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Friday, June 26, 2009

The family who built Case Study House No. 22

When looking at famous houses such as architect Pierre Koenig's seminal Case Study House No. 22, do you ever wonder for whom such homes were built? This year marks the 50th anniversary of CS No. 22, and the Stahl family who commissioned and still owns the house has recently opened it for public tours.

C.H. "Buck" Stahl was a purchasing agent at Hughes Aircraft (and former professional football player) when he commissioned Koenig to build what would become one of the masterpieces of mid-century design.

For years, Stahl wanted a modern house with uninterrupted views of the mountains and ocean. He purchased the property in 1954 for $13,500. His hand in the home's design was discounted by architecture scholars until this family photo surfaced. Stahl had a model of his dream house built 16 months prior to architect Koenig becoming involved with the project.

Construction began in "September 1959 and finished in May 1960. The two-bedroom, 2,200-square-foot house cost $34,000 to build; the pool, $3,651 more." The home featured three sides of plate glass in the largest size available at the time and radiant-heated concrete floors.

Stahl, who passed away four years go, raised three children with his wife, Carlotta, in Case Study House No. 22. His daughter, Sharon Stahl Gronwald (pictured above), said "My dad loved the house. He never wanted to leave."

The Stahl family rents the house out to the entertainment and advertising industries. Case Study House No.22 has appeared in "more than 1,200 newspaper and magazine articles, journals and books, not to mention a slew of films, TV shows and commercials."

[Los Angeles Times]


hello gorgeous said...

This is totally not my style but I am in love with this house. It's in my saved pictures. Nice background info. Is it over LA?

susieq said...

What a great post, Raina. Love all the background info and the photos of this beauty.

David said...

I can totally see why he'd never want to leave, it's the perfect combination of site and structure.

I'm so glad they've verified the owner's contribution to the design. An architect is important certainly, but no more so than those who are going to live there.

erin@designcrisis said...

2200 sq ft, built by a man with money -- my, how times have changed! Surely someone with Stahl's resources would feel compelled to triple size that today, just to keep up with the Joneses.

sherri said...

oooooooooooooooh love that one! said...

What a visionary. If I lived there, I'd never want to leave either.