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FRANK OWEN GEHRY, FAIA (1929-)
Frank Gehry was born Ephraim Owen Goldberg in Toronto, Canada. His father Irving had a heart attack and seeking an easier winter moved the family to Los Angeles in 1947. They became US citizens and Ephraim adopted the first name Frank in his 20's. Goldberg drove a delivery truck while taking courses at Los Angeles City College. He took architecture and became enthralled with the possibilities of the art, although at first he found himself challenged. Sympathetic teachers and an early encounter with Modernist architect Raphael Soriano confirmed his choice. He married Anita Snyder in 1952 and they honeymooned at John Lautner's Desert Hot Springs Motel.
He won an architecture scholarship to the University of Southern California and graduated in 1954. Later that year, he changed his last name from Goldberg to Gehry, under pressure from his wife.
Gehry worked full-time for the Los Angeles firm of Victor Gruen Associates, where he had apprenticed as a student in 1952, and later served in the Air Force. Gehry entered the Harvard Graduate School of Design for city planning. He returned to LA without completing the degree and briefly joined the firm of Pereira and Luckman before returning to Victor Gruen.
In the late 1970's, Gehry found a creative outlet in rebuilding his own home, converting what he called "a dumb little house with charm" into a showplace for a radically new style of domestic building. His Santa Monica neighbors were not happy at all but Gehry's unusual house attracted serious critical attention and he began to employ more imaginative elements in his commercial work.
His international reputation was confirmed with the 1989 Pritzker Prize, the world's most prestigious architecture award. Philip Johnson helped Gehry became the most visible of an elite group of highly publicized "starchitects."
Gehry's most spectacular designs were the new Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, completed in 1997, and 2004 brought the heralded completion of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles.
In 2006, Gehry was the subject of a documentary, Sketches of Frank Gehry, by director Sydney Pollack. He made a 2005 animated guest appearance on The Simpsons.
At a press conference in Spain, October 2014, Gehry declared "Let me tell you one thing. In the world we live in, 98 per cent of what gets built and designed today is pure shit. There's no sense of design nor respect for humanity or anything. They're bad buildings and that's it."
Bio adapted from achievement.org and Wikipedia.
1954 - The Romm House. Unbuilt.
1958 - The Melvin David Cabin, 52900 Middle Ridge, Idyllwild CA. Over 2000 sf. Designed with Greg Walsh. Contrary to reports, the house has not been altered, other than decks placed on the exterior beams, and the usual upgrades to kitchen and bathrooms. There is a separate tiki huts and guest house. Sold in 2008 to Amy and Raymond Boylan. Sold in 2012 to Matt and Mary Norris. Bottom three photos by Matt Norris.
1959 - The Edgar and Mary Lou Steeves Residence, 1313 Casiano Road, Los Angeles CA. Commissioned 1958. Designed with Greg Walsh. Sold in 1981 to Robert and Joanne Smith, who asked Gehry to add a new wing. Gehry's addition was rejected by the Bel-Air Fine Arts Commission. The Smiths hired Frank Mutlow and John Dimster instead and proceeded with the addition. As of 2012 still owned by the Smiths.
1960 - The Josef Marais and Rosa de Miranda Residence, Los Angeles CA. Included a recording studio. Built, according to Greg Walsh. Status unknown.
1962 - The Hillcrest Apartments, 2807 Highland Avenue, Santa Monica CA. Developed by Gehry, family, and friends.
1963 - The Sixth and Hill Apartments, Santa Monica CA. Unbuilt.
1963 - The SMIV Apartments, Santa Monica CA. Unbuilt.
1964 - The Kenmore Apartments, 340 South Kenmore Avenue, Santa Monica CA.
1964 - The Kline Residence, Bel Air CA. The original house, designed by Cal Straub for another family, was destroyed by fire. Gehry and associate Greg Walsh produced a new home very similar to the first. Status and address unknown, do you know where it was?
1965 - The Danziger Studio and Residence,
7001 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood CA.
