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Full text of "R.M. Schindler; an exhibition of the architecture of R.M. Schindler, 1887-1953"

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Cover: Sketches for the Lovell Beach house, 
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No. 5 




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An Exhibition of 

The Architecture of R. M. Schindler 

(1887 - 1953) 



Organized by 

David Gebhard 

For Presentation at 

The Art Gallery University of California Santa Barbara 

March 30 to April 30, 1967 

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art 

Fall, 1967 



Copyright 1967 The Regents, University of California 
Library of Congress Number: 67-63790 



Catalogue designed by David Gebhard 
Printed by Haagen Printing & Offset 



Acknowledgement 



The exhibition could only have been arranged with the close cooperation of Mr. and 
Mrs. Mark Schindler, who generously made the Schindler archives available for research 
and for the exhibitions. Mrs. Pauline Schindler has also kindly given of her time in 
answering many questions relating to the work and the clients of the architect. Several 
of Schindler's original clients, especially Miss Beata Inaya and Mr. and Mrs. Samuel 
Skolnik, have not only lent furniture for the exhibition, but have provided additional 
insight into the architect and his method of designing. 

The original inspiration for the exhibition has, of course, come from Mrs. Esther McCoy, 
who over the past fifteen years has single-handedly brought the work of Schindler to 
the attention of the world. Without her understanding and penetrating appraisal of his 
work this exhibition could never have taken place. Several others who have contributed 
to the exhibition should be mentioned, especially Professor Robert Winter of Occidental 
College and John August Reed, Los Angeles architect. Many of the older as well as the 
more recent photographs used in the catalogue and in the exhibition have been generously 
loaned from the photographic archives of Julius Shulman. Marvin Rand has specially 
photographed several of the buildings which are presented in the exhibition. Mrs. Phyllis 
Stuurman and Mrs. Patricia Gebhard have helped to edit the catalogue which accompanies 
this exhibition. The special installation of the exhibition at the Art Gallery, UCSB, has been 
designed by Stanley Reifel. Mr. Reifel has also constructed several pieces of furniture from 
the original Schindler working drawings and under his direction Thomas Fuller has built 
models of the Lovell beach house and the projected house for Eric Locke. — D.G. 



Introduction 
Esther McCoy 



At the age of 33 he said goodbye to the last of his heroes. He was not so much a hero 
worshiper as a man whose path crossed those of three important figures in the making 
of modern architecture: Otto Wagner, his professor at the Vienna Academy of Art; Adolf 
Loos, who preached of an architecture without ornament; and Frank Lloyd Wright, a road 
all would have to cross, whatever their destination. 

Heroes can never be in accord; and one is forever unseating another, which in the 
end can lead the young man who lives in the presence of heroes toward objectivity. But 
in the meantime the contact with them has opened his sensibilities. "A poet," wrote 
George Santayana, "who merely swam out into the sea of sensibility . . . would bring 
materials only to the workshop of art; he would not be an artist." 1 Schindler was an artist. 

He loved Otto Wagner longest because he was oldest and he interfered with him least. 
When Schindler named the three founders of modern architecture they were Wagner, 
Mackintosh and Sullivan. (Sullivan was not a hero because by the time they met Sullivan 
was in a pitiable state; the young are embarrassed by failure, in whatever cause.) 
Schindler was in his fifties when I first heard him speak of Loos, and then and subse- 
quently when referring to Loos he located him in Vienna, and in the cafe remodeled by 
Loos where he held court for young architects and architecture students; he not only 
placed him geographically but in time: between 1911 and 1914. His memories of Loos 
were tied nostalgically to Vienna, his youth, the excitement and charm of the companion- 
ship with other budding architects, as well as with Loos. No Viennese who was even on 
the fringe of Loos' coterie has ever forgotten him: dynamic, witty, arrogant, something 
of a dandy in his English suit, holding his listeners with endless fascinating stories of his 
travels in America. (There is a section in Richard Neutra's autobiography about Loos, 
told with a beautiful tenderness and irony.) 

Loos brought back from America a new kind of message — it had to do with the 
exquisite simplicity of our machine tools, the objects in daily use whose function was 
expressed in the form. It is true that Horatio Greenough had, sixty years earlier, delivered 
the same message (he was living in Florence and sent it back to his native country) 
when he observed that the style of the mechanics "is sometimes miscalled an economical, 
a cheap style," but to Greenough it was "the dearest of all styles ... Its simplicity is 
not the simplicity of emptiness or of poverty; its simplicity is that of justness . . ." 2 

But it was the spirit of revolt Loos symbolized that evoked the most nostalgia . . . 
Schindler had grown up in Vienna's most verdant season of architectural protest — the 
education and literature of architecture as well as executed buildings. The functionalist 
theories espoused by Wagner in his MODERN ARCHITECTURE were carried into the 
Academy where Schindler studied; Wagner's Post Office Savings Bank was finished when 
Schindler was 19. Loos opened his Free School of Architecture and published his book 
ORNAMENT AND CRIME when Schindler was leaving his teens and achieving his majority. 



Schindler joined Loos in his condemnation of Art Nouveau (the Viennese Secessionists) 
and took part in the demonstration against the authorities who were ready to bow to the 
public protest against Loos' plan for a modern building on the historic Michaelerplatz. :! 
Schindler was 22 when the Steiner house, a signpost in modern architecture, was built. 

In June 1914, just before the outbreak of the First World War, Schindler was chosen 
from among various applicants to fill a job as draftsman in the Chicago office of 
Ottenheimer, Stern and Reichel. By this time he had degrees from both the Technical 
College and from the Academy and had worked for over two years in the office of the 
architects Mayr and Mayer. (He entered Technical College in 1906 and was graduated 
in 1911; he enrolled in the Academy in 1910 while still studying at the Technical College, 
and was graduated in 1913 at the age of 25. He went into the office of Mayr and Mayer 
in 1911, a few months after finishing at Technical College, and continued working there 
during the three years he attended the Academy.) 

He had planned to return to Vienna after fulfilling his three-year contract with 
Ottenheimer, Stern and Reichel, which had advanced his fare from Vienna to Chicago, 
but before returning he hoped to spend a few months in the studio of Frank Lloyd Wright. 
His intention — or wish — was to join the office of Adolf Loos in Vienna. However, when 
war was declared in 1917 he became an enemy alien and his movements were restricted. 
Forced to remain in Chicago, and by 1917 thoroughly sick of the Ottenheimer office, he 
besieged Wright with requests for work, and early in 1918 Wright made a place for him. 
"I felt at home for the first time in America," he said. But he looked upon the job with 
Wright as something that would be concluded when the war ended. What he had not 
foreseen was the chaos in Vienna during the first years of peace. 

The news was disheartening. Wagner had died in 1918; Loos was idle; his friends had 
scattered. Rudolf Wondraek, a Vienna colleague, was in Berlin with Peter Behrens, Richard 
Neutra was in Switzerland — subsequently he also went to Germany, which was renewing 
its vitality faster than Austria. 

Wondraek wrote on September 22, 1919: "All of the future is uncertain." Loos was in 
Vienna, "still in his best years but building nothing." (Loos was 49.) "Are you with 
Wright? I hope that you didn't meet with such a disappointment as I did with Peter 
Behrens. I saw much that was new without finding the work the least satisfying. Let us 
hear from you, if possible some detail drawings to let us see how Wright constructs 
. . . for instance, the broad horizontal tie beam. We can't make out how it is done. 
Could one get work there?" 4 

There had been little choice. Wright had made him at home in America, but financially 
the office was in miserable shape much of the time, and the long periods when Schindler 
was not paid his $30 a week salary did not increase his confidence in the future. He was 
31 when the war ended, and by then he had worked in architectural offices for seven 
years; at 26 he had designed and supervised construction on a five-story actors' club in 
Vienna for Mayr and Mayer; the Ottenheimer office had given him full responsibility for 
the 1917 Buena Shore Club. But his chances for opening an office of his own or joining 
Loos were slim. 

Wright could hardly be called Schindler's second choice — if there had been a 
first. Wright's authority over Schindler had begun when he first saw the Wasmuth portfolio 



in the library of the Academy in 1911. "Here was 'space architecture,' " he wrote later 
of this experience. "Here was the first architect." 5 At the age of 24 Schindler could 
admire Loos and see a "timeless importance" 6 in this early work of Wright's. His commit- 
ment to Wright outweighted that to Loos when he built his King Road house in 1921, and 
later, in his rejection of functionalism. "Most of the buildings which Le Corbusier and his 
followers offer us as 'machines to live in,' equipped with various 'machines to sit and sleep 
on,' have not even reached the state of development of our present machines." 7 

Having been a disciple of Loos, and aware of the work of Tony Gamier, whose influence 
on Loos was considerable, he saw functionalism as a road he had walked before. He 
was not at all impressed by Irving Gill's Dodge house on Kings Road or his buildings in 
La Jolla; although Gill brought his forms into a single cubic mass, and had suppressed 
all projections as early as 1908, Schindler liked to think of this as a European expression 
rather than an essay preceding and paralleling Loos' simple cube forms. 

His quarrel with the functionalists and the International style was not short lived. 
Long after their popularity had begun to decline he attacked them as styles foisted on 
America by Europeans, and alien to America. But much as he owed to the romantic, 
pagan, rich, agrarian Wright there was from the first a strong European flavor in the 
Schindler buildings. They were urban; each might have stood without the support of 
nature, although his hillside buildings were as much site as building. (His designs for 
them were often made directly on the paper of the engineer's contour map.) It was not 
to the Europe of Loos or Gamier or the generation of Le Corbusier and Gropius that he 
was indebted, but rather to the de Stijl group of Holland, which had formed in 1917, 
was slow in moving from the project to executed buildings and lost most of its subtlety 
in the process. The early buildings of J. J. P. Oud, with their emphasis on mass, didn't 
touch the quick as did the sketch for a villa by Theo van Doesburg and Cor van Eesteren. 
Although Schindler could have known very little about the de Stjl projects before he began 
moving in the same direction, his affinity for the play or receding and advancing planes, 
the broken line, the syncopated rhythm and dissonant harmonies was clear. 

His search for depth was untiring. He reached INTO a building and pulled the plan 
forward; he pressed the walls back into the plan. He ended broad planes with a thin 
upturned line; he dissolved corners and left an impression that walls were freestanding. 
Truth and fancy were one. The supposable was the only final truth. 

Space forms were almost his sole interest. His training in engineering served this end. 
It was never in itself the source of drama. The way a house was built — fine craftsman- 
ship — concerned him very little. 

His buildings, literally, were fragile. (The cement mix for his great houses of the twenties 
was poor.) They were not built to withstand well years of winter rains and dry summers; 
the rains, as Wright wrote of the Millard house in his autobiography, came to "surprise 
the roofs." The fleeting, the impermanent, had a certain appeal for him. This was a kind 
of protest against The Establishment, the finely built eclectic house, the nest culture, the 
building department, the closed concrete box. But because his houses were loved they 
were well cared for, and for this reason many will outlast ones more carefully constructed. 
He wrapped a part of the exterior walls of one house in broad bands of roofing paper 
— the cost was under a dollar a square foot — and the walls have some of the lightness 



of a Japanese lantern; the spirit in which the house was conceived is more like stainless 
steel. In his own house he posed the monumental (concrete slab walls) against the 
ephemeral (sliding canvas doors). 

During the depression years when he learned to build at very low cost he took pride 
in the space forms he could create out of common materials. When plywood was intro- 
duced he preferred the common fir to the hard woods. He papered the plywood over 
space forms and painted it so that it defined or modified a space. Plywood, like his 
stucco and plaster, was a skin which neither affected nor controlled the forms. The 
materials themselves were silent, the forms his voice. 

The cost of a building and its fragility or sturdiness may seem to have little to do 
with the finding and losing of heroes. But Schindler's four years with Wright, the last 
of the heroes, determined a great deal Schindler's attitude toward the apportioning of a 
budget for a building. The important things Schindler learned from Wright in the field 
of design came from the Wasmuth portfolio which he found in the Academy library in 
Vienna. He has mentioned in his writings and in conversations that he preferred the 
early work of Wright, that the Imperial Hotel, which was on the boards when he was 
in the Wright studio in Oak Park and in Taliesin, was too sculptural for his taste; nor 
was he sympathetic to Wright's concrete block houses for California. 

But the way Wright looked upon the cost of materials in the hierarchy of the budget, 
the way he kept control of a design from the earliest phase to the last details during 
construction, was something as important as the initial impact of Wright upon him. 
Wright was fiercely possessive of his buildings during design, construction and the 
selection of all things to go into them. Schindler wrote once in 1921 of "the very many 
little adjustments at the end of a job that take time — and nerves." He was speaking 
of winding up his affairs with Wright and the Barnsdall house; in his own work he soon 
enough accepted this typical circumstance as the essence of an architectural office. But 
in 1921 Wright did not consider the Barnsdall house as the end of the job. Four years 
later he was still at it; he wrote Miss Aline Barnsdall in a letter dated March 4, 1925 
complaining about "so much serious effort aborted by your interference" and accused 
her of "depriving me of all responsibility for my own work . . ." 8 

That this was not an extreme instance of Wright's possessiveness of his buildings is 
borne out by a telegram he had sent a few weeks earlier to Charles Ennis, owner of the 
1924 concrete block house in Los Angeles. Wright begged him to "be guided by intelli- 
gence and grace rather than by unenlightened expedients, destroying the virtue of all we 
have suffered for." The example of the continued responsibility Wright felt for his 
buildings undoubtedly made a great impression on Schindler. 

Schindler established his office during the eight years before the depression began. 
Beside the problem common to all young architects in finding clients, it was necessary 
in the twenties to teach the client something about the new architecture. Schindler 
compared his role in this regard to that of Mrs. Galka Scheyer who came to Los Angeles 
in 1921 to exhibit and stimulate interest in works by Klee, Kandinsky, Feininger and 
Jawlensky. Both he and Mrs. Scheyer, Schindler wrote, were "dispelling popular prejudice. " !) 

Schindler worked with increasingly small budgets as the depression deepened, and he 
spread the budget to include necessities as well as luxuries of design. The new architecture 



WAS a luxury; craftsmen had to be reeducated, therefore work went slowly and estimates 
of general contractors were as a result often prohibitive. Schindler himself acted as 
general contractor on his buildings not only to bring the cost down but to have a greater 
control over design during the construction stage. (He took another advantage of this 
practice: he made numerous changes in the design during construction.) 

The example of Wright's office cannot be underestimated as an influence. Its very 
shortcomings, from the point of view of a young architect who was eager to develop on 
his own, was its strength in the end. Wright did not require total devotion from the men 
who worked with him: it was a gift they were unable not to give. And Wright's gift in 
return was the example of how design was protected at any cost; it came first, and one 
never took his eye off it, or shared it. Wright's phrase, "destroying the virtue of all we 
suffered for," sounds old fashioned in a time when the single house is rapidly disap- 
pearing, the emphasis is on environment rather than the isolated building, and the city 
itself is in jeopardy. When one learns that what Charles Ennis wanted to do was waterproof 
the leaking windows, Wright's outcry seems out of a remote age, one more leisurely and 
romantic. Only in scientific research, it seems, would this generation consider appropriate 
such a fastidious preoccupation with detail. (Wright advised Ennis, incidentally, that he 
knew the exact measures to take to waterproof the windows without destroying the 
interweaving of the concrete blocks at the window heads.) 

What Schindler learned from Wright was that there were no small details and no small 
jobs. And time was too short to postpone the use of one's highest talents until there 
was money in the bank. When an architect once defended his design of a poor building 
by saying he had to live, Wright's answer was "Why?" 

The Wright office was often imperiled by unpaid bills, and in 1919 the overdrafts at 
the bank came with a stunning regularity; Wright was ostracized by society and held in 
low esteem by his profession in 1919, but when he walked leisurely into the drafting 
room at Taliesin at ten o'clock of a morning, dressed in his soft brown corduroy suit 
and silk shirt, "he filled the studio with a sort of richness and glow," Mrs. Schindler 
remembers. "The boys," as he called his staff, surrounded him and discussions began. 
(According to Mrs. Schindler the discussions were about the foundations of the Imperial 
Hotel; Wright wanted the building to rest on piles — "He was passionate about this.") 

Schindler's serenity in the face of adversity was surely in part a heritage from Wright. 



Notes 



1. George Santayana, THREE PHILOSOPHICAL 5. R. M. Schindler, "Space Architecture," DUNE 
POETS. Cambridge, 1910. FORUM, February, 1934, pp. 44-46. 

2. Horatio Greenough, FORM AND FUNCTION (edited 6. IBID, 
by Harold A. Small) Berkeley, 1957, p. 128. 7. ibid. 

3. Esther McCoy (edited by) "Letters from Louis H. g. From copies of letters loaned to the writer. 
Sullivan to R. M Schindler," JOURNAL, Society g Letter f Schindler adressed to the School of 

° f A wQ t , e oV Jral Hlstor,ans - VoL 20 ' Dec - 1961 ' Architecture (sic), University of Southern Call- 

pp. i/y-184. fornia, 0ct _ 10 _ ig49 ^ 



4. From the files of R. M. Schindler. 



10 



R. M. Schindler and The Modern Movement 

1910-1953 

David Gebhard 



Only in the last ten years or so have Americans slowly become aware of the variety 
and richness of the work of their own architects of the last half century. We are at long 
last beginning to realize that the early modern movement in American architecture was 
indeed a movement or better yet a seris of movments, and that it is a gross historical 
inaccuracy to characterize this period by glorifying the works of a lone hero, Frank Lloyd 
Wright. The Prairie School was in fact a school with highly significant and original con- 
tributions being made by William Gray Purcell, George Grant Elmslie, Walter Burly Griffin, 
George Maher and others. On America's West Coast, at the same time, there was a 
Maybeckian School (centered in the Bay area around the work of Bernard Maybeck); a 
Bungalow movement (around the work of Charles and Henry Greene in southern California); 
and an American version of architectural rationalism (centered around Irving Gill, also 
in southern California). 

