Real Estate. Architecture. Lifestyle. Design.

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Don't Bet The Farm!

2300 Baxter St.
Los Angeles, CA 90039

I like this new listing in Silver Lake, but I am worried that it is priced too high.  What do you think?

It is a very chic re-envisioned 1930s bungalow transformed into what looks like a Virginia farmhouse.  I know that last sentence makes this pad seem questionable, but it's not.  Barbara Bestor did it in 2004 and it is very, very cool! But is it worth $925,000? It was sold for $372,000 in 2003 before the renovation.

Here is the situation:  It is listed as having 1,625 SF.  Per the assessor, it is 1,330.  I imagine that the converted garage makes up the difference.

Per the listing, "The pitched roofline and cement board siding evoke an east coast farmhouse, but simple interior volumes, sustainable materials & industrial ingredients are classic California modern."

It sits way above the street on a mostly usable 7,303 SF lot.  There is not much to say about the landscaping or outdoor spaces.  They are very spartan to say the least. The home possesses some decent views (away from the reservoir) and a nice deck from which to enjoy them.

The interior is very well conceived and makes great use of the small space.

It is listed at $925,000, has 3 bedrooms & 2 bathrooms. It is in Clifford Elementary.
Listing is courtesy of Barry Gray of Deasy Penner & Partners

If you want to see it, let me know. Email or call anytime!  (310) 991-3808

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

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? 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

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.