A few days ago we pointed out the problems with architecture as holder of monetary value. The Los Angeles Times explores the history of the famous Case Study House No. 22 which remains in the family that built the home despite offers of as much as $15 million from eager buyers:
“At the time he got a lot of teasing from the family,” says son Bruce, 50. “In those days you could have gotten a three-bedroom home in the flats for the amount my dad paid just for the lot. My grandfather told my dad, ‘You’ll never get your money out.’ The whole family thought my parents were crazy.”
Buck Stahl spent two years collecting broken-up concrete from construction sites and hauling it to the lot in his Cadillac convertible. He dedicated most weekends to building the retaining walls for what would be the front and back of the house. In the Life magazine article “Way Up Way of Living on California’s Cliffs,” dated Feb. 23, 1962, Stahl is shown dangling “1,000 feet above Los Angeles” from a rope tied around his waist, planting ivy around his concrete terracing to secure the hillside.
Architect Koenig was hired in 1957. Construction didn’t begin until September 1959 and finished in May 1960. The two-bedroom, 2,200-square-foot house cost $34,000 to build; the pool, $3,651 more. Buck passed away four years ago, and today Carlotta and the three children have no intention of selling, though there’s a list of wannabe owners — recognizable figures in the film and fashion world, the family says, although they decline to cite names. The highest offer so far: $15 million.
Koenig’s Case Study House No. 22 as Home (Los Angeles Times)