Echo Park - The home where artist Stephan von Huene once pioneered the use of sound in art has been approved as a city historic landmark.
The City Council last week unanimously okayed monument status for the Pleasance House in the 1300 block of Sutherland Street.
The 107-year-old house was approved in part because Von Huene lived there when he first started working with sound and technology as part of his artwork. In addition, the building itself was found to be “an excellent and intact example of the Airplane Bungalow variation of the Craftsman architectural style,” according to a report from the city’s Cultural Heritage Commission.
“Hallmarks of the style, as exhibited by the subject property, include the ‘pop-up’ second story, low-pitched gable roof with wide eaves and exposed rafter tails, wood clapboard siding, and prominent projecting front entrance porch,” the report went on to state. “Other distinctive features include the decorative purlins, wood built-ins, glazed brick fireplace, and stained-glass soffit lighting.”
The Pleasance House is now even singled-out in Wikipedia as an early example of this architectural style.
Von Huene himself was born on Sept. 15, 1932, in Los Angeles, and died in Hamburg, Germany, on Sept. 5, 2000. He started doing sound sculptures in the 1960s, according to his biography - including “experiments with the acoustic qualities of musical instruments, mechanical pianos and organs.”
Pieces that von Huene created while living at Pleasance House included Kaleidophonic Dog (1967) (his first acoustic-kinetic sculpture), Tap Dancer (1967), Washboard Band (1967), Rosebud Annunciator (1969), and Totem Tones (1970), according to the Cultural Heritage Commission’s report.
“His sculptures, often referred to as ‘machines,’ paved the way for innovative acoustic and kinetic art that transformed gallery visitors from passive observers into actively engaged participants,” the report stated.
The three-bedroom, 2,359-square-foot home most recently changed ownership in Nov. 21, 2019, when it sold for $1,272,012.