I visited a Los Angeles icon yesterday for the first time. Before we got there I told friends I half-expected to be disappointed. Boy, was I not disappointed. As soon as you pass through the gate from the Stahl House carport onto the pool deck, a supremely stunning L.A. view envelops you. Pretty much everyone with us literally gasped "wow!" The only cloud was the pyrocumulus buildup behind Downtown, and while you couldn't detect Catalina out beyond the bay, the cityscape and the chaparral of Griffith Park were simply crisp. I knew from the celebrated Julius Shulman photograph and the movies shot there to expect a lot of glass, but I wasn't prepared for just how open to the light and air Pierre Koenig designed the Stahl residence. The 1960 house on a private street high above the Chateau Marmont is opened occasionally for small group tours by Carlotta Stahl, the original owner, and her son Mark. You get the run of the pool, living room and kitchen and can see into most of the rest of the home. It's a must-see for lovers of L.A.
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