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RODNEY ASBURY WALKER (1910-1986)

Walker was born in Salt Lake City UT, graduated from White Pine HS near Ely NV, and attended Pasadena City College in engineering before transferring to UCLA on an athletic scholarship, graduating with degree in art. Around 1937, he went to work briefly for Rudolf Schindler as a draftsman then after WWII went on his own. Walker was one of the few architects who took seriously the Case Study House program’s vision of modern, elegant, affordable housing, creating stunning homes at a fraction of the going rate. He and his wife moved frequently as the pace of his practice grew.

UCLA had a gallery showing of Walker's works in 1948 and it brought quick fame. In 1959-1960, he travelled the world for a year with his entire family. Julius Shulman photographed many of his houses. In 1965 he stopped design, then ran the Oaks hotel in Ojai for 15 years and operated a store selling his own line of jewelry.

He was survived by his wife, Dorothea; sons, Bruce, Mark and Craig, as well as twin daughters, Ellen Langston and Lisa Kaufman. Walker designed between 75 and 100 houses, according to his son Craig. Records are few, as Walker threw most of his design-related work away upon retirement from architecture.


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1937 - The Rodney and Dorothea Walker House, 10500 Seabury Lane, Los Angeles CA. Walker designed the house while still serving as an apprentice to R. M. Schindler. Sold in 1946 to the Kelloggs. Sold in 1958 to artist Jan Hoowij. Sold in the 1970s to James R. Wells. Sold to Nancy Bagatell. Sold in 2008 to Justin Bourret and Beverly Ordeneaux. Photo by Michael Locke.


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1940 - The Frank J. and Mary Alice Fisher House, 1828 North Beverly Glen Drive, Los Angeles CA. Fisher added a bedroom over the garage in 1947. Sold to Salvatore P. Lucia. Top photo by Michael Locke.


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1941 - The Ben and Marjorie Lohrie House, 1648 North Beverly Glen Boulevard, Los Angeles CA. Sold to John Dail. For sale in 1956. Sold in 2001 to architects Peter and Hadley Arnold. Photo by Michael Locke.


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1942 - The Robert Stevens House, 3642 Alta Mesa Drive, Studio City CA. Altered away from the Walker design. Additions in 1970, 1973, 1999, and 2016. Sold in 1996, 1998, 2004, 2005, and 2009. Sold in 2013 to Anthony Paradise.


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1942 - The Max M. and Etta I. Hamilton House, 2252 Beverly Glen Place, Los Angeles CA. Built by Robert Sommer. Hamilton added a 10'x19' den in 1948 between the residence and garage. Sold in 1959 to R. T. and Beth Doidge. Sold in 1985 to Daniel Hoffman. Sold in 2008 to Marc and Beverly Olevin. Photo by Michael Locke.


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1946 - The Rodney and Dorothea Walker House II, aka Case Study House 16, 9945 Beverly Grove Drive, Beverly Hills CA. 3.5 acres. Featured in House Beautiful, 1945. Featured on the cover of the Los Angeles Times Home Section, 4/20/1947. 4000 people attended an open house. Most photos by Julius Shulman. Featured in Home and Garden Magazine, 1948. Renovated several times over the years. Sold. Destroyed around 2004 and replaced around 2009 with a new large Modernist house designed by BO.SHI, bottom photo.


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1947 - The Seymour P. Stein House, aka Case Study House 17, 7861 Woodrow Wilson Drive, Los Angeles CA. Sold in 1983 to James Baker. Sold in 1999 to Robert Steiglitz who destroyed the garage and made significant alterations over the years (bottom two photos). Architect Wes Jones re-designed the house. Sold to Zac Efron. Sold in 2014 to Adam Walker.


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1947 - The Estelle Everett House, 1025 North Beverly Glen Boulevard, Los Angeles CA. Originally 735 sq ft. Sold in 1955 to Mabel Englund; Walker enlarged the living room and added a carport. Sold in 1983 to Ron Stenlake and Linda Aston who, as of 2020, use it as a rental. Top photo by Michael Locke.