1966 - The Hotchkiss Garden Remodel, Santa Monica CA. Project architect Greg Walsh.
1967 - The Richard and Donna O'Neill Hay Barn, San Juan Capistrano CA. Built. Address unknown, do you know where it is?
1968 - Clark County Family Housing, Henderson NV. Unbuilt.
1970 - The University Park Apartments, Irvine CA. Built, according to Greg Walsh.
1971 - The Handler Residence, Santa Monica CA. Unbuilt, according to Greg Walsh.
1971 - The Hollydot Park Townhouses, Hollydot Park CO. Unbuilt by their design, according to Greg Walsh.
1972 - The Ronald (Ron) Davis Studio and Residence, aka the Tin House, 29715 West Cuthbert Road, in the hills of Malibu CA. Commissioned 1968. 5547 sf. Sold in the 1990's to Ronald and Ellen Meszaros. Sold in 2003 to Alex and Sue Glasscock who did a renovation. Sold in 2010 to the Tin House Farm Trust, aka Patrick Dempsey. Vividly featured in Architectural Digest March 2014. Bottom photo by Roger Davies. Sold in 2015 to Surf Dog LLC. Media reported the buyer was Sid R. Bass; this has not been confirmed.
1975 - The Edwin (Ed) Janss Jr. and Ann R. Howe Residence, 1945 Purdue Avenue, West Los Angeles CA. Commissioned 1972. Sold in 2014 to James and Liang B. Jean.
1976 - The Harper House, 111 Hamlet Hill Road, Village of Cross Keys MD.
1976 - The Norton and Jennifer Jones Simon Guest House, 22568 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu CA. Commissioned 1974. The interior of an 8,000 sf Spanish-style building was gutted to house the client's vast collection of Asian art and provide guest rooms and entertainment areas for the owner's adjacent beach house. The Simons gave it to UCLA around 1990, according to Greg Walsh. Status unknown. Address needs verification; a large condo building is there now.
1977 - The Ed Ruscha House, near Ross Valley Road, Twentynine Palms CA. Featured in Vanity Fair, February 1986.
1977 - The Frederick R. (Fred) and Marcia Simon Weisman Beach House Remodel, aka the Trancas Beach House, Trancas CA. She was the sister of Norton Simon. Completed. Address of the house unknown, do you know where it is?
1977 - The Frank Gehry Residence Remodel, 1002 22nd Street, Santa Monica CA. Essentially a new house around an existing one. Addition 1991-1994. Still owned by the Gehry family as of 2013. Bottom photo by Grant Mudford.
1978 - aka the St. Ives Residence Addition, 8952 St. Ives, Los Angeles CA. Commissioned 1976. Developed by Gehry. Addition around three sides of a 1939 Modernist white stucco house. Actor Al Pacino lived there at one time. Sold to Mikko Koskinen and Margaret Maldonado who still owned it as of 2013.
1978 - The Fred Weisman Renovation, aka the Cheviot Hills Residence Garden and Interiors, Los Angeles CA. Address unknown, do you know where it is?
1978 - The Doreen Nelson Renovation, Westwood area of Los Angeles CA. Kitchen renovation designed for Gehry's sister.
1978 - The Wagner Residence, Malibu CA. A residence for a family above and a psychiatrists office and a carport below. The nonorthogonal, corrugated metal-sheathed box (similar to the use of metal on the exterior of the Davis project) was to have 3 living areas. Because of the coastal regulations, the house was never built.
1978 - The Gunther Residence, Encinal Bluffs CA. Unbuilt. Located on a narrow bluff with a view of the Pacific Ocean. Stopped due to spiraling projected costs.
1978 - The Familian Residence, Santa Monica CA. Unbuilt. Designed as two pieces - entertaining area and living quarters. According to Greg Walsh: "The house was very celebrated because Jeffrey Kipnis and Philip Johnson organized a deconstruction exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art and they picked this house as a perfect example. It wasn't but it looked like it was. It was all about flying 2 x 4's. At that time we were looking at subdivisions before the stucco went on and saying how great the subdivision looks until they put the finished walls on it. Frank said 'how can I build a stud wall and just put glass on it?"
