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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Growing up at 205 Chautauqua

I recently ran across an interesting article in the Eames Library. It was written by Linda Cervon about growing up in the Case Study House #9, right next door to Ray and Charles Eames.

Cervon's parents bought the house from John Entenza, the editor of Arts & Architecture magazine, who was the original owner. The house was designed for Entenza by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen. Cervon's parents paid $55,000 for the house in 1955.


Case Study House #9
dailyicon.net

Case Study House #9 living room
dailyicon.net

Case Study House #9 patio
eamesdesign.com

Case Study House #9
archigraphie.eu


In the article,  Cervon talks about what good neighbors Ray and Charles Eames were...how Charles would build structures out of cardboard boxes in his studio and let the neighborhood kids swing on ropes suspended from beams in the studio ceiling to knock them down. She discussed how refined and elegant Ray was and how much Ray influenced her.

She also discussed life surrounded by the major architects of the time (and even her dating the son of Rodney Walker and, after the death of her mother, her father's dating the ex-wife of Craig Ellwood.) She also recalls her "wicked stepmother" insisting on some rather horrible changes to Case Study House #9.

Cervon is well known in some circles as the godmother of Disney memorabilia collectors, so she is an interesting character in her own right.


Linda Cervon
vcreporter.com


If you're as interested as I am in the early owners of the Case Study Houses, I recommend this brief article. For such a quick read, it offers fascinating insight into what it was like to grow up one of the homes that we so admire.

6 comments:

  1. I wonder why these fantastic designs did not proliferate in post WWII houses instead of the cheap Levittown designs. Perhaps I answered my own questions. These houses where good houses, great designs and it looks like good quality.

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    1. One of the reasons you don't see a lot of homes of this style is that banks were reluctant...or outright refused...to loan money for them. Another reason is that flat-roofed homes can pose a problem in areas that get a considerable amount of rain and snow. I know that some of my readers are architects and can add more reasons that I'm not aware of.

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  2. Aghhhh that new house right in front of the #9 house! Tear it down.

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    Replies
    1. Nothing makes me sadder than to see tacky new houses trying to crowd these beauties out.

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  3. Replies
    1. You're right. It's amazing how a design can look so fresh and new after all these years.

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