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Tours spotlight Los Angeles' historic homes

January 28, 2011 | 11:53 am


Some upcoming tours are providing rare peeks inside some of Los Angeles' most famous houses, including Frank Lloyd Wright's Millard House (also called La Miniatura, above), Wright's Hollyhock House, the Ron Burkle-owned Green Acres and the iconic modernist Stahl House, also known as Case Study House No. 22, which endlessly fascinates. So much so, in fact, that visitors sometimes show up unannounced.

"We try to regulate it," said Mark Stahl, who grew up in the house, a collaboration between his father and architect Pierre Koenig. "We want to share it with as many people as possible."

Only a few openings remain for the Stahl family's open house at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, but the official Stahl House website lists upcoming viewings so architecture buffs can plan ahead. If you reserve early enough, you'll have a choice of viewings, which begin at 2:45 p.m. and last for one hour. The cost is $26 per person, with a minimum of two guests per reservation. Evening viewings, Stahl's personal favorite, begin at 4:30 p.m. and last an hour and a half. The cost is $42 per person, also with a minimum of two guests per reservation.

Stahl purposely refrained from using the word  "tour" to describe Sunday's event, which he is hosting. "We call them viewings because we want people to sit down and experience the house," he said. "It is a very small house. The goal is to allow people to sit down and take it in."

EichlerAfter reviewing the schedule, e-mail rsvp@stahlhouse.com with the date and time you would like to attend, as well as the names of your guests. Reservations will be confirmed via e-mail. All guests in the party must arrive in the same car, as parking is limited.

Next month, the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy is hosting an all-day event that will highlight two Frank Lloyd Wright designs. The Feb. 26 event begins with a tour of the Millard House (1923-1924), a celebrated example of Wright's textile block architecture. Following that tour in Pasadena, participants will travel to Wright's Hollyhock House in Barnsdall Park in Hollywood for a lecture by Lynda Waggoner, director of Fallingwater, who will focus on the Conservancy's nomination of several Wright structures including Hollyhock for inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The event concludes with a trip to Beverly Hills for a sunset reception at Burkle's Green Acres Estate, originally built for silent film star Harold Lloyd in the 1920s.  Registration forms are available on the Conservancy's website. The cost to see all the houses is $150. Reservations must be made before Feb. 21.

The Friends of the Gamble House will lead a tour of Joseph Eichler homes on May 14, following a May 13 lecture titled "Joseph Eichler and His Architects: The Men Behind Eichler Homes," by writer David Weinstein. The tour is a rare opportunity to look inside distinctive Eichler tract homes in the Balboa Highlands area of the San Fernando Valley. (The house pictured, above right, isn't on the tour, but rather an example of Eichler design from one of our previous home profiles.) Tickets are $45 for the general public (or $35 if you happen to be a Friends of the Gamble House member). Tickets must be purchased in advance, and the locations and directions will be provided only to ticket holders. Information: (626) 793-3334.

-- Lisa Boone

Photo credit: Los Angeles Times


Back story to Case Study House No. 22

Brad Laner's Eichler house in Granada Hills

Lost L.A.: Frank Lloyd Wright's Alice Millard House