fashion designer Trina Turk). Though the original real estate listing for it has been taken down, an archived version of it can be accessed through the WayBack Machine here. Lautner fans can a find a wealth of additional information about the house in Turk's Cultural Heritage Commission application for landmark status for the house.

(Photo via

Birtcher-Share House (Harwell Hamilton Harris, 1942)
Mid-century modern architecture commingles with Prairie influences at Mt. Washington's Birtcher-Share House. The home was declared a Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument in 1994.

(Photo via Los Angeles Historic Resources Inventory.)

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The living room of the Birtcher-Share House, circa 1945. (Photo by Maynard L. Parker via Henry E. Huntington Library)
Oliver House (R.M. Schindler, 1934)
Built on a hillside lot on Silver Lake's steep Micheltorena Street, the Oliver House has a wood stud frame that modified to permit a wider use of large glass areas, a style emblematic of California Modernism. It was originally filled with furniture of Schindler's own design, because, as architecture critic Esther McCoy wrote in 1960, "Schindler felt that furniture should merge with the house, leaving the room free to express its form."

(Photo by Julius Shulman, courtesy of USC Digital Libraries)
Raphael Soriano's Ross House (1938), Gregory Ain's Daniel and Orans Houses (1939 and 1941, respectively), Harwell Hamilton Harris's Alexander House (1940-1941) and James DeLong's Scholfield House will also be included on the tour.

Tickets, which benefit the MAK Center’s work and stewardship of Schindler’s architecture, are $90 for general admission and $75 for Friends of the MAK Center. They can be purchased here.

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