• barbara lamprecht, m.arch., ph.d.

    more than a modern building historian
    equipping 20th century buildings for the 21st

Why It’s OK To Like Ornament, Or Why Ornament Matters

  Part I Struggles With Ornament Part II Expanding on the Elusive Ornament Part III Immorality and Ornament – roast beef, tattoos, and sugar tongs … Laugier, and that court favorite, the badly shaven but irresistible Carlo Lodoli Part IV The very prescient and polite Edward Lacy Garbett, Pugin, Lethaby, Loos, Sullivan, and Mies on Ornament Part … Continue reading

LOST: RICHARD NEUTRA’S MID-CENTURY MODERN FENESTRATION by John Blanton

Born January 1, 1928 and raised in Houston, John Arthur Blanton graduated from Rice University, earning a B.A. in 1948 and a B.S. in architecture in 1949. He worked his way up in Richard Neutra’s practice from apprentice to “collaborator,” becoming one of the master’s trusted lead project architects in the so-called “Golden Era” of … Continue reading

“Close-Together Houses Spur Lots of Gripes” – but they shouldn’t

A recent article in The Wall Street Journal raised an issue most of us dance daily: navigating privacy amid the inevitability of neighbors, in this case the occupants of single-family houses in tract developments.[1] We all want both: the sanctuary of privacy with enough community to not feel vulnerable. In other words, how does one … Continue reading

Neutra’s Emerson Junior High School: Reconceiving Education

Statement of Significance Emerson Junior High School Ralph Waldo Emerson Middle School in Westwood, Los Angeles, is significant as one of America’s leading examples of 1930s Modernism in the International Style. Funded during the height of the Great Depression by the Public Work Administration (PWA) under President Franklin D. Roosevelt and largely completed by the … Continue reading

From Luckenwalde to Los Angeles: Neutra’s Forgotten Forest Cemetery

From Luckenwalde to Los Angeles: Neutra’s Forgotten Forest Cemetery Context: A symposium held by the Historical Society of Southern California at the Autry Museum, Saturday 2 April 2010 on Los Angeles 1919 to 1945,  addressed art, photography, music, literary culture, and architecture. One speaker was invited to address each arena. I contributed the presentation on architecture, and … Continue reading

At first glance, Modernism’s Stolid Soldier: Neutra and Alexander’s Los Angeles County Hall of Records

I had always considered the Los Angeles County Hall of Records, 1962, to be a soldierly but stolid example of mid-century Modernism. Reconsidering it through a visit and looking at correspondence was a revelation. In fact, this building, primarily famous for the technical prowess of its striking 120-foot-tall, south-facing aluminum louvers, is really a lesson … Continue reading

Orange Coast College: Neutra, Alexander, Eckbo

Orange Coast College’s original legacy campus, the world’s only  college campus designed by the powerful trio of master architect Richard Neutra and Robert Alexander with master landscape architect Garrett Eckbo, Eckbo, Royston and Williams, is proposed to be demolished. Neutra and Alexander were assisted by noted Orange County architect William Blurock, FAIA, among others. Here … Continue reading

“Untamed Orange”: Schuller, Neutra, and Semper at the Garden Grove Arboretum

Throughout the entire campus of the former Crystal Cathedral there is only one single note of color on a building. A large orange panel terminates the long length of glass on the east face of the former Garden Grove Community Church, the famous “drive-in” church designed by Richard Neutra (1892 – 1970) in 1960 and … Continue reading