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A corner of the Stahl house in Los Angeles. There are floor to ceiling windows in a room with an orange couch and round light fixtures. There is a person looking out of the window at a cityscape. It is night. Photo by Julius Shulman, courtesy Getty Research Institute

The Case Study houses that made Los Angeles a modernist mecca

Mapping the homes that helped to define an era

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Los Angeles is full of fantastic residential architecture styles, from Spanish Colonial Revival to Streamline Moderne. But the modernist Case Study Houses, sponsored by Arts & Architecture and designed between the 1940s and 1960s, are both native to Southern California and particularly emblematic of the region.

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 Charles Eames, Richard Neutra, and Pierre Koenig.

With the help of photographer Julius Shulman, who shot most of the homes, the most impressive of the homes came to represent not only new styles of home design, but the postwar lifestyle of the booming Southern California region.

A&A commissioned 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 a small apartment complex in Phoenix). Some have been remodeled, but others have been well preserved. Eleven were added to the National Register of Historic Places 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, two of the most famous Case Study Houses, are regularly open to visitors.

As for the unconventional house numbering, post-1962 A&A publisher David Travers writes that the explanation is “inexplicable, locked in the past.”

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1. Case Study House No. 1

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10152 Toluca Lake Avenue
Toluca Lake, CA 91602

JR Davidson (with Greta Davidson) designed this house in 1948 (it was actually his second go at CSH #1). It was intended for “a hypothetical family" with two working parents and was designed to require "minimum maintenance.”

The exterior of a house that is only one level. The roof is flat. There is a lawn and a path leading to the front door. There is a garage with a driveway. Google Maps

2. Case Study House No. 2

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857 Chapea Road
Pasadena, CA 91107

Case Study House No. 2 was designed in 1947 by Sumner Spaulding and John Rex. The motor court and carport are separated from the terrace and yard by a "long serpentine wall," which makes a "striking contrast to the straight lines of the house.

A house with a flat roof. There is a curved brick wall to the side of a lawn. There are trees in the back of the house.

3. Case Study House No. 3

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13187 Chalon Road
Los Angeles, CA 90049

Case Study House No. 3 was designed in 1949 by William Wurster, Theodore Bernardi, and Donald Emmons. It was “originally intended for the flat area of the La Canada district, [but] was subject to an unavoidable circumstance which changed its location to a two-acre site which opens to views through canyons to the distant mountains.” Its location in Mandeville Canyon was once a botanical garden.

A permit was issued to demolish the house in 2013 and the property recently sold as empty land for $3.85 million.

A house. There is a flat roof and large windows. There is an outdoor seating area outside of the house. In the distance is a mountain range. Photo by Julius Shulman, courtesy Getty Research Institute

4. Case Study House No. 7

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6236 North Deerfield Avenue
San Gabriel, CA 91775

Case Study House No. 7 was designed in 1948 by Thornton M. Abell. It has a “three-zone living area,” with space for study, activity, and relaxation/conversation—the areas can be separated by sliding panels or combined.

The aerial view of a group of buildings. All the buildings have flat roofs. There is a yard in the center of the group of buildings. Photo by Julius Shulman, courtesy Getty Research Institute

5. Eames House (Case Study House No. 8)

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203 Chautauqua Boulevard
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

Charles Eames designed the Eames House in 1949 and even Arts & Architecture seemed kind of blown away by it. The home is built into a hillside behind a row of Eucalyptus tress on a bluff above Pacific Palisades; it's recognizable by its bright blue, red, and yellow panels. Husband-and-wife designers, Charles and Ray Eames lived in the house until their deaths. It’s now open to visitors five days per week, though reservations are required.

The Eames house with blue, red, and yellow panels on the exterior. There is a large tree outside of the house. Photo by Stephanie Braconnier | Shutterstock

6. Entenza House (Case Study House No. 9)

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205 Chautauqua Boulevard
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

The Entenza House was built in 1949 and designed by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen for Arts & Architecture editor John Entenza. According to the magazine, “In general, the purpose was to enclose as much space as possible within a reasonably simple construction.”

The Entenza House exterior. The roof is flat and the exterior has floor to ceiling windows. There are trees surrounding the house. There is an outdoor seating area. Photo by Julius Shulman, courtesy Getty Research Institute

7. Case Study House No. 10

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711 South San Rafael Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91105

Case Study House No. 10 was designed in 1947 by Kemper Nomland. The house is built on several levels to mold into its sloping site. Recently restored, the home sold to Kristen Wiig in 2017.

