An afternoon with an LA icon: the Stahl House

April 13, 2017
- Extracurriculars
Author - Amy Jacobowitz

The Stahl House is situated atop a windy narrow road in the depths of the Hollywood Hills. It’s a destination immortalized in film and photographs, designed by legendary architect Pierre Koenig, and open to the public for anyone to experience in all of its glory.

The Stahl House was part of the Case Study program pioneered by Arts & Architecture magazine in the mid 20th century that attracted the likes of Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, and Richard Neutra, among many other notable architects. The intent of the Case Studies – of which Stahl House is number 22 – was to design cheap and efficient homes that could easily be replicable around the country because of the post World War II economic and housing boom. Interestingly enough, the program was by-and-large considered to be a failure at the time, as though many of these model homes have stood the test of time, they were never actually replicated for mass use.

Failure or not, Stahl House is a sight to see. Nothing will ever, or can ever, exist like it again given the earthquake regulations among other zoning laws. So to be in the house, and in the backyard by the pool, is a one-of-a-kind experience that draws thousands of tourists and locals alike.

Many people know the house from the famous Julius Shulman photograph that shows two women sitting in the corner of the house, surrounded by glass walls against the sweeping nocturnal landscape of Los Angeles. Stahl House was owned by Buck Stahl, who purchased the coveted Hollywood Hills location for $13,000 in 1954, by that era’s standards quite a hefty sum. Buck lived there with his wife, Carlotta, and three children, Bruce, Shari, and Mark, who were interviewed by Los Angeles Magazine about what it was like to grow up in one of the country’s most iconic homes, and how Stahl House came to be. “Dad built a model and was trying to find an architect to build what he wanted,” Shari told the magazine. “Two architects turned him down because they thought it was unbuildable. Pierre had the drive and the desire to make it happen.”

You can schedule a visit to see the Stahl House for yourself here.