Built in 1959 as part of the Case Study Houses program, the house is considered an iconic representation of modern architecture in Los Angeles during the twentieth century. It was made famous by a Julius Shulman photograph showing two women leisurely sitting in a corner of the house with an eventide panoramic view of the city through floor-to-ceiling glass walls. The house has been used in numerous fashion shoots, films, and advertising campaigns. Films include Smog (1962); The First Power (1990); The Marrying Man (1991); Corrina, Corrina (1994); Playing by Heart (1998), where it was used as the home of Jon Stewart’s character; Why Do Fools Fall In Love (1998); Galaxy Quest (1999), as the home of Tim Allen's character; The Thirteenth Floor (1999); Nurse Betty (2000); and Where the Truth Lies (2005). Television shows include Adam-12; Emergency!; and Columbo. The house is prominently featured in the music videos for I Don't Wanna Stop (2003) by ATB, "Missing Cleveland" by Scott Weiland, and also "Release Me" by Wilson Phillips. A look-alike was also included in the 2004 video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas as one of the safehouses players can buy.
That photo put the Stahl House on the architectural radar as being an architectural gem hidden up in the Hollywood Hills.