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1947 - 11320 Joffre Street, Los Angeles CA. Sold in 1953 three times: first to Charles H. and Marion Wright Knapp; the Gina Cass; and finally to Richard and Virginia Meirs. Sold in 1956 to Barnard and Nancy Mueller. Sold in 1958 to David R. Summers. Sold in 1959 to Ethel Shacove. Sold in 1961 to Gerald Tannen, who commissioned A. Quincy Jones to do alterations to accommodate Mrs. Tannan's wheelchair. The Tannens moved into this house temporarily while their home on Chickory Lane (1962) was being built. Sold in 1963 to A. Quincy Jones. Sold in 1965 to Everett T. and Jean M. Moore. Sold in 2002 to Larry and Julie Blivas. Sold in 2003 to Nathan and Jennifer Hranek. Sold in 2012 to Anna and Jonathan Honig. Sold in 2019 to Andrew and Kara Costa. Top photo by Michael Locke.


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1948 - The Joseph Smith House, 15435 Varden Street, Sherman Oaks CA. Smith helped Walker build the house. Featured in Home Magazine. Destroyed in 2004. New house built, last photo.


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1948 - The Christian E. Choate House, 905 North Beverly Glen Boulevard, Los Angeles CA. Choate is listed as the architect on the building permit. Appeared in the Los Angeles Times, 12/18/1948, which listed Walker as the architect. For sale in 2020. Bottom photo by Michael Locke.


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1948 - The West House, aka Case Study House 18, 199 Chautauqua Boulevard, Pacific Palisades CA. Sold in 1948 to C. J. Adreste. Sold in the 1990s to Leo and Franches Mathanson who added a one-story addition. Sold in 2015 to the Yetta Levitas and S. Wilsterman Trust.


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1948 - The Clarence M. and Geneva Schindele House, 2664 Glendower Avenue, Los Angeles CA. Sold to Fred Criss. Remodeled in 1990 by architect Scott Vauhan. Sold in the late 1990s to Frank Masi. Photos by Michael Locke.


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1948 - The Geneva Fulton House, aka Timkham House, 8489 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles CA. Sold around 1950 to Kenneth O. and Sigrid Timkham. Sold to Todd Y. Pratt. Sold in 1992 to Robert A. Black. Sold in 2007 to Kieran and Michele Mulroney.


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1949 - The Robert Welden House, 3678 Alta Mesa Drive, Studio City CA. Rodney Walker and Dorothea Walker lived here briefly. Sold to Christopher Bruno. Sold in 2015 to Cynthia Pfeiffer. Has been altered.


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1949 - The Leonard and Betty Asher House, 3499 North Beverly Glen Boulevard, Sherman Oaks CA. Sold in 2013 to Ian Montone. For sale in 2020. Top two photos by Cameron Carothers; bottom three photos by Michael Locke.


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1949 - Spec House, 3669 Avenida del Sol, Studio City CA. Sold around 1973 to Harry Austin. Sold around 1979 to Mr. Chance. Sold around 1992 to Grant and Judith Walker.


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1949 - Spec House, 3675 Avenida del Sol, Studio City CA. Sold in the 1970s to David Lord. Sold in 1996 to Grant Walker.


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1950 - The Rodney and Dorothea Walker House, 15154 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles CA. Sold in 1953 to the Tille family. Sold in 2016 to David Wertheimer.


Around 1951 - The Charles L. Clark House, Playa del Rey CA. 1200 sf. Featured in the LA Times, July 8, 1951. Destroyed for LAX. Photos by Donald Higgins.

 


1950 - The James Fahey House, 175 Westwind Road, Louisville KY. Close replica of Case Study House 16. Deeded to Ewing Fahey.


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1951 - The Rodney Lee House, 1417 Fermo Drive, Pacific Palisades CA. Sold in the 1980s to Harris Lasky. Several additions in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2002. Sold in 2018.