1978 - The Jane M. Spiller Residence, 39 Horizon Avenue, Venice CA. Featured in 1983 Architectural Record Houses. Apartment in the front and the main residence in the rear. For rent in 2011.
1981 - The John Whitney House, aka House for a Filmmaker, 600 East Rustic Road, Los Angeles CA. Commissioned 1980. B/W photos. Unbuilt. The house was re-designed around 1987 by another architect, Mark Mack, bottom photo. Built by John Whitney. Sold several times. Sold to Keith Brackpool who still owned it as of 2013.
1981 - The Christophe deMenil Residence Renovation, aka Carriage House, 147 East 69th Street, New York NY. Commissioned 1978. Unbuilt.
1981 - The 14th Street Housing, Atlanta GA. Unbuilt, according to Greg Walsh.
1981 - The Binder House, Los Angeles CA. Address unknown, do you know where it is?
1981 - The Dennis Hopper Condos, aka the Indiana Avenue Condos, aka the Chuck Arnoldi Triplex, 326, 330, and 322 Indiana Avenue, Venice CA. Three two-story condos by Gehry. The main house on the lot, bottom left photo, was designed by Brian Murphy. Sold in 2012.
1982 - The Traci House, location unknown.
1982 - The Glen Fleck Residence, Los Angeles CA. Unbuilt.
1982 - The Tract House Development. Unbuilt. Gehry hoped to create a neighborhood composed of diverse elements, organized in a variety of configurations.
1983 - The Boxenbaum Remodel, New York NY. Address and status unknown, do you know where it is?
1983 - The Sally Kellerman and Jonathan D. Krane Renovation, aka the Kellerman Krane House, 7944 Woodrow Wilson Drive, Los Angeles CA. Kellerman owned the 1940 house for years prior to the renovation. Harrison Ford worked on it as a carpenter before going into acting. 3694 sf. Sold to house flippers Richard Sherman and Eric Duffy. Sold in 2015 to LXA LLC.
1988 - The Barbara Sirmai and Mark Peterson Residence, aka the Sirmai-Peterson House, 970 Calle Arroyo, Thousand Oaks CA. Commissioned 1983. As of 2013 still owned by Sirmai and Peterson.
1981 - The Robert and Lesley Benson Residence, 23685 Clover Trail, Calabasas CA. The roof deck was completed in 1984. 1719 sf. Commissioned 1979. Sold in 2013.
1986 - The William (Bill) and Lynn Norton House, aka the Venice Beach House, 2509 Ocean Front Walk, Venice CA. Commissioned 1982. Featured in Architectural Record 1985.
1985 - The Turtle Creek Development, Dallas, TX. Unbuilt. Mixed-use complex with 3 towers, 8 townhouses, with 4 levels of parking underground. An oval, glass-skinned office building plus another gridded office tower and a similar residential condominium building stacked atop a 100-room hotel.
1985 - Bedroom Addition, 780 Latimer, Santa Monica CA. Original house was built in 1959, not by Gehry. Sold to Jennifer Nicholson.
1986 - The Jay Chiat Residence, Sagaponack NY. Was to be a huge house. Unbuilt.
1987 - The Burton Borman Residence, 31250 Broad Beach Road, Malibu CA. One of the largest oceanfront houses in Malibu. For sale 2013-2016.
1987 - The Mike and Penny Winton Guest House, originally at 1760 Shoreline Drive, Wayzata (Orono) MN. Commissioned 1984. 2300 sf. Won a 1988 AIA Honor Award. Located next to a Philip Johnson house designed in 1952. Then the land was subdivided with each house on a separate parcel.