The exterior of Case Study House Number 10. There is a wide staircase leading up to the house. The house has floor to ceiling windows. There are lights on in the house. Photo by Shawn Bishop, courtesy Deasy/Penner & Partners

8. Case Study House No. 15

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4755 Lasheart Drive
La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011

Designed by JR Davidson in 1947, Case Study House No. 15 has south walls made of huge glass panels. Its flagstone patio and indoor floor are at the same level for that seamless indoor-outdoor feel. The floorplan “is basically that of another Davidson house, Case Study House No. 11,” which has been demolished.

The exterior of a house with a flat roof. There is an outdoor seating area. The house has floor to ceiling windows. There are mountains in the distance.

9. Case Study House for 1953

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1811 Bel Air Road
Los Angeles, CA 90077

Case Study House for 1953 was designed by Craig Ellwood. It has a modular steel structure and "the basic plan is a four-foot modular rectangle." But the interior walls stick out past the exterior walls to bring the indoors out and the outdoors in.

The exterior of a house. There is a driveway leading up to the entrance. The house has floor to ceiling windows. There are trees and shrubbery in front of the house. Google Maps

10. Case Study House No. 17 (1)

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7861 Woodrow Wilson Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Case Study House No. 17 (1) was designed by Rodney Walker in 1947. A tight budget kept the house at just 1,560 square feet, “but more space was gained through the use of many glass areas.” The house also has a large front terrace with a fireplace that connects the indoor living room fireplace. The house has been remodeled.

The exterior of a house. There is a flat roof and a brick wall. The house is built into a terrace.

11. Case Study House No. 17 (2)

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9554 Hidden Valley Road
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Case Study House No. 17 (2) was designed in 1956 by Craig Ellwood, but “governed by a specific program set forth by the client.” Ellwood took into account the clients' collection of contemporary paintings and made the living room “purposely undersized” to work best for small gatherings. The house was extensively remodeled in the sixties by Hollywood Regency architect John Elgin Woolf and his partner, interior designer Robert Koch Woolf.

An exterior view of the back of a house with floor to ceiling windows. There is a large swimming pool and an outdoor seating area in the foreground. There are trees in the distance.

12. West House (Case Study House No. 18 [1])

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199 Chautauqua Boulevard
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

Case Study House No. 18 (1) was designed by Rodney Walker in 1948. The house is oriented toward the ocean, but set back from the cliff edge it sits on to avoid noise issues. As A&A says, "High above the ocean, the privacy of the open south and east exposures of Case Study House No. 18 can be threatened only by an occasional sea-gull." The house features a "bricked garden room" separated from the living room by a two-sided fireplace.

The exterior of a house. The roof is flat and the entrance has floor to ceiling windows. There is a yard with various plants and grass in front of the house.

13. Fields House (Case Study House No. 18 [2])

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1129 Miradero Road
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Case Study House No. 18 (2) was designed by Craig Ellwood in 1958. Ellwood didn't attempt to hide that the house was prefabricated (the magazine explains that he believed “that the increasing cost of labor and the decline of craftsman will within not too many years force a complete mechanization of residential construction methods”). The components of the house, however, are “strongly defined with color: ceiling and panels are off-white and the steel framework is blue.” According to A&A's website, the house has been remodeled.

The exterior of Case Study House Number 18. There are floor to ceiling panels to the side of the front door. There is an outdoor patio outside of the house.

14. Bailey House (Case Study House No. 20 [1])

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219 Chautauqua Boulevard
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

The Bailey House was designed by Richard Neutra in 1948. The two-bedroom house was meant “to serve young parents who find they can afford just that much,” according to Neutra's description. He also wrote that he used several different kinds of natural wood in the house.

The exterior of the Bailey House in Los Angeles. The roof is flat and there are stairs leading up to the door. There are many trees surrounding the house.

15. Bass House (Case Study House No. 20 [2])

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2275 Santa Rosa Avenue
Altadena, CA 91001

The Bass House was designed in 1958 by Buff, Straub, and Hensman with famed graphic designer Saul Bass. It's “unique in that it was based upon the experimental use of several prefabricated Douglas Fir plywood products as part of the structural concept,” including hollow-core plywood vaults that covered the central part of the house.

An outdoor seating area next to the exterior of the Bass House in Los Angeles. There are plants and trees surrounding the area.

16. Case Study House No. 21

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9038 Wonderland Park Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Pierre Koenig designed Case Study House No. 21 in 1958. It was originally completely surrounded by water, with a walkway and driveway spanning the moat at the front door and carport, respectively. The house was severely messed with over the years, but restored in the ’90s with help from Koenig.

