Case Study House #1
Photo by Larry Underhill

Case Study House #1

Case Study House #1, despite its numbering, was not the first house to be completed as part of Arts & Architecture magazine’s Case Study House program.  The 2,000 square foot house was completed in 1948 and designed by Julius Ralph Davidson, one of the European émigrés who jump-started California’s modern architecture movement.  Davidson’s design for Case Study House #11 became the first completed house in the program, in 1946, but later earned the unfortunate distinction of being the first to be demolished.

Case Study House #1 was constructed on a gently sloping lot elevated several feet above street level in the prestigious Toluca Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. Other homes by significant mid-century architects are in the immediate neighborhood. 

The house introduced architectural elements that came to characterize the program such as floor to ceiling glass, a flat roof, an open floor plan, a minimum of hallways, flexible multi-purpose rooms, immediate access to gardens from all major rooms, and use of standardized materials such as concrete block, plywood panels and industrial glass.

The plan, materials, and siting of the house encourage a relaxed lifestyle based on indoor-outdoor living.

The dwelling is of wood frame post and beam construction on a concrete slab foundation. It is approximately 2,000 square feet in size with a large combination living and dining room overlooking the rear gardens and pool through floor-to-ceiling windows. There are three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a kitchen.  The windows throughout the house consist of floor-to-ceiling sliding glass and metal frame casements.

View the National Register of Historic Places Nomination

 

Chez Jay photo
Photo courtesy Jay Fiondella Family Trust

Chez Jay

A nautical-themed steak house and bar with room for only about ten tables opened in 1959.
Saga Motor Hotel
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Saga Motor Hotel

Local architect Harold Zook designed the Saga to catch the eye of the passing motorist, with a dramatic neon sign in Moorish-inspired script, intricately decorated concrete block elements, and towering palm trees around the glistening swimming pool.