USC Offers a Staggering Array of Mid-Century Modern Architecture Images

The USC School of Architecture has digitized two collections of slides, shot by influential architects, that document California architecture in its prime.


Now available for your browsing pleasure, the USC Digital Library has multiple collections showcasing hundreds of photographs of vintage California architecture from the 20th century. More specifically, the library possesses two notable collections of slides from late architects Fritz Block (Germany) and Pierre Koenig (USA) that contain 1,400 images of modern architecture. The library describes them as “two of the smaller unique collections” in their possession.

Viewable in all their grainy glory, the slides are a fascinating time capsule of iconic 20th-century California structures (for the most part, stylistic offshoots from the International Style). Fritz Block, a German architect, moved to Los Angeles in 1938, and wasted no time documenting the structures around him with particular emphasis on residences and housing developments. Pierre Koenig, once a faculty member of the USC School of Architecture, was, as described by the USC library, “among the most important Modern architects working in Southern California.”

Though the collections sometimes fixate on the fine details only a true architecture aficionado would appreciate, there are certainly some gems here, documented when the buildings were in their prime. Keep an eye out for examples of Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, Donald Wexler, E. Stewart Williams, Albert Frey and Pierre Koenig himself.

Learn More: Here

The Tremaine residence, 1949. Designed by Richard Neutra.

Exterior Detail of the Tremaine Residence.

Sturges residence, 1938. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

The residence of C.H. and Carlotta Stahl, 1960. Designed by Pierre Koenig, Photograph by Julius Shulman.

The Oberman residence in Rancho Palos Verdes, 1962. Designed by Pierre Koenig.

The Neutra Research Home in Silverlake, 1932. Designed by Richard Neutra.

The Iwata Residence in Monterey Park, 1962. Designed by Pierre Koenig.

The Health House in Los Angeles, 1928. Designed by Richard Neutra.

The Frey residence in Palm Springs, 1948. Designed by John Porter Clark and Albert Frey.

The Ennis residence in Hollywood, 1923. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Interior of the Beagles residence in Pacific Palisades, 1963. Designed by Pierre Koenig.

The Bailey residence in West Hollywood, 1958. Designed by Pierre Koenig.

An interior of the Bailey residence.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Furniture & Design