Finally, Landmark Status For Stahl House
Architecture & Interiors
The most astonishing architectural news this week wasn’t that Pierre Koenig’s Stahl House was amongst 10 Case Study Houses awarded landmark status by the National Register of Historic Places, but that this masterwork wasn’t already on the list. Was it really possible that Case Study House #22, immortalized in Julius Schulman’s 1960 photographs, was awaiting protection from the wrecking ball until now? The Case Study Program, launched in 1945 with the goal of creating affordable, Modernist single-family homes, remains a seminal moment in residential architecture, with southern California’s eternal sunshine and rugged topography the ideal backdrop for experimentation with flat roofs, glass walls and dramatic cantilevers. Demolition and significant alterations by unimpressed owners have befallen some Case Study Houses, but a noble, decade-long effort by the Los Angeles Conservancy has finally earned these Mid-Century jewels—and their iconoclastic architects—a measure of much-deserved respect.