Modernism Fans Can Tour Neutra’s VDL House

Neutra House
Neutra's VDL house pioneered the interplay of indoor and outdoor living spaces. Photos by Raymond Neutra

It’s one of the most architecturally important houses in California, yet it’s one of the easiest to visit. Richard Neutra’s VDL house, which harks back to 1932, is open to the public every Saturday for a suggested donation of $10.

Tours run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and reservations are not required. The house is at 2300 Silver Lake Boulevard, Los Angeles.

Neutra (1892-1970), a Viennese émigré who early on worked in California with Frank Lloyd Wright, is one of the pioneers of the Modern Movement. The house was designed as a “pilot project,” Neutra said, to explore how innovations, like walls of glass and rooftop gardens, could be provided to middle-class homeowners. It was named for the architect’s benefactor, Cees Van der Leeuw.

Tourists visit the VDL House.

The house, which also contained Neutra’s architectural offices, was badly burned in a fire but restored and enlarged by Neutra and his son, architect Dion Neutra, in 1963. It is currently owned by Cal Poly Pomona through a foundation, which is restoring it again. Cal Poly students conduct the tours.

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