It is exceedingly rare to be given the opportunity to stop the demolition or defacement of a structure of architectural importance. In the vast majority of cases the damage is done while the attentions of those who would protest are elsewhere. We are simply left looking back in dismay and wondering why nothing was done to prevent it. This is particularly true for residential structures whose private nature leaves them more subject to the whims of their owners alone.
It is for this reason that it is so important to take advantage of the rare occasions that we are afforded the ability to save an important home that is in imminent peril. Such is the opportunity with which we are presented today in Beverly Hills. The Kronish House, the largest Neutra-designed home in Southern California, and the only surviving Neutra in Beverly Hills is slated for demolition next month. For the next couple of weeks, we all have the chance to prevent this from happening.
Richard Neutra created a quintessentially Californian international style that would influence many architects that followed him. We are fortunate to have a number of his homes here in Northern California, but Southern California is where the bulk of his projects were located, and where his practice was based. He and his son Dion, who took over the practice in 1970, were trailblazers of California modernism, yet despite the breadth of their influence and quality of their design, a number of important examples of their work have been lost largely due to the general historical lack of preservation interest in mid-century architecture.
Let’s make sure the same fate does not befall the Kronish House. Join Dion Neutra and the Neutra Institute and make your voice heard. Because most depressing of all are those rare occasions when there is ample time for action and ample publicity, but due to lack of will, or imbalance of power, or sheer size of impediment, nothing is done. Then we have no one to blame but ourselves.