If we are only now becoming aware of the first emergence of modern architecture in 
America, we are even more in the dark concerning the later developments of the 1920s 
and 1930s. For many years we have known of the pre- and post-World War I expressionist 
movement in European architecture as seen in the work of Eric Mendelsohn, Bruno Taut, 
Fritz Hoger and others. What is little known is that, at approximately the same moment, 
a similar expressionist movement was taking place in southern California. Frank Lloyd 
Wright's California and Arizona works of the 1920s, as well as the buildings of Lloyd 
Wright and several of the designs of R. M. Schindler, constitute a highly individual 
American version of architectural expressionism. 

A similar parallelism occurred in the development of the International style during the 
1920s and early 1930s. While Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius were 
in the process of establishing the International style as a style in Europe, R. M. Schindler 
and Richard J. Neutra were doing the same thing in southern California. Although the 
early work of Schindler and Neutra laid the foundation for California's brilliant architectural 
renaissance of the late 1930s, its reputation, in contrast to its European equivalent, was 
almost entirely local and regional. While it is true that Neutra's famous Lovell house in 
Hollywood of 1929 was internationally known and respected, Neutra himself was looked 
upon as an interesting but at best a marginal figure. Such a view is perfectly justified 
if one goes along with the normal linear view of art and architectural history. But such 
an approach is at best artificial and limited when applied to the complexities of the 
twentieth century. Architecture certainly cannot be placed in such a limited pattern without 
doing a major injustice to facts. 

Whether they are adherents of historical linearism or more catholic in their pluralism, 
twentieth century architectural historians have regrettably ignored one of its major 



11 



exponents: the Viennese born, southern California architect, R. M. Schindler. The historical 
oblivion of this architect was due to a number of factors besides his remoteness from 
Europe and the eastern United States. Schindler was regrettably a poor propagandist 
of his own work. Unlike Neutra, he seldom wrote, either directly about his own work or 
as an architectural theoretician. Nor with rare exception did he ever become an 
architectural educator. When one looks back to Wright, Gropius, Mies van der Rohe or 
Le Corbusier, it is apparent that the work of these men became well known and 
subsequently influential not only because of the impressive quality of their designs, but 
equally owing to their activities as propagandists. That Schindler really wished to be such 
a propagandist is certain, but that his personality was such that he could never 
accomplish this aim is equally apparent. 

Finally, it is also clear that Schindler's work was ignored and disregarded (by even 
those historians who knew it) because it did not readily fit into one or another of the 
preconceived stylistic patterns of the time. Even his buildings which were close to the 
European International style contain disturbing and contrary elements which seem to 
violate one or another principle of the style. An overall look at his architecture presents 
such a variety of ideas and forms that it is difficult to see him as a coherent architectural 
personality. 

The renewed interest in Schindler in the past few years is certainly due to the breakdown 
of the European International style as the dominant style. The new involvement in 
constructionism, the rehabilitation of the reputation of Alvar Aalto, the resurgence of 
interest in Bernard Maybeck, and the new concern with twentieth century builder's 
vernacular are aspects of the same outlook which now demands a new appraisal 
of Schindler. 

The essential facts of R. M. Schindler's life have been recorded by Esther McCoy. 1 
He was born in Vienna on September 5, 1887. Both of his parents were craftsmen, his 
father in metal and wood, his mother in textiles. Although his major interest was always 
in architecture, he devoted a good share of his time to figure drawing in pencil and ink. 
Thus he graduated not only from the Imperial Technical Institute in Engineering (1912), 
but also from the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts (1913) where he worked in architecture, 
sculpture and painting. During the period September 1911 through February 1914, he 
worked as a draftsman in the Viennese office of Hans Mayr and Theodor M. Mayer during 
which time he designed one of their major buildings. In 1914 he accepted employment 
in the Chicago firm of Ottenheimer, Stern and Reichel. He remained with this firm from 
1914 through 1918, although at the same time he did a number of projects of his own. 
He also participated actively in the Chicago art world where he did drawings and sculpture 
at the Chicago Art Institute and taught drawing at the Church School of Arts. In 1915 he 
made an extensive trip to the West, to New Mexico and California. The visual experiences 
of this trip, especially his reaction to the Pueblo architecture of the Rio Grande, were to 
produce a decided effect on several of his designs of the early 1920s. 7 During his last 
year with Ottenheimer, Stern and Reichel he was placed in charge of a large project — the 
Buena Shore Club (Chicago, 191718). 

Although he had done some work for Wright in 1917, he was not engaged full-time 
until 1918. During 1917-18 he spent part of his time at Taliesin and part at Wright's 



12 



Oak Park office. With Wright spending much of his time in Tokyo supervising the con- 
struction of the Imperial Hotel, Schindler was often left on his own. Several projects and 
buildings which came from the Wright office at this time were either partially or entirely 
by him. In 1919 Schindler married Sophie Pauline Gibling. Late in the following year they 
came to Los Angeles where he was placed in charge of supervising the construction of 
Wright's Hollyhock house for Aline Barnsdall (1917-20). Schindler also prepared drawings 
for the entire complex for Miss Barnsdall on Olive Hill (which included terrace stores, 
apartments for actors, a number of private residences and later a theater). Schindler 
continued to manage Wright's business affairs in America as well and to provide many 
detailed drawings for the Imperial Hotel.'' In 1921 he built his own house and studio on 
Kings Road in Los Angeles and established his independent practice. During 1925-26 
Schindler designed what probably is his greatest work, the beach house for P. M. Lovell 
at Newport Beach. In 1925 Richard J. Neutra came to Los Angeles and opened his own 
office in Schindler's Studio. During the period 1926 through 1930 they collaborated on 
a number of projects under the name of the Architectural Group for Industry and 
Commerce. Working with them on several projects was the urban planner, Carol Aronovici. 

The period of the 1930s marks a high point in Schindler's career. One classic design 
after another came from his drafting board: the Oliver house (1933), the Buck house 
(1934), the Walker house (1935), the Rodakiewicz house (1937). His work of the late 
1930s became more mixed, in many ways more adventuresome, but at the same time 
less assured. The designs of the post World War II years, until his death August 22, 1953, 
often contain brilliant passages, but these ideas tended to be fragmentary, seldom 
whole. The confusion expressed in his last works not only mirrors his own personal 
direction, but it is equally an accurate reflection of the post-war architectural scene 
in southern California. 

Vienna in the early 1900s must have been a visually and intellectually exciting world. 
In painting Gustav Klimt, Oscar Kokoschka, and Egon Schiele were providing a fascinating 
bridge between the end of the century Art Nouveau and the new spirit of expressionism 
which was beginning to dominate central Europe. Although Vienna's dominant visual 
character was still neo-Baroque and neo-Renaissance, a scattering of buildings reflected 
the curvilinear prejudice of the Art Nouveau or the more simplified rectilinearism of 
the Secessionist architects. By 1900 Vienna had easily replaced Chicago as the center 
of architectural ferment. Where else could one have found such a gathering of architectural 
talent: the older Otto Wagner, and the young designers Josef Olbrich, Josef Hoffmann 
and Adolf Loos. It was in Vienna then at the turn of the century that the visual as well 
as the aesthetic principles of modern architecture were firmly established. The pre- 
eminence of Vienna and its architects lay not only in the buildings themselves and in 
the development of an architectural philosophy, but in the way in which they were aware 
of and able to integrate new and original ideas from other parts of the world. Charles 
Rennie Mackintosh and his Scottish colleagues received a far more sympathetic reception 
in Vienna than they experienced at home or in England. Mainly through Loos' experience 
in the United States, the .technical innovations of American steel construction and 
the aesthetic innovations of Louis H. Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright were not only 
well known but widely admired. 



13 



As a perceptive student the young R. M. Schindler took full advantage of this lively 
and stimulating world. Through his formal studies at the Technical Institute and at the 
Academy of Art, he was exposed to Otto Wagner and others. Outside of these schools he 
came to know Loos and the painters Klimt and Schiele. To round out his experience, he 
obtained employment with the moderately radical Viennese architectural firm of Hans Mayr 
and Theodor Mayer. Thus by the time he graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in June, 
1913, he had received a thorough academic training in architecture as well as having had 
the opportunity to design and supervise the construction of a large building. In addition, as 
his figure studies testify, he had fully mastered the world of pen and pencil drawing. 

Schindler's early projects as well as his one completed building reveal that he had 
rapidly absorbed and understood the architectural significance of the current work of 
Wagner and Loos. As one would expect, these early projects were essentially Viennese, 
yet it is remarkable how they contain the germ of ideas which were to dominate his work 
in California in the 1920s and 1930s. Schindler's 1912 project for the Hotel Rong bears 
a close resemblance to Otto Wagner's apartment house on Dobergasse (1909-1910). 4 . 
Like Wagner's building, his hotel project consists of a single volumetric box terminated 
by a projecting roof terrace. In both buildings the thin skin-like quality of the wall was 
emphasized by the rectangular panel-like effect of their surfaces. This light modular 
quality was enhanced in the Schindler project by a more extensive use of glass on the 
ground and mezzanine floors and by the purposeful differentiation of the two facades 
as two independent surfaces. Schindler's later fondness for interlocking rectangular 
volumes and surfaces is anticipated in the projecting of the first floor balcony beyond 
the line of the upper four balconies and in the screen of panels which are extended 
into the large glass area. 

Another project of 1912, that for a hunting lodge, entails both Wagner and Hoffmann 
qualities. The simplicity and severity of the two low wings and the classic quality of the 
main portion echo the restraint encountered in Hoffmann's work of the early 1900s. 5 
The major difference between Schindler's project and the work of Wagner or Hoffmann 
is the constructionist flavor of the main two-story pavilion with its exposed columns, 
horizontal members and open roof structure. 

Schindler's thesis project of 1912-13 for a crematorium-chapel displays what amounts 
to an encyclopedia of modern architectural forms. The basic plan of the complex, with 
its central tree-lined axis and its circular street pattern with radiating roads, goes directly 
back to the eighteenth century rationalist projects of C. N. Ledoux and L. E. Boullee. 
On the other hand, the street system with overpasses and on-and-off ramp certainly looks 
to the future. As to the buildings themselves the central unit is a constructionist dream. 
The great roof, with its structural frame fully exposed, is supported by two rows of 
sixteen vertical supports which at the ends of the building are read as elements separate 
from the building itself. The tremendous open space separating the roof from the building 
below makes the roof the dominant aesthetic form of the structure. The use of a 
structural frame to express aesthetic form is also evident in the lower part of the building 
as well. How these horizontal and vertical concrete members are put together can easily 
be read. This expression of structure carries the cage-like aesthetic quality of Louis 
Sullivan's Carson Pirie Scott Store of Chicago (1899-1904) a step further. The repeated 



14 



horizontalism of the window units of Schindler's project not only anticipates the Inter- 
national style of the 1930s but equally the Brutalist elements of the architecture of the 
1950s. The four circular buildings with their projecting wings, which act as terminal 
points for the secondary streets, come even closer to the International style of the 20s and 
30s in their use of glass walls and of horizontal bands of windows carried around corners. 

Besides the design features already mentioned, there are numerous other innovations 
in this project which might be pointed out: the flowing stepped roofs which lead down 
to the main circular street and the small single story building with its band of windows 
placed directly under a non-projecting roof are reminiscent of the handling of such 
elements in the work of the 1930s of Schindler's Vienna colleague, Richard J. Neutra. 
There is even a hint of Frank Lloyd Wright in the off-center band of square windows 
found on the two buildings to which the stepped roofs lead. 6 All of the elements mentioned 
are encountered in Schindler's later work: the constructionism of the main building saw 
its expression in the Lovell beach house; the multi-storied glass wall and horizontal band 
windows were dominant features of his designs of the 1920s and 1930s. 

Because of the legal restrictions imposed and the nature of the site itself, Schindler's 
one realized building in Vienna, the Clubhouse for Actors (1912), done while he was 
a draftsman for Mayr and Mayer, provides only a passing indication of his design 
predilections or his ability at this stage of his career. The upper floors of the building 
represent a rather restrained neo-classicism, almost rococo in its two-dimensional qualities. 
The exterior design of the ground or street floor is more original — closer in its spatial 
organization to the work of Hoffmann than to that of Wagner. Hoffmann frequently used 
similar glass bay windows but the older architect never created an integrated fenestration 
of repeated bays with intervening vertical supports." The projection of this pattern upward 
would have visually produced a pure skyscraper design. 

Although Schindler often spoke of Loos and his influence on him, it is interesting to 
note that none of his Viennese works reflect the outward neo-rationalist forms which the 
later internationalists so greatly admired. Schindler's debt to Loos was more to his 
architectural theories, especially the older man's concept that the essence of architecture 
is to be found in the volumetric manipulation of interior space. Loos himself did not fully 
carry out these spatial ideas until the 1920s in such works as the Rufer house (Vienna, 
1922) and the Moller house (Vienna, 1928). 8 By this late date Schindler had completely 
developed his own highly personal way of manipulating interior space. 

If one compares Schindler's pre-1914 designs with other European architects of the 
time, the only one who had developed the new architecture to a more advanced degree 
was Walter Gropius in his Fagus Factory at Alfeld-an-der-Leine in 1914. Neither Mies 
van der Rohe nor Le Corbusier at that period had done any work which approached that 
of the young Viennese. It is fascinating to speculate what would have happened if 
Schindler had remained in Europe. It is entirely possible that he would have emerged 
as a key figure in the development of the European International style of the 1920s. 
Instead his going to America, his experience with Wright and his final move to California 
removed him from the main stream of European architecture. 

An equally intriguing question is what would have been Schindler's position in the 
European art scene if he had stayed in Europe and had concentrated all or at least an 



15 



appreciable share of his attention on painting. Admittedly his work is more restrained 
and controlled than that of Schiele and it does not have the flat decorative lyricism of 
Klimt, but its cold rather tightly planned emotionalism represents a midway point between 
the high pitched exoticism of Schiele and the calmness of Klimt. The lines in Schindler's 
drawing are pre-conceived and arranged, indicating the planned approach which one 
associates with an architect. They contrast dramatically with the painterly, agitated line 
which establish the form and content of a Schiele drawing. The control expressed 
in a Schindler drawing relates his work more to Parisian rationalism than to Central 
European expressionism. 

Late in 1914 Schindler went to Chicago to work as a draftsman in the firm of 
Ottenheimer, Stern and Reichert. This firm, like most American architectural offices, 
approached architecture fundamentally as a business. The chief partner, Ottenheimer, had 
worked in the Adler and Sullivan office for a brief period and had, as well, attended the 
Beaux Arts Academy in Paris, but neither experience had made a designer of him nor 
had apparently deepened his commitment to architecture. At least to a degree Ottenheimer 
and his partners must have felt this lack, for they consciously sought out design talent 
both in the United States and abroad. 

Schindler's first project upon coming to America was a Competition for a Neighborhood 
Center sponsored by the Chicago Architectural Club (1914). His design for the Neighbor- 
hood Center echoes his 191213 thesis project — the layout of the buildings, streets and 
walks was symmetrical and balanced, the buildings themselves Secessionist. In addition 
to his day-to-day drafting activities, Schindler designed a number of projects for Otten- 
heimer, Stern and Reichert. The most interesting of these were an eleven-story hotel 
(1915) and a bar (1915). The spirit of his hotel design, with its flat unbroken brick walls 
of the street facade punctured by angled bay windows, is more a reflection of his contact 
with Loos than with anyone else. His design for the bar also owes its form to Loos rather 
than to Wagner or Hoffmann. It is really a Viennese room transplanted to American soil. 

Schindler continued his interest in figurative drawing and sculpture when he came to 
Chicago. Since his figurative drawings are undated, it is impossible to determine whether 
they were produced in Vienna or in Chicago. All of the drawings (whether pencil or ink) 
reflect a Secessionist, late Art Nouveau atmosphere. He certainly painted and drew 
from the model during his student days, but it is unlikely that he would have brought 
those pencil drawings along with him to America. Therefore, the assumption is that all 
or at least a greater part of the existing figure drawings were produced in Chicago. Even 
his landscape drawings of New Mexico reveal the same broken line as his figure drawings. 

During the summer of 1915 Schindler took a long trip through the American Southwest 
and to California. While he was intrigued by what he found in California, the real impact 
of this trip came from his visit to New Mexico. The adobe architecture of the upper Rio 
Grande Valley impressed him tremendously. He saw in these strong primitive forms the 
type of simplicity which he was striving to achieve in his own architecture. He felt for 
the first time how structures such as these were organically related to the landscape. 
Neither in Europe nor in Chicago had he been able to appreciate the possibility of how 
a man-made object might be integrated with nature. 

His sympathetic response to this architecture and its environment was effectively 



16 



expressed in the numerous photographs which he took in Santa Fe and Taos and above 
all in the many pencil drawings which he made of the buildings. Upon returning to 
Chicago, his excitement for this architecture was immediately carried into his design 
for a projected summer house in adobe for a Chicago acquaintance, Dr. T. P. Martin 
(1915). 9 This house is in many ways a remarkable building, bringing together ideas 
derived from Loos, from what he then knew of the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, 
and finally ideas recently acquired from his New Mexico travels. The thick unbroken 
adobe walls and the exposed vegas and posts of the porches and roofs are of course 
purely New Mexican. The plan, too, partially reflects the Southwest in its orientation 
around a central patio-courtyard. But the balanced symmetry of the plan and the spatial 
organization of the house are Vienna and Chicago combined. The inglenook arrangement 
of the living room and the changes in floor level are Loosian, but the double entries, the 
sequence of interlocked spaces of the dining, living and billiard room, and much of the 
detailing point more to Wright. 

Schindler's designs of 1916-1917 before he went to work with Wright, followed two 
separate paths. His larger work for the firm of Ottenheimer, Stern and Reichert — his 
design for a new store front on Van Buren Street (Chicago, ca. 1916), his project for a 
Central Administration Building (Chicago, 1916), and his Buena Shore Club (Chicago, 
1917-18) — represented a continuation of his version of the Viennese Secessionism. His 
smaller buildings, such as his project for a Women's Club (Chicago, 1916) and his project 
for a Log house (1917) were almost entirely Wrightian in character. 

