THE KAUFMAN HOUSE / MAY 13, 2008

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RJH
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THE KAUFMAN HOUSE / MAY 13, 2008

Post by RJH »


DRN
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Post by DRN »

Thanks for posting this. The video on the link is very artfully and effectively shot. The resoration of the house over the last few years appears to have it looking as it did in Shulman's iconic photos in the late '40's.

Seeing the video, I was reminded of Lautner's work. This house was a watershed moment for Neutra...I wonder if it influenced Lautner. He progressd away from the Sturges/Usonian grammar toward his own voice in the late '40's. This was about the time of Lautner's Desert Hot Springs Motel which, at least to me, marked his movement from direct Usonian influence more toward his mature work with the Googie's and later, his spectacular houses.

Wrightgeek
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Kaufmann House

Post by Wrightgeek »

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to spend a night in one of the 4 rooms at Lautner's Desert Hot Springs Motel, and it was an absolutely magical experience.

I've heard it said many times that the Seth Peterson Cottage offers the most architecture per square foot of any of FLW's designs. Having visited the cottage, I do not doubt that claim. Having also been fortunate enough to have visited several of Lautner's larger homes, I find it hard to believe that Lautner designed any other spaces that resulted in more architectural bang per square that the units at this motel.

Without being in the space itself, it is hard to describe the seemingly contradictory feelings of light, space, airiness and total privacy that he designed into these units, which are probably less than 400 square feet each, and include a kitchenette, bathroom, sleeping area, garden and patio. What a treat it was to spend a night there, one I won't soon forget.

When I stayed there, the motel had been restored and was owned by a Lautner enthusiast by the name of Steven Lowe. Steve was quite a character, and certainly a one-of-a-kind personality, who unfortunately passed away a little more than a year ago at a young age (late 40's to mid 50's I would guess).

The motel went up for sale last spring, and finally sold in late fall after several price reductions, for approx. $500,000 I believe, which seems like a steal to me. I would think that it has probably closed escrow by now, but I have no idea who the new owner is, or what their plans for the property are.

In closing, if you are ever in the Palm Springs area and have a chance to see this property, or spend a night or two there, do not pass up the chance. It is an opportunity not to be missed.

DavidC
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Post by DavidC »

Here's a link to a page from the John Lautner Foundation with some pictures of the Desert Hot Springs Motel.


David

pharding
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Post by pharding »

I would put Lautner's Desert Hot Springs Motel in the great but unrecognized category. It is an an incredibly clever, unique, innovative solution. I toured the building a few years ago and I was in awe of it.
Paul Harding FAIA Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, 1941 Lloyd Lewis House, 1952 Glore House | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

Wrightgeek
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Kaufmann House

Post by Wrightgeek »

Paul-

As evidenced by my earlier post on this thread, I could not agree with you more. Although it has received some recognition in the architectural press over the years, it amazes me that the Desert Hot Springs Motel has not been the recipient of more widespread acclaim.

Hopefully the motel will be prominently featured in the upcoming exhibition this summer on Lautner at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and as a result might gather more of the attention and recognition that it so richly deserves.

Wrightgeek
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Kaufmann House

Post by Wrightgeek »

For those who are interested, the Richard Neutra designed Kaufmann desert residence in Palm Springs, CA, was sold last night at Christie's New York auction house for approx. $16.8 million.

The total purchase price was slightly more than $19 million, due to the fact that the buyer, who has not yet been identified by Christie's, excercised an option to purchase a vacant parcel of land adjoining the house for approx. $3.2 million more.

It is not clear from the following press release whether the stated prices are inclusive of the buyer's premium or not. Here is the link to the press release issued last night about the sale by Christie's:

http://www.christies.com/presscenter/pd ... 103759.pdf

Unbrook
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Kaufmann House Auction

Post by Unbrook »

My reading of the story in the New York Times was the house sold for the minimum bid of $15 million and that the extra $1.8 was Chrisitie's premium. I understand also that the option was exercised to purchase the additional land. I read Chrisitie's sale catalog hoping to see a monograph of the house, but there was only one fold-out page. The website for the sale was much more interesting. Let's hope that there is a chance of the property being opened to the public. I have driven by the house many a time hoping to catch a glimpse inside and only a bit of the "Gloriette"

Reidy
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Post by Reidy »

This auction was supposed to be a test of whether important architecture could be sold as art rather than as real estate. If it got only the minimum bid, I'd say the question is still open. Art is selling for very high prices these days (as in this very auction) even if real estate isn't. On the other hand, if it hadn't even attracted even the minimum the answer would be a definite no.

Wrightgeek
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Kaufmann House

Post by Wrightgeek »

I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to tour the Kaufmann House several years ago during the FLWBC pre-conference event in Palm Springs before the Los Angeles conference.

All I can say is that it was absolutely stunning, and it was truly one of the architectural thrills of my lifetime to this point.

I too hope that in the future other interested members of the public will have the chance to experience this masterpiece.

DavidC
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Post by DavidC »

Here's an article from The New Yorker on how the Kaufmann House auction at Christie's went.


David

DavidC
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Post by DavidC »


therman7g
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Boulder House project for Lillian Kaufmann...

Post by therman7g »

Are there any drawings available of the "Boulder House" that was to be built next to the Kaufmann House in Palm Springs?

Sutton1
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Post by Sutton1 »

Monograph 8 contains three drawings of the Boulder House. I don't recall seeing this design in any of my other books. I'd love to see a floor plan of this.

Olgivanna
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Post by Olgivanna »

Vol. 8 of the Monograph I think. Was a swell design. I recall the text said something about an indoor/outdoor swimming pool so the Mrs. could swim in and out of the house.

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