Winner of house tour walks in Eames’ shoes for a day

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From left, Lucia Dewey Atwood, Kenneth Wong, Howard Wong, Shelley Mills and Clifford Wong, winner of the house tour. Mills is the wife of Eames Demetrios, grandson of Charles Eames; Atwood is the granddaughter of Charles Eames.

DWR and Aloft Hotels recently gave away a trip and tour of the Eames House (also known as Case Study House No. 8) in Pacific Palisades, California.

The winner of the trip was Clifford Wong of Los Angeles.

“I was totally surprised and extremely excited,” says Wong of his contest win.

On Aug. 1, he visited the house with his father, brother, sister and nephew.

The family was greeted by Lucia Dewey Atwood, granddaughter of Charles Eames; Shelley Mills, wife of Eames Demetrios, grandson of Charles Eames; and staff members of the Eames Foundation.

“Everyone was truly courteous, friendly, warm, extremely knowledgeable and wonderfully passionate and dedicated,” Wong says. “They, the house, and the surrounding land all gave us a very welcoming feeling.”

He raved about being able to hear firsthand the stories and experiences from members of the Eames family.

“When Lucia and Shelley described their experiences in the house,” Wong says, “it was so easy for us to imagine and visualize that we were right there with them, with Charles and Ray Eames sitting or standing in front of us!

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The Wong family outside the Eames House.

The Eameses built the house in 1949, in response to a challenge from the editor of Arts & Architecture magazine made to the architecture community in and around Los Angeles to build homes that expressed man’s life in the modern world. It is considered one of the most successful of the 25 case study homes built between 1945 and 1966. Other architects included Richard Neutra, Eero Saarinen and A. Quincy Jones.

The Eames Foundation treated the family to lunch in the yard.

“The picnic and dessert were delicious,” Wong says. “Having lunch under the trees was very relaxing and enjoyable. We couldn’t help but imagine that the spot we were picnicking in could have been one of the spots that Charles and Ray had picnicked in many times before.”

The family spent about four hours on the property, “but we could have easily and happily spent the entire day,” Wong says. The lot is 1.4 acres in size and was once part of the Will Rogers estate.

“For anyone planning to visit Los Angeles, or who already lives in the Los Angeles area, taking a tour of this beautiful Eames House is highly recommended,” he says.

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The Wong family enjoyed lunch on the house grounds and imagined what it might have been like to see the Eameses doing the same thing once upon a time.