The Log house (working drawings dated 1917 at Spring Green) indicates a thorough 
understanding of the Wrightian mode. The highly effective interlocking volumes are a 
simplified version of the handling of the problem in Wright's Gale house (Oak Park, 
1909). Schindler's reliance on the four foot module, on the nature of the material, and 
on structural design forced him to eliminate the crochety detailing which was so often 
characteristic of Wright's work. In fact this project of Schindler is probably far too abstract 
to be thought of as simply Wrightian; it is closer to such Dutch work as R. van't Hoff's 
1915 house near Utrecht or J. J. P. Oud's Project for a Factory of 1919. 10 

The Buena Shore Club, with its massing of rectangular volumetric blocks and its 
heavy vertical detailing, also shares some features with Dutch buildings of the late teens 
and early twenties. Some features of this building, particularly the rows of narrow 
banded windows carried around the corner seem to be taken directly from his 1912-13 
Crematorium-chapel project; while the vertical group of angled bay windows seems to be 
a restatement of the ground floor of the Actors' Clubhouse in Vienna. The long, rather 
low wing that encloses one side of the garden could be loosely thought of as Wrightian, 
but other than this there is really little in the design which points to the Master of 
Taliesin. Equally unrelated to the Prairie School or to the older Chicago School was his 
project for a large one room apartment building (1919). The exterior fenestration of the 
apartment building was composed of rectangular concrete panels and square precast 
projecting windows. The flavor of the design is Viennese, but the accentuated independence 
of each of the window units is highly original. 

During his stay at Taliesin and in Oak Park, Schindler performed a variety of functions 
for Wright ranging from administration of the office finances, supervision of the construc- 



17 



tion of buildings, preparation of the specifications for buildings, and in several instances 
the independent design for Wright's domestic commissions. 11 The most important of the 
domestic commissions which he did for Wright prior to going to California were the J. P. 
Shampay house (Chicago, 1919), the C. E. Staley house (Waukegan, 1919) and the 
project for the concrete Monolithic Homes (1919). 12 All of these designs present a 
cleaned-up version of Wright's Prairie mode. Not only are the basic forms and the details 
less fussy, but they are far more domestic in scale and less arbitrary in their plans. The 
provision for a garage, the central hall which serves both as an entrance and as a 
bedroom hall, and the pleasant open kitchen of the single floor Staley house are features 
seldom found in Wright's work prior to this time. As Henry-Russell Hitchcock has pointed 
out, the design for the concrete Monolithic Home project is boldly abstract and can be 
compared profitably to Le Corbusier's Citron project of 1920. 13 

In the late 1920s Schindler went to Los Angeles to supervise the construction of 
Wright's residence for Miss Aline Barnsdall on Olive Hill. Numerous changes were made 
in the design of this house during its construction. Obviously many of these were 
suggested by the client or were structural changes introduced by the contractor. 14 As 
built, the house was considerably simplified from Wright's scheme for the building. With 
Schindler's Monolithic Home and his other work in mind, it would be reasonable to 
suppose that the general simplified form of the house must in part have mirrored 
his own predilections. 

The house for Miss Barnsdall was to have been only a small segment of a large urban 
scheme for Olive Hill. There were to have been three other large houses (two of which 
were built), a theatre, apartments for actors, and on Sunset and Hollywood Boulevards 
a group of terrace stores. The precise contribution of either Wright or Schindler to the 
project for the terrace stores is not known. However, in the Schindler archives there are 
preliminary sketches for both the actors' apartments and the stores which were drawn 
by him; and the partially completed working drawings also bear his initials. A similar 
confusion exists for the Director's house (1920) and Oleanders, the second house on 
Olive Hill (1920), where the presentation sketches and the working drawings are again 
both by Schindler. The exterior massing of the Director's house is as heavy as the 
earlier Hollyhock house, though its only historic reference, i.e., to Pre-Columbian 
architecture, is far less apparent. As built, the Director's house was not as monumental 
as originally conceived, and its plan would appear to represent an amalgamation of 
Wright and Schindler ideas. 

The drawings for both the Oleanders house and the first scheme for the C. P. Lowes 
house (Eagle Rock, 1922) contain a similar mixture of ideas. 15 These designs incorporate 
a simplified adaptation of Wright's Prairie houses together with the more monumental 
Pre-Columbianism of the Hollyhock house, but even more they indicate Schindler's search 
for an architectural idiom which would somehow combine the emotive, expressionistic 
content of Wright's architecture with the intellectual puritanism of modern European 
architecture. This attempt to combine what are basically conflicting ideas was to dominate 
much of his architecture right up until his death in 1953. While this conflict of ideas did 
help him to realize a certain richness of detailing and of form, and in a few instances 
led to highly successful buildings, its effect was more often negative. Schindler was 



certainly aware of the generally disastrous effect of Wright's influence on him, for while 
he was still in Chicago, he had written to a friend, "Not one of Wright's men has yet 
found a word to say for himself." 16 But Schindler's personal association with Wright 
coupled with his own romanticism made it difficult for him to casually disregard the 
experience of working with such a dominant personality. His work of the 20s plainly 
points out his inner battle. The whole of what can be called Schindler's expressionist 
phase (which was equally shared by Wright himself and by his son Lloyd Wright) 
represented his open attempt to utilize and to master the Wrightian vocabulary. 

This expressionistic phase in his work and that of Wright and his son constitutes the 
American equivalent of the German buildings of Bruno Taut, Eric Mendelsohn, Fritz 
Hoger, and the Dutch work of Michel de Klerk and Piet Kramer. 17 In form and detail the 
California work of these three Americans was quite different from their European counter- 
parts, but the spirit was similar. The American designs employed a basically simple series 
of rectangles or angled rectangular forms which in themselves could hardly be thought of 
as expressionistic. Rather the angular plasticity and intense movement within surfaces and 
the contrast between surfaces place these buildings within the expressionst framework. 

A good example of the coloristic effect of contrasts in surfaces was Schindler's first 
scheme for the C. Warne house (Los Angeles, 1923). This house is a suspended 
box whose sides batter into the base and whose surfaces come closer to being an 
agitated relief sculpture than a piece of architecture. Its design is purposely meant to 
startle through details which are either unfamiliar or are the opposite from what is 
normally encountered. Somewhat more sedate in its expressionstic character was 
Schindler's Lowes house #1 (Eagle Rock, 1923). In this house the calm geometry of the 
undecorated, stucco-covered volumes somewhat contains the elaborate pattern of parallel 
overlaid boards and the narrow vertical fenestration of the windows and doors. Inside 
the Lowes house, a similar restless quality can be seen in such details as the fireplace 
or the built-in sideboard of the dining room. 

Marginally expressionistic were Schindler's projects for the Mrs. L. Davies house (Los 
Angeles, ca. 1922-24) and the Mrs. D. Baker house (Hollywood, 1923). The Baker house 
seems to delight in emphasizing the antithesis between the high pitched gabled roof 
section and the horizontal flat-roofed volumes which project out as dormers, wings and 
terrace. The small house for Mrs. L. Davies exemplifies the architect's earliest use of an 
A frame, a form which he returned to once again in the mid-1930s. As in the Baker 
Project, Schindler purposely creates a heightened contrast in the Davies house between 
the steep roofed shape and the rectangular pattern of dormers, windows, doors and 
flower boxes. 

Unquestionably the most romantic, and therefore the closest the architect ever came 
to the work of Bernard Maybeck, was the J. Packard house (South Pasadena, 1924). 
While local deed restrictions forced him to use a high pitched roof, its use was not out 
of character with the other designs which he was doing at this time. The interior with 
its planned antithesis between horizontal and vertical space is similar to Maybeck's 
organization of interior space. The Y shaped plan with its central kitchen and its series 
of six independent, self-contained exterior spaces was highly inventive. Equally original 



19 



was the wall structure which consisted of a thin vertical and horizontal concrete frame 
and a mesh upon which cement gunnite was sprayed. 

The last expressionist project which shall be mentioned was his projected scheme for 
the Physical Education Clubhouse for the Topanga Ranch (Topanga Canyon, Los Angeles 
County, 1923). In many ways this building is the apex of his expressionist designs. For 
he made the maximum use not only of intricately patterned, highly contrasting surfaces, 
but he also used the wood stud structure itself to sharpen the contrast. Certain sections 
of the walls were left completely open so that one can fully read the structural frame. 

By 1926 Schindler had pretty well abandoned this expressionistic aspect of his work. 
But he slowy returned to it in the late 1930s and early 1940s, and after the Second 
World War he designed several buildings which, without any great stretch of the imagina- 
tion, could be considered expressionstic. Such a switching back and forth between 
extreme architectural idioms may seem capricious, but if one takes into account that 
Frank Lloyd Wright and Lloyd Wright followed a similar progression of formal ideas, from 
an expressionistic stage to an International style phase, followed by a return to a more 
easy going romanticism during much the same period of time, Schindler's change in 
language becomes more understandable. Schindler, however, in spite of being taken up 
with expressionism during the 1920s and 1930s, never stopped his experimentation with 
other forms which were often an antithesis of expressionism. 

Indicative of how Schindler moved away from the Wrightian manner are two of his 
major designs of the early 1920s: his competition drawings for the Free Public Library, 
Bergen Branch (Jersey City, New Jersey, 1920), and his studio house built for himself 
and Clyde Chase on Kings Road (Hollywood, 1921). The relationship of the rectangular 
volumes of the Jersey City Library project looks back to his Viennese days and to a 
more limited extent to his work in Chicago. The abstract interpenetration of rectangular 
blocks, especially in the children's wing (to the right in the elevational drawing), anticipates 
his approach of the 1930s. On the other hand, left over from his Wright days are the 
fussy screen like window detailing and the projecting piers used to give depth and a 
certain degree of mass to each of the facades. 

As one would expect of an architect's own house, Schindler's double studio residence 
on Kings Road is a highly imaginative scheme. The battered tilt slab concrete walls 
convey a Southwestern adobe feeling; the interior scale and wood detailing are somewhat 
Wrightian; but the essence of the plan and the scale of the building is neither American 
nor European, it is Japanese. Unlike the traditional Western European building, Schindler's 
house is never meant to be seen as a free-standing object in space. The Kings Road 
house is really a series of loosely grouped pavilions which, through sliding canvas panels, 
are closely linked with independent gardens. Thus, one can experience only fragments 
of the Schindler house — a portion of the entrance or one or two walls on the garden. 
Although Schindler made use of a change in ceiling height, accentuated by narrow 
horizontal clearstory windows, the changes created a horizontality in the interior space. 
Schindler returned to somewhat related concepts in a few of his later buildings and 
projects, but the Kings Road house really stands alone in his architectural production, 
especially in its Japanese qualities. 



20 



The interest in orienting a house around one or more enclosed gardens did occur in 
several houses over the next few years; the most notable examples being the projected 
bungalow for P. L. Mix (Los Angeles, 1922), the house for M. P. Campbell (Los Angeles, 
1922), and his projected studio for J. Morgenthau (Palm Springs, 1926). His project for 
a House in the Desert (first scheme for P. Popinoff, Coachella, ca. 1924?) created a single 
indoor-outdoor environment which completely shut out the exterior world. The closest 
approximation to his own house was the ranch house for C. Park (Fallbrook, 1925), 
where he used battered concrete walls combined with exposed wood structure and where 
he grouped the rooms around an enclosed patio. 

Two major concerns throughout his life were the closely related problems of multiple 
and low cost housing. In Europe during the 1920s and 1930s the design of public housing 
occupied the attention of all the avant garde architects. In America, especially in the 
1920s, no such opportunity was available. The closest Schindler ever came to designing 
a large number of low cost housing units was his extensive project for an Industrial 
Housing Scheme (Bandini, 1924). In his plan for this community he provided for both 
conected and detached houses, all of which interestingly enough were equipped with 
garages. The detached houses were arranged in a row with the garage and parking to 
the rear and a common public garden to the front. The houses were to have been built 
of concrete, and in the simplicity and severity of their design they are remarkably similar 
to those which Irving Gill had planned for Torrance in 1916. 

Between the years 1922 and 1925, Schindler worked closely with the contractor, 0. S. 
Floren, in the design and construction of a number of duplexes and multiple housing 
units. Some of these were built directly by Floren as speculative adventures, others were 
remodelings of existing buildings, or were new buildings designed for individual clients. 
On the whole, these buildings remain a side chapter in Schindler's work of the period. 
While a few of these buildings were expressionistic in design, such as the remodeled 
apartment building for Mrs. F. Braun (Los Angeles, 1924), a majority of his designs 
for Floren combine a monolithic Pre-Columbian flavor with more than a hint of 
decorator modernistic. 

Fortunately the architect did not long experiment in this vein and his later housing 
units for Floren and others represent some of his strongest designs of the mid 1920s. 
His project for an eight unit apartment for Floren (Los Angeles, 1924) and his apartment 
building for S. Breacher (Los Angeles, 1925) are early proto-lnternational style. They also 
recall the 1919 Horatio West Apartments in Santa Monica by Irving Gill in their simple 
forms and unbroken stuccoed walls. Perhaps the most satisfactory of this group of 
multiple housing designs was his apartment for M. Brown (Los Angeles, 1926). Except for 
the heavy window detailing this building with its interlocking rectangular volumes, its 
horizontal rows of windows and doors which tie the surface together, and its large area 
of stuccoed walls, entails the basic de Stijl aesthetic which Schindler was to use so 
successfully during much of the 1930s. 

Somewhat earlier in date, and from a planning point of view a better solution to urban 
housing, was his project for a Bungalow Court for J. Korsen (Los Angeles, 1921) and his 
well publicized Pueblo Ribera community (La Jolla, 1923). The six units of the Bungalow 



21 



Court were laid out in an L-shaped pattern with their rear walls placed close to the property 
line and to the alley so that they could all look out on the common open space. 

The Pueblo Ribera community is definitely one of the most original urban designs of 
the period. It is a success in almost every regard — in its blend of coherence and 
irregularity which it presents as a street-scape, in its provision for maximum privacy 
for each unit, its use of roof terraces so that each dwelling enjoys a view of the sea, 
and finally in its adventuresome use of concrete which was formed into walls through 
the employment of moveable forms. 

Equally significant as a solution to urban housing was his design for a group of apart- 
ments for H. Sachs (originally called Manola Court), located on a steep hillside in the 
Silver Lake area of Los Angeles (1926-40). A public stairway descending from the upper 
to the lower street connects the units and provides access from one street to the other. 
Each of the apartments has its own outdoor area and enjoys an open and uninterrupted 
view of the city below. As was the case with the Pueblo Ribera buildings, the Sachs apart- 
ments bring together a feeling of controlled planning mixed with intentional irregularity. 

Side by side with his expressionist work were two other phases destined to become 
increasingly important: a constructionist aspect and later a version of the International 
style, which were both integrated into what can be considered his classic work, resulted 
from equally strong influences. These two aspects grew primarily out of his Viennese 
training, his reaction to the adobe architecture of the Southwest, his knowledge of the 
California work of Irving Gill, his acquaintanceship with what was then going on in Europe 
(especially in Holland), and finally the stimulation of several other California avant 
garde designers, especially Richard J. Neutra who came to Los Angeles in 1925. 18 

By far the most intriguing of Schindler's designs of the 1920s are those which entail 
what could be loosely labeled as de Stijl. With the single exception of the fact that he 
never relied on primary colors to establish or re-enforce forms, this phase of Schindler's 
work is remarkably akin to the designs of the early 1920s of the Dutch de Stijl architects, 
especially Theo van Doesburg and, to a certain extent, Gerrit Rietveld and Mart Stam. 
Van Doesburg's careful sculptural arrangements of volumes, and of windows and 
horizontal planes which penetrate and connect the separate volumes, is extremely close 
to that of Schindler. And the constructionist aspect of Rietveld's designs is reflected in 
several of Schindler's buildings, particularly the Lovell beach house of 1925-26. Since 
these early designs of the 20s not only constitute several of Schindler's most provocative 
buildings but also laid the foundation for his classic work of the 1930s, it is obviously 
important to understand what caused him to develop in this specific direction. As already 
mentioned, the answer can be found in Schindler's own background: his Viennese 
experience and the simplifying process to which he subjected the Wright idiom. But this 
can only partially account for the strong de Stijl aspect of Schindler's work. It seems 
impossible for Schindler to have developed as he did without an awareness of what was 
transpiring in Europe and especially in Holland. Regrettably there is no irrefutable evidence 
for this either in his letters of the period or in his other papers. But his files aptly 
demonstrate that at least by the late 20s he was closely following the European architec- 
tural scene, for there are numerous magazine pages and newspaper clippings which 
illustrated the work of Le Corbusier, Oud, Mies van der Rohe and others. Although there 



22 



are no clippings or illustrations of work of the early 20s in his files, it would seem 
reasonable to assume that whenever possible he looked at European and American 
architectural journals. 

An examination of a few buildings of the first part of the 1920s shows how he sloughed 
off the more open Wright design elements and worked for an increasingly pure and plastic 
volumetric form — both in regard to the building as an object in space, i.e., as a 
neoplastic piece of sculpture, and in his concern with a vertical Loosian interior space. 
In his project for the W. G. Duncan house (Los Angeles, 1922) and his E. J. Gibling 
house (Westwood, 1924) he still exhibits a few Wrightian details, but the essence of the 
Duncan project is contained in its projection, recession and penetration of stuccoed 
volumes; in the Gibling house a similar set of volumes is contrasted with a thinly 
delineated, hovering roof and trellis which tie the glass, wood and stucco volumes together. 

In the J. E. Howe house (Los Angeles, 1925), a simple yet bold series of rectangular 
volumes and horizontal surfaces encloses a complex interior plan. The treatment of the 
horizontal window mullions as a continuation of the horizontal batten joists of the wall 
surface forces one to read the walls and windows as thin enclosing skins, completely 
lacking in mass. 

