Are famous architects too serious for selfies? Robert Venturi, Philadelphia’s most famous postmodernist, may well have taken a few. But what about modern masters like Mies van der Rohe, Louis Kahn and I.M. Pei? What if they did, too? ArchDaily posted seven Photoshopped images it claimed were dug up from history:
Well, this is exciting. Right on the heels of Richard Neutra’s Pitcairn House hitting the market comes this listing for a home designed by Neutra contemporary Louis Kahn.
The Elkins Park residence — built from Wissahickon schist and red cedar — was designed in 1940 for Jesse and Ruth Oser and is the architect’s earliest residence. This was a personal project: Kahn and Jesse Oser went to Central High together and remained friends. The house sits on the former estate of hat baron J.B. Stetson, so it already had some features that Kahn had to work around; “he had little choice,” reads The Houses of Louis Kahn, “but to situate the house above, on a north-facing slope.”
This restriction became an opportunity, with elevated living areas and southwest exposure, and is one reason the home is so appealing today.
Cathedrals of Culture, a new film project from Wim Wenders that premiered at the Berlin Film Festival last week, asks buildings to speak, to share their souls, as Wenders puts it. Culture profiles six talking buildings, including the Salk Institute in San Diego, built by Philadelphia’s Louis Kahn. That segment is directed by Robert Redford, who had a mild case of polio when he was young and was therefore sensitive to Salk’s achievements. From the UK’s Independent:
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The building on the northwest corner of 15th and Walnut once had an illustrious tenant: Louis I. Kahn, the celebrated modernist architect, had his office there. Today its tenants consist of three retail shops and a Pennsylvania lottery.
Buyer Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT), which owns the Gallery, as well as many other malls, has not offered specifics about what will happen with the 14,000-square-foot property.
• PREIT buys 15th & Walnut corner [PhillyDeals]
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Finally! The Louis Kahn home in Chestnut Hill that has been on the market for such a long time — and that inspired my personal confession of a rather disturbing nature — is pending sale, which means unless something catastrophic happens, it will have new owners soon.
Those owners, though, are keeping a low profile for the moment, preferring to remain anonymous. But they do say, via email, “We are committed to being good stewards of this beautiful reflection of the genius of Louis Kahn.”
The most significant Mid Century Modern home on the Philadelphia market has just been reduced in asking price by $125,000. It is an iconic example of Kahn’s passion to bring the outside in and the inside out. It is also iconic of his residential work from this period (1959) in general, though as George Marcus and William Whitaker point out in their soon-to-be-published book The Houses of Louis Kahn, each home Kahn built was approached individually, conceived with the people who would ultimately reside there.
In this case, the house was built for one person, which is partly why it has had a hard time selling. But the Esherick House has what every real estate agent would kill for: an interior that finally merits that listings cliche “sun-drenched.”
Jules Gregory was a prominent mid-century modern architect, and like Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Kahn, and George Nakashima, he has a significant legacy in the New York/NJ/Pennsylvania area. This home on Goat Hill Road in the riverside town of Lambertville, NJ (across the bridge from New Hope) was designed by Gregory for himself. As Henry Kuryla wrote last month in Aspire Metro:
Architects throughout the course of their careers design many masterworks for others, but often their pièce de résistance is the home they create for themselves. Such is the case for the previous home of the noted Mid-Century Modern architect Jules Gregory in Lambertville, NJ.
Take a quick look at this Center City house and you might think it was designed by legendary Philadelphia architect Louis Kahn. Everything from the materials used to the curvature of the windows and the way the light comes in recalls the mid-century master. That’s no accident.