My Visit to Case Study House #22

Yesterday I spent an amazing, 72 degree, Los Angeles, winter afternoon at The Stahl House, arguably the most iconic piece of Los Angeles architecture (thanks to photographer Julius Shulman's preeminent photo).  

Built for Buck Stahl in 1959 by Pierre Koenig as part of the Case Study program the house sits half way up a private drive near Laurel Canyon.  The views are as incredible today as they were back then. Check out some of the pics I took while at the house.

WARNING:  If you look at the next DWR catalog and experience intense deja vu, don't worry. It isn't.  They recently shot their catalog at CSH #22, and a lot of the furniture remains. I personally love the Hans Wegner Shell Chair in the 2nd to last photo.

Case Study HousePierre KoeningCSH 22Julius ShulmanReal Estate For Sale in Los AngelesMid Century ModernMid Century Modern ArchitectureStahl HouseHollywood Hills Homes For SaleMark Mintz Los Angeles Real Estate AgentLaurel Canyon Homes For Sale

Let me know what you think...


My Tour Of The Eames House-Case Study #8

I made the trek westward today to tour the iconic Eames House (Case Study #8).  The home is preserved as a monument to Charles & Ray Eames who were among the most influential designers of the the 20th century. Known mostly for their furniture, they spent their lives in creative pursuits that also included film, graphic design, industrial design, photography and architecture.

The home was erected in 1949.  It is considered a "pre-fab" home, but it wasn't created in a warehouse somewhere then assembled once delivered. Rather, most of the elements of the home were pre-manufactured, largely for purposes other than residential homebuilding. According to our docent, most of the materials were purchased from catalogues. They were delivered to the site then pieced together to create a living space so well conceived that Charles and Ray spent the rest of their lives inhabiting it. 

In 1945 when the home was initially designed, it was called "The Bridge House" as it was to be cantilevered over a meadow.  Because of the scarcity of materials caused by the war, the steel didn't arrive until 1948.  By then, Charles & Ray had grown so fond of the meadow that they decided to change the design entirely.  Using virtually the same materials, they built the home that is now on the site.

If you have any interest in seeing it, you can!  Reservations are required by calling: (310) 459-9663

There is currently an exhibit at LACMA entitled, California Design, 1935-1965: "Living In A Modern Way" where the living room has been recreated and filled with the furniture from the house.

Here are some pictures I took today (and a video I thought you might like):

This video is awesome! Check out Ice Cube's take on this house...



John Abides! Lautner in The Hollywood Hills

After seeing the Big Lebowski for about the 1000th time last Friday at Lebowski Fest LA, I was already in a Lautner kind of mood!  Then this one hit this morning.  

John Lautner’s Polin House from 1947 (3542 Multiview) appeared in my inbox and was on Caravan today.
Coming back from an inspection in the Valley, I stopped in to check it out.  Up a shared driveway are dueling Lautners.      

They own the promontory, making the most of the jetliner views it offers.  I indignantly banged on the door of the wrong one before making my way to the correct house. Lautner incorporated long walls of glass, sharp angles and open spaces into these houses.  

Only 1,342 SF, it is not a large house by any means.  Dwarfed by the Sheats Goldstein Residence in The Big Lebowski, this is a very different but very livable space for a couple or single person.

It is billed as having 3 bedrooms, but one has been converted into a very cool study and one is a lower unit not accessable from the interior.

So essentially it is a very indulgent 1-bedroom pad.

With 27,000+ SF of land (mostly hillside) it is a nice chunk of the hill.  Overlooking the Valley below, it is clear why this lot was chosen.

Offered by Aaron Kirman & Chad Rogers of Hilton & Hyland

For sale at $1,495,000, that’s $1,114/SF.  Worth it for a Lautner?  Well... How badly do you want it? 

PS I love you

On the way back from the desert this weekend, we drove through Palm Springs with 2 intentions: 1) to eat our 2nd Mexican meal in 12 hours and 2) to seek out and admire some of the iconic mid-century architecture that residents have preserved and restored.

We started our pseudo-tour on Apache Road in Twin Palms Estates where the first Alexander Tract Houses reside.

Next we stopped by St. Theresa Catholic Church, a William F. Cody designed building from 1968 (great year BTW) with incredible details throughout.  I caught this Road Runner genuflecting outside in one of the many courtyards.  There were no coyotes in sight.

This Motel/Apartment called, "The Hideaway," designed by Architect, Herbert W. Burns, won a 2010 Palm Springs Modern Committee Preservation Award.  So we checked it out... poked around the grounds and contemplated going for a swim.

We drove as close as we could to Frey House II, but couldn't get as close to it as Julius Shulman did in 1965.

We found  the Walter White House on West Cielo Road in Little Tuscany Estates. Rumor has it that It was built in 1955 after White spent some time with R.M. Schindler.  Ripoff or homage?  You be the judge.