Schindler's Magnus Opus of the 20s, if not of his total architecture, was his Beach 
house for P. M. Lovell (Newport Beach, 1925-26). The Lovell Beach house stands along 
with Neutra's Lovell house of 1929, Gropius' Bauhaus (Dessau, 1925-26), Le Corbusier's 
Villa Savoye (Poissy, 1929-30), and Mies van der Rohe's German Pavilion at the Barcelona 
Exposition (1929) as one of the monuments of twentieth century architecture. In fact, 
in contrast to these other buildings, it is the only one which comes at all close to ful- 
filling the ideas of the International style as set forth in 1932 by Hitchcock and Johnson. 20 
However, it should be emphasized that the specific combination of constructional de Stijl 
aesthetics and Loosian space makes the Lovell Beach house a completely individual work. 
The aesthetic form of the building is completely dominated by five independent concrete 
frames out of which and within which projects the enclosed space of his building. The 
separation of the five concrete frames from the enclosing surface was accentuated on the 
side directly opposite the street front by projecting the frames partially in front of the 
glass and stucco wall; while on the street front the low roof which covered the sleeping 
porches was broken into a series of separate rectangles so that one is aware of the con- 
crete frames projecting above the roof. On the ocean and street sides the frame stands 
as a solid visual foil to the thin stucco-covered surfaces of the balconies, ramps and 
roof. On the side away from the ocean, the rectangular volumes of the house project 
out in front of the frame in a completely independent fashion. 21 

The aesthetics of constructionism which were so important in the Lovell Beach house 
were never completely explored again by Schindler. In part, as Esther McCoy has indicated, 
the cheapness of American wood frame construction was such that there were few if any 
clients who were willing to or could afford to use steel. 22 But Schindler's shift went be- 
yond the economics of the situation, for in several of his projects of the 30s he returned 
to concrete, such as the first scheme for the projected house for E. Locke (Los Angeles, 
1933). The change was fundamentally an aesthetic one; his interest was in the play of 
thin rectangular volumes, expressed as sculptural elements rather than a part of the 



23 



structural scheme. He was no longer interested in establishing all or even a segment of 
his form through structural expressionism. 

This new interest, which is the essence of the de Stijl aesthetic, was well expressed in 
three designs of the late 1920s: in the Summer house for C. H. Wolfe at Avalon on Cata- 
lina Island (1928), in the projected house to have been built directly on the ocean at 
Venice for H. Braxton (1928), and in the projected remodeling of an existing house for 
H. D. Diffen (Avalon, Catalina Island, 1929). 

The Wolfe house (which in plan is really three independent apartments) affirms its 
stepped design on all four sides as it climbs up the steep hillside. Each of the three levels 
has its own covered balcony, and in two of the apartments Schindler employed his usual 
Loosian device of changing the floor and ceiling levels of the house so that in this case 
the bedroom fully opened at a higher level into the main living area. As in the Pueblo 
Ribera community the architect utilized the roof of the house as a covered terrace which 
was approached by a ramp at the upper side of the building. 

The projected remodeling of the hillside Diffen house retained a slight trace of its 
original hipped roof, but the main impact of its form was the two-story living room and 
the integrated play of penetrating rectangular volumes on each side of the exterior of the 
living room. This play with volume, rather than simply with surface patterns of windows 
and doors, is of course one of the major elements which separates Schindler's work from 
the European Internationalists. A similar, more subdued articulation of volumes occurred 
in the 1928 project for the Braxton house. This is not a single or even a group of boxes, 
rather it is a series of sculptured volumes reduced almost to an arrangement of surfaces 
because of the extensive glass area and open space on the ground level. As with most 
Schindler buildings it is his planning of the interior space which is of the greatest interest 
in this house. On the ground level a walkway path starts at the garage and penetrates 
through the house out to the ocean terrace on the other side. The two-story living room 
dominates the rectangular volume. It is regretful that the Braxton house remained on 
paper, for had it been built there is little doubt that its publication, especially in Europe, 
would have brought increased international attention to Schindler's work. 

Neither the earlier architects of the Midwestern Prairie School nor the early modern 
architects of California enjoyed any degree of support from government or business. And 
yet in both cases their governmental and commercial projects were often highly provoca- 
tive and original. This is certainly true in the case of Schindler's work of the 1920s (as 
it also was with Neutra). For example, Schindler's project for a twelve-story skyscraper 
of black glass and aluminum is as significant a design in the development of an aesthetic 
solution to the skyscraper as Gropius' 1922 project for the Chicago Tribune Tower Com- 
petition or Mies van der Rohe's project for a glass skyscraper of 1920-21. In all these 
projects the structure can be read easily, but of the three Schindler's is the most 
plastic and dramatic with its horizontal stepped facade which led into the glass enclosed 
elevator shaft and the projecting balconies of the stair landings. 23 

Schindler's project for the Peoples Bank (Los Angeles, 1924) is in many ways similar 
to the solutions which Sullivan, Wright, and Purcell and Elmslie had arrived at for the 
same building type in the earlier decades of the century. In the Peoples Bank project the 
brick walls close the building off from the street, the only penetration of this surface 



24 



being the low-scaled entrance. The upper section of the facade contains two groups of 
deeply set horizontal windows placed in an area of semi-translucent black glass. The street 
elevation certainly conveys an element of restraint coupled with lightness of detail and 
of materials which would seem to be perfectly appropriate to the image of a small bank. 

Almost immediately after Neutra came to Los Angeles in 1925, he and Schindler began 
to collaborate on a number of projects. Their association continued to one degree or an- 
other until 1930. The relationship between the two (and later with the urban planner, 
Carol Aronovici) varied from project to project.- 4 From 1926 on most of their joint efforts 
carried the signature of the Architectural Group for Industry and Commerce. Considering 
the general scarcity of realized commissions for both men during the late 1920s, the give 
and take between them probably went far beyond the officially listed joint projects. Since, 
for much of the time, they were working together in Schindler's studio home, the daily 
contact between the two must have produced some effect on each in their independent 
work. It would not be unreasonable to assert that Neutra's presence was one of the forces 
which helped Schindler rid himself of crotchety Wrightian details which he carried over 
into his early independent work of the 1920s. The cleaned-up quality of Schindler's build- 
ings of the 30s, his reliance on hard, machine-like, non-tactile material, his rejection of 
the "warm" material, especially of wood, during much of his de Stijl phase of the 30s 
might never have occurred without Neutra. 

One of the first of the projects listed under the Architectural Group for Commerce and 
Industry was a small retail store, the Leah-Ruth Garment Shop in Long Beach (1926). 
The design problem was to remodel an existing building and especially to provide an 
eye-catching street front for the shop. The drawings, all of which are by Schindler, depict 
an intricate diagonal and horizontal pattern of wood, canvas and stucco which, like an 
open piece of relief sculpture, sits out in front of the actual facade of the building. The 
design is fundamentally a play with the two-dimensional world of the drafting board and 
it is similar to Schindler's occasional graphic designs. 

Schindler and Neutra's project for the League of Nations Competition (1926) has been 
eclipsed over the years by the publicity which has always surrounded Le Corbusier's 
entry. 26 In many ways these two schemes are quite similar. Both have a dual orientation 
so that both land and water transportation (and, in the case of the Schindler and Neutra 
project, air transportation by sea planes) could be utilized. Both projects visually em- 
phasize the separateness of the Court Rooms, of the Assembly Chambers, and of the 
office space for the Secretariat and for the Commissions. In both schemes the Secretariat 
was treated as a single rectangular office block while the angled seating shape of the 
Assembly Chambers was reflected in its external design. Like the Lovell house, the Schind- 
ler-Neutra project was far more constructionist in its visual form than was the design by 
Le Corbusier. The rectangular office building of the Secretariat was suspended from a 
series of U-shaped concrete frames, rather than being the usual box-on-stilts which Le 
Corbusier used. The expressive nature of the Schindler-Neutra design, especially in re- 
lation to its structure and materials, is remarkably close in spirit to Le Corbusier's post 
World War II buildings. 

The question of design responsibility for the Schindler-Neutra project will probably never 
be satisfactorily answered. At the time of its submission it was officially listed as by 



25 



Neutra and Schindler.-" On the other hand, the publicity about the project in Los Angeles 
mentions Schindler's name first. A close look at the design, especially if one compares 
it with Neutra's drawings for Rush City Reformed (1923-on), shows that the younger 
architect contributed in a major way. Although Neutra frequently used the exposed U- 
shaped frame, with the enclosed space hung within, the germ of this idea is obviously 
derived from the Lovell Beach house. The regularization of this scheme into a large office 
block may well be Neutra's. The concept of cantilevering the assembly chambers out over 
the waters of the lake, the overhang of the roof of these stepped projections and the 
imaginative way that light was introduced into the buildings are ideas which would prob- 
ably be Schindler's. In the end though, it would seem most reasonable to look at the de- 
sign as truly a collaboration project, the final results being something which neither de- 
signer could have fully achieved if working independently. 

Equally difficult to assign to one architect or the other are a number of projects for 
apartment buildings which were produced by the Architectural Group for Industry and 
Commerce in 1926 and 1927. In one way or another, in the end all of these projected 
designs eventually lead to the concrete Garden Apartments in Los Angeles (1927) which 
were designed solely by Neutra. The younger architect would also appear to have had a 
major hand in their competition project for an Auditorium and Civic Center for Richmond 
(1930), though the site plan and the basic determination of the height and the relationship 
of the buildings must have been Carol Aronovici's. The design of the buildings for the 
projected Highway Bungalow Hotels of 1931 still bears the signature of the Architectural 
Group for Industry and Commerce, but it lists only Aronovici's and Schindler's names. 

During the latter part of the 20s, Schindler designed four store buildings. 27 The most 
noteworthy of these was a remodeling of the ground floor of an existing building for 
Aesop's Chest and Nosegay Store (Los Angeles, 1927). This design like that of the earlier 
Leah-Ruth store was essentially the provisjon of a new shop front. A stepped horizontal 
band joined together by a large rectangular show window led to the entrance. The design 
is scaled for the pedestrian, and it effectively provides a glimpse of the wares, a brief 
look into the shop and, finally, draws one to the entrance. 

The three other stores were designed in 1928-29. These were a project for a Studio by 
an Artist, the project for the Lavana Studio building (Los Angeles), and the Braxton Gallery 
in Hollywood. In his Studio for an Artist he slanted the walls outward so that they would 
assume an easel-like character, introduced light through skylights which illuminated the 
walls, and at the same time kept the direct light from the viewer's eyes by a flat ceiling 
hung directly below the roof. The Braxton Gallery occupied a narrow space in an existing 
building. Within this space Schindler used a pattern of angled stepped walls, cases, and 
desks which led the visitor on through the store to the main gallery at the rear. The 
exterior was dominated by an ingenious moveable steel and canvas awning which could be 
adjusted to shut out the sun's rays. The pattern of the steel supports, the dark colored 
canvas, and the vertical polished letters placed at the end of the awning together con- 
stituted an effective advertising sign. 

Two additional aspects of Schindler design must be mentioned. These were his two- 
dimensional typographical design and his furniture. Schindler's style of lettering was a 
direct outgrowth of the Secessionist mode which he had experienced in Vienna, and in 



26 



truth his typography of the 1920s and 1930s is simply a series of variations on this earlier 
theme. Throughout his life his lettering always remained as a pure product of the drafting 
board. In a certain sense his lettering represents the most period piece facet of his 
production. His most satisfactory typographical layouts are those which come the closest 
to mirroring his work in architecture. His design for the Diploma for the Wolfe School of 
Costume Designing (1929) is a simplified version of what one would encounter in one of 
his buildings. The lines and grouping of type in this design are meant to establish and 
define rectangles and squares; its readability is quite secondary. 

His designs for furniture are an extension of his concepts for interior space. As with 
Wright and the Prairie School, Schindler felt it necessary to design much of the furniture 
for his houses. In the process of manipulating the interior space, he planned much of the 
furniture as built-ins. In most instances, his furniture designs are simply scaled-down 
versions of his de Stijl architecture. His first furniture of the 1920s is entirely Wrightian 
in concept. The form which Schindler continually returned to for his freestanding chair 
was the open end U (with the open end to the rear). He designed numerous versions of 
this chair in wood and later on in bent stainless steel tubing. The prohibitive cost of fabri- 
cating furniture of metal forced Schindler to rely on wood, especially on inexpensive ply- 
wood. But whenever he had the opportunity he designed in metal. Hie metal sling chair 
for the Braxton Gallery, his 1928 metal floor lamp and his chairs and tables for Sardi's 
Restaurant deserve close comparison with the early metal furniture of Le Corbusier, Marcel 
Breuer and others. As two of his drawings of 1933-34 indicate, Schindler, like other mod- 
ern architects, often experimented with modular design for tables and chairs. His ideal 
though was to build in as much of the furniture as possible. Since many of his commis- 
sions were for the remodeling of existing residences, he ended up by designing many 
examples of built-in furniture. 

Schindler's gradual shift to a pure de Stijl aesthetic is well illustrated in two of his 
low cost houses: his design for a small speculative house at the newly created Park 
Moderne area of Woodland Hills (1929) and his projected Schindler Shelter (1933). The 
Park Moderne house with its overlapping wood paneled garage door, its horizontal and 
vertical windows and its overhanging wood soffited roof reflects Schindler's earlier com- 
bination of de Stijl and Wrightian ideas. The Schindler Shelter entails his own plastic 
version of the International style. The Shelter is fundamentally a single volumetric box, 
but visually it does not read as such. By projecting certain volumes outward, such as 
the living room fireplace bay; other sections inward, such as the side wall of the kitchen; 
and by manipulating the projections of the roof, he produced a form which is complex 
but yet completely controlled. 

His first mature, completely integrated de Stijl design, and one of his finest, was the 
R. Elliot house (Los Angeles, 1930). The Elliot house is a more elaborately articulated 
rectangular box than the Schindler Shelter. The roof of the high living room is extended 
and tied to the lower box by two L-shaped stuccoed trellises. The lower two bedrooms 
project out from the box and are caught and held in place by meeting the thrust of the 
side wall. The interior volumes and surfaces are as lively in their movements as the ex- 
terior. The front space of the living room with its glass wall is higher than the more inti- 
mate fireplace area. The two-story entrance volume effectively brings the lower and upper 



27 



levels of the house together. The projection of the back of the kitchen cupboards into the 
entrance hall, together with the glass above, completely breaks down the feeling that the 
kitchen space is separated from the rest of the house. Sculptured surfaces abound within 
the Elliot house: the fireplace wall forms a unified composition with its square glass open- 
ing on the floor to the left, its niche behind the vertical brick side of the fireplace, and 
its small clock placed in a rectangular recess just below the ceiling. A corresponding 
wealth of sculptural details is to be found in the kitchen and in the two bedrooms. 

Further refinements in the architect's de Stijl mode occurred two years later in the 
highly successful W. Oliver house (Los Angeles, 1933). Once again the form is a horizontal 
rectangular box, out of which and into which secondary volumes and planes project. The 
straightforwardness of the box, especially from the street, is deceptive; for the living 
room, the open porch and part of the main bedroom are covered by gabled, not flat roofs. 
The pitched roof enabled Schindler to vary his interior vertical space and yet on the public 
side of the house he was able to present a low horizontal silhouette. 

The living room of the Oliver house with its changing ceiling height, its built-in couch, 
tables, book shelves, hidden niche for the piano and storage area for fireplace wood repre- 
sents his most successful interior space. The complexity of detail and space is present, 
but in this case it conveys a classic calm. 

With the onset of the depression, Schindler, like other architects, was able to build 
only a few commissions, though either alone or in collaboration with Carol Aronovici he 
worked on a number of projects. In addition to the Elliot and Oliver houses, Schindler built 
one other major domestic commission before 1935 which mirrored his pure de Stijl ap- 
proach. This was the J. J. Buck house (Los Angeles, 1934). The location of the Buck 
house on a flat city lot encouraged Schindler to create one of his most abstract com- 
positions as an object in space. The arrangement of the rectangular volumes and of the 
horizontal bands of windows in both the single-story wing and the two-story section are 
terminated by the upward thrust of the two chimney volumes. The vertical space within 
the house was varied so that light could enter at several levels. The ceiling of the entrance 
hall was lowered in order that the exterior space might penetrate from the street front 
into the patio. The lowering of this ceiling made it possible for a narrow clearstory window 
to bring south and east light into the dining and breakfast rooms. The Buck house, which 
is in fact a double house, was sited with the L-shaped main unit facing its own patio, and 
the smaller second story unit had its own porch which overlooked its own enclosed patio. 

Reflecting the same purity of form as the Buck house were two projects of this period, 
the hillside house for Haines (Los Angeles, 1934-35) and the two schemes for E. Locke (Los 
Angeles, 1933). In the Haines project Schindler placed a single car garage parallel to the 
street and at right angles to the double car garage so that a private patio was created on 
the street side of the house. Such a layout of the patio (a scheme which he was to fre- 
quently use) meant that the living-dining area could enjoy an uninterrupted view of the 
city to the rear and at the same time experience and face directly onto a usable outdoor 
living area. 

If the first scheme for the E. Locke house could have been realized, it would have been 
one of Schindler's masterpieces. The Locke house was essentially a single room concrete 
house whose interior space was oriented around a central open fireplace. The entrance, 



28 



kitchen and sleeping space were divided from the main living area by only the minimal de- 
vice of glass walls. A similar close connective link was established with exterior space: the 
main garden wall of the living room consisted of three floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors 
which led directly to the terrace; on the east side of the house the wall and the roof 
formed an enclosing L. The area enclosed b^ this L formed an open-closed space which 
was neither exterior nor interior. 

