With this post, we welcome Marni Epstein, who’s going to be a fabulous addition to our team. Check out her biography and website! Editor
Modern Architect John Lautner, who studied under the tutelage of Frank Lloyd Wright, is primarily known for his residential design. As a mid-century architect, his homes had a distinctly warmer quality than more typical austere designs of the time. That is owed much to Lautner’s organic-modern approach in which he embraced earthy tones that were often more inviting than a starker aesthetic.
A number of these Lautner-designed homes are located in Los Angeles. A young and modern city, Los Angeles presented a welcoming canvas for modern architects like Lautner in the 1940s and ‘50s. While places like Lautner’s Carling Residence and his Norman Springer House might be well known among Lautner and Mid-Century fans alike, one particular Lautner home went unnoticed for 65 years. That is, until just last month. The ‘Jules Salkin House’, was built in 1948 in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, and sits perched up in the hills overlooking the city below. Despite its catbird seat, the home was thought to have been unbuilt all these years until it was put up for sale in early May.
This long “lost” Lautner home was built for fellow architect and Talesin Fellowship recipient Jules Salkin. It has since remained in the family over these last six decades, and in 1966 underwent an addition by California Modernist architect Arthur Silvers. For the last 17 years, however, the home had been rented out. According to the real estate listing and the John Lautner Foundation, “the family has been unable to do all the repairs necessary over the years, so it is a little run-down.” The home may be in a need of some loving attention, however it retains a great deal of its original features, including Lautner’s trademark warms wood tones, built-ins, and walls of glass for great light. Curbed LA has a great pictorial of the home, including Getty archival images from 1948.
The home is on the market for just under $1 Million. When you consider that Lautner’s other works have sold for tens of millions of dollars, whoever buys this this long lost Lautner, might just be unearthing a piece of buried treasure. Only time will tell however, if that buyer will respect the Lautner’s original design and restore the residence to its former glory.