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Modern Patrons: Van Der Kar in Elysian Park
SAH/SCC Tour & Talk
Sunday, September 26, 2010

Join us Sunday afternoon for another signature event in our Modern Patrons program with a very special opportunity to visit the Henry and Barbara Shire residence in Elysian Park. Designated a Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument in 2009, the Shire residence was constructed in 1949, and remains a superbly intact design by a remarkably talented but modest architect Joseph van Der Kar.

Van Der Kar possessed a strong desire to create modern living environments that enriched and nurtured the life and well-being of his clients. He was also dedicated to providing housing to the masses during his tenure working with Konrad Wachsmann and Walter Gropius developing residential designs for mass-production by the short-lived General Panel Corporation. Along the way he developed close friendships with "Second Generation" architect Gregory Ain and noted landscape architect Garrett Eckbo, who designed the landscape for the Shire house.

This will be a particularly unusual opportunity to enjoy the house while we learn firsthand about the Shires and their special relationship with the architect from their sons who grew up in the house. In the Cultural Heritage Commission Summary Report, Henry Shire is described as an artist and carpenter who did custom cabinetry work for R.M. Schindler, and continued to work with clients after Schindler's untimely death in 1953.

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