Just up the road on Cielo, we saw this very cool house sitting atop a bluff.  I don't know anything about it.  If you do, please let me know!

We happened upon the Kaufmann House, a Neutra from 1946.

Before leaving town, we stopped at the corner of El Molino & North Sunny View where 7 of Donald Wexler's Steel Development Houses stand at attention.

Before leaving Palm Springs, we pulled into the Visitors Center. The dramatic hyperbolic paraboloid  and futuristic overtones of the building instantly reminded me of 2 other iconic structures. "Jack Colker's 76" gas station in Beverly Hills (easily one of the best example of Googie Architecture)...

...and the Edens Theater (no longer in existence) in Northbrook, IL, near where I grew up.  When it opened in 1964, it was billed as, the largest hyperbolic paraboloid building ever constructed.

I was not surprised to find out that the Visitors Center was originally built in 1965 as a filling station.  It was designed by Albert Frey and Robson Chambers and to this day serves as a gateway to the city and a harbinger of great things beyond.


Get your shovel! You are going to dig this....

The Wildwood Project

This is a great opportunity for an investor, builder or developer, but can also be an interesting alternative for a home buyer that just can't find the right house.

I recently listed 4 hillside lots in Eagle Rock on Wildwood Drive, a gorgeous winding street peppered with trees and lovely mid-century homes. The panoramic vistas lord over the valley.

Click to enlarge!

The scope of the project is up to you.  Buy all four lots and build four individual homes, create a small lot subdivision or just pick your favorite lot and build your dream house.

Click to enlarge!

This is a very unique project as much of the tedious work has already been done with the city.  The seller purchased 5 lots, tying 2 together to make 4 individual parcels ranging from 5,000-10,000 Square Feet, he got an exception to move the existing oak trees and has pulled ALL permits for 1544 Wildwood.

His intention was to build the four homes rendered here:

Click to enlarge!

There are plans for all 4 homes which were designed by noted Chilean architect, Juan Pablo Rozas. They broke ground on two of the lots, completing excavation, retaining walls and caissons before putting the project on hold. You can take it from here.

Click to enlarge!

The property at 1544 Wildwood (pictured below) actually comes with plans, reports AND permits already paid for.

Click to enlarge!

The lots are priced as follows:
1540 Wildwood     4,800 SF     $165,000
1544 Wildwood     5,380 SF     $195,000
1552 Wildwood     6,795 SF     $99,000
1556 Wildwood   10,094 SF     $150,000

Map It

If this sounds like a project for you or someone you know, please email or call me anytime at: (310) 991-3808. I have the plans at my office if you would like to go over them in person.

Simple. Elegant. Refined. Buy this Silver Lake house now!

1973 Redesdale Avenue, 90039

Another Josef Van der Kar, AIA hit the market this weekend. This wonderful Silver Lake home exemplifies the renowned architect’s point of view… And by point of view, I mean aesthetically, not politically.  For an interesting read about Van der Kar’s amazing connection to cold-war-era politics, click here.

Purchased for just $275,000 by its current owner in 1995 it is listed today at $1,070,000 after what seems to be extensive renovations, repairs, care and a devotion to Van der Kar’s original vision for the home.

With 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms in 1,840 SF it sits back from the street overlooking the reservoir. The 8,451 SF lot is being maximized for true California outdoor living.

 Offered by Barry Gray of Deasy Penner & Partners

Are you in the market for a home?  If so, give me a call at 310-991-3808 or shoot me an email anytime.

Grand Theft Abode- Steal this house!


2190 Talmadge St. in Los Feliz

It’s called “The Gogol House, 1939” according to the listing.  Raphael Soriano is the architect responsible.  At $1,195,000 this 2,779 SF home built in 1939 could be yours! The current owner purchased it for $915K in 2003 (over asking).

Soriano was an influential figure in the evolution of “mid-century” architecture; home design practices and their implementation.  This is a great example of his early work.

It is important to note that he is a fellow Trojan, having graduated from USC in 1934… FIGHT ON!

What do you get for your million-two?  3 bedrooms & 3 bathrooms, decks, glass and a great pedigree to hang on your wall!

The listing rightfully states that this is “a rare opportunity to own an important residence by an iconic, mid-century modern architect.”  

Offered by Deasy Penner & Partners

If you want to see it, send me an email or call me at: (310) 991-3808

"A tale of 2 Ficketts" or "Now You CAN Be Fickle About Fickett"

Two great Ficketts in one week?  Not far from each other either!  This property, located at 3122 Nichols Canyon Rd. in Nichols Canyon, is the 2nd offering in the past few days built in the same neighborhood in the same year by the same guy... MY fellow Trojan, Edward Fickett. The man designed over 60,000 homes, so I guess it's understandable.

Nevertheless, it is a spectacular home that has been tastefully updated and renovated, yet it seems to maintain Eddie's original intention.

