Saturday, April 25, 2009
Leonard Malin was a young aerospace engineer in late-1950s L.A. whose father-in-law had just given him a plot north of Mulholland Drive, near Laurel Canyon. The only catch: at roughly 45 degrees, the slope was all but unbuildable. Lautner sketched a bold vertical line, a cross, and a curve above it. “Draw it up,” he told his assistant. He was 27 when he left his job to help build Chemosphere. "Most people work an entire lifetime to buy the home of their dreams," he said by phone from his current home near Palm Springs. "I said: `To heck with that. I'll build the home of my dreams and pay for it the rest of my life.'" Now publisher Benedikt Taschen owns Chemosphere.