Restoring VDL

Between 2008 and 2020 Sarah Lorenzen (director of VDL and Professor at Cal Poly Pomona) and David Hartwell undertook many restoration projects at the Neutra VDL Studio and Residences. These include: restoration of the garden house interiors and roofs, restoration of VDL II roofs and penthouse, restoration of roof shroud and roof trellis, restoration of roof and site reflecting pools, replacing site walls and perimeter fences, electrical rewiring of both houses, and repairs to walls, doors, and ceilings, painting of interior and exterior of VDL II, new carpets by Coverall Industries at VDL II and Forbo linoleum floors in the Garden House, new curtains, and restoration of gardens. Sarah Lorenzen also worked with a number of interior firms to replace the furniture of the Neutra VDL House as it was in 1965. Furniture was donated to VDL by the German furniture company VS and by Knoll. Louis Poulsen donated lighting fixtures installed throughout VDL II.

The restoration work was made possible by private donations through Friends of VDL, sale of a series of Julius Shulman prints showing Richard Neutra on the roof of VDL, a $50,000 grant from Friends of Heritage Preservation, a $10,000 grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, in-kind donations from several material manufactures, photo-shoot rentals of the house via location firm Meyler & Co, the pro-bono services of architectural firm Marmol Radziner, sizable donations by artist Xavier Veilhan, Beth Harris, and Raymond Neutra, from tours of the house by Cal Poly Pomona architecture students.

These restoration projects have been done in conformance with the Secretary of the Interior Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties and were permitted by all applicable historic and building departments. Where possible any deteriorated features were repaired rather than replaced. Extensive restoration of the roofs and water features of the VDL House have prevented further damage to the house and its interiors, allowing it to remain an open and active place for the public for years to come. Now that Cal Poly Pomona has completed restoration of the roofs and exteriors of VDL II we are proceeding with interior cosmetic repairs. We are treating these restoration projects as learning opportunities; engaging students and any interested members of the community in the restoration and construction process so that they can observe best current practices and methods of restoration.

In-Kind and Material Donations for the restoration of the Neutra VDL Studio and Residences

Marmol Radziner ––– Architecture Services for Garden House and VDL II Roofs
Forbo Flooring ––– VDL Garden House Linoleum Tile Flooring
Coverall Industries ––– Carpets at VDL II
VS ––– Neutra Furniture at VDL II
Zurn ––– Roof Drains at VDL II and Garden House
Knoll ––– Ground Floor Funishing VDL II
Louis Poulsen ––– Lighting VDL II and Garden House

Contribute to the houses' restoration by donating here. Proceeds are used in the sites maintenance and restoration.