The 2,510 SF house is perched on a respectable 8,400 SF lot with 4 bedrooms & 3.5 bathrooms.

There seem to be so many walls of glass that I think you are going to have to invest in some freestanding art.  There is nowhere to hang your Calder!

Per the listing: "The open living plan revolves around a dramatic glass atrium that anchors the center of the house and provides incredible light."

"Floor-to-ceiling sliders open the entire rear of the house to the pool & decks."

This is a great house for realizing your California dream.  Fickett masterfully arranges space, both indoor and out, for relaxation among simplicity.... But, you can put your racket away. This one doesn't have a cantilevered tennis court either!

Offered by Geoff Clark of Deasy Penner & Partners

The property is listed for $1,895,000

If you want to see it, shoot me an email or give me a call at: (310) 991-3808


What's the definition of Buff? Burleigh! Oh... you can throw a Hensman in there too!

I had the pleasure of spending time in this gorgeous, very "original" mid-century "tour de force" built by Buff & Hensman. 820 Burliegh Drive in Pasadena

The Norton House, built in 1954 is an iconic example of Buff & Hensman's work at the time and is exemplary of the contribution their firm made to home design and architecture in the 1950s and beyond.  

Available again after being purchased by it's current owner almost exactly 1 year ago it is listed $15,000 below it's selling price in April 2010. Offered at $1,295,000, it will sell quickly.  

It's just shy of 1900 SF with 3 Bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, but the open floor plan, the indoor/outdoor flow, abundance of light and the lush landscape beyond its enormous walls of glass makes this house feel huge!

The little things... like this Picasso-esque mosaic above the range and the original cork floors and those unforgiving floor to ceiling windows that will not crumble into a thousand pieces if you walk into one by accident, but rather gut you from stem to stern (be careful, I almost did it) make this home a veritable time capsule.

It's all about the reveal! You park in a modest carport above the property. Walking down into the enclave provides a feeing of privacy. Partially through your short walk the property reveals its striking landscaping which is entirely centered around an actual flowing stream (water diverted from a nearby lake).  There are fish. There is a bridge.  The grounds are lush, verdant and make for a wonderful experience, appreciated inside and outside the home.

I think that what I like most about this property is that it is introspective and private. What I mean is that most homes are built on the high ground of a property, overseeing all  that surrounds it, striving to make the most of a view even if there is not much of a view to begin with.  This house brings you inside its own little world.  The only view you need is of your own property!  Do you want it?

Offered by Dilbeck Realtors

If you want to see this property, shoot me an email or call me at (310) 991-3808.

Gregory House? Wait... No... Gregory Ain's houses! 3 of em!

3 Gregory Ain designed properties have come on the market in the past few weeks. 

2845 Avenel St. # 1/2
A condo in the esteemed Avelel Housing Project in Silver Lake. Built in 1947 the unit is a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom 1,114 SF mid-century showcase.  It is meticulous but expensive. Hitting the streets at $729,000 with a $300/month HOA, you better have some cash in the bank.  At $654/SF it might not appraise.

Listed by: Crosby Doe Associates inc.

Then there is 2769 Highview Ave. in Altadena. This home is part of Ain's Park Planned Homes Development. It is a SFR with 3 bedrooms and 1.75 bathrooms.  The house is 1,344 SF and sits atop a 7,280 SF lot. Also thoughtfully, tastefully and conscientiously renovated & updated it is priced modestly at $619,000 which pencils out to a more reasonable $461/SF. It comes down to where you want to live. Am I right?

Listed by: Prudential California Realty

A few weeks ago, another Gregory Ain residence became available. 3814 Moor St. in Mar Vista. Built in 1948 and having been seriously "lived in," It comes replete with 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom and all of the original "charm" you could ask for.  Weighing in at 1,414 SF with a 6,489 SF lot. it has potential.  It's a fixer, so bring your vision... and a broom.  It's listed at $649,500.

Listed by: Beach Equities

Of course if you want to see these or any other homes you are interested in, feel free to  shoot me an email or give me a call: 310.991.3808

Don't Cry Wolff!

2400 Carman Crest Dr. 

Thornton Ladd's "Wolff House," 1958, came on the market today. It's one of those situations that you just can't finance.  You pretty much need cash to buy this house, because at $1,995,000 with the public records stating that the house is 1,810 SF, the price of this 2 bedroom, 1.75 Bathroom home is north of $1,100/SF.  I don't see it appraising with any lender anywhere near that price.  But really... what do they know?  This house is amazing and will be a jewel in the crown of some smart collector.

The listing calls it aptly, "a floating glass pavilion over water."  With spectacular light, soaring ceilings and an understanding of the relationship between indoor and outdoor spaces, it is an iconic piece of modern architecture that must be evaluated on merit, not just comps pulled by an appraiser from the Inland Empire value.

Offered by Rob Johnson of Rodeo Realty

If you want to see this property, please call me at (310) 991-3808 or email me at: