Los Angeles is full of fantastic residential architecture in styles running all over from Spanish Colonial Revival to Streamline Moderne. But the modernist Case Study Houses, sponsored by Arts & Architecture and designed between the mid-1940s and mid-1960s, are both native to SoCal and particularly emblematic of the region (thanks in huge part to photographer Julius Shulman). The houses were intended to be relatively affordable, replicable houses for post-World War II family living, with an emphasis on "new materials and new techniques in house construction," as the magazine's program intro put it. Architects involved included the still-widely-remembered (Charles Eames, Richard Neutra) and the known-only-to-archinerds (JR Davidson, Thornton Abell).
A&A ended up commissioning 36 houses and apartment buildings; a couple dozen were built, and about 20 still stand in the greater Los Angeles area (there's also one in Northern California, a set near San Diego, and one in Phoenix), although some have been remodeled. Eleven were added to the National Register in 2013. Here's a guide to all the houses left to see (but keep in mind that, true to LA form, most are still private residences; the Eames and Stahl Houses—the two most famous Case Study Houses—are occasionally open to visitors).
As for the wonky house numbering, post-1962 A&A publisher David Travers writes that the explanation is "inexplicable, locked in the past."
The Case Study Houses were experiments in American residential architecture sponsored by Arts & Architecture magazine, which commissioned major architects of the day, including Richard Neutra, Raphael Soriano, Craig Ellwood, Charles and Ray Eames, Pierre Koenig, Eero Saarinen, A. Quincy Jones, Edward Killingsworth, and Ralph Rapson to design and build inexpensive and efficient model homes for the United States residential housing boom caused by the end of World War II and the return of millions of soldiers.
The program ran intermittently from 1945 until 1966. The first six houses were built by 1948 and attracted more than 350,000 visitors. While not all 36 designs were built, most of those that were constructed were built in Los Angeles, and one was built in San Rafael, Northern California and Phoenix, Arizona each. Of the unbuilt houses #19 was to have been built in Atherton, in the San Francisco Bay Area, while #27 was to have been built on the east coast, in Smoke Rise, New Jersey.
A number of the houses appeared in the magazine in iconic black-and-white photographs by architectural photographer Julius Shulman.
List of Case Study Houses
|Number||Name||Architect(s)||Publication||Constructed||Status||Address||City||Arts & Architecture|
|1||J. R. Davidson||February 1945||1945||Unbuilt||CSH#1|
|1||J. R. Davidson||February 1948||1948||Extant||10152 Toluca Lake Avenue||North Hollywood||CSH#1||VGT|
|2||Sumner Spaulding and John Rex||August 1947||1947||Extant||857 Chapea Road||Pasadena||CSH#2||VGT|
|3||William Wurster and Theodore Bernardi||March 1949||1949||Demolished||13187 Chalon Road||Los Angeles||CSH#3||VGT|
|4||Greenbelt House||Ralph Rapson||September 1945||1989||Exhibit: Museum of Contemporary Art of Los Angeles||CSH#4|
|5||Loggia House||Whitney R. Smith||April 1946||Unbuilt||CSH#5|
|6||Omega||Richard Neutra||October 1945||Unbuilt||CSH#6|
|7||Thornton Abell||July 1948||1948||Extant||6236 North Deerfield Avenue||San Gabriel||CSH#7||VGT|
|8||Eames House||Charles and Ray Eames||December 1949||1949||Extant||203 Chautauqua Boulevard||Pacific Palisades||CSH#8||VGT|
