Just a reminder: Wright Virtual Visits began a fourth iteration on February 9, 2023. As sites have reopened to visitors, the format has adapted in order to continue to foster public engagement and visitation. In each month of 2023, you can go live at a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed public site, getting a behind-the-scenes look and insider tips for visitors. Those who are streaming live on Facebook will be able to ask questions, and recordings of each event will be available to watch afterward.
Wright Virtual Visits is a collaborative effort of all participating sites, jointly led by the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy and the Graycliff Conservancy with production support provided by Forever Ready Productions. Key support for earlier phases of the project was provided by staff from the Unity Temple Restoration Foundation and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.
Wright Virtual Visits will take place at 1pm Eastern/ 10am Pacific time on each of the dates listed. Click here for each episode link that will take you directly to the Facebook event listing where the live video will stream.
The Karl Howenstein Residence, remodeled by R.M. Schindler, is an extraordinary property located in the Monterey Hills area of South Pasadena. For the first time since its inception, this residential restoration opportunity comes to the market asking $2,399,000. Thoughtfully sited on four solid line parcels and perched on top of a promontory, the home offers awe-inspiring views from nearly every room, with a unique focus on urban beauty and natural grandeur. The light-filled residence becomes its own compass and sundial as the day's light traverses throughout the interior. From the secluded private driveway to the expansive vistas of the Los Angeles skyline, mountaintops, and valleys, you will be mesmerized by the beauty of this architectural gem steeped in California modernist history. The ultimate opportunity to reimagine this residence and create a private hilltop estate with views from downtown to the ocean awaits.
Karl Howenstein, also an architect, was a close friend to Rudolph Schindler. Schindler cherished their relationship immensely and brought Karl and his wife with him on his journey from Chicago to Los Angeles. During the couple’s first two years in Los Angeles, they lived in the guest apartment at Schindler's Kings Road house. Karl became Director of the Otis Art Institute and Curator of the Los Angeles Museum of History, Science and Art. He and his wife socialized in the arts and architecture circles, and were considered part of the Bohemian elite, along with Richard Neutra, Conrad Buff II, Edward Weston, Louis Sullivan and John Cage.
The first generation of the Howenstein home was designed and built in 1925 in a classic California style. In 1943, Karl commissioned his friend Schindler to create a radical hybridization of the structure. A carefully planned melding of the inherited traditional pitched roofline with Schindler’s bold directional flat roof design combine to transform the residence into a fusion of architectural modernity.
Schindler's design offers an innovative way of combining natural light, architecture, and engineering. The resolution of the corner construction allows for ample amounts of daylight to enter through glazing and clerestories. By embracing natural light, this innovative design offers an opportunity to create a truly transformational space. The combination of natural light and carefully crafted architecture creates a stunning backdrop for modern living. See it here.
In case you haven’t heard, Modernism Week is almost upon us. Now in its 19th year, the annual festival celebrating midcentury architecture, art and design kicks off in Palm Springs this Thursday. In honor of the occasion, over the next couple of weeks, the website Dirt will also be shining a spotlight on the ever-popular design movement, with extra focus to be directed at less well-known projects and practitioners.
For starters, they take a look at the Termini Residence, designed in 1959 by organic modernist James De Long. A native of Eagle Rock, De Long was on his way to Columbia University to study architecture in 1946 when he took a detour to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West in Arizona. During this visit, De Long made such a favorable impression on Wright, he was offered an apprenticeship, and never finished the drive to Columbia.
After spending a year as a Taliesin fellow, De Long returned to Los Angeles to establish his own architectural practice. His first solo projects were a pair of Usonian homes built between 1949 and 1951 on an out-of-the-way cul-de-sac at the top of Mount Washington. Awarded Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument status in 1994, these two early projects have long been on the radar of L.A. architecture aficionados, but few were aware of the existence of a third De Long-designed house on the same block until the Termini home surfaced on the market for the first time ever.
The redwood-clad residence was designed for Frank and Olga Termini. Frank, a tailor, shared the home with Olga until his death in 1979, while Olga, a professor of music at Cal State university, continued to inhabit the house until she passed earlier this year.
Surrounded by mature oak, elm, pine, and eucalyptus trees, the well-preserved home disperses three bedrooms and two bathrooms — one baby-blue, the other petal-pink — within 2,168 square feet. In addition to the colorful bath tile and matching fixtures, original details include beautiful wood paneling, built-in desks and bookshelves, aggregate concrete flooring, period lighting, numerous skylights, and the all-important walls of glass that help maintain a constant connection to nature and offer spectacular panoramic vistas all the way to the ocean.
Sited on a neatly landscaped lot just shy of a quarter-acre, the property is asking $2.098 million, but given this weekend’s turn-out, the competition to become its second-ever owner is liable to be fierce. See the photos here.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s client, Aline Barnsdall, the iconoclastic oil heiress and arts patron proved to be a formidable match for the architect’s strong will. The duo’s dueling relationship is now the muse behind “Entanglements: Louise Bonnet and Adam Silverman at Hollyhock House,” a first-of-its-kind installation within the landmark residence.
“There was this push and pull, but they had to work together,” artist Louise Bonnet tells AD PRO. “In a way, I have more interest and respect for her,” adds her co-exhibitor, the ceramicist Adam Silverman. The artists detected common threads between Wright and Barnsdall’s dynamic—“balance and suspension, and pulling and squeezing,” as Bonnet defines it—and their own creative processes. The artists leaned heavily into the concept of opposing forces to inspire several new original works each for “Entanglements,” which marks the artisan couple’s first shared presentation.
The exhibition also represents a first; Hollyhock House has never before hosted a contemporary art installation. Bonnet and Silverman managed their expectations accordingly when they contacted Hollyhock House curator Abbey Chamberlain Brach last summer to gauge her willingness to host a show of the sort. Fortunately, their timing was just right: Hollyhock House, which was one of eight Wright buildings (and LA’s first) to be recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2019, had just reopened following a two-year restoration plan, and the curatorial team was eager to “think more creatively,” Chamberlain Brach says. “These are layered spaces and there are so many voices. To add new ones to our narrative is really important.”
Those new voices—Bonnet’s and Silverman’s, to be exact—can now be perceived as soon as visitors pass through the residence’s narrow entrance. Bonnet’s highly emotive oil paintings, such as Hollyhock Green, featuring tightly grasped, disembodied hands in the entry, engage in conversation with Silverman’s complexly layered ceramics. To the right, in a light-flooded pocket of space between the loggia and the living room, is Hollyhock Gold, a larger-scale fleshy grip placed alongside another ceramic vessel. The choreography between the pieces explores physical and conceptual boundaries of attachments: “They’re always joined,” Silverman says of the strategic pairing.
Bonnet connects the home’s quality of light and color to the exaggerated gestures and pigment-rich palette employed in her paintings. As for Silverman, the property’s material selection served as inspiration—and ingredients too. Ash from nearby olive trees and water sourced from the Pacific Ocean were added to select glazes.
The integrations are also a nod to Wright, who references earth, air, fire, and water in the design of the home’s pièce de résistance, the commanding hearth. Now perched below the hearth, with its geometric cast concrete bas-relief, are Cosmos Jars, two gradient-blue conical sculptures by Silverman, that recall the water that once filled the gold mosaic-lined moat in front of the statement fireplace.
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