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John Lautner, the quintessential L.A. architect?

July 23, 2011 |  6:00 am

John Lautner, who died in 1994, would have marked his 100th birthday this month. Author Alan Hess looks at the long roster of great Los Angeles architects and says Lautner stands out more than any other as the mirror of this city.

Hess writes that Lautner's work and the city Lautner called home for 56 years share the same rebellious soul. "Both have the courage to be unorthodox and defy conformity, and both have suffered for it," Hess writes. "Critics still skewer Lautner and L.A. alike as undisciplined and self-indulgent."

The truth, Hess writes, can be seen in the Lautner houses, which play out across the Southland as something of a universal dream, a quest for the good life under the California sun.

Commentary: John Lautner, the quintessential L.A. architect

Photo: John Lautner's Chemosphere, perched near Mulholland Drive and reached by hillside funicular.

Credit: Los Angeles Times


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