HOLLYWOOD HILLS—Valuable pieces of furniture designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright and R.M. Schindler according to reports have been stolen.
The pieces were initially reported to have been stolen from a University of Southern California storage facility where they had been stored. The crime did not come to light until the Los Angeles Times reported receiving an anonymous letter that detailed the presumed theft. The items were suspected to be stolen in 2012. The university filed a report with the police on January 22, 2019.
Items stolen included a pair of lamps designed by Wright and a cushioned chair designed by Schindler. All of the stolen items were originally from the Samuel Freeman House, a textile block-styled home that Wright designed in 1923. The items in question are valued at tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The Freeman House sits on a slope in Hollywood Hills. The Architects Newspaper reported that the three-story home is designed so that the three-stories are not evident. The home was initially a private residence until 1986, when the owners donated the property to the USC School of Architecture. Schindler renovated and added to the initial design years later. In 1994, the home was severely damaged during the Northridge Earthquake. The textile block-style of the home was susceptible to damage, as it did not have the structural stability to withstand such force. USC stabilized the property via renovations in 2005.
The home, which was prepared to undergo renovations by the university in 2000, had a number of pieces removed and placed into storage. The stolen items were among those pieces. The home was used for educational purposes. It is unknown who stole the pieces, but officials suspect someone with former access to the storage facility was involved.
The Los Angeles Police Department is currently conducting a preliminary investigation to located the missing pieces.