|9||Entenza House||Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen||July 1950||1949||Extant||205 Chautauqua Boulevard||Pacific Palisades||CSH#9||VGT, VGT|
|10||Kemper Nomland and Kemper Nomland, Jr.||October 1947||1947||Significantly Altered||711 South San Rafael Avenue||Pasadena||CSH#10||VGT|
|11||J. R. Davidson||July 1946||1946||Demolished||540 South Barrington Avenue||West Los Angeles||CSH#11|
|12||Whitney R. Smith||February 1946||Unbuilt||CSH#12|
|13||Alpha||Richard Neutra||March 1946||Unbuilt||CSH#13|
|15||J. R. Davidson||January 1947||1947||Extant||4755 Lasheart Drive||La Cañada Flintridge||CSH#15||VGT|
|16||Rodney Walker||February 1947||1947||Demolished||9945 Beverly Grove Drive||Beverly Hills||CSH#16|
|17A||Rodney Walker||July 1947||1947||Extant||7861 Woodrow Wilson Drive||Los Angeles||CSH#17||VGT|
|17B||Craig Ellwood||March 1956||1956||Remodeled Beyond Recognition||9554 Hidden Valley Road||Beverly Hills||CSH#17|
|18A||West House||Rodney Walker||February 1948||1948||Extant||199 Chautauqua Boulevard||Pacific Palisades||CSH#18||VGT|
|18B||Fields House||Craig Ellwood||June 1958||1958||Remodeled Beyond Recognition||1129 Miradero Road||Beverly Hills||CSH#18||VGT|
|19A||Don Knorr||September 1947||Unbuilt||CSH#19|
|20A||Stuart Bailey House||Richard Neutra||December 1948||1948||Extant||219 Chautauqua Boulevard||Pacific Palisades||CSH#20||VGT|
|20B||Bass House||C. Buff, C. Straub, D. Hensman||November 1958||1958||Extant||2275 Santa Rosa Avenue||Altadena||CSH#20|
|21A||Richard Neutra||May 1947||Unbuilt||CSH#21|
|21B||Walter Bailey House||Pierre Koenig||February 1959||1958||Extant||9038 Wonderland Park Avenue||West Hollywood||CSH#21||VGT|
|1950||Raphael Soriano||December 1950||1950||Remodeled||1080 Ravoli Drive||Pacific Palisades||CSH1950||VGT|
|1953||Craig Ellwood||June 1953||1953||Extant||1811 Bel Air Road||Bel-Air||CSH1953||VGT|
|22||Stahl House||Pierre Koenig||June 1960||1960||Extant||1635 Woods Drive||Los Angeles||CSH#22||VGT|
|23||Triad||Killingsworth, Brady, Smith & Assoc.||March 1961||1960||Extant (23A and 23C), 23B Remodeled Beyond Recognition||2329 (C), 2342 (A) and 2343 (B) Rue de Anne ||La Jolla||CSH#23||VGT|
|24||A. Quincy Jones and Frederick E. Emmons||December 1961||Unbuilt||CSH#24|
|25||Frank House||Killingsworth, Brady, Smith & Assoc.||December 1962||1962||Extant||82 Rivo Alto Canal||Long Beach||CSH#25||VGT|
|26||Harrison House||Beverley "David" Thorne||January 1963||1963||Extant||177 San Marino Drive||San Rafael||CSH#26||VGT|
|27||Campbell and Wong||June 1963||Unbuilt||CSH#27|
|28||Case Study House #28||C. Buff and D. Hensman||September 1965||1966||Extant||91 Inverness Road||Thousand Oaks||CSH#28||VGT|
|Apt 1||Alfred N. Beadle and Alan A. Dailey||September 1964||1964||Extant||4402 28th Street||Phoenix, Arizona||CSApts#1||VGT|
|Apt 2||Killingsworth, Brady, Smith & Assoc.||May 1964||Unbuilt||CSApts#2|
- Entenza, John (January 1945) "Announcement: The Case Study House Program". Arts and Architecture
- McCoy, Esther. "Case Study Houses". 2nd edition. 1977, ISBN, Hennessey & Ingalls
- Smith, Elizabeth A. T. (1989). Blueprints for Modern Living: History and Legacy of the Case Study Houses. Cambridge: MIT Press. ISBN.
- Smith, Elizabeth and Peter Goessel (2002). Case Study Houses: The Complete CSH Program,. Taschen. ISBN.
- Smith, Elizabeth A. T. (2007). Case Study Houses. Taschen. ISBN 978-3-8228-4617-9.
- Travers, David (January 2007) "About Arts & Architecture" Arts & Architecture website - accessed March 3, 2009