Neutra Home: LA Site Named National Landmark

The Silver Lake mid-century home and studio join the "highly selective" list of National Historic Landmarks.

Prestigious, grandly announced rosters can cover a host of accolades, from acting awards to peace designations to academic prizes.

But if the announcement of the roster is coming from the Secretary of the Interior, there's a solid chance that the lauded list will involve new additions to our country's National Historic Landmarks Program.

Such a list was presented by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell on Wednesday, Jan. 11.

The 24 new countrywide additions to the protected place registry included a trio of Golden State sites. Chicano Park in San Diego is a brand-new National Historic Landmark, as is Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission Chapel in San Jose, and the Neutra VDL Studio and Residences in Los Angeles.

The mid-century modern home and design studio, which is located in Silver Lake, was built by Richard Neutra, a forward-thinking titan of one of Southern California's most quintessential architectural styles, beginning in 1932 (with some various stages of work through the years).

Mr. Neutra's son Dion Neutra joined his father in a "redesign" of the structures following a 1963 fire, and today the property serves as "a resource for Cal Poly Pomona and the community at large," says Prof. Sarah Lorenzen, the VDL Research Director.

The destination stays true to its community commitment, with tours for the general public each Saturday (join one from 11 a.m. to 3 o'clock).

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Called "a laboratory for modern architecture," the Neutra VDL Studio and Residences also played host to a host of historic figures through the years, including composer Igor Stravinsky and architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

The house, which is located in Rep. Adam Schiff's district, found a champion in Rep. Schiff as well as Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Both officials supported the important structures receiving the protective national landmark status.

It's a status shared by 2,532 national sites, which encompass 150 California sites, including, in Los Angeles, Baldwin Hills Village, the Bradbury Building, and Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

For the full list of the newest 24 sites to join the most recent class of National Historic Landmarks, check out the Department of the Interior and the expanded rundown of each important location (and why each location was deemed significant).

The Neutra home "is a valuable piece of American Heritage," says a Cal Poly Pomona statement about the designation. Now the Silver Lake landmark is assured of a long and continually inspiring future.

Interesting fact: The Neutra VDL Studio and Residences isn't the only Neutra-related entry on the January 2017 National Historic Landmarks nods. Mr. Neutra co-designed another just-announced National Historic Landmark, the Painted Desert Community Complex in Arizona, along with architect Robert E. Alexander.

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