The exterior of a house. The roof is flat and there are floor to ceiling panels on one wall. On the other walls there are floor to ceiling windows. There are mountains in the distance.

17. Stahl House (Case Study House No. 22)

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1635 Woods Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90069

Pierre Koenig's Stahl House, designed in 1960, is probably the most famous house in Los Angeles, thanks to an iconic photo by Julius Shulman. The house isn't much to look at from the street, but its backside is mostly glass surrounding a cliff's-edge pool. Tours are available Mondays, Wednesdays, and Friday—but book well ahead of time, as they sell out quickly.

The exterior of the Stahl house in Los Angeles.  There is a swimming pool next to the house with a lounge area. The pool is situated on a cliff edge. Photo by Julius Shulman, courtesy Getty Research Institute

18. Case Study House for 1950

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1080 Ravoli Drive
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

The Case Study House for 1950 was designed by Raphael Soriano. It's rectangular, with living room and bedrooms facing out to the view. However, in the kitchen and eating areas, the house “turns upon itself and living develops around a large kitchen-dining plan opening upon a terrace which leads directly into the living room interrupted only by the mass of two fireplaces.” According to A&A's website, the house has been remodeled.

In the foreground are two pool lounge chairs in front of the floor to ceiling windows of a house. Inside the house is a fireplace, chairs, and a table.

19. Frank House (Case Study House No. 25)

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82 Rivo Alto Canal
Long Beach, CA 90803

The two-story Frank House was designed by Killingsworth, Brady, and Smith and Associates in 1962 and it sits on a canal in Long Beach. A reflecting pool with stepping stones leads to its huge front door and inside to an 18 foot high courtyard. The house sold in 2015 with some unfortunate remodeling.

The interior of the Frank House (Case Study House Number 25). There are high ceilings over a courtyard letting in natural light. There are plants lining the courtyard. There are floor to ceiling windows that show a view inside the rest of the house. Photo by Julius Shulman, courtesy Getty Research Institute

20. Janss Dev (Case Study House No. 28)

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91 Inverness Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91361

Case Study House No. 28 was designed in 1966 by Buff & Hensman. According to the magazine, “the architects were asked to design a house that incorporated facebrick as the primary structural material to demonstrate its particular advantages.” They came up with a plan for two symmetrical wings joined by glass galleries.

The exterior of Janss Dev (Case Study House Number 28). There is a flat roof. There is a large lawn and trees outside of the house along with a brick pathway. Photo by Julius Shulman, courtesy Getty Research Institute

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1. Case Study House No. 1

10152 Toluca Lake Avenue, Toluca Lake, CA 91602
The exterior of a house that is only one level. The roof is flat. There is a lawn and a path leading to the front door. There is a garage with a driveway. Google Maps

JR Davidson (with Greta Davidson) designed this house in 1948 (it was actually his second go at CSH #1). It was intended for “a hypothetical family" with two working parents and was designed to require "minimum maintenance.”

10152 Toluca Lake Avenue
Toluca Lake, CA 91602

2. Case Study House No. 2

857 Chapea Road, Pasadena, CA 91107
A house with a flat roof. There is a curved brick wall to the side of a lawn. There are trees in the back of the house.

Case Study House No. 2 was designed in 1947 by Sumner Spaulding and John Rex. The motor court and carport are separated from the terrace and yard by a "long serpentine wall," which makes a "striking contrast to the straight lines of the house.

857 Chapea Road
Pasadena, CA 91107

3. Case Study House No. 3

13187 Chalon Road, Los Angeles, CA 90049
A house. There is a flat roof and large windows. There is an outdoor seating area outside of the house. In the distance is a mountain range. Photo by Julius Shulman, courtesy Getty Research Institute

Case Study House No. 3 was designed in 1949 by William Wurster, Theodore Bernardi, and Donald Emmons. It was “originally intended for the flat area of the La Canada district, [but] was subject to an unavoidable circumstance which changed its location to a two-acre site which opens to views through canyons to the distant mountains.” Its location in Mandeville Canyon was once a botanical garden.

A permit was issued to demolish the house in 2013 and the property recently sold as empty land for $3.85 million.

13187 Chalon Road
Los Angeles, CA 90049

4. Case Study House No. 7

6236 North Deerfield Avenue, San Gabriel, CA 91775
The aerial view of a group of buildings. All the buildings have flat roofs. There is a yard in the center of the group of buildings. Photo by Julius Shulman, courtesy Getty Research Institute

Case Study House No. 7 was designed in 1948 by Thornton M. Abell. It has a “three-zone living area,” with space for study, activity, and relaxation/conversation—the areas can be separated by sliding panels or combined.