In the early 30s Schindler produced two houses which basically lie outside of his de 
Stijl tradition. These were the house for H. N. von Koerber (Hollywood Riviera, Torrance, 
1931), and the mountain cabin for Mrs. G. Bennati (Lake Arrowhead, 1934). Both of these 
houses reflect Schindler's response to local requirements which insisted upon the use of 
pitched roofs. The Bennati cabin is a straightforward A-frame, similar to his 1922-24 
Davies project. The von Koerber house represents a much more complex reaction to the 
problems posed. Schindler reacted with humor and disdain to the Spanish Colonial Revival 
theme which this house was supposed to reflect. The vertical projection of the center 
section of the house is a complete denial of everything for which the Spanish Colonial 
Revival stood. Not content with showing his distaste for the Revival in the basic form 
of the house, he went even further, carrying the red clay roof tiles down onto wall surfaces 
and turning patterned wall tiles on their sides or upside down. But the von Koerber house 
is much more than a negative comment on the Revival, for Schindler used this opportunity 
to experiment again with what really amounts to expressionist ideas. This is especially 
true of the interior of the house: in its complexity of vertical and horizontal spaces, in the 
surprising ways in which light was introduced, and in the planned dramatic vistas which 
occur throughout the house. 

The mid and late 30s abound in classic houses of his de Stijl phase. The project for 
the Delahoyde house (Los Angeles, 1935) is as close as he ever came to the pure glass 
box of the International style. His first scheme for the Shep house (Los Angeles, 1935) 
portrays a severe design on the street elevation but a much more typical arrangement 
of complex volumes on the hillside elevation. The second scheme for the Geggie house 
(Pasadena, 1935-36) utilized two angled shed roofs which radically modify the de Stijl 
aesthetic. Here one can experience a purposeful discordant note which was to enter into 
many of his buildings. In the Geggie project he has made no attempt to resolve the visual 
conflict between the volumes dominated by the single-pitch shed roofs and the volumes 
contained by the rectangular roof surfaces. The visual form of this design is then a result 
of the clash of two visual ideas. 

In the following years he again introduced a purposeful conflict between two dramatic 
forms in his projects for the Warshaw house (Los Angeles, 1936) and the Jacobs house 
(Beverly Glen, 1936). In these two designs he covered his usual projecting-receding de 
Stijl volume with a single pitched, curved roof which was covered with heavy roofing paper 
and was banded by wood strips which repeated the four foot module scheme of the win- 
dows. His approach to the DeKeyser double house (Hollywood, 1935) was similar, only 
here he carried the roof down the upper part of the wall. 

In late 1935 and 1936 he completed six houses. The two houses for Miss V. McAlmon 
(Los Angeles, 1935) consisted of the extensive remodeling of an existing bungalow which 
had been built close to the street and the erection of a new main residence on the crest 



29 



of the hill at the rear of the property. The second McAlmon house is one of Schindler's 
most dramatic exercises in form. The positive outward thrust of volumes forcefully con- 
trasted with the negative movement of exterior space into the basic volume of the house. 

The form of the Fitzpatrick house (Hollywood Hills, 1936) lies somewhat closer to what 
Neutra and Raphael S. Soriano were doing at that time than Schindler's more typical 
work. In this house the horizontal linearism of the roofs, etc., dominates rather than the 
manipulation of volumes. Even the interior pattern of volumes and surfaces tends to be 
highly restrained. 

The Walker house (Los Angeles, 1935) and the Van Patten house (Los Angeles, 1934-35) 
again combine rectangular and angled volumes and planes. In the Van Patten house 
Schindler rhythmically repeated the slanted wall angle in his ramp to the living room 
terrace and in his support for one of the upper balconies. The effect of the slanted planes, 
together with the perpendicular axis of the major volumes, makes the house vertical rather 
than horizontal. The shed roof of the Walker house made it possible for the architect to 
group the upper floor garage, entrance and servant's room under the same roof which 
covered much of the living room. On the exterior the three-story hillside elevation of 
the house completely turns its back on the pitched roof section, and yet within, the tran- 
sition in the living-dining area from the angled to the flat ceiling is perfectly harmonious. 

The imaginative yet precise control of his de Stijl mode continued unabated through 
early 1942. It can be seen in such projects as the Miller house (Los Angeles, 1936) and 
the impressive Beach house for Ryan (1937). Above all it was fully expressed in the studio 
house for Hiler (Hollywood, 1941) and in the Rodakiewicz house (Los Angeles, 1937), 
Schindler's largest residential commission. In this last mentioned house he was provided 
an opportunity to fully realize his three-dimensional view of interior space derived from 
Loos' concepts and to extend dramatically the space of the building into the surrounding 
landscape. The stairway for the ground level entrance led directly into the two-story living 
room, with the high glass-enclosed loggia to one side and a view of the semi-circular patio 
through the floor to ceiling glass windows. A staircase in the loggia led up to the main 
bedrooms and onto a balcony which gave entrance to the curved bridge defining one side 
of the sunken patio. The precision of detail and the use of polished metal for window 
mullions and railing convey a nautical, machine-like quality. Schindler's approach to the 
garden of the Rodakiewicz house carried on his view which was close to that of Neutra, 
Soriano and Ain that the surrounding landscape should be in striking contrast to the 
building. In this house the semi-circular patio to the east of the house and the semi- 
circular children's playground to the south are handled as limited extensions of the in- 
terior space of the house. Beyond these two precisely bound areas was created a 
twentieth century version of the romantic English garden: a meadow, a winding grass path 
and plantings of trees and shrubs which almost created a dense jungle. Out of this ir- 
regular and rather wild jungle rose the man-made exact geometry of the house. The most 
complete application of his version of the traditional English picturesque landscape in 
relation to the controlled works of man was reached in his later Harris house (Los An- 
geles, 1942). Here he theatrically perched the house and its partially enclosed patio upon 
an irregular rock outcropping. 

On a much smaller scale Schindler applied his late de Stijl aesthetic, in an identical 



30 



fashion, to the Westby house (Los Angeles, 1938), the Wolff house (Studio City, 1938), 
the Droste house (Hollywood, 1940), the Goodwin house (Studio City, 1940) and his ex- 
tensive remodeling of the existing Pennington house (Thousand Oaks, 1942). South of 
Los Angeles in Inglewood (ca. 1940) Schindler designed three builders' speculative houses 
which brilliantly solved the functional problems of a smaller house and at the same time 
were forceful aesthetic statements. Another pre-war extension of his de Stijl aesthetic 
occurred in several modular plywood houses. In the projected Djey and Aldrich house 
(Los Angeles, 1938) the vertically placed plywood panels established the structural and 
aesthetic module of the house. In the Southall studio-house (Los Angeles, 1938) of the 
same year, the vertical joints of the plywood sheets were played down so that the interior 
and exterior surfaces read as a continuous plane. 

The non-domestic commissions of Schindler occupy an important position in his total 
work. His two most substantial commissions were Sardi's Restaurant #1 (Hollywood, 
1932-34) and Lindy's Restaurant #1 (Hollywood, 1932-34). The use of polished metal 
surfaces and structural members in both of these restaurants carried on the machine- 
like quality of his earlier 1928 Braxton Gallery and the projected store front for J. J. New- 
berry (Los Angeles, 1929). 28 A parallel use of metal was proposed for the projected Nobby 
Knit store (ca. 1930), though this small store front is more three-dimensional in concept. 

A machine-like quality is equally prevalent in his three commissions for gas stations: 
a prototype model for the Standard Oil Company (1932), a similar model for the Union 
Oil Company (1933), and a station for Mrs. Nerenbaum (Los Angeles, 1934). The designs 
for the projected Union Oil Station represent a wild and complex piece of de Stijl sculp- 
ture, while that for Mrs. Nerenbaum is a simple and direct statement of its structural 
system of bays. 

Fortunately the image of modernism was felt to be a desirable asset for retail stores, 
especially those located in and around Hollywood, and Schindler continued to receive 
commissions for smaller stores throughout the pre-World War II years. The designs for 
these shops were as far removed from the normal narrow rectangular box as were Schind- 
ler's houses from a single cube. The central store of his Modern Creators Shops (Holly- 
wood, 1936) contains a characteristic Schindler space, two stories in height, with changes 
in vertical height being accentuated by light entering through clearstory windows. 

Side by side with Schindler's impressive array of pre-World War II de Stijl designs were 
his increasingly romantic houses which indicate at least a partial return to a phase of ex- 
pressionism. These houses share many qualities with the work which was then being done 
by Harwell H. Harris, by Lloyd Wright and by several Bay area architects, especially Wil- 
liam Wurster. But these late expressionist works of Schindler were quite distinct. They 
never partook of the Japanese nor borrowed from Wright, nor did they ever have direct 
reference to the outward form of the vernacular as did the buildings of Wurster. Schind- 
ler's forms and his details were never simply picturesque and irregular, they were always 
tightly controlled by a dominant geometry which is prefectly apparent. The planned ir- 
regularity of these Schindler houses was a direct outcome of his desire to create dramatic 
(but not theatrical) interior spaces and to explore a variety of ways of extending the in- 
terior volumes outward. Since his de Stijl aesthetic had fully allowed him the maximum 



31 



leeway in expanding and contrasting horizontal space, it was the continuation of his play- 
ing with the ceiling-roof area which characterized this romantic phase of his work. 

In his project for the Timme house (Los Angeles, 1938) he covered one wing with a low 
shed roof, the other with a gable roof composed of two different angles of slope. Both 
roofs were kept away from the side walls, so that they visually read (both on the inside 
and the outside) as two separate forms imposed on a series of rectangular volumes. A 
similar distinct quality was maintained in the rafter-articulated shed roof of the projected 
Rodriguez house (Glendale, 1940). 

Six of Schindler's realized pre-war houses can be categorized loosely within this roman- 
tic phase. These were the Kaun beach house (Richmond, 1936), the Lowes house #2 
(Eagle Rock, 1937), the Wilson house (Los Angeles, 1938), the Zaczek Beach house (Playa 
del Rey, 1936), the van Dekker house (Canoga Park, 1940) and the Druckman house (Los 
Angeles, 1941). The Wilson house with its slightly pitched shed roof, slanted ramp, 
slanted cantilever floor and roof soffits presents a complexity and conflict of form which 
is totally different from the calm and repose of its interior. In the small Zaczek Beach 
house Schindler has placed the principle rectangular volume of the house at a 45° angle 
to the L-shaped base below. This placement has enabled him to create a transitional space 
between the enclosed space of the house and the outside world. 

The van Dekker house is the most accomplished of Schindler's pre-war romantic houses. 
Here three different gable roofs penetrate above the flat-roofed volumes of the house. 
Secondary flat roofs project out of and hover over the pitched roofs. The pitched roofs 
provide numerous opportunities to introduce light and to obtain close-up views of the 
forest hillside and distant views of the San Fernando Valley. 

Late in the 30s Schindler was again offered the possibility of returning to a favorite 
concern of his, multiple dwellings. In the apartment house for Mrs. P. Mackey (Los An- 
geles, 1939) he was able to provide outdoor living areas for all of the apartments, either 
in the form of patios or as roof gardens on a flat city lot. The hillside location of the 
Bubeshko Apartments (Los Angeles, built in two stages, 1938 and 1941) was more in- 
spired and here he stepped the three floors of apartments up the hillside. Stepping the 
apartments made it possible for him to extend the interior spaces onto roof terraces and 
patios. In his Falk Apartments (Los Angeles, 1939) he realized the same indoor-outdoor 
extension of space, only the outward form of the building repeated the irregularity of the 
angled streets and the steep hillside. 

Though the architectural climate of southern California seemed unusually ripe for a 
renewed renaissance in modern architecture, no such renaissance occurred. In fact the 
quality of the work of all of the major figures — Schindler himself, Neutra, Ain, Harris and 
Soriano — either leveled off, that is they continued to repeat what they had done in the 
early 40s, or dramatically declined. On the whole it must be said that Schindler's last 
eight years of work are a disappointment. In a few instances he maintained the vigor of 
his earlier period and in one or two instances he experimented with new visual ideas which 
form fascinating fragments, but basically his work never reached the distinction of his 
pre-war designs. 

After the war he worked on several apartment schemes which finally resulted in the 
Laurelwood Apartments (Studio City, 1948). The siting of these apartments, with the 



32 



group of garages and their auto courts separating the apartments from the street, and the 
provisions for outdoor living for each of the living units was highly satisfactory. The 
massing of the apartments as objects in space is confused and dull. The interiors, though, 
are as well thought out as any of Schindler's pre-war interiors. 

Of his non-domestic work the Bethlehem Baptist Church (Los Angeles, 1944) repre- 
sents his best work, although even here the effectiveness of the design is fragmentary 
rather than a total experience. Although rather complicated in its exposed structure and 
and in the ways in which he introduces light, the L-shaped interior auditorium does suc- 
ceed in conveying a feeling of simple puritanical space. Perhaps the real success of the 
church was its plan and setting: an open court facing onto a side street, an open-air 
theater on the roof of the education building, and an almost blank wall facing the main 
heavily trafficed street. 

The general atmosphere of his post-war houses is one of indecision. Only three of the 
houses can be said to express his earlier de Stijl mode. These are the Tucker house (Holly- 
wood, 1950), the Ries house (Los Angeles, 1950-51) and the Erlik house (Hollywood Hills, 
1950-51). A related classical spirit continued in the interior spaces involved in several 
remodelings of houses, above all in that which he did in 1950 for the Gordon house 
in the Hollywood Hills where he created a new series of spaces within the frame of the 
existing building. 

Three additional houses ranging in date from 1945 through 1950 represent the main 
course of his post-war architecture. These were the Presburger house (Studio City, 1945), 
the Daugherty house (Encino, 1946) and the Lechner house (Los Angeles, 1948). All of 
these houses partake of some details (especially in wood) which point to the West Coast 
vernacular and which has been developed in the pre- and post-war years by the Bay area 
architects. Schindler's involvement with exposed wood structure, his emphasis on thinly 
delineated separate wood members, in effect broke down the dominance of his de Stijl 
aesthetic which had been expressed through volumes defined by surfaces. 

Finally there were several post-war designs which rather directly continued his romantic 
expressionistic work of the 40s. The Kallis house in the Hollywood Hills (1946) boasts 
a highly ingenious plan which closely follows the curved contours of the road and site. 
The Kallis house is successful as a design because one can grasp the building only as 
a series of fragments, and on the whole these fragments pose their own unity. The Janson 
house (Hollywood Hills, 1949) sits on its steep hillside site as a bewildering mixture of 
wood structures and stuccoed planes, though its plan is highly inventive. The interior of 
the Tischler house (Bel Air, 1949) is covered by a gabled corrugated semi-transparent 
fiber glass roof. A de Stijl window bay, somewhat reminiscent of the gabled ends of the 
1924 Packard house, dominates the street elevation of the house. In the Skolnik house 
(Los Angeles, 1950-52), the last house which he supervised, a circular fireplace and 
chimney penetrates through the glass wall, dramatically suggesting the singleness of 
interior and exterior space. 

Looking back on the 20s and 30s, it is perfectly understandable why Schindler's work 
was overlooked; it was modern, yes, but it did not fit the stylistic patten of the fashionable 
International style. The Lovell house in the 20s was too constructionistic, while his later 



33 



work was too involved with the manipulation of volumes rather than surfaces, something 
which was never a concern with the Internationalists. 

An appreciation of Schindler could only come about when the tightly knit canons of the 
International style had been discarded and when architects once again began to concern 
themselves with the volumetric aspect of architecture. Such a major shift has now taken 
place (since the late 1950s) and with it has come a new appreciation of Schindler's con- 
tribution. It is now apparent that Schindler provides the major link between the spatially 
oriented architecture of Loos and what is presently occurring in contemporary architecture. 
Then too, Schindler's open acceptance of the builders' stud and stucco mode of construc- 
tion represents a far more meaningful understanding of what was truly vernacular in 
American architecture than those buildings which self-consciously sought to reflect a 
vernacular quality through outward forms. One other additional element provides a bond 
between Schindler's work and that of the present. This was his purposeful use of conflict 
to establish the visual form of his buildings. 



34 



Notes 



1. Henry-Russell Hitchcock, IN THE NATURE OF 
MATERIALS, New York, 1942, p. 124. 



16. Esther McCoy, FIVE CALIFORNIA ARCHITECTS, p. 
151. 



2. Esther McCoy, FIVE CALIFORNIA ARCHITECTS, 
New York, 1960, pp. 149-192. 

3. Dennis Sharp, MODERN ARCHITECTURE AND EX- 
PRESSIONISM, London, 1966, pp. 61-82; 131-144. 

4. Heinz Geretsegger and Max Peintner, OTTO 
WAGNER, 1841-1918, Salzburg, 1964, pp. 134- 
135. 



Leopold Kleiner, JOSEF HOFFMANN, Leipzig, 1927. 



17. Dennis Sharp, MODERN ARCHITECTURE AND EX- 
PRESSIONISM, pp. 69-84; 131-143. 

18. David Gebhard, "The Spanish Colonial Revival in 
Southern California (1895-1930)," to be published 
in the JOURNAL, Society of Architectural His- 
torians, May, 1967. 

19. Certainly close in spirit to Schindler's construc- 
tionism was the work in the early 1920s of the 
Russian Eliezer Lissitsky (1890-1941); and several 
of the projects of Mart Stam. 



H. Allen Brooks, "Frank Lloyd Wright and the 
Wasmuth Drawings," THE ART BULLETIN, vol. 
XLVIII, No. 2, June, 1966, pp. 193-201. 



20. Henry-Russell Hitchcock and Philip Johnson, THE 
INTERNATIONAL STYLE SINCE 1922, New York, 
1932. 



7. This neo-classic aspect was expressed in several 
houses which Hoffmann built in Vienna. A good 
example which Schindler may have known would 
be the house on Steinfoldgasse (#2), built during 
1909-1910. Bay windows were of course an im- 
portant feature in Loos' design of the building on 
Michaelerplatz in Vienna (1910-11). See Ludwig 
Munz and Gustav Kunstler, ADOLF LOOS, New 
York, 1966, pp. 111-112. 

