Touring landmark architectural homes is like taking a walk through history and entering the mind of a visionary on the cusp of creating an icon for generations to come. Our city provides one of the best landscapes to do just that.

“Because LA has always had much more space and a great tradition of invention, LA architects have had a much broader canvas to work with,” notes accomplished hotelier Sean MacPherson (Maritime Hotel, Bowery Hotel, and The Jane, to name a few) on the compelling and diverse nature of L.A. architecture.

There’s a selection of self-guided tours of buildings and individual homes offered throughout the year, yet there is something truly special about being led through a home privately and really getting to feel the invention as it was truly happening.

If you’re interested in such an experience, consider Entasis Architectural Tours, who will accommodate your wishes, whether you are a photographer, an architect, or an aficionado. We’ve also highlighted three opportunities to tour influential properties on an intimate level below: the Neutra VDL Studio and Residences from architect Richard Neutra, The Stahl House designed by Pierre Koenig, and The Brody House from architect Quincy Jones.

Neutra VDL Studio and Residences

Originally built in 1932, this was the place where architect Richard Neutra lived and worked for nearly three decades. At the time, the avant-garde design was scarcely known to the people of Los Angeles, but now it is revered for its horizontal composition, abundance of glass and reflective surfaces, and true artist aesthetic from floor to floor.

Tours are offered every Saturday, but you can opt to schedule a private visit another day with director Sarah Lorenzen, who actually lives on-site. She can recommend the best time to sit in the solarium and watch the light fade from the Silver Lake reservoir and also direct you to other Neutra-designed houses in the neighborhood. The Private group tours start at $100; 2300 Silver Lake Blvd., LA.

Stahl House

One of the most famous views of Los Angeles was captured right here by photographer Julius Shulman, showing the world how the structure “perches precariously over L.A.’s infinite grid, affording dizzying, dramatic panoramas of the city.” Designed by Pierre Koenig in 1959, this home was remarkably ahead of its time featuring a cantilevered foundation and all glass on three sides.

Arrange a sunset tour with Mark Stahl—who grew up in the house commissioned by his father, Buck Stahl—and re-create that iconic Shulman shot yourself. The tour with Stahl starts at $150 a person; 1635 Woods Dr., L.A.

The Brody House

The LA Conservatory has chosen to host their 2013 Fall Benefit at the magnificent Brody House in Holmby Hills on Saturday, October 19. Designed by architect Quincy Jones with interiors by designer Billy Haines, this famed Mid-Century Modern is virtually unchanged since its completion in 1951. Spend the evening exploring the more than 11,000 square feet of thoughtful, elegant spaces showcasing Brody’s unyielding reverence for the outdoors at this famed Mid-Century Modern home.

Tickets, which go on sale the week of August 12, start at $300 for the three-hour cocktail party being held on Saturday, October 19; donors at higher levels will also enjoy an al fresco dinner on the grounds. For further questions, please contact Adrienne Kisson at akisson@laconservatory.org.