Charles and Ray Eames married in 1941. She was his 2nd wife. Eight years later they built a house in Pacific Palisades, California. Eero Saarinen helped to design it. They moved into it on Christmas Eve in 1949. She was an artist from Sacramento. Charles was born in St. Louis, MO. They went on to create hundreds of designs. After they both died, the Eames Foundation was established in 2004 to take care of their house. It can be visited.
Visiting the Eames house was something Ruth and I wanted to do while in the Los Angeles area, but there were difficulties. You have to contact the Eames Foundation days in advance of a visit and arrive no later than 3 pm for it. There is no on-site parking. Visitors have to parallel park on a Pacific Palisades street about a 5 minute walk from the property. Only 4 or 5 people are allowed inside together, and a couple pays The Foundation $275 for this privilege. More casual visitors like Ruth and me are allowed on the property but not in the house for $20. If you’re agile, you are allowed to walk all the way around it and have total access to the grounds, which are dotted with eucalyptus trees and plants. The house appears rather small and the interior can be pretty well seen from the outside. This was actually enough viewing although I was warned not to photograph the interior through a window. I do recommend this travel opportunity. Visit the Eames Foundation website for more details.
The Eames had a goal. They lived to impact people’s lives and their environment. Best known for their chairs today, they created hundreds of designs including military stretchers. They influenced toys, architecture, furniture, etc. Their house reflects their personalities. They wanted a house for apartment dwellers who aspire to design. They were influenced by many cultures including Japan and India. They knew many celebrities like Charlie Chaplin and made films. I was told they were responsible for about 120 movies. Wikipedia lists about 40 of them.
They had a fire in this home but I don’t know the details. When I asked about the construction on the bluff above their house, I was told that an earthquake cause some area homes to topple and that was a new house being built above the Eames property. The Eames house is just up the road from Santa Monica and not too far from Malibu. The view from this property is stunning.