8. Miinz and Kunstler, ADOLF LOOS: the Rufer 
house (Vienna, 1922), and the Moller house 
(Vienna, 1928), pp. 141-151. 

9. David Gebhard, "R. M. Schindler in New Mexico, 
1915," NEW MEXICO ARCHITECT, vol. 7, nos. 1 
and 2, January-February, 1965, pp. 15-21. 

10. See J. H. van den Broek, GUIDE TO DUTCH 
ARCHITECTURE, Rotterdam, 1959, pi. 34; and 
Giulia Veronesi, J. J. P. OUD, Milan, 1953, pp. 
66-67. 

11. Hitchcock, IN THE NATURE OF MATERIALS, p. 
123. Several sheets of the working drawings and 
the specifications for Wright's Millard house 
Pasadena) are by Schindler. These are dated 
February, March and April, 1923. 

12. The preliminary and the final working drawings 
for the Shampay and Staley houses are signed by 
Schindler. The several studies for the Monolithic 
Homes are also signed by Schindler. 

13. Hitchcock, IN THE NATURE OF MATERIALS, p. 
123. 

14. Frank Lloyd Wright, AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY, New 
York, 1943, pp. 124 and 128. 

15. Hitchcock, IN THE NATURE OF MATERIALS, p. 72. 



21. The original landscape plan for the Lovell beach 
house is dated 1926 and is signed by Neutra. 
Neutra also did the landscape plans for the Howe 
house (1925), and the Lewin house (1925). 



22. Esther McCoy, 
pp. 168-171. 



FIVE CALIFORNIA ARCHITECTS, 



23. Compare Loos' projecting glass stairway on the 
rear of his building on Michaelerplatz (Vienna, 
1910-11), with the glass elevator shaft on the 
Schindler skyscraper project. 

24. Two of Carol Aronovici's articles which indirectly 
touch on his work with Schindler are: "Architec- 
tural Harmony for the Small Civic Center," 
AMERICAN CITY, vol. 4, April, 1931, pp. 123-124; 
and "Architecture and the Art of Living," SUR- 
VEY, vol. 68, April, 1932, pp. 38-40. 

25. John Rittner, "The League of Nations Competi- 
tion, 1926," THE ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW, vol. 
136, July, 1964, pp. 17-23. 

26. David Gebhard, "Letter," ARCHITECTURAL RE- 
VIEW, vol. 137, February, 1965, p. 99. 

27. These four stores are all credited to the Architec- 
tural Group for Industry and Commerce, although 
all of the drawings are by Schindler and are 
signed by him. 

28. Neutra's Universal Pictures building (Los Angeles, 
1930) enjoys many points of similarity with 
Schindler's commercial work of the early 1930s. 

There is, as well, a marked similarity between 
Schindler's commercial designs of 1928-1935 and 
those of several Dutch architects: G. Rietveld's 
Zaudy shop (Wesel, Germany, 1928) and another 
shop (Cleef, Germany, 1929); J. W. E. Buys and 
J. B. Lursen's De Volharding office building (The 
Hague, 1928). 



35 



A Chronological List 

of Major Buildings and Projects 

of R. M. Schindler 



NOTE: The date under which each of these buildings or projects is listed is that of the earliest drawing which 
basically established the final form of the project. In those cases where the actual design process extended 
over several years, the inclusive dates are given. If the architect prepared radically different designs for a 
project, these are either listed, i.e. as alternate schemes, or if the schemes fall in different years, they are 
separately listed. There were several buildings which were added to or remodeled over many years. These 
buildings are listed under their earliest date, followed by the dates of remodelings or additions. 

Schindler followed no consistent policy in dating his drawings. There are a number of drawings which contain 
no date whatsoever; these have been dated on the basis of other evidence (i.e. letters, etc.) or in a few cases 
on the basis of style. If the date is uncertain, the notation "ca." follows the listing of the project. Generally 
Schindler placed the year of the project on the drawing, and in a few instances the day and month. A majority 
of the projects done under the Architectural Group for industry and Commerce bear not only the day, month 
and year, but a project number. 

The most significant designs contained in this list bear a single asterisk. Those buildings which are still 
standing and which have been little changed are indicated by two asterisks and their specific street address 
is given. 



1912 

*Proj.: Hotel Rong, Vienna 

*Proj.: Hunting Lodge, Vienna 

*Clubhouse for Actors (Osterreichischen 
BLihnenverein) (for Hans Mayr and 
Theodor Mayer), Vienna 

*Proj.: Crematorium and Chapel (Eintotenfeld 
Fur Eine Smill Stadt), Vienna (1912- 
1913) 

1914 

Proj.: Summer House, near Vienna 

*Proj.: Neighborhood Center, Chicago (Com- 
petition of Chicago Architectural Club) 



'"Remodeling of House for J. B. Lee, May- 
wood, Illinois 

Hampden Club(?), Chicago (for Ottenheimer, 
Stern and Reichert) 

1917 

Proj.: Melrose Public Park, Melrose, Illinois 

*Proj.: Log House (location not given) 

*Buena Shore Club, Chicago (for Otten- 
heimer, Stern and Reichert) (1917-18) 



1918 



Proj.: Children's Corner, Chicago Art Insti- 
tute, Chicago 



1915 



1919 



*Proj.: Eleven Story Hotel, Chicago (for Otten- 
heimer, Stern and Reichert) 

Proj.: Bar, Chicago (for Ottenheimer, Stern 
and Reichert) (ca. 1915) 

*Proj.: House for T. P. Martin, Taos, New 
Mexico 



1916 



Proj.: Store Front, Chicago (for Ottenheimer, 
Stern and Reichert) 

Proj.: Central Administration Building, Chicago 
(for Ottenheimer, Stern and Reichert) 
(ca. 1916) 

*Proj.: Women's Club, Chicago 



::; Proj.: One Room Apartments, Chicago (for 
Ottenheimer, Stern and Reichert) 

Memorial Community Center, Wenatchee, 
Washington (for Frank Lloyd Wright) 

* House for C. E. Staley, Waukegan, Illinois 
(for Frank Lloyd Wright) 

*J. P. Shampay House, Chicago (for Frank 
Lloyd Wright) 

-Proj.: Workmen's Colony (The Monolithic 
Home) (for Frank Lloyd Wright) 



1920 



Proj.: Temporary House for J. B. Irving, Wil- 
mette, Illinois (for Frank Lloyd Wright) 



36 



: Proj.: Actors' Abode, Apartment House for 
Actors, for Miss A. Barnsdall, Olive Hill, 
Los Angeles (for Frank Lloyd Wright) 

-Director's House for Miss A. Barnsdall, Olive 
Hill, cor. Hollywood Blvd. and Vermont 
Ave., Los Angeles (for Frank Lloyd 
Wright) 

-Proj.: Terrace Stores for Miss A. Barnsdall, 
Olive Hill, Los Angeles (for Frank Lloyd 
Wright) 

-Oleanders, House for Miss A. Barnsdall, 
Olive Hill, Los Angeles (for Frank Lloyd 
Wright) 

Proj.: Free Public Library, Bergen Branch, 
Jersey City, New Jersey (Competition) 



1921 

Proj.: Walt Whitman School, Los Angeles 

Proj.: First Scheme for R. M. Schindler 
House, Hollywood 

**House for R. M. Schindler and Clyde Chase, 
833 N. Kings Rd., Hollywood 

*Proj.: Bungalow Court for J. Korsen, Los 
Angeles 

Proj.: Sketch for an Apartment Building for 
Los Angeles 

*Proj.: Skyscraper of Black Glass and Alu- 
minum (The Play Mart), Los Angeles 



1922 

Beauty Salon for H. Rubenstein, Los Angeles 

*Proj.: House for C. P. Lowes, Eagle Rock 
(for Frank Lloyd Wright) 

'-Apartment Buildings for I. Binder and H. 
Gross, Los Angeles 

''Duplexes and Small Apartments for O. S. 
Floren, Hollywood (1922-25) 

-Duplex for Mrs. A. M. Burrel, Hollywood 

Proj.: Double Dwelling for F. Henderson, Los 
Angeles 

Remodeling of Apartment Building for B. 
Caplan, et al., Los Angeles 

* Duplex for Mrs. E. E. Lacey, Los Angeles 
Proj.: House for W. E. Kent, Los Angeles 

'-Proj.: Bungalow for P. L. Mix, Los Angeles 

*Proj.: House for Mrs. L. Davies, Los Angeles 
(ca. 1922-24) 

'-Proj.: House for M. P. Campbell, Los Angeles 

'-Proj.: House for W. G. Duncan, Los Angeles 

* First Scheme for a House for C. P. Lowes, 

Eagle Rock 

Proj.: House for Mrs. R. Lindquist, Hollywood 



-Photographic Studio for Miss V. Baker, Los 
Angeles (1922 & 1924) 

Proj.: Apartment Building for E. Temple, 
Hollywood 

*A Cabin for P. Popenoe, Coachella (1922 & 
1924) 



1923 

'-Apartment Building for S. Friedman and A. 
Kopley, Los Angeles 

-Duplex for Mrs. A. L. Paine, Los Angeles 

*Proj.: House for P. M. Lovell, Hollywood 

-'House for C. P. Lowes, Eagle Rock (four 
different schemes) 

Proj.: Alterations to Hotel Wind and Sea, for 
T. E. Snell, La Jolla 

'-Proj.: House for C. Warne, Los Angeles 

'-Proj.: House for Mrs. D. Baker, Hollywood 

Proj.: New Art Room for the Hollywood 
Public Library, Hollywood (with Douglas 
Donaldson) 

'-Proj.: Physical Education Club Lodge for 
Topanga Ranch, Topanga Canyon, Los 
Angeles County 

'-Proj.: Store and Hotel Building for J. E. 
Neville, Hollywood 

Remodeling and Additions to H. Rubenstein 
House, Greenwich, Connecticut 

Beach Studio (and Store) for E. Leswin and 
H. Leepa, Castel La Mar 

* '-Pueblo Ribera Community for W. L. Lloyd, 
230 Gravilla St., La Jolla 

'-Proj.: House for Mrs. W. Baker, Hollywood 

'-Apartment Building for Mrs. C. Kruetzer, Los 
Angeles 



1924 

*Proj.: Sketch for a House in the Desert (for 
P. Popinoff, Coachella) (ca. 1924?) 

'-Vacation House for P. M. Lovell, Wrightwood 

*Proj.: Industrial Housing Scheme (Workmen's 
Colony), for Gould, Bandini 

Remodeling of Apartment Building for Mrs. 
F. Braun, Los Angeles 

'-'-House for J. C. Packard, 931 N. Gains- 
borough Dr., South Pasadena 

'-Proj.: The Peoples Bank, Los Angeles 

Proj.: House for A. Plotkin, Los Angeles 

'-Garden Wall and Landscaping for Miss A. 
Barnsdall, Olive Hill, Los Angeles 



37 



*House for H. Lewin, Los Angeles (1924-33) 
(Architectural Group for Industry and 
Commerce) 

Proj.: Nurembega Heights Hotel (location 
not given) 

Proj.: Harriman Colony (location not given) 
(1924-25) 

*House for E. J. Gibling, Los Angeles 



1925 

Proj.: Hotel and Bungalow Community for P. 
Popinoff, Coachella (ca. 1925) 

— House for J. E. Howe, 2422 Silver Ridge 
Avenue, Los Angeles 

Proj.: First scheme for Resort Hotel (Hotel 
Elsinore), Elsinore (with A. R. Brandner) 

**Wading Pool and Pergola for Miss A. Barns- 
dall, Olive Hill, Hollywood Blvd. and 
Edgemont St., Los Angeles 

Proj.: Photographic Studio for Ambassador 
Hotel, Los Angeles 

*A Bedroom for P. M. Lovell, Los Angeles 

*Ranch House for P. M. Lovell, Fallbrook 

Furniture for the Children's Workshop, for 
P. M. Lovell, Los Angeles 

Tea Room for Mrs. O'Sullivan and Miss B. 
Kent, Los Angeles 

Proj.: Brudin House, El Monte 

-Apartment for S. Breacher, Los Angeles 

**Beach House for P. M. Lovell, 1242 Ocean 
Ave., Newport Beach (1925-26) 

**Ranch House for C. Park, Fallbrook 

1926 

Remodeling of House for F. M. Weiner, Los 
Angeles 

*Proj.: House for Briggs, Newport Beach 

Proj.: Sketch for an Exhibition Room, Berke- 
ley (ca. 1926) 

Proj.: Studio for J. Morgenthau, Palm Springs 

Proj.: House for Martec, Los Angeles (1926- 
28) 

Proj.: House for C. B. Price, Los Angeles 
(ca. 1926-28) 

*Leah-Ruth Shop, Long Beach (Architectural 
Group for Industry and Commerce) 

Haines Health Food Store, Los Angeles 

*Proj.: Beach House for D. Lovell, Newport 
Beach 

** Apartment House (Manola Court) for H. 
Sachs, 1811-1813 Edgecliff Dr., Los An- 
geles (1926-40) 



*House for Mrs. K. Sorg, San Gabriel 

*Proj.: League of Nations Building (Interna- 
tional Competition) (with R. J. Neutra) 

*Proj.: Apartments for M. Brown, Hollywood 

Proj.: Hain House, Los Angeles (Architec- 
tural Group for Industry and Commerce) 

Proj.: Apartment Building for Hennessey 
Brothers, Los Angeles (ca. 1926) 

Proj.: Apartment House for Levy, Los Angeles 



1927 



Proj.: Second scheme for Resort Hotel (Hotel 
Elsinore), Elsinore (Architectural Group 
for Industry and Commerce with R. 
Brandner) 

Proj.: Five Story Apartment Building for J. 
H. Miller, Los Angeles (Architectural 
Group for Industry and Commerce) 

Proj.: Four Story Class "C" Apartment Build- 
ing, Pasadena (Architectural Group for 
Industry and Commerce) 

Aesop's Chest and Nosegay Store, Los 
Angeles 

Temporary Outdoor Poster Exhibition Pavi- 
lion for Miss A. Barnsdall, Olive Hill, Los 
Angeles 

Proj.: Garden Apartments, Los Angeles (Archi- 
tectural Group for Industry and Com- 
merce) 

Proj.: Alternate scheme for Five Story Apart- 
ment House for J. H. Miller, Los Angeles 
(Architectural Group for Industry and 
Commerce) 

Proj.: Falcon Flyers Country Club, near 
Wasco, Kern Co. (ca. 1927-28) (Architec- 
tural Group for Industry and Commerce) 

Oil Mill for J. Napolitano, Los Angeles (Archi- 
tectural Group for Industry and Com- 
merce) 

Remodeling of House for J. E. Richardson, 
Los Angeles (Architectural Group for In- 
dustry and Commerce) 

Proj.: House for T. Zaczek, Los Angeles 
(Architectural Group for Industry and 
Commerce) 

Proj.: Translucent House for Miss A. Barns- 
dall, Palos Verdes 



1928 



*Proj.: Twin Harbor Community, Catalina 
Island (Architectural Group for Industry 
and Commerce) 

Proj.: House for Slemons, Los Angeles 
Proj.: Art Gallery, Lake Merritt, Oakland 

(Architectural Group for Industry and 

Commerce) 



38 



*Proj.: House for H. Braxton, Venice (This 
identical project at the same address 
reappears in 1930 under the name of 
Mrs. V. B. Shore) 

Remodeling of Oleanders, House for Miss A. 
Barnsdall, Olive Hill, Los Angeles 

Proj.: The Golden Pyramid (also bears title 
of The Pyramid of Gold), Los Angeles 

**Summer House for C. H. Wolfe, Avalon, 
Catalina Island 

Setting for SOUL OF RAPHAEL for Opera and 
Drama Guild at Trinity Auditorium, Los 
Angeles 

* Braxton Art Gallery, Hollywood 

**House for D. Grokowsky, 816 Bonita Dr., 
South Pasadena 



1929 

*Proj.: Remodeling of House for H. D. Diffen, 
Avalon, Catalina Island 

Proj.: Addition of Studio, Workroom, and 
Garage for Vorkapic, Beverly Hills 

Proj.: Coffee Shop for Hotel, Tucson (for 
Tucson Holding Company) 

*Wolfe School of Costume Designing, Los 
Angeles 

Satyre Bookshop, Los Angeles 

*Proj.: Studio for an Artist (location not given) 

*Proj.: Lavana Studio Building for Sieburt, 
Los Angeles 

Auto Show Room, Lincoln Garage Building, 
Beverly Hills (with H. Sachs) 

*Cabin for W. Lingenbrink, Calabasas 

*Proj.: Store Front for J. J. Newberry, Los 
Angeles (with H. Sachs) 

Proj.: Paradise Resort, Ontario 

*Cabin #1 at Park Moderne, Woodland Hills 

*Proj.: Effie Dean Cafe, Los Angeles (Architec- 
tural Group for Industry and Commerce) 

Proj.: Apartment Building for Frankel, Los 
Angeles 

Remodeling of House for Vorkapic, Beverly 
Hills 

Scheme for an Easter Puppet Show, Los 
Angeles (ca. 1929) 



1930 



Proj.: Market for J. M. Cohan, Los Angeles 
(Architectural Group for Industry and 
Commerce) 

Proj.: Exposition Buildings and Park, Los 
Angeles 



Remodeling of House and Furniture for Mrs. 
G. Bennati, Los Angeles 

Proj.: Store Building for E. George and S. 
Freeman, Los Angeles, (1930-31) 

**House for R. F. Elliot, 4237 Newdale Dr., 
Los Angeles 

Proj.: Hotel and Subdivision for G. L. Wing, 
Banning (Architectural Group for Indus- 
try and Commerce) 

*Proj.: Nobby Knit Store, Los Angeles (ca. 
1930) 

Proj.: Desert House for Kopenlanoff, Palm 
Springs 

Proj.: A Subdivision Scheme for Kopenlanoff, 
Palm Springs (Architectural Group for 
Industry and Commerce) 

*Proj.: Auditorium and Civic Center, Rich- 
mond (Competition) (Architectural Group 
for Industry and Commerce) 



1931 

Apartment House for Mrs. Cherry, Los 
Angeles 

Proj.: Apartment for Hollywood Riviera Build- 
ing Association, Hollywood 

Remodeling of House for R. Marx, Los 
Angeles 

Two-Car Garage for the Residence of G. 
Stojano, Los Angeles 

*Proj.: Highway Bungalow Hotels (no location 
given) (Architectural Group for Industry 
and Commerce) 

*Proj.: First Scheme for House for W. E. 
Oliver, Los Angeles 

**House for H. N. Von Koerber, Hollywood 
Riviera, Torrance 



1932 

Speculative House #2, Park Moderne, Wood- 
land Hills 

Proj.: House for F. Harnna, Los Angeles (ca. 
1932) 

Proj.: House for Miss H. Lierd and Miss E. 
Todd, Los Angeles 

Proj.: House for J. Veissi, Hollywood (ca. 
1932-36) 

Bread Pit Stores, Los Angeles (1932-33) 

Proj.: Retail Store and Olive Oil Bath, Lind- 
say (1932 and 1935) 

*Proj.: Prototype Gasoline Station for Stan- 
dard Oil Company 

Proj.: Donnell's Desert Hotel, Twenty-Nine 
Palms 



39 



*Proj.: Auto Store for Brown, Smith and 
Moore, Los Angeles 

*Proj.: Show Windows for May Company, Los 
Angeles (with A. R. Brandner and B. P. 
Paradise) 

*Sardi's Restaurant #1, Hollywood (1932-34) 

*Lindy's Restaurant #1, Hollywood (1932-34) 



1933 

*Proj.: Schindler Shelter (scheme for concrete 
single family house) 

Proj.: Dance Hall for 0. K. Farr, Denver 

**House for W. E. Oliver, 2236 Micheltorena 
St., Los Angeles 

*Proj.: Prototype Gasoline Stations for Union 
Oil Company, Los Angeles 

*Proj.: Two Schemes for House for E. Locke, 
Los Angeles 

Living room Furniture for Perstein, Berkeley 

The Oven, a Retail Bakery for Frederick, Los 
Angeles 

Proj.: Dance-Restaurant for S. Grauman, Los 
Angeles 



1934 

**Mountain Cabin for Mrs. A. Bennati, Lake 
Arrowhead (1934-37) 

** House for J. J. Buck, 8th and Genesee Sts., 
Los Angeles 

Proj.: Remodeling of House for Dondo, 
Berkeley 

House for Haines, Dana Point (1934-35) 

*Remodeling and Furniture for House of H. 
R. King, Westwood 

Remodeling of House for Mrs. M. Kipp, Los 
Angeles (1934 and 1937) 

Remodeling and Furniture for House for E. 
Pavaroff, Los Angeles 

Proj.: House for Ransom, Palm Springs 

Remodeling of House for Mrs. G. Rheingold, 
Los Angeles 

*Proj.: House at Leimert Park, Los Angeles 

*Proj.: Gasoline Station for Mrs. Nerenbaum 
(no location given) 

** House for Miss E. Van Patten, 2320 Moreno 
Dr., Los Angeles (1934-35) 



1935 



Remodeling of House for L. Stander, Holly- 
wood 

Proj.: Apartments for L. Stander, Los Angeles 

Proj.: Mountain Cabins and Hospital for P. 
S. O'Reilly 

Proj.: House for P. Heraty, Los Angeles 



**House for R. G. Walker, 2100 Kenilworth 
Ave., Los Angeles (1935-36) 

Proj.: First Baptist Church of Hollywood, 
Hollywood 

** Double House for J. DeKeyser, 1911 High- 
land Ave., Hollywood 

*Proj.: Two Schemes for a House for M. Shep, 
Los Angeles 

*Proj.: House for W. J. Delahoyde, Los Angeles 

Remodeling of House for L. Stander, Los 
Angeles 

*Proj.: Two Schemes for M. Geggie House, 
Pasadena, (1935-36) 

**Two Houses for Miss V. McAlmon, 2721 
Waverly Dr., Los Angeles 



1936 

** Beach House for Miss 0. Zaczek, Playa Del 
Rey (1936-38) 

** House for C. C. Fitzpatrick, 8078 Woodrow 
Wilson Dr., Hollywood Hills 

Sunset Medical Building for A. Garland, 
Hollywood 

Proj.: Two Schemes for a House for Jacobs, 
Beverly Glen 

* Beach House for A. Kaun, Richmond 

Proj.: House for E. Mack, Hollywood 

Proj.: House for Scheuettner, Los Angeles 

!; 'Modern Creators Store Building, cor. Hollo- 
way Dr. and Palm Ave., Hollywood 
(1936-1938) 

Remodeling of House for S. Seligson, Los 
Angeles 

Remodeling and Furniture for Seff House, 
Los Angeles 

*Proj.: House for Mrs. F. Miller (for Mrs. R. 
Shep), Los Angeles 

*Proj.: House for Warshaw(sp?), Los Angeles 

Craft Workshop for M. Kipp, Los Angeles 

Proj.: House for E. Pavaroff, Beverly Hills 

House for E. Mack, Los Angeles 

Furniture for Chayes, Los Angeles 

Proj.: House for Mrs. B. Berkoff, Los Angeles 
(1936-37) 

1937 

Store Buildings for W. Lingenbrink, Holly- 
wood, (additions, 1946) 

* House #2 for C. P. Lowes, Eagle Rock 

** House for H. Rodakiewicz, 9121 Alto Cedro 
Dr., Los Angeles 

*Proj.: Beach Colony for Rose (no location 
given) (same as Cabania City Project, 
Santa Monica) 



40 






Remodeling of House and Furniture for H. 
Warren, Hollywood Hills 

*Proj.: Beach House for R. R. Ryan (no loca- 
tion given) 

Proj.: House for N. Renisoff, Los Angeles 



1938 

** Remodeling of House for P. Yates, 1735 
Micheltorena St., Los Angeles 

** Apartment House for L. Bubeshko, 2036 
Griffith Park Blvd., Los Angeles (later 
addition: 1941) 

Proj.: Apartment Building for I. Rosenthal, 
Los Angeles 

Proj.: Studio-house for Mrs. A. Sharpless, 
Los Angeles 

*Studio-house for Mrs. M. Southall, 1855 Park 
Ave., Los Angeles 

*Proj.: House for A. Timme, Los Angeles 

**House for S. N. Westby, 1805 Maltman Ave., 
Los Angeles 

**House for G. C. Wilson, 2090 Redcliff St., 
Los Angeles 

*House for H. Wolff, Jr., 4008 Sunnyslope 
Ave., Studio City 

Speculative House #3, Park Moderne, Wood- 
land Hills 

Proj.: House for K. Francis, Hollywood Hills 

Proj.: House for F. Hanna, Los Angeles 

Proj.: Photographic Shop for Morgan, Holly- 
wood 

Proj.: House for Mrs. R. Shep, Los Angeles 
(see other schemes, 1935 and 1936) 

Proj.: House (including apartments) for 
Burke, Newport Beach 

*Proj.: House for E. Djey and M. Aldrich, Los 
Angeles 

Proj.: Interior of Lockheed (27), 24 Pas- 
senger Airplane (two alternate schemes) 
(with H. Sachs) 

1939 

**Apartment House for S. T. Falk, 3631 Carna- 
tion Ave., Los Angeles 

House for Goodman, Altadena 

Stores for W. Lingenbrink, Studio City (later 
stores designed and built in 1940, 1941, 
and 1942) 

Proj.: House for A. Bissiri, Los Angeles 

Proj.: House for T. Balkany, North Hollywood 

Proj.: The Hub Office Building, Los Angeles 

*Apartment House for Mrs. P. Mackey, Los 
Angeles 

Remodeling of House for Miss A. M. Wong, 
Santa Monica 



1940 

**House for G. Droste, 2035 Kenilworth Ave., 
Los Angeles 

**House for S. Goodwin, 3807 Reklaw Dr., 
Studio City 

Remodeling and Furniture for G. H. Hodel 
House, San Marino 

*Proj.: House for J. Rodriguez, Glendale 

Proj.: Lapotka Apartments, Los Angeles 

**Three Speculative Houses, 423, 429, 433 
Ellis Ave., Inglewood (ca. 1940) 

** House for A. Van Dekker, 5230 Penfield Ave. 
(to the rear of property), Canoga Park 

Proj.: House for A. M. Sax, Los Angeles 

Proj.: House for J. Strader, North Hollywood 

Proj.: House for N. M. Taylor, South Pasa- 
dena 

1941 

j; Proj.: House for B. Carre, Los Angeles 

*Proj.: House for Hartigan, Hollywood Park 

Studio-Residence for H. Hiler, Hollywood 

Proj.: W. Byers House, Van Nuys 

Proj.: E. J. Gibling House, Los Angeles 

**House for J. Druckman, 2764 Outpost Dr., 
Los Angeles 

Proj.: Karz Apartments, Los Angeles 

Proj.: House for M. Periere, Los Angeles 

1942 

Auto Trailer 

Remodeling of House for Albers, Los Angeles 

* House for R. L. Harris, Los Angeles 

Proj.: Officers' Club, Palm Springs 

^Remodeling of House for J. Pennington, 
Thousand Oaks 

*Proj.: Apartment House for Mrs. T. Falk, Los 
Angeles (3 alternate schemes) 



1943 



Remodeling of House for Langley, Brentwood 

Proj.: Remodeling of House of C. Marker, Los 
Angeles 

Proj.: House for A. Fisher, Los Angeles 

Remodeling of House for K. Howenstein, 
South Pasadena 



1944 

** Bethlehem Baptist Church, 4900 S. Compton 
Ave., Los Angeles 

Proj.: Remodeling of Hollywood Women's 
Club, Los Angeles 



41 



Remodeling of House for Litt, Glendale 

Remodeling of House for Mrs. H. Nickerson, 
Los Angeles 

Remodeling of Duplex for C. Rosoff, Los 
Angeles 

Proj.: Remodeling of Apartment for K. K. 
Thomasset, Los Angeles 

Remodeling of House for W. A. Starkey, Los 
Angeles 

Addition of Studio to House for R. Sabsay, 
Los Angeles 

1945 

Proj.: House for D. M. H. Braden, North 
Hollywood 

Proj.: House for M. Compinsky, Burbank 

**House for J. G. Gold, 3758 Reklaw Dr., Los 
Angeles 

Medical Arts Building, Studio City 

** House for F. Presburger, 4255 Agnes Ave., 
Studio City 

**House for R. Roth, 3624 Buena Park Dr., 
North Hollywood 

Proj.: House for H. Schick, Morth Hollywood 

Proj.: Hotel for L. Anson (no location given) 



1946 

**House for F. Daugherty, 4635 Louise Ave., 
Encino 

Proj.: Kermin Medical Building, Los Angeles 

* Desert House for M. Toole, Palm Village 

**House for M. Kallis, 3580 Multiview Dr., 
Hollywood Hills 

Remodeling of House for C. E. Harvey, Los 
Angeles 

Proj.: House for Mrs. F. Howatt, Laguna 
Beach 

Lord Leigh Showroom and Office (remodel- 
ing of interior of existing building), Los 
Angeles 

*Proj.: Redesale Avenue Apartments, Los 
Angeles 

Proj.: House for R. M. Spangler, Los Angeles 

Pottery Works for Miss P. West, Los Angeles 

Medical Office for E. Tietz (remodeling of 
interior of existing building), Los Angeles 
(1946-49) 

**House for J. L. Armon, 470 W. Avenue 43, 
Los Angeles (1946-49) 

Proj.: Apartments for L. Gallagher, Los 
Angeles 



1947 



Proj.: Rest Home for H. Schick and Asso- 
ciates, Los Angeles 

Proj.: Duplex for F. Virginia, Los Angeles 

Proj.: House for T. Trumbo, Los Angeles 

Proj.: House for A. Borisof, Los Angeles 

1948 

** House for R. Lechner, 11606 Amanda Dr., 
Studio City 

Proj.: Motel for H. Schick and Asociates, Los 
Angeles 

Proj.: House for E- J. Gibling, Los Angeles 
(see Gibling, 1941) 

Proj.: Apartment House for P. P. Ott, Beverly 
Hills 

1949 

Proj.: Washington Place Motel for H. Schick, 
Los Angeles 

Laurelwood Apartments, 11833 Laurelwood 
Dr., Studio City 

**House for A. Tischler, 175 Greenfield Ave., 
Bel Air (1949-50) 

**House for Miss E. Janson, 8704 Skyline Dr., 
Hollywood Hills 

Proj.: Beverly Hills Penthouse, Beverly Hills 

Proj.: House for L. Blembel, Hollywood 

Remodeling of House for B. Myers, Holly- 
wood 

Proj.: House for Miss B. Inaya, Beverly Hills 
(ca. 1949-50) 

1950 

** House for W. E. Tucker, 8010 Fareholm Dr., 
Hollywood 

**House for M. Ries, 1404 Miller Dr., Los 
Angeles (1950-51) 

::: *RemoJeling of House for D. Gordon, 6853 
Pacific View Dr , Hollywood 

Building for Kaynor Manufacturing Company, 
Los Angeles 

"House for Mrs. O. Zacsek, Playa Del Rey 

**House for R. Erlik, 1757 Curson Ave., Holly- 
wood (1950-51) 

* "House for S. Skolnik, 2567 Glendower Ave., 
Los Angeles (1950-52) 

1952 

Proj.: House for O. Elmer, Hollywood 

Proj.: Duplex for Mrs. E. McCoy, Santa 
Monica 

House for Schlesinger, 1901 Myra Ave., Los 
Angeles 



Proj.: House for M. Mangaldas, Los Angeles 

Proj.: Remodeling of House for Courc'O, Los 
Angeles 



1953 



Remodeling of House for S. Marks, Los 
Angeles 



42 



Bibliography 



A note on the publication of Schindler's buildings: 

Though Schindler's buildings were never as well known as those of Neutra and others, they were published 
in the major American and European journals. The architect's first published design was his project for the 1915 
Martin house at Taos which appeared in the April, 1917 issue of THE WESTERN ARCHITECT (vol. 25). All of 
Schindler's major work of the 20s was published, but surprisingly the major interest was in the Pueblo 
Ribert community and the Howe house rather than in the more significant Lovell Beach house. The realized 
buildings and even some of his projects were presented in the pages of the ARCHITECTURAL RECORD, 
ARCHITECTURAL FORUM, PENCIL POINTS, and the more regional journals, THE ARCHITECT AND ENGINEER 
and CALIFORNIA ARTS AND ARCHITECTURE. In many cases there was a time lapse of as much as four years 
between the completion of the building and its subsequent publication. The publication of Schindler's building 
would seem to have exercised little or no influence on either the American or European scene. Even in Los 
Angeles where the buildings themselves existed the effect of Schindler's work was felt by only a few of the 
younger designers — Gregory Ain, Harwell H. Harris and E. Richard Lind. 

The following books and articles contain discussions of Schindler's architecture: 



Wayne Andrews, ARCHITECTURE, AMBITION AND 
AMERICANS. New York, 1955, pp. 274-275. 

J. B. Bakema, "Schindler spel met de Ruimte." 
FORUM (Amsterdam), vol. 16, no. 8, 1961, pp. 
253-263. 

Sheldon Cheney, NEW WORLD ARCHITECTURE. New 
York, 1930, p 288. 

David Gebhard, "R. M. Schindler in New Mexico, 
1915." THE NEW MEXICO ARCHITECT, vol. 7, 
January-February, 1965, pp. 15-21. 

David Gebhard and Robert Winter, A GUIDE TO ARCHI- 
TECTURE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. Los Angeles, 
1965, pp. 10-16. 

Ludwig Hilberseimer, INTERNATIONAL NEUE BAU- 
KUNST. Stuttgart, 1928, p. 9. 

Hans Hollein, "Rudolph M. Schindler." DER AUFBAU 
(Vienna), no. 3, 1961. 

"Rudolph M. Schindler." BAU (Vienna), no. 4, 1966, 
pp. 67-82. 

Elaine Janson, "Biographical Notes on R. M. Schindler 
Architect." (unpublished, ca. 1938) 

Esther McCoy, "West Coast Architecture: A Romantic 
Movement Ends." PACIFIC SPECTATOR, vol. 7, no. 
1, winter, 1953, pp. 20-30. 

"Four Schindler Houses of the 1920's." ARTS AND 
ARCHITECTURE, vol. 70, September, 1953, pp. 
12-14. 

"R. M. Schindler." ARTS AND ARCHITECTURE, 
vol. 71, May, 1954, pp. 12-15. 



"A Work by R. M. Schindler: Visual Expansion of a 
Small House." LOS ANGELES TIMES HOME MAGA- 
ZINE, May 2, 1954, pp. 14-15. 

"Roots of California Contemporary Architecture." 
ARTS AND ARCHITECTURE, vol. 73, October, 1956, 
pp. 14-17. 

"Letters from Louis H. Sullivan to R. M. Schindler." 
JOURNAL, Society of Architectural Historians, vol. 
20, December, 1961, pp. 179-184. 

"R. M. Schindler 1887-1953." FIVE CALIFORNIA 
ARCHITECTS, New York, 1960, pp. 149-193. 

"The Growth of Cubism in the Work of R. M. 
Schindler." (unpublished) Paper Presented at the 
Annual Meeting, Society of Architectural Historians, 
Los Angeles, January, 1965. 

Carey McWilliams, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA COUN- 
TRY. New York, 1946, pp. 354-362. 

Richard J. Neutra, WIE BAUT AMERIKA? Stuttgart, 
1927, pp. 53-57. 
AMERIKA II. Vienna, 1930, pp. 128-132, 139. 

Kay Small, "Hollywood Architects in International 
Contest." HOLLYWOOD MAGAZINE, December 1928, 
p. 9. 

Bruno Taut, MODERN ARCHITECTURE. London, 1929, 
p. 98. 

Bruno Zevi, "R. M. Schindler: Austria e California in 
una composizione diversa da Richard Neutra." 
L'ARCHITETTURA, vol. 6, October, 1960, pp 422- 
423. 



43 



Writings of R, M. Schindler 



'Modern Architecture: A Program." 
(unpublished manuscript) Vienna, 1912. 

'Notes on Architecture." 
(unpublished manuscript) Chicago, 19141919. 

'About Architecture." 
(unpublished lecture) Hollywood, 1921. 

'Who Will Save Hollywood?" 
HOLLY LEAVES, November 3, 1922, p. 32. 

'Points of View — Contra." 
SOUTHWEST REVIEW, vol. 17, Spring 1932, p. 
353-35. 

'Space Architecture." 
DUNE FORUM, February 1934, pp. 44-46. 

'Space Architecture." 
(unpublished manuscript) September, 1934. 



'Prefabrication vocabulary: the panel-post construc- 
tion." 

CALIFORNIA ARTS AND ARCHITECTURE, vol. 60, 
June, 1943, pp. 32-33. 



'Notes . . . Modern Architecture." 
(unpublished manuscript) Los Angeles, 1944. 

'Architect — postwar — post everybody." 
PENCIL POINTS, vol. 25, October, 1944, pp. 16-18; 
November, 1944, pp. 12-14. 

"Discussion," PENCIL POINTS, vol. 25, November, 
1944, p. 16; December, 1944, p. 8. 



'Reference Frames in Space." 
THE ARCHITECT AND ENGINEER, vol. 165, April, 
1946, pp. 10, 40, 44-45. 

'Postwar Automobiles." 
THE ARCHITECT AND ENGINEER, vol. 168, Febru- 
ary, 1947, pp. 12-14. 



'Space Architecture." 
CALIFORNIA ARTS AND ARCHITECTURE, vol. 47, 
January 1935, pp. 18-19. 

'Furniture and the Modern House: A Theory of Interior 
Design." 

THE ARCHITECT AND ENGINEER, vol. 123, Decem- 
ber, 1935, pp. 22-25. 

THE ARCHITECT AND ENGINEER, vol. 124, March, 
1936, pp. 24-28. 



'Schindler Frame." 
ARCHITECTURAL RECORD, vol .101, May, 1947, 
pp. 143-146. 



'Houses U.S.A." 
Letter to the Editor, ARCHITECTURAL FORUM, vol. 
87, August, 1947, p. 22. 



'Visual Technique." 
(unpublished manuscript) Los Angeles, 1952. 






44 



1. 



A Manifesto - 1912 
R. M. Schindler 



The cave was the original dwelling. 

A hollow adobe pile was the first permanent 

house. 

To build meant to gather and mass material, 

allowing it to form empty cells for human 

shelter. 

This conception provides the basis for under- 
standing all style of architecture up to the 
twentieth century. 

The aim of all architectural effort was the 
conquest of structural bulk my man's will for 
expressive form. 

All architectural ideas were conditioned by 
the use of a plastic structural mass material. 
The technique of architect and sculptor were 
similar. 

The vault was not the result of a room con- 
ception, but of a structural system of piling 
masonry to support the mass enclosure. The 
decoration of the walls was intended to give 
the structural mass a plastic face. 

These old problems have been solved and the 
styles are dead. 

Our efficient way of using materials eliminated 

the plastic structural mass. 

The contemporary architect conceives the 

"room" and forms it with ceiling and wall 

slabs. 

The architectural design concerns itself with 
"space" as its raw material and with the 
articulated room as its product. 

Because of the lack of a plastic mass the 
shape of the inner room defines the exterior 
of the building. Therefore the early primitive 
product of this new development is the "box-shaped' 
house. 

The architect has finally discovered the medium 
of his art: S P AC E . 

A new architectural problem has been born. 
Its infancy is being shielded as always by 
emphasizing functional advantages. 



The first house was a shelter. 

Its primary attribute was stability. 

Therefore its structural features were 

paramount. 

All architectural styles up to the twentieth 

century were functional. 

Architectural forms symbolized the struc- 
tural functions of the building material. 
The final step in this development was the 
architectural solution of the steel skele- 
ton: Its framework is no longer a symbol, 
it has become form itself. 

The twentieth century is the first to 
abandon construction as a source for archi- 
tectural form through the introduction of 
reinforced concrete. 

The structural problem has been reduced to 
an equation. The approved stress diagram 
eliminates the need to emphasize the sta- 
bility of the construction. 

Modern man pays no attention to structural 
members. 

There are no more columns with base, shaft 
and cap, no more wall masses with founda- 
tion course and cornice. 
He sees the daring of the cantilever, the 
freedom of the wide span, the space-forming 
surfaces of thin wall screens. 

Structural styles are obsolete. 
Functionalism is a hollow slogan used to 
lead the conservative stylist to exploit 
contemporary techniques. 



45 



Monumentality is the mark of power. 
The first master was the tyrant. 
He symbolized his power over the human mass 
by his control over matter. 
The power symbol of primitive culture was 
confined to the defeat of two simple re- 
sistances of matter: gravity and cohesion. 

Monumentality became apparent in proportion 
to the human mass displacement effort. 
Man cowers before an earthly might. 

Today a different power is asking for its monument. 

The mind destroyed the power of the tyrant. 

The machine has become the ripe symbol for 

man's control over nature's forces. 

Our mathematical victory over structural 

stresses eliminates them as a source of 

art forms. 

The new monumentality of space will symbolize 

the limitless powers of the human mind. 
Man trembles facing the universe. 



The feeling of security of our ancestors 
came in the seclusion and confinement of 
his cave. 

The same feeling of security was the aim of 
the medieval city plan which crowded the largest 
possible number of defenders inside the smallest 
ring of walls and bastions. 

The peasant's hut comforts him by an atmosphere 
in violent contrast to his enemy: the out of doors. 

Rooms that are designed to recall such feelings 
of security out of our past are acclaimed as 
"comfortable and cozy " 

The man of the future does not try to 
escape the elements. 
He will rule them. 

His home is no more a timid retreat: 
The earth. has become his home. 

The concepts "comfortable" and "homey" 
change their meaning. 
Atavistic security feelings fail to 
recommend conventional designs. 



The comfort of the dwelling lies in its 
complete control of: 
space, climate, light, mood, 
within its confines. 

The modern dwelling will not freeze 
temporary whims of owner or designer 
into permanent tiresome features. 

It will be a quiet, flexible background 
for a harmonious life. 



46 



Proj.: Hotel Rong, Vienna, 1912 




Proj.: Hunting Lodge, Vienna, 1912 




47 




Proj.: Crematorium and Chapel, Vienna, 1912-13 



Proj.: Crematorium and Chapel, Vienna, 1912 

det.: central build 




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Proj.: Clubhouse for Actors, Vienna, 1912 
(For Mayr and Mayer) 




49 



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51 



Poster for German Festival 
(Chicago, 1915) 




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(New Mexico, 1915) 



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(New Mexico, 1915) 




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52 




Proj.: Neighborhood Center, Chicago, 1914 



Proj.: Eleven Story Hotel, Chicago, 1915 
(for Ottenheimer, Stern and Reichert) 






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Proj.: House for T. P. Martin 
Taos, New Mexico, 1915 



54 





Proj.: Women's Club, Chicago, 1916 



Proj.: Log house (no location given), 1917 



r*Q*T P'krVfcTjOfJ 






55 




Buena Shore Club, Chicago, 1917-18 
(for Ottenheimer, Stern and Reichert) 



Buena Shore Club, Chicago, 1917-18 

(for Ottenheimer, Stern and Reichert) 

(photo: Schindler) 



56 





J. P. Shampay house, Chicago, 1919 
(for Frank Lloyd Wright) 




Proj.: One Room Apartments, Chicago, 1919 
(for Ottenheimer, Stern and Reichert) 





57 



Proj.: Workmen's Colony . 
(The Monolithic Home), j 

1919 
(for Frank Lloyd Wright) 







Director's house for Miss A. Barnsdall, Olive Hill, 
Los Angeles, 1920 (for Frank Lloyd Wright) 



58 




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"T^ Iw^lkf ■ 5frn -7 ; 1Y ' 7*^' "rfefOT TWA Vi Id* " *-vS*; 



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Los Angeles, 1920 (for Frank Lloyd Wright) 
preliminary drawings 



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Proj.: Free Public Library, Bergen Branch 
Jersey City, New Jersey, 1920 (Competition) 



Proj.: House for C. P. Lowes, 
Eagle Rock, 1922 (for Frank Lloyd Wright) 




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60 



House for R. M. Schindler and Clyde Chase, Hollywood, 1921 




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House for R. M. Schnidler 

and Clyde Chase, 

Hollywood, 1921 

(plan — above; 

living room — below) 



62 




Proj.: Bungalow Court for J. Korsen, 
Los Angeles, 1921 





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63 




Proj.: Skyscraper of Black Glass and Aluminum 
(The Playmart), Los Angeles, 1921 



64 




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Proj.: House for Mrs. L. Davies, 
Los Angeles, ca. 1922-24 



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Proj.: House for W. G. Duncan, 
Los Angeles, 1922 




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Prcj.: House for C. Warne, Los Angeles, 1923 



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66 




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Proj.: House for Mrs. D. Baker, 
Hollywood, 1923 



C. P. Lowes house, 

Eagle Rock, 1923 

dining room — above; 

street front — below 






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Proj.: Physical Education Club Lodge for Topanga Ranch 
Topanga Canyon, Los Angeles Co., 1923 



Pueblo Ribera community, 
La Jolla, 1923 (site plan) 



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68 




Pueblo Ribera community, La Jolla, 1923 
patio — above; street elevation — below 
(photo: W. P. Woodcock) 



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69 





House for J. C. Packard, South Pasadena, 1924 

ext. — above left; living room — above right; plan — below 

(photos: V. Baker) 



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70 




Proj.: The Peoples Bank, 

Los Angeles, 1924 -^ 



Apartment for S. Breacher, Los Angeles, 1925 

(photo: V. Baker) 





House for E. J. Gibling, 
Los Angeles, 1924 




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street front — above; plans — a 






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Beach house for P. M. Lovell, Newport Beach, 1925-26 
plan — above; street front — below 




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Beach house for P. M. Lovell, Newport Beach, 1925-26 

under construction — above; living room — below 

(upper photos: Schindler) 





74 



Apartment house 

(Manola Court) 

for H. Sachs 

Los Angeles, 1926-40 

(photo: J. Shulman) 







Proj.: League of Nations Building (International 
Competition), 1926 (with R. J. Neutra) 

site plan 



Leah-Ruth Shop, Long Beach, 1926 
street front 




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75 







Proj.: League of Nations Building (International 

Competition), 1926 (with R. J. Neutra) 

perspective draw. — above; elevational draw. — below 



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76 




Proj.: Translucent house for Miss A. Barnsdall 
Palos Verdes, 1927 




House for D. Grokowsky, 
South Pasadena, 1928 



77 



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78 




Proj.: House for H. Braxton, Venice, 1928-30 

(later appears under name of Mrs. V. B. Shore) 

perspective — above; plans — below 



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79 




Summer house for C. H. Wolfe, Avalon, Catalina Island, 1928 
ext. — above; view from living room to bedroom — below 
(Lower photo: Crescent Photo Shop) 



80 






Braxton Art Gallery, Hollywood,, 1928 
(photo: V. Baker) 



Braxton Art Gallery, Hollywood,, 1928 
(photo: V. Baker) 



Proj.: Remodeling of house for H. D. Diffen, 
Avalon, Catalina Island, 1929 




81 



Proj.: Studio for an Artist 
(location not given), 1929 



Cabin #1 at Park Moderne, Woodland Hills, 1929 





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Proj.: Lavana Studio Building for Seiburt, 
Los Angeles, 1929 



Proj.: Nobby Knit Store, Los Angeles, ca. 1930 





82 



ound noon 







House for R. F. Elliot, Los Angeles, 1930 
plans and cross section 





84 




House for R. F. Elliot, 
Los Angeles, 1930 
ext. — above left; 
view of staircase — 
above right; 
living room — lower 
(photos: J. T. Beals) 




Proj.: First scheme for W. E. Oliver house, Los Angeles, 1931 

perspective drawing 



Proj.: First scheme Utune 
for W. E. Oliver house, „ 
Los Angeles, 1931 -^ 
floor plans 




Main ft. ~%r4- — f 2 — £ 



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House for H. N. von Koerber, 
Hollywood Riviera, Torrance, 1931 




85 



Proj.: Highway Bungalows Hotel 
(no location given), 1931 




Proj.: Auto Store for Brown, Smith and Moore, 
Los Angeles, 1932 





86 



Lindy's Restaurant #1, 
Hollywood, 1932 



Sardi's Restaurant #1, Hollywood, 1932-34 

street front — right; det. street front — below 

(photos: W. P. Woodcock) 








87 




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Proj.: Prototype gasoline stations 
for Union Oil Company 
Los Angeles, 1933 



Proj.: Schindler Shelter (scheme for 
concrete single-family house), 1933 





House for W. E. Oliver, Los Angeles, 1933' 

street front — above; floor plan — below 

(upper photo: A. F. Fogg) 




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89 



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House for W. E. Oliver, Los Angeles, 1933 
garden front — above; living room — below 
(photos: A. F. Fogg) 



90 





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Proj.: First scheme for house of E. Locke, Los Angeles, 1933 



Proj.: House at Leimert Park, Los Angeles, 1934 
r~ — es^ 




91 



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Proj.: Gasoline station for Mrs. 
Nerenbaum (no location given), 1934 



12. ,7 V.HINDlt 
AC C H 



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92 




Mountain Cabin for 

Mrs. A. Bennati, 

Lake Arrowhead, 1934-37 




T^IDENCt Of: 

nil &- r\w. j. j. &ucr\ 

L06 AAiGELEi), CALIF. 
R.A. iCHIAJDLL£, ARCHITECT 
I q 5 4 




House for J. J. Buck, 

Los Angeles, 1934 

8th Ave. street front — above; 

plans — below 

(photo: W. P. Woodcock) 



93 



House for Miss E. Van Patten, 

Los Angeles, 1934-35 

(photo: W. P. Woodcock) 




House for 

Miss E. Van Patten, 

Los Angeles, 1934-35 

living room 

(photo: W. P. Woodcock) 




94 



Double house for J. DeKeyser, 

Hollywood, 1935 

(photo: W. P. Woodcock) 





,/\\A [LOOB. 




CCOUaId fLOOTJ 




QALPH G. W A L l\ E. Q 

L05 aMcele^., CALirOC^h 



House for R. G. Walker, 

Los Angeles, 1935-36 

garden front — above; 

floor plans — center; 

living-dining room — below 

(photos: J. Shulman) 




95 




Proj.: Second scheme for house for M. Shep, Los Angeles, 1935 
perspective of garden front — above; floor plans — below 



96 




TOP TL00T2 PLAN 





Proj.: First scheme for M. Geggie house, Pasadena, 1935-36 



Proj.: House for W. J. Delahoyde, Los Angeles, 1935 




97 





House for Miss V. McAlmon, 
Los Angeles, 1935 
street front — above; 
living room — center; 
garden front — below 
(photos: J. Shulman) 




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Proj.: House for Warshaw (sp?), 
Los Angeles, 1936 




Proj.: Second scheme 

for house for Jacobs, 

Beverly Glen, 1936 








Beach house for Miss 0. Zaczek, 
Playa del Rey, 1936-38 




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v5e.cond Floor Plan 



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100 




House for C. C. Fitzpatrick, 
Hollywood Hills, 1936 
hillside front — above; 
floor plans — center; 
living room — below 
(photos: J. Shulman) 







if 1 1 i?' : -!i } V/i) , 

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flMilpWJH fill 



Proj.: Beach house for R. R. Ryan (no location given), 1937 



Modern Creators Store Building, Hollywood, 1936-38 




101 



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House for H. Rodakiewicz, Los Angeles, 1937 

garden front — upper; living room — lower 

(photos: W. P. Woodcock) 



102 




House for 

H. Rodakiewicz, 

Los Angeles, 1937 

plans 




103 



yn^iv\n 




Apartment building for L. Bubeshko, Los Angeles, 1938-41 
street front — above; living room of apartment — below 

(photos: J. Shulman) 





104 




Proj.: House for A. Timme, Los Angeles, 1938 



House for G. C. Wilson, 
Los Angeles, 1938 




105 





Apartment house for S. T. Falk, Los Angeles, 1939 

view from street — above; 

entrance hall and living room of upper 

apartment — lower left; 

entrance to upper apartment — lower right 

(photos: upper and lower left — J. Shulman; 

lower right — D. Gebhard) 





Proj.: House for J. Rodriguez, Glendale, 1941 



Speculative house, 
Inglewood, ca. 1940 
{photo: J. Shulman) 





House for A. Van Dekker, Canoga Park, 1940 
view of house from hiM — upper; living room — below 

(photos: J. A. Anson) 



108 




Bethlehem Baptist Church, 

Los Angeles, 1944 

(photo: J. Shulman) 





NOQTU ErLC-VATION I 

House for F. Presburger, Studio City, 1945 
side elevation 



I I 



I l I I I 



House for F. Presburger, Studio City, 1945 

living room 
(photo: J. Shulman) 





House for M. Kallis, Hollywood Hills, 1946 
(photo: R. C. Cleveland) 



House for R. Lechner, Studio City, 1948 
(photo: R. C. Cleveland) 





House for A. Tischler, Bel Air, 1949-50 
(photo: D. Gebhard) 




Remodeling of house for 
D. Gordon, 

Hollywood Hills, 1950 
dining space 
(photo: L. Nossaman) 



111 



, - 




W. E. Tucker house, Hollywood, 1950 




House for S. Skolnik, 
Los Angeles, 1950-52 
living room 
(photo: L. Nossaman) 




Sketch for modular furniture, 
ca. 1933-34 





Chair for H. Sachs, 1932-33 





Sketch for modular furniture 
fcr H. R. King, Westwood, 1934 



$ 2 12JQ