Way Back When: Los Altos Neutra House

I don't have enough words in my vocabulary to tell you how much I love Neutra's work. Above is a short little video that begins with and excerpt of a video titled "Neutra's VDL Research House" and ends with a short documentation about the Los Altos Neutra House.

About the Los Altos Neutra House project.

In 2005, the City of Los Altos, the Los Altos Community Foundation, and a group of citizens interested in preserving architectural history joined together to save a small Los Altos house designed in 1935 by this renowned California architect and completed in 1939.

Between 1930 and 1940 Neutra did about a dozen projects in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1935, he began designing three houses for two poets, Jacqueline Johnson and Clayton Stafford. Two small houses with identical floor plans were the residences of Stafford and his wife, and of Jacqueline Johnson. The house that was saved was Johnson's home. A third and smaller house was also built for Johnson. These residences defined a small commune in a prune orchard.

The Johnson house was moved to City-owned land and for the past three years has been carefully renovated for reuse as a community center for meetings, off-sites, and other similar activities. The completed facility has a large conference room, kitchen, bathroom, integrated landscape, and an HDTV audio/video system that on whick visitors can see videos on the history of modern architecture in Los Altos and the greater San Francisco Bay Area. This system will also serve the audio/visual needs of those using the conference room for meetings. Combining preservation and reuse has been at the essence of the Los Altos Neutra House Project.

Way Back When: Shulman SLC edition

Julius Shulman is a sort of legend when it comes to mid century modern photography. The breadth of his work over his 30+ year career is astounding, so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised to find out that he even photographed a building a few short block away from my loft. The Prudential Federal Savings and Loan building was designed 1 of 4 buildings in Utah designed by William L. Pereira. It was photographed by Shulman in 1964 a year and a half after construction was finished.

To learn more about the building, as well as it's imminent demolition, visit the fabulously thorough saltlakearchitecture.blogspot.com.

Way Back When: Eames Film montages

This is a split eames-style screen comparison of two classic charles eames directed film montages, produced 14 years apart. in comparing the key eames image scenes of the manufacturing of products, between the classic mgm hollywood film - "the spirit of st. louis" in which charles filmed the plane assembly montage, and the 1970 eames office film - "fiberglass chairs", we see the eames office love for certain imagery....the mgm film is the one on the left and fiberglass chair is the one on the right.

Yes, Louis Kahn

I was looking for some good footage of The Salk Institute today when I stumbled across this video. It made me smile, and then laugh out loud, even though I have no idea what they are saying. If you don't get the joke you may have to watch "yes we can" as a refresher.

If you still don't get it, or you were just really hoping for some Louis Kahn content, check out the Ted Talk after the jump with Nathaniel Kahn talking about his father and his film "My father, my architect".

Way Back When: Yayoi Kusama

I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to fine art, but I am trying to learn more. This week I went to a great curator talk at the Utah Museum of Fine art about Yayoi Kusama. It was an intriguing look at Kusama's works from the 50's to present day. "The Earth" above was painted in 1953, and is an interesting contrast to her later work. If you live in SLC make sure to check out "Decades" at UMFA. It features work of Kusama from every decade. You really need to see her art in person to appreciate it.

Kusama continues to create art at 81.

Official Yayoi Kusama website.

Way Back When: Modern Kitchens

I'm loving this 1957 Czech video about the kitchen of the future. I'm obviously behind the times because they predicted that we would have induction cooktops in the year 2000, and I totally didn't get mine until 2009. I do LOVE the way it is fully integrated into the marble countertop though. Someone get on that.

Happy New Years!

Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen at Cranbrook circa 1941. Charles was divorced from his first wife in May 1941 and married his life long partner Ray in June of the same year. You can see why she was drawn to him. What a lady killer.

I hope you all party like it's 1941 tonight.

Keep it classy and I'll see you next year.

Way Back When: Modern Views

Here is another great film documenting mid century modern architecture. Modern Views is specifically about modern architecture in the Pacific Northwest. I LOVE seeing projects like this and I'm glad to see people realizing the need to document and preserve good architecture.

Way Back When: Netura VDL House

What's this? Two Richard Neutra video's in one month? Here is some great footage of Raymond, son of Richard Neutra talking about his father and the VDL house they grew up in. There is some old family video's of the home after the jump as well.

Way Back When: A necessary ruin

A Necessary Ruin is a Hand Crafted Films movie about Buckminster Fuller's Union Tank Car Dome


Upon its completion in October 1958, the Union Tank Car Dome, located north of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was the largest clear-span structure in the world. Based on the engineering principles of the visionary design scientist and philosopher Buckminster Fuller, this geodesic dome was, at 384 feet in diameter, the first large scale example of this building type. "A Necessary Ruin" relates the powerful, compelling narrative of the dome’s history via interviews with architects, engineers, preservationists, media, and artists; animated sequences demonstrating the operation of the facility; and hundreds of rare photographs and video segments taken during the dome’s construction, decline, and demolition.

Mid-Century Living


So, I was browsing around on Flickr, like I do, and came across one of the best individual collections of Mid-Century images yet! Hundreds of amazing ads, homes, living rooms, kitchens... Whatever you're looking for, it's there. Turns out, the lady behind this Flickr collection also has an amazing blog, Mid-Century Living, wherein she chronicles the restoration and re-modeling of a recently-purchased, 1954 atomic ranch house in Napa, CA. I don't know if I've been living under a rock or what, but her blog is fantastic! Definitely subscribe-worthy, so check it out.

Speaking of blogs, what are some of your daily reads? Have you discovered any new blogs that you just love? Share in the comments - I'm always looking for fresh inspiration!

[Images: Peppermint Kiss Kiss]

More pics after the jump!

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Please excuse me while I pay some bills...