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The California Bucket List: Your daily guide to the best adventures and experiences in the Golden State
TRAVEL

California Bucket List

Here’s your daily travel guide to the best adventures and experiences in the Golden State. Each of these essential California adventures has been tried and tested by a Travel section staffer or contributor.

Tell us what's on your California bucket list. Email travel@latimes.com and put California Bucket List in the subject line.

L.A. County

Roll past the Santa Monica house that announced Frank Gehry's talents and annoyed his neighbors

 (Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

Why: Before Frank Gehry conjured the amazing architecture of Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Walt Disney Concert Hall and dozens of other high-profile projects, he started experimenting on a standard '20s home — his own. Forty years later, that home (which he still owns) is an icon of deconstructivism, and a pilgrimage point for young architects and students of design.

You can't go closer than the sidewalk — it's a private home. But you can drive by slowly or park and walk the block.

What: Gehry (whose 89th birthday is Feb. 28, 2018) was still a largely unknown name when he and his wife bought the house at 22nd Street and Washington Avenue in the late 1970s. It was a 1920s Dutch Colonial, two stories on a corner lot, in a middle-class neighborhood that was part single-family homes, part apartment buildings.

Then Gehry went to work. Soon the place had corrugated metal walls, irregular angles, protruding glass cubes, plywood panels, chain-link rectangles — on a block of suburban style and 90-degree angles, it looked like a satellite crash. As the story goes, the neighbors were outraged. 

A few decades later, some rough edges have been softened by landscaping and another big renovation in the early 1990s. Zillow thinks just about every house on the block is worth more than $2 million. And Gehry's name is known around the world. But how long will this Gehry Residence belong to the Gehry family? It's unclear. The architect has worked for years on a pair of new homes, one in Santa Monica, one in Venice.

Where: 1002 22nd St., Santa Monica, 16 miles west of downtown L.A.

How much: Free (unless you overstay the two-hour parking limit on many of the neighborhood's streets).

Info: L.A. Conservancy

 (Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

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