The Schindler House

In the middle of West Hollywood tucked away behind some pretty ordinary Los Angeles residential houses sits the Schindler House. The location seems utterly bizarre but at the time of its build in 1921 I am sure the landscape was quite different. Whilst on my holiday in August in 100 degrees I popped in for a look, as I have been meaning to visit the last few times I was in town - I wasn’t disappointed.

It was the shared vision of Schindler and his wife Pauline:  he gave brilliant architectural form to her interest in a revisionist lifestyle. The house was conceived as an experiment in communal living to be shared with another couple, Clyde and Marian Chace.  There were four rooms, one for each person to “express his or her individuality.”  The communal gathering areas were patios in the garden, one for each family.  There was a shared kitchen and outdoor sleeping porches were provided on the roof.  A guest apartment with its own kitchen and bath extended from the rear of the house.

Apparently bit of a party house during the 1920s and early 1930s, it's believed that Pauline, “…brilliant, warmhearted, bitter-tongued… was trying to create a salon amid Hollywood’s cultural slagheap…”  Frank Lloyd Wright and his son Lloyd, Edward Weston, John Cage, the progressive dancer John Bovingdon, the poet Sadakichi Hartmann, and Galka Scheyer were among those who passed through.  Later, it was largely Mrs. Schindler’s initiative that established the house as a mecca for left-wing political activity in Los Angeles.

Today, the house is owned by The Mak Centre and on the day of my visit appeared to be run by a large extended picnicking Mexican family and to be honest feels a little neglected, which I think adds to the charm of the property. However the house’s interior is where the magic happens, incredibly dark rooms are cut through with a multitude of narrow light vents which play pretty light shows throughout. A wonderfully peaceful, cool and untouched house I would definitely recommend a visit to escape Hollywood and its other brand of magic.

835 North Kings Road, West Hollywood, CA 90069