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With the end of the year upon us, I’d like to reflect on one of my favorite SAH/SCC programs of 2015: August’s Jascha Heifetz Studio Tour and Panel Discussion.

For those of you who were unable to attend, it combined all the elements that make SAH/SCC so special: big ideas, personal connections, spectacular architecture, and an element of discovery.

Panelist Dana Hutt started us off by talking about the nexus of music and architecture, and the studio (Lloyd Wright, 1946) being “architecture as musical instrument.” Explained Hutt: “Lloyd Wright used to play Bach day and night. His passion for music was embedded in the Heifetz Studio.” Those ideas became palpable in the hands of the next panelist, the architect Eric Lloyd Wright, who traced the passion for architecture and music back through his father to his grandfather, master architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Tears came to his eyes as he recalled family occasions when they would all play music together. Heifetz and Lloyd Wright, along with another of the architect’s clients, Gregor Pitagorsky, found common ground in their passion for art and life. Our third panelist, Sel Kardan, President and CEO of the Colburn School, brought it all together from the musician’s perspective.

The Colburn School (Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates, 1998) literally rescued the studio from the wrecking ball—not knowing what to do with it. Today, it serves as a practice room for the Heifetz scholar and inspiration to all the students at the Colburn.

Proving how exceptional our membership is, one of the event attendees was Anita Weaver, a Library Assistant at The Huntington Library. After the event she was inspired to uncover more information about the preservation and relocation of the studio in the Library’s Martin E. Weil Collection (Weil was a well-known Los Angeles preservation architect). According to Weaver, “Weil was consulting to the Los Angeles Conservancy on the project and working with [architect] Fred Hartman in the preparation of a relocation and preservation plan. The files include notes and correspondence (1989-1990) addressed to Weil c/o the Conservancy as well as to his private restoration practice address. The correspondence file includes proposals for relocation from various parties (individuals and organizations) and Weil’s draft of a letter to the Conservancy regarding the relocation proposal submissions review and the process of winnowing out the ‘finalists’.”

The Heifetz program revealed one of Los Angeles’ best-kept architecture secrets and inspired more questions. That’s what I know SAH/SCC will continue to do in 2016. Thanks to everyone for making 2015 a banner year.

Sian Winship

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