the oyler house

“The Oyler House: Richard Neutra’s Desert Retreat”

A “Modest” Family Home

Amos Lassen

It was in 1959 that Joe Oyler a government employee in Lone Pine, California asked architect Richard Neutra to design, for him, a modest family home. When Neutra agreed a friendship began that was active until 1970 when Neutra died. This film is the story of that house and the beautiful desert that surrounds it. We see interviews with Kelly Lunch, the present owner of the house, with Richard Oyler, with Neutra’s sons and with real estate agent Crosby Doe.


In 1959, a working-class government employee in the tiny desert town of Lone Pine, California, asked world-famous modern architect Richard Neutra to design his modest family home. To his surprise, Neutra agreed. Thus began an unlikely friendship that would last until Neutra’s death in 1970. The Oyler House: Richard Neutra’s Desert Retreat tells the story of this house and its stunning desert setting through interviews with Richard Oyler, actress Kelly Lynch, who currently owns the house, Neutra’s two sons, and well-known LA real estate agent Crosby Doe.

Neutra is considered to be the father of California Modern Architecture. He was on the cover of Time Magazine in 1949 and he was then ranked second to Frank Lloyd Wright as American great architects. This film shows how Neutra became the friend of a modest family living in a small town and how the setting for the house that he built was inspired by the desert where it was to be which he compared to the glory of the Gobi Desert.


 The Oyler House as it is known is a post & beam-style home and its exotic surroundings shine through beautiful cinematography.  The house and the desert are the stars of the film and the cinematography is gorgeous.