The Johnson-designed house was sold to Bob and Carolyn Nelson. The Gehry guest house was sold to developer Kurt Woodhouse and sat vacant for years. He gave it to to the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul in 2008 and paid for a 2009 relocation 60 miles south to the Gainey Conference Center in Owatonna MN, bottom photo. The move and reassembly took two years. Gehry was present at the 2011 rededication. In 2014, the University sold the Conference Center with the provision the Guest House must be moved by 2016. Auctioned in May 2015. Will be moved to the Hudson Valley area of NY.
1989 - The Marna and Rockwell Schnabel Residence, 526 North Carmelina, Los Angeles CA. Commissioned 1986. Sold in 2006 to Jon and Jill Platt, who did a long renovation with Gehry's guidance. Sometimes reported as located on North Cliffwood, which is incorrect. Sold in 2013 to Michael LaFetra. For sale in 2015.
1989 - The Peter B. Lewis Residence, Lyndhurst OH. Was to be a $5M project. According to architectural critic Jeff Kipnis, "after millions of dollars in design fees, a warehouse full of models, and a budget that had “spun out of orbit” before the land was even cleared, the project was finally, reluctantly terminated by Lewis some years later." Lewis later commissioned Philip Johnson for a project but it was not built, either.
1991 - The Bonames Housing Project, Frankfurt, Germany. During subsequent years planning came to a halt. In 2012 the municipal authorities took up the plans once again and a Frankfurt architectural firm BS+ was commissioned to do revisions. Still unbuilt as of 2014.
1991 - The Goldstein Housing Project, Strasburger Strase 7, Frankfurt, Germany. Photo by Thomas Mayer.
Around 1992 - The Eli and Edythe Broad House, Brentwood area, Los Angeles CA. Eli Broad and Gehry had many disagreements; eventually Gehry recommended architect Langdon Wilson to finish up the project, which he did.
1996 - The Jay Chiat House, aka the Telluride Residence, Telluride CO. Unbuilt. Commissioned 1995. Designed for Gehry's long-time friend and previous corporate client, Jay Chiat, who died before it could be realized. Gehry said that the way the Telluride house steps down the hill was inspired by the Duchamps painting, "Nude Descending a Staircase." The house is alone - exposed on its 35 acre site. One Colorado neighbor sold his house when he learned about this plan. The house has complex forms, which were a direct response to the rocky landscape. The curvilinear sculptural roof was to be black copper. It was to have 3 bedrroms, a guest house, and a den, in addition to a living room, dining room, and kitchen. The interior was to be drywall and exposed wood.
2011 - aka New York By Gehry, aka Beekman Tower, 8 Spruce Street, New York NY. 76 stories containing 903 rental apartments. In addition, Beekman Tower contains a public school for 630 students designed by Swanke Hayden Connell Architects. There is also a 21,000-square-foot medical center.
2012 - The Make It Right Houses, 1750 Tennessee Street, New Orleans LA. Funded by Brad Pitt's Make It Right Foundation.
2012 - The Swire Apartments, 53 Stubbs Road, Hong Kong, China. Commissioned 2004; design unveiled in 2009. In 2012, the most expensive real estate in Hong Kong at $3400 per sf.
2012 - Three condo towers in Toronto, Canada that are North America’s tallest residences, as tall as 85 floors and 2,600 residential units.
Year Unknown - The Frank and Berta Gehry Trust House, 908 Harding, Venice area of Los Angeles CA. Unbuilt.
2017 - The Adelaide Investments LLP House, aka the Frank Gehry Residence, 316 Adelaide, Santa Monica CA. Commissioned 2013.
2017 - The John Baldessari House, 898 Commonwealth
Avenue, Venice CA. Designed with (fer) Studio. Commissioned 2016.
CA. Designed with (fer) Studio. Commissioned 2016.
2017 - The Floating Beach House at 17 1/2 Yawl
Street, Marina Del Rey CA.
Designed with (fer) Studio.
Designed with (fer) Studio.
Sources include: Frank Gehry: The Houses by Mildred Freeman; Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry by Paul Goldberger.