Years before John Lautner crafted the futuristic Chemosphere house overlooking Mulholland Drive and the Bob Hope house in Palm Springs, the celebrated architect designed the Schaffer House, a humble two-bedroom home in a remote area of the Verdugo Hills of Glendale.
Like Lautner’s Sheats-Goldstein and Elrod homes, the 1949 redwood-and-glass structure has played a prominent role in several feature films, including “A Single Man,” directed by fashion designer Tom Ford, and “Happy Endings.”
So it was something of a surprise when the house went on the market in 2008 and sat there for 4½ years. (The house finally sold in December 2012 for nearly $1.4 million).
In an interview with Curbed, real estate agent Crosby Doe tried to offer an explanation as to why the house wasn’t selling: “A lot of people have a preconceived notion about what Glendale is, and they don’t know the Verdugo Hills.”
Glendale is home to a number of architectural gems designed by some of the most celebrated architects of the last century, five of which will be open to the public Sept. 29 as part of the Glendale Historical Society’s “Icons of Architecture” home tour.
In addition to the Schaffer House, the tour will include the 1964 Taylor House, a Modernist glass box designed by Richard Neutra, the 1941 Perkins House, a Country Colonial farmhouse by Gerard Colcord, the Spanish Colonial Revival Story House by Robert Finkelhor and the Calori House, a 1926 Expressionist/Spanish Colonial home designed by Lloyd Wright.
The tour is self-drive and includes docent-led tours at each home. Some houses have stairs, and not all rooms will be open for touring.
In conjunction with the tour, architect Alan Hess will lecture on “Master Architects in Glendale” at 7 p.m. Sept. 19 at the Glendale Public Library Auditorium, 222 E. Harvard St. Admission is free.