Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.
Vintage photos of:
Los Angeles, 1960. "Case Study House No. 22. Stahl Residence, 1635 Woods Drive. Architect: Pierre Koenig." Color transparency by Julius Shulman. More to come on this house, which has achieved a measure of fame in the annals of modern architecture due a certain black-and-white photograph. View full size.
"9038 Wonderland Park Avenue, Los Angeles, 1958. Case Study House No. 21." Architect: Pierre Koenig. Color transparency by Julius Shulman. View full size. These two look pretty sophisticated and worldly. Wonder what they're saying?
"Recreation Pavilion. Mirman Residence, Arcadia, California, 1959. Architects: Buff, Straub & Hensman." Color transparency by Julius Shulman. View full size. I see the potential here for limitless, free-spirited fun. (Please do not move cushions more than one-quarter inch from designated positions on the Recreation Pavilion Fun Grid. The Herman Miller benches will not be moved more than 21 bricks away from decking. Tennis racquets allowed on pillows only if propped at an appropriately informal angle, 35 degrees to the horizontal. Thank you.)
"Experimental housing. Storage shed & garage." Remember that this garage is experimental, and that the slightest little bump could could send the whole business -- prototype potting bench, bleeding-edge tool storage -- pinwheeling off into the next dimension. Eric Schaal, Life photo archive. View full size.
1950. Cocktail hour at the Spencer residence in Santa Monica. Note the mirror-view television sunken into the table. Architect: Richard Spencer. Color transparency by Julius Shulman. View full size. Is Uncle Miltie on tonight?
Circa 1945-47. "Experimental kitchen model." Our second picture in this series of speculative designs addressing the postwar shortage of housing for mice. This model home has an open floorplan and open ceiling plan as well, with attic storage for giant cigars and oversize tins. Photo: Eric Schaal, Life archive. View full size.
From a series titled "Experimental housing models. Storage shed & garage, dining room & kitchen." Circa 1945-48, of the "Your Future Postwar Home" genre. Kodachrome transparency by Eric Schaal, Life photo archive. View full size.