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Viennese transplant Richard Neutra designed the experimental house at 2300 Silverlake Blvd and built it with a no-interest loan from Dutch philanthropist Dr. C.H. Van Der Leeuw. He called it the VDL Research House in honor of his financier. It was his own home and studio. Neutra wanted to demonstrate that even on a small, hemmed in lot he could create a home that allowed private and spacious living.

The original 2100 square foot house, built in 1932, was built to the edges of the lot and vertically on two stories to take advantage of the views of Silverlake Reservoir and the San Gabriel Mountains. It was surrounded by fast-growing trees to provide privacy. The garden house was added 7 years later.

A fire damaged the main house in 1963, and Neutra and his son Dion, also an architect, built a new house on the original basement in 1964, applying everything they had learned in the intervening years and experimenting again with the latest building technologies.  

When Richard Neutra's wife Dione died in 1990, she left the house to California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, which administers the house as a museum.

Cal Poly Pomona architecture students give thirty-minute guided tours of the house and its temporary exhibits on Saturdays from 11 am to 3 pm, except for holiday weekends when students are not available. 

Read more about the VDL House at

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Last updated on March 24th, 2019 at 11:30am EDT

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