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Richard Neutra’s Modernist masterpiece in Silver Lake named national landmark

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Neutra lived here for decades

Elizabeth Daniels

An architectural treasure in Silver Lake just got a big national shout out and some hefty recognition: The Richard Neutra-designed VDL Studio and Residences was named a National Historic Landmark.

The former home and workspace of the famed architect was one of 24 landmarks across the country recognized today, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior announced.

Built in 1932, the structure, located across from the Silver Lake Reservoir and Meadow, was Neutra’s family home and studio for nearly three decades. Though the house was damaged by a 1963 fire, but Neutra and his son, Dion, rebuilt the house, and the elder Neutra lived there until his death in 1970.

In the statement announcing the newly minted national landmarks, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell contextualized the importance of the VDL house, saying:

During the 1940s, as Neutra’s work evolved, he also became the well-recognized founder of mid-century “California Modern” architecture. The VDL Research House is the only property where one can see the progression of his style over a period of years and is among the key properties to understanding the national significance of Richard Neutra.

The Neutra house was gifted to Cal Poly Pomona in 1980 by Neutra’s widow, Dione. In 2009, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. This latest designation as a National Historic Landmark is intended to go an extra step, to help sites get “technical assistance, recognition and funding to help preserve our nation's shared history and create close-to-home recreation opportunities,” says the official release.

Michael Locke/Curbed LA flickr pool
Michael Locke/Curbed LA flickr pool
Michael Locke/Curbed LA flickr pool

Neutra VDL Research House

2300 Silver Lake Blvd., Los Angeles, CA