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Wonderland Park: 1958

"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?

"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?

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Branjelina, 1958

Inspiration for the Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie photoshoot?

[Amazing! Although as with a lot of attempts at "retro" styling, the actual midcentury photo (or movie) looks more modern than the re-creation. - Dave]

The Conversation

Him: "I thought you said you quit smoking...? Did you really think I wouldn't find your ashtray in here?"

Her: (to self) "Crap! I knew I should have hidden it in the oven."

Not tonite dear

Not tonight dear. I have a headache. I said I have a headache. Thank you dear. This does look a bit like a console stereo ad but its delicious nonetheless.

Alternate conversation:

While you're over there dear, will you center that GD bird! You keep setting it back. I want it forward.
Thank you dear.

Sold in 2006

I found this reference to Case Study #21 going under the hammer in 2006. Judging by the floorplan the stereo is along the east wall with the front door behind Koenig.

The house sold for a little over $3 million.

[$3,186,031, as pointed out below. - Dave]

More Brubeck, please

None of that Maynard Ferguson. More Brubeck, please.

What he said

"Be Sociable, Have a Pepsi!"

Of course, if it's raining, they can't hear each other over the racket on the tin roof.

Being there

I don't think I'd like to live there, but I'd give anything to be in the photo.

Return to Sender

Have you ever thought of randomly mailing a copy of this photo to the current owners? It would be fun to see if you got a response from whoever lives at this address now. I know if someone randomly mailed me a historic photo of my house I'd be stoked.

[Something tells me they know about it. - Dave]


I don't mean that in a bad way, but there's a quality about this photo that feels stiff and as posed. By comparison, the photo of the Spencer residence in Santa Monica -- while it may be just as posed -- has a palpable, almost erotic (at least to me) tension about it. This is practically a sales brochure.


"Really, Pierre, if I hear 'Blue Rondo a la Turk' again I will just SCREAM"


We had a hi-fi like that in the 1960s. The only problem with it was that Grandpa, who was rather dotty, would mistake it for the sink sometimes, when clearing the table, and scrape food scraps onto the knobs and dials and reel-to-reel tape unit.


I'm glad to see that the "experimental garage" finally became reality.

Other Worlds, Other Sounds

"You beast. You know I'm helpless when I hear Esquivel!"


She looks quite drunk to me. The red nose and tired, glassy eyes all add up to too many Singapore Slings or Gimlets. Pierre's thinking it's about time to put another notch on his French curve.

Wonderland Lady

She is rather attractive, despite those wicked long fingers.

The Redhead

She may be 75-78 but have you seen Jill St. John lately? But all is not lost for our pretty Wonderland Park subject. She may no longer qualify as a cougar; perhaps a swamp lynx?

LA County Appraisal

Square Footage: 1,280
Year Built: 1958
Bedrooms & Bathrooms: 2 / 2
2008 Tax Roll Values
Land: $271,000
Improvements: $406,000
Indicated Sale Price: $3,186,031


And she's a real redhead. Now I'm interested. Unfortunately, she'd be about 75 today.


Given the era and the locale, and the rather languid look in her eyes, I'd say it's more like, "Honey, could you grab me a Miltown?"


It may have been affordable when it was built in 1958, but according to the LA Times it sold for $3.1 million in 2006.

Fab, Pre-

From the outside it's not terribly impressive, is it. Kind of a Miesian mobile home.


Naked I-beams, metal roofing and an exposed pipe. It looks more like a warehouse at the top of the room than a luxury home by modern standards.

[The Case Study houses were intended as examples of affordable contemporary design, not luxury living. - Dave]

The Architect Himself

That's Pierre at the stereo.

P.S. Dave, when do we get to see the ne plus ultra of the case study houses, Number 22?

[You'll have to wait till 1960. - Dave]

Time Out

"Chet or Dave, dear?"

[I was always kind of partial to Huntley. - Dave]

While you're up

"While you're up can you get me a Grant's?"

This photo is a good match for those used in the ad campaign for Grant's Scotch way back when. Grant's is still on the shelves in liquor stores, along with Passport and Vat 69.

Still There

And still cooler than the other side of the pillow.

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He and She

She: You call that thing a stereo? Pfft.

He: There is no fi higher than my hi-fi. I defy you to find a fi higher than mine.

She: Hah. I've seen tweeters twice the size of your so-called woofer.

He: It's not the SIZE of the woofer, it's the excursion of the cone!

She: I've heard this song before. It's a sad one.

He: Can I get you a drink?

She: Now you're talking.

Dearest Darling

"Honey, could you bring me a beer, please?" (Says the woman.) That would work for a nice gender-reversal commentary. In actuality, it's probably close to "Goodness, I wish he'd hurry up with the stupid pictures already!"

I'm enjoying these interior shots of 1950s homes. Thanks.

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