By Chris Snow
The U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell designated 24 new historic landmarks, one of which is Neutra Studio and Residences (VDL Research House) of Cal Poly Pomona.
The National Historic Landmarks Program is one of many programs administered by the National Park Service that provides funding and assistance to help preserve our nation’s history.
The Neutra Studio, as well as the other sites designated as landmarks, “depict different threads of the American story that have been told through activism, architecture, music and religious observance,” said Jewell in a press release announcing the landmarks.
“Being recognized as a National Historical Landmark is an incredible honor for Cal Poly Pomona,” said Luis Hoyos, an associate professor in the Department of Architecture in the College of Environmental Design at CPP. “Not every school has that in their portfolio. It places the Neutra Studio in an exalted group of historical sites including Mount Rushmore. “
Richard Neutra worked at CPP as a lecturer in the 1960s.
The property was donated to the university in 1990 by the Neutra estate to be used to educate students and the public alike of the importance and beauty of architecture.
Neutra was regarded internationally as one of the most influential modernist architects and was featured on the cover of Time Magazine.
This building’s style is known for its use of geometric designs and open floor plans.
Neutra is also credited as being the founder of the style of architecture known as “California Modern.”
He also designed the Lovell Health House, which is considered to be one of the first homes to use a metal frame.
According to the Neutra VDL website, the studio is where Neutra worked and designed for over 30 years.
This was the birthplace of the ideas that led to hundreds of projects on four different continents.
His designs included many public buildings, residences and the nation’s first modern school.
The studio and home were initially designed in the 1930s, but were rebuilt and redesigned in the early 60s after a fire left only the garden house and basement of the original wing of the buildings.
The rebuilding was completed in 1964. The press release from the Department of the Interior cited this example is “the only property where one can see the progression of his style over a period of years.”
“The Neutra house was very experimental for its time,” said Hoyos. “There were many materials that were donated that were not typically used in homes, but in office buildings.”
Hoyos also sits on the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, a position appointed by former President Barack Obama.
“The studio tells the story of architecture. It is a living document or an original manuscript. It is like a book, you can see Neutra’s drawings and learn about his life,” said Hoyos.
The studio is located in Los Angeles and tours are available 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.
Tours are conducted by CPP students. Cost of admission is $15 for adults and $10 for students. CPP students receive free admission.
Daniel Flores / The Poly Post
The National Historic Landmarks Program is one of many programs administered by the National Park Service
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