The Reiner-Burchill Residence, 1957-1976
2138 Micheltorena Street
Los Angeles (Silver Lake District), California 90039
John Lautner's Silvertop, so named because of its domed, concrete roof, was commissioned by Kenneth Reiner. Reiner was an inventer and industrialist, and a cursory examination of USPO records shows twenty-one patents to his name (some shown here). He picked the location for this home because of its spanning views of the ocean and basin floor. As a result of inventing the Lady Ellen Klippies ladies' hairclips (which by 1959 had taken about 90% of the market), as well as creating and producing a lightweight aviation nut, Reiner had the capital to create his dream home in Silver Lake.
There were many innovations in the house - for instance, Reiner, who wished to simply feel the change in air temperature, worked together with John Lautner to create an environmental control system which essentially eliminated air movement. The working relationship in regards to the house was one of close collaboration on many counts, oftentimes when Lautner found himself needing something not already available, Reiner invented and produced it.
The home was originally budgeted at $75,000, and construction began in 1957. However, over the course of several years and many refinements, the cost eventually rose to one million dollars. Reiner had been involved in a protracted legal battle with a business partner, sadly this led to his loss of the house, construction stopped for a time, then continued with the second owners, Dr. Philip and & Jacklyn Burchill.