1951 - The Rodney and Dorothea Walker House, 3170 Antelo Road, Los Angeles CA. Also addressed as 15222 Mulholland. Featured in House Beautiful. Sold around 1956 to Hugh Jamieson. Sold in the early 1970s to Fred and Phyllis Gottlieb who added a master bedroom and greenhouse.


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1951 - The Raymond and Muriel Hagan House, 15146 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles CA. Sold around 1960 to the Richard Creadick family. Sold in 1998 to Ryan Botev and Elizabeth Baldwin.


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1951 - 3330 Via Campesina, Rancho Palos Verdes CA.  Sold in 1999 to Jeani Nardji and Amid Keir.


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1951 - Spec House, 1320 Beverly Grove Place, Los Angeles CA. Sold in 1956. Sold in 1970 to Stan Herman. Sold in 2007 to Petros Kitsos. Destroyed in 2016. New house built in 2017.


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1952 - The Brown House, 15142 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles CA. Sold to Michael Minkler.  Sold in 2013 to Jerome Cohen c/o Deborah Glusker. Has been remodeled.


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1952 - The Sweeney House, 15150 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles CA. Has been gutted and remodeled. Featured in the LA Times May 1, 1955. Sold around 2018 to Ilya Lagutenko.


 

1952 - The Ward House, 14501 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles CA. Addition completed around 1980. Sold in 2005 to the McCormack and Morris Trust. Another addition completed around 2016.


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1952 - The Albert L. and Dorothy Kuhnes Heinemann House, 12301 Rochedale Lane, Los Angeles CA. Architect Gilbert L. Hershberger remodeled the house in 1972 by increasing the size of the living room, bath, and kitchen and converting the den to a bedroom and bath. Photos by Michael Locke.


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1953 - The Virginia O'Neill Duplexes, 2342, 2344, and 2348 Cove Avenue, Silver Lake, Los Angeles CA. Two duplexes built for Virginia O'Neill. Remained under single ownership until 2004. Duplex 1 (2342 and 2344) remains mostly unaltered except for an additional bedroom and bathroom in the rear. Duplex 2 (2348) was remodeled into a single family home in 2005 by architect George Minmaugh. Sold in 2003 to Ai Land Lee and Chad Strawderman. Photos by Michael Locke.


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1953 - The William and June Sterling House, 2700 Benedict Canyon, Los Angeles CA. Sold in the early 1980s to A. M. Kashti.  Destroyed. New house built in 1983, above.


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1954 - The Herbert Groelinger House, 15120 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles CA. Walker is listed as owner on original permit. The house was for sale in 1958 and Groelinger is listed at the address in 1966.


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1954 - The Dorrenbacher House, 15130 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles CA. Sold to Herbert Groelinger.


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1954 - The James Knauer House, 921 Bluegrass Lane, Los Angeles CA. Featured in Sunset Magazine. Deemed ineligible for listing on the National Register due to window and garage alterations. For sale in 1969-1972 and 1983. Sold around 2000 to Myrna Cook.


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1955 - The Rodney and Dorothea Walker Compound, 805-821 North Beverly Glen Boulevard, Los Angeles CA. This rustic 1-bedroom cabin is part of a 5-unit compound. Photo by Michael Locke.


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1955 - 815 North Beverly Glen Boulevard, Los Angeles CA. Was a small duplex with carport added to a previously built duplex. Sold with 821 North Beverly Glen Boulevard in 2018 to Shahco, Inc. Photo by Michael Locke.


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1955 - The Rodney and Dorothea Walker Compound, 819 North Beverly Glen Boulevard, Los Angeles CA. Part of a 5-unit compound. Photo by Michael Locke.


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1955 - The Bill Karzas House, aka House on Stilts, 821 North Beverly Glen Boulevard, Los Angeles CA. Was used in the 2014 film, The Gambler. Sold in 2018 with 815 North Beverly Glen Boulevard to Shahco, Inc. Part of a 5-unit compound the Walker family used as income property. Top two photos by Michael Locke.


