Friday, April 18, 2008

Neutra House and Education Fundraising

The Clock is Ticking for Neutra House,” warns the Los Angeles Times in an April 17 story. Raymond Neutra, the son of architect Richard Neutra is hosting fundraisers to raise a million dollars for the Silver Lake house, officially called the Neutra VDL Research House II.

In the 1960s, his father and brother Dion used the house as a residence and office. Here's the Times photo gallery; this link may be more long-lasting than the story.

The money is needed for repairs; the house is deteriorating. This picture ran with the Times story. Neutra VDL Research House II has termites and asbestos, too.

The owner, Cal Poly Pomona Foundation, cannot pay for these urgent and long-term fixes. Most immediately, $30,000 is needed by October just to cover insurance, utilities, and upkeep.

In the same issue of the Times, we read “Hardship Predicted for Students.” Because of budget cuts, college funding may be slashed by 10%, leaving thousands of students OUT of the state college and university systems.

If you had a million dollars and wanted to donate to a worthy cause, which would you choose? Our mid-20th century architectural heritage is crumbling as we speak, but how does that compare to the lives enriched by education, and what those graduates could accomplish?

Makes me almost glad I’m not a millionaire.

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