Monthly Archives: September 2011

a personal plea from dion neutra to save the kronish house…


images from neutra.org

things are not looking good for the kronish house, the largest neutra in beverly hills. not even waiting until the agreed upon extension date next month, the owners have taken the house off the market and have started asbestos abatement (do they even have a permit?). there’s something fishy about this move, it reeks of backdoor deals – are they doing this so that the new owners won’t have blood on their hands? this way, the demolition has already been done and the new owners will be free to build the mc mansion of their dreams on 2 acres of prime beverly hills land. because that’s what beverly hills needs…

time is really ticking on this one. dion neutra is asking EVERYONE to attend the beverly hills city council meeting tomorrow evening (public comments will be heard around 7:15pm, so get there by 7pm). and please, please sign and share this letter addressed to the mayor and city council. it will only take a moment, and it could make all the difference in the world.

we need to unite as an international voice – too often, money trumps historic preservation. absolute worst case scenario, we lose the kronish (and i don’t type that lightly), but we pave the way for historic/cultural preservation to be the norm in beverly hills and not the demolition of irreplaceable treasures of architectural art.

p.s. if you were planning on attending the event on the 24th, it has been CANCELED. that’s why this latest push is so important. it is critical that we spread the word and do all we can in the time remaining.

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9/11/2011…

image from ussartf.org

it’s so hard to believe it was 10 years ago.  i was walking my dog in brentwood, another beautiful morning on the westside, a day like any other. a neighbor asked if i had seen the news. there was a horrible accident in new york. i took hershey home and turned on the tv. i was trying to get my head around what i was seeing when the second plane hit. in that moment, we all knew. this was something bigger, something darker. in that moment, there was an international gasp. in that moment, everything changed.

it was one of those seminal moments in human history. when all we knew or thought we knew was lost forever. when the best and the worst of people came to light. when the courage and heroism of first responders and of ordinary citizens moved you to tears. when the loss of life and the loss of hope was so overwhelming, you didn’t know what to do. when the devastation wrought by a small group of young men in 4 planes was too much to bear. what was happening? were we really under attack? time stood still, as the images replayed over and over.

and then, when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, the towers fell. even now, a decade later, remembering that moment, it is hard to breathe. the massive cloud. the ashen people. the darkness. i thought about all those souls. the firemen, climbing up, up, up as everyone else descended. it was all too much. and it still is.

in the following days and weeks, it felt like america was at a crossroads. the world was united with us. which path would we take? the newly created homeland security and their color coded chart did little to alleviate our fears. it was the people who came together – giving what they could. consoling each other. posting photos of their missing loved ones. trying, against all odds, to not give up hope.

last night, for the first time since 2001, i watched documentaries. the images still inconceivable.  all those moments of horror and disbelief and rage and sadness. of heroism and unity and collective grief. and now, 10 years later, so much has been lost. shock and awe. so many lives in iraq and afghanistan. and at some level, the very core of our civil liberties.

10 years.  maybe it’s too soon to know how that day really changed us. all we can do is remember that feeling of wanting to do more. to be more. to unite as citizens of the world. to nurture that sense of community we all felt in those days following september 11th. life has grown more difficult, so many of us struggling financially, but the core of us, the soul of us, is still there, flickering deep down as it was on that fateful day. the best remembrance of all that was lost may be to renew our compassion and try to live our lives as we did a decade ago. to remind ourselves that the world is much smaller and more connected than we thought on september 10, 2001.

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saving the kronish house…

The Kronish House in Beverly Hills, California. From Mark Angeles via Unlimited Style and ArchDaily

it’s been a long time since i’ve been to the ol’ blog. work has been pretty hectic and the heat…oh, the heat…triple digits…muggy…don’t get me started!

i saw this on facebook and had to share with all of you who care about architecture and mid century modern design. as some of you may know, many historic homes have already been bulldozed in beverly hills:  john lautner, paul williams, frank lloyd wright…all of ’em, gone.

richard neutra‘s kronish house was slated for demolition, until passionate preservationists rallied to get an extension. the shitty thing is “the soda partners” got the house out of foreclosure for $5.8 million and then put it on the market for $13,995,000 (that’s quite the flip…ugh.). hilton/hyland is listing it as a “sunset contemporary” with no reference to richard neutra (how strange).

the kronish house is a largest neutra (7000 sq ft) in so. cal. and the last one standing in beverly hills (the other two have already fallen victim to the wrecking ball or horrible renovations). from the huffington post:

Richard Neutra once spoke about his seven-thousand square foot collaboration with Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Kronish. He wrote, “Every major project like this takes a good deal of ‘starch’ out of me, my life-strength, but there is always deep satisfaction.”

dion neutra has posted a petition to save the kronish called “networking for neutra” (and is asking us all to spread the word by asking 5 friends to do the same. if i contact 5 people and those people contact 5 people, we would reach 100 million people in a week! if we each donated $1, $5, $10…well, you can do the math!):

you can sign the petition here and please give as much as you can … the goal is to save the house and turn it into a research library of sorts that would be open to the public by appointment.

it’s rare to have this much time to try and save an icon…won’t you do what you can to spread the word?

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