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1955 - 823 North Beverly Glen Boulevard, Los Angeles CA. Photos by Michael Locke.


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1956 - 805 North Beverly Glen Boulevard, Los Angeles CA. One of the small houses (836sf) developed by Walker. Sold in 1972 to Gordon D. Gilliam. Photos by Michael Locke.


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1956 - The Anitta Delano House, 12520 Cloud Lane, Los Angeles CA. Delano was one of Walker's professors. Sold in 1980. Sold in 1998 to Donald Shadrow.


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1956 - The Rodney and Dorothea Walker Renovation, 308 North Signal Street, Ojai CA. Original Victorian-style house built in 1895 for a train master. Walker meant this as a weekend house while the family lived in Los Angeles, but they ended up moving to Ojai the next year. Featured in Better Homes and Gardens. Sold in 1990 to Richard and Margaret Young, who renovated it. Sold in 2006 to Deborah and Lee Clukey. Expanded around 2007-2008. Converted into two units. Sold in 2010 to Byron Mitchell aka Inn Harmony Bed and Breakfast.


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1956 - The Noel Neill House, 331 Sage Lane, Santa Monica CA. Neill was Lois Lane in the 1950s tv version of Superman. Sold in 2011 to Molly Stanton who commissioned a restoration.


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1957 - The Elsa Pehrson Weekend House, 4007 Thacher Road, Ojai CA. An L-shaped one-story modern house with flat roof and wide overhangs. The original breezeway and garage were converted into a family room and bedroom in 1972. The roof was extended into a lattice covering supported by square posts and a detached 2-car garage added. Additions by Harvey Cummings. Sold in 1989 to Cindy Burton.


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Around 1957 - The Thurman and Bernice Walker Dannenberg House I, 150 McLellan Terrace, Walnut Creek CA. She was Walker's younger sister. Destroyed for a freeway.


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1958 - The Rodney and Dorothea Walker House III, 1049 Rancho Drive, Ojai CA. Constructed of steel and glass. Walker considered this his masterpiece. Deeded to Dorothea Walker. Deeded in 1986 to son Craig and Debbie Walker. Sold in 2013 to Barbara Barry.


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1959 - The David Harvey House, 4275 Grand Avenue, Ojai CA. Featured in Sunset Magazine and the Los Angeles Times. Deeded to daughter Suzanne Harvey Gray, who had the house restored by Allen Construction.


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1960 - The Kurt Semel House, 4184 Grand Avenue, Ojai CA. Sold to Avilda Moses. Sold in 2013 to Badger Memorial Trust c/o Warren Grant.


1312 Rugby Rd, Ojai, CA 93023

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1962 - The Barbara McCann House, 1312 Rugby Road, Ojai CA. Sold to Mansfield Sprague. Sold in 2016. For sale in 2020.


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Around 1960 - The Keith Lloyd House, Feliz Avenue, Ojai CA.


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Around 1960 - The Austin Bee House, Besant Road, Ojai CA.


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Around 1960 - The Thurman and Bernice Walker Dannenberg House II, Danville CA. Destroyed.  She was Walker's younger sister.


2001 - The Bruce and Delores Walker House, Highland Drive, Camarillo CA. Similar to but not a replica of Case Study House 16, built by Walker's son, Bruce, still owner as of 2020.


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2006 - The Craig and Debi Walker House, 10617 Encino Drive, Oak View CA. Replica of Case Study House 16, built by Walker's son Craig. Sold in 2008. Sold in 2014.


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Year unknown - House in Downtown Santa Monica, CA. Was for sale in the 2000s. Do you know where it is?


Sources include: Catherine Westergaard Cramer, Eric Huff, Craig Walker, Bruce Walker, Modernism Rediscovered by Pierluigi Serraino.