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The email invitation arrived without fanfare. "OMEGA invites you to a private dinner at The Stahl House, the midcentury architectural icon." I quickly scanned the details—Nov. 30, 1635 Woods Drive, Los Angeles—starred the message, and carried on with my work. A few days passed before it hit me: They were talking about the Stahl House. As in Case Study House No. 22, a minimalist steel-and-glass pavilion perched on a cliff's edge in the Hollywood Hills. Built by Pierre Koenig in 1960, the house was famously photographed by Julius Shulman, whose sublime image captured Southern California modernism at its most iconic.I was beside myself. Not even the apocalyptic Santa Ana winds bearing down on the city on the night of the event could threaten my giddy good mood. When I arrived at the house, I gasped—L.A. was a sea of twinkling lights beneath us.The view, as it turned out, was just the

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