6236 North Deerfield Avenue
San Gabriel, CA 91775

5. Eames House (Case Study House No. 8)

203 Chautauqua Boulevard, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
The Eames house with blue, red, and yellow panels on the exterior. There is a large tree outside of the house. Photo by Stephanie Braconnier | Shutterstock

Charles Eames designed the Eames House in 1949 and even Arts & Architecture seemed kind of blown away by it. The home is built into a hillside behind a row of Eucalyptus tress on a bluff above Pacific Palisades; it's recognizable by its bright blue, red, and yellow panels. Husband-and-wife designers, Charles and Ray Eames lived in the house until their deaths. It’s now open to visitors five days per week, though reservations are required.

203 Chautauqua Boulevard
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

6. Entenza House (Case Study House No. 9)

205 Chautauqua Boulevard, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
The Entenza House exterior. The roof is flat and the exterior has floor to ceiling windows. There are trees surrounding the house. There is an outdoor seating area. Photo by Julius Shulman, courtesy Getty Research Institute

The Entenza House was built in 1949 and designed by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen for Arts & Architecture editor John Entenza. According to the magazine, “In general, the purpose was to enclose as much space as possible within a reasonably simple construction.”

205 Chautauqua Boulevard
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

7. Case Study House No. 10

711 South San Rafael Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91105
The exterior of Case Study House Number 10. There is a wide staircase leading up to the house. The house has floor to ceiling windows. There are lights on in the house. Photo by Shawn Bishop, courtesy Deasy/Penner & Partners

Case Study House No. 10 was designed in 1947 by Kemper Nomland. The house is built on several levels to mold into its sloping site. Recently restored, the home sold to Kristen Wiig in 2017.

711 South San Rafael Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91105

8. Case Study House No. 15

4755 Lasheart Drive, La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011
The exterior of a house with a flat roof. There is an outdoor seating area. The house has floor to ceiling windows. There are mountains in the distance.

Designed by JR Davidson in 1947, Case Study House No. 15 has south walls made of huge glass panels. Its flagstone patio and indoor floor are at the same level for that seamless indoor-outdoor feel. The floorplan “is basically that of another Davidson house, Case Study House No. 11,” which has been demolished.

4755 Lasheart Drive
La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011

9. Case Study House for 1953

1811 Bel Air Road, Los Angeles, CA 90077
The exterior of a house. There is a driveway leading up to the entrance. The house has floor to ceiling windows. There are trees and shrubbery in front of the house. Google Maps

Case Study House for 1953 was designed by Craig Ellwood. It has a modular steel structure and "the basic plan is a four-foot modular rectangle." But the interior walls stick out past the exterior walls to bring the indoors out and the outdoors in.

1811 Bel Air Road
Los Angeles, CA 90077

10. Case Study House No. 17 (1)

7861 Woodrow Wilson Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90046
The exterior of a house. There is a flat roof and a brick wall. The house is built into a terrace.

Case Study House No. 17 (1) was designed by Rodney Walker in 1947. A tight budget kept the house at just 1,560 square feet, “but more space was gained through the use of many glass areas.” The house also has a large front terrace with a fireplace that connects the indoor living room fireplace. The house has been remodeled.

7861 Woodrow Wilson Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90046

11. Case Study House No. 17 (2)

9554 Hidden Valley Road, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
An exterior view of the back of a house with floor to ceiling windows. There is a large swimming pool and an outdoor seating area in the foreground. There are trees in the distance.

Case Study House No. 17 (2) was designed in 1956 by Craig Ellwood, but “governed by a specific program set forth by the client.” Ellwood took into account the clients' collection of contemporary paintings and made the living room “purposely undersized” to work best for small gatherings. The house was extensively remodeled in the sixties by Hollywood Regency architect John Elgin Woolf and his partner, interior designer Robert Koch Woolf.

9554 Hidden Valley Road
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

12. West House (Case Study House No. 18 [1])

199 Chautauqua Boulevard, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
The exterior of a house. The roof is flat and the entrance has floor to ceiling windows. There is a yard with various plants and grass in front of the house.

Case Study House No. 18 (1) was designed by Rodney Walker in 1948. The house is oriented toward the ocean, but set back from the cliff edge it sits on to avoid noise issues. As A&A says, "High above the ocean, the privacy of the open south and east exposures of Case Study House No. 18 can be threatened only by an occasional sea-gull." The house features a "bricked garden room" separated from the living room by a two-sided fireplace.

199 Chautauqua Boulevard
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

13. Fields House (Case Study House No. 18 [2])

1129 Miradero Road, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
The exterior of Case Study House Number 18. There are floor to ceiling panels to the side of the front door. There is an outdoor patio outside of the house.

