MAK Architecture Tour 2016

  • Tour
Silver Lake, Echo Park, Mount Washington

For this fall’s architecture tour fundraiser, the MAK Center highlights important lineages of modern architecture in Los Angeles. Each of the featured architects started their careers working for Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, and/or R.M. Schindler (both of whom also worked for Wright). The tour emphasizes the influences at work that made the city’s pre- and post-war architectural scene so groundbreaking.

Oliver House (R.M. Schindler, 1934)
Lipetz House (Raphael Soriano, 1936)
Ross House (Raphael Soriano, 1938)
Daniel House (Gregory Ain, 1939)
Alexander House (Harwell Hamilton Harris, 1940-41)
Orans House (Gregory Ain, 1941)
Birtcher-Share House (Harwell Hamilton Harris, 1942)
Jules Salkin House (John Lautner, 1948)
Scholfield House (James DeLong, 1953)



R.M. Schindler: Discovered Frank Lloyd Wright’s work as a student in Vienna, via the Prairie School innovator’s Wasmuth Portfolio (1910-11). Moved to Chicago and worked for Wright from late 1917 to 1921. Wright sent him to Los Angeles in 1920 to oversee construction of the Hollyhock House for Aline Barnsdall. Schindler established his own practice immediately after with the design of his home and office on Kings Road. Schindler’s former classmate Richard Neutra lived at the Schindler House from 1925-1930.

Harwell Hamilton Harris: While a sculpture student at Otis in 1924, his interest in architecture led him to visit the Hollyhock House. He was accepted to the architecture program at Berkeley in fall 1928. Harris visited Schindler and Neutra at the Schindler House right before courses began, and Neutra discouraged him from studying architecture in school and offered him a job on the spot. He worked for Neutra 1928-1934. He and Gregory Ain both worked with Neutra on his Rush City Reformed project while at the Academy of Modern Art in Hollywood.

Gregory Ain: Started at USC in 1926, met Neutra at the Schindler House in 1928, and enrolled in Neutra’s course at the Academy of Modern Art, where he was a classmate of Harris. He worked for Neutra 1928-1935, and Schindler in 1930. Ain set up his own office in 1935. He took inspiration from Schindler’s roof design for the Oliver House when designing the roof for the Daniel House.

Raphael Soriano: Worked for Neutra on the Rush City Reformed project for the summer of 1932. When he graduated from USC, he worked for Schindler for a few months before returning to work for Neutra until 1936. The Lipetz House in 1936 was his first independent commission.

John Lautner: Worked for Wright at Taliesin from 1933-1938. He moved to L.A. in 1939 but continued to work with Wright, supervising construction of projects like Wright’s Sturges House in Brentwood, his only Usonian house in Southern California. Beginning with his own house in 1939, Lautner pursued both solo and join ventures until establishing his office in 1947.

James DeLong: Visited Wright’s Taliesin West in 1946 and was offered an apprenticeship. DeLong worked for Wright 1946-1947. He established his practice in 1947 with the Scholfield and Wolford houses. His work continued to show heavy influence of Wright’s Usonian style.

Richard Neutra: Worked for Wright at Taliesin, briefly, until 1925 when he began his practice in Los Angeles after moving into the Schindler House. Neutra and Schindler formed a partnership and worked together for a time as The Architectural Group for Industry and Commerce.

Image: Oliver House (R.M. Schindler, 1934), © Los Angeles Public Library.