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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Eagle Rock residents planning to revive Richard Neutra-designed rec center

EAGLE ROCK — The Eagle Rock Recreation Center, a 1950s-era clubhouse designed by legendary Modernist architect Richard Neutra, may finally be getting some long overdue attention and restoration, according to the L.A. Times.

A pair of local residents who have been working on the problem for three years are now talking with the architect’s son, Dion Neutra, and are slowly wading through red tape to restore the city-owned property. The Eagle Rock residents — architect Jeremy Levine and real estate agent Charlie Clark — said their biggest obstacles have been bureaucratic and financial, particularly getting the city to approve the budget for renovating the building, which was once threatened with demolition.

“All of a sudden, I would have to jump start it again and again,” Clark told the Times. “Then, Jeremy would jump start it. Then I would.”

Richard Neutra is considered one of the most important modernist architects — known locally for designing mid-century homes around Silver Lake. But his recreation center, tucked into the corner of a park away from major streets, does not get as much public attention.

However, while looking shabby and worn out in places, the building remains relatively well preserved, according to some historic preservationists.  “It is essentially a pavilion, with a series of walls that can be hand-cranked up like double-hung windows to open the interior to the outside,” says the L.A. Conservancy. “The result is an ideal design solution for the multipurpose facility, which over the years has housed everything from plays to basketball games.”

The Times added that the Eagle Rock Rec Center is seen by many scholars as one of his best works — “for its extreme, innovative design in glass, brick and mobile walls.”

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2 comments

  1. This is a great, but under underappreciated building that deserves re-newed attention and love.

  2. Wow…who would have known! I’ve had some magical youthful moments in that park.
    ER park rec center has a Neutra and it was almost distroyed!
    This is a reoccuring theme, only it usually ends in a new pastel boxy eyesore added to the landscape.
    This reminds me of when a developer was preparing to hack off a piece of the actual Eagle Rock ( yes our beloved stone) to build condos.
    This launched a compain to “save the rock”. True story…

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