Case Study House No. 18 (2) was designed by Craig Ellwood in 1958. Ellwood didn't attempt to hide that the house was prefabricated (the magazine explains that he believed “that the increasing cost of labor and the decline of craftsman will within not too many years force a complete mechanization of residential construction methods”). The components of the house, however, are “strongly defined with color: ceiling and panels are off-white and the steel framework is blue.” According to A&A's website, the house has been remodeled.

1129 Miradero Road
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

14. Bailey House (Case Study House No. 20 [1])

219 Chautauqua Boulevard, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
The exterior of the Bailey House in Los Angeles. The roof is flat and there are stairs leading up to the door. There are many trees surrounding the house.

The Bailey House was designed by Richard Neutra in 1948. The two-bedroom house was meant “to serve young parents who find they can afford just that much,” according to Neutra's description. He also wrote that he used several different kinds of natural wood in the house.

219 Chautauqua Boulevard
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

15. Bass House (Case Study House No. 20 [2])

2275 Santa Rosa Avenue, Altadena, CA 91001
An outdoor seating area next to the exterior of the Bass House in Los Angeles. There are plants and trees surrounding the area.

The Bass House was designed in 1958 by Buff, Straub, and Hensman with famed graphic designer Saul Bass. It's “unique in that it was based upon the experimental use of several prefabricated Douglas Fir plywood products as part of the structural concept,” including hollow-core plywood vaults that covered the central part of the house.

2275 Santa Rosa Avenue
Altadena, CA 91001

Related Maps

16. Case Study House No. 21

9038 Wonderland Park Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046
The exterior of a house. The roof is flat and there are floor to ceiling panels on one wall. On the other walls there are floor to ceiling windows. There are mountains in the distance.

Pierre Koenig designed Case Study House No. 21 in 1958. It was originally completely surrounded by water, with a walkway and driveway spanning the moat at the front door and carport, respectively. The house was severely messed with over the years, but restored in the ’90s with help from Koenig.

9038 Wonderland Park Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046

17. Stahl House (Case Study House No. 22)

1635 Woods Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90069
The exterior of the Stahl house in Los Angeles.  There is a swimming pool next to the house with a lounge area. The pool is situated on a cliff edge. Photo by Julius Shulman, courtesy Getty Research Institute

Pierre Koenig's Stahl House, designed in 1960, is probably the most famous house in Los Angeles, thanks to an iconic photo by Julius Shulman. The house isn't much to look at from the street, but its backside is mostly glass surrounding a cliff's-edge pool. Tours are available Mondays, Wednesdays, and Friday—but book well ahead of time, as they sell out quickly.

1635 Woods Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90069

18. Case Study House for 1950

1080 Ravoli Drive, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
In the foreground are two pool lounge chairs in front of the floor to ceiling windows of a house. Inside the house is a fireplace, chairs, and a table.

The Case Study House for 1950 was designed by Raphael Soriano. It's rectangular, with living room and bedrooms facing out to the view. However, in the kitchen and eating areas, the house “turns upon itself and living develops around a large kitchen-dining plan opening upon a terrace which leads directly into the living room interrupted only by the mass of two fireplaces.” According to A&A's website, the house has been remodeled.

1080 Ravoli Drive
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

19. Frank House (Case Study House No. 25)

82 Rivo Alto Canal, Long Beach, CA 90803
The interior of the Frank House (Case Study House Number 25). There are high ceilings over a courtyard letting in natural light. There are plants lining the courtyard. There are floor to ceiling windows that show a view inside the rest of the house. Photo by Julius Shulman, courtesy Getty Research Institute

The two-story Frank House was designed by Killingsworth, Brady, and Smith and Associates in 1962 and it sits on a canal in Long Beach. A reflecting pool with stepping stones leads to its huge front door and inside to an 18 foot high courtyard. The house sold in 2015 with some unfortunate remodeling.

82 Rivo Alto Canal
Long Beach, CA 90803

20. Janss Dev (Case Study House No. 28)

91 Inverness Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91361
The exterior of Janss Dev (Case Study House Number 28). There is a flat roof. There is a large lawn and trees outside of the house along with a brick pathway. Photo by Julius Shulman, courtesy Getty Research Institute

Case Study House No. 28 was designed in 1966 by Buff & Hensman. According to the magazine, “the architects were asked to design a house that incorporated facebrick as the primary structural material to demonstrate its particular advantages.” They came up with a plan for two symmetrical wings joined by glass galleries.

91 Inverness Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91361

Related Maps