[Pictured: Strathmore Apartments, 1937 via The Value of Architecture]
Curbed LA's On-the-Scene & In-Between real estate correspondent tackles the latest high-profile, mid century estate to come on the market and reports back on
his (or her) their gender non-specific find:
If you are holiday shopping for that ever-chic LA trophy, a Richard Neutra home, Sunday's LA Times gave you two options. Interestingly, either choice pushed their respective ends of the spectrum, as its unlikely that you will either get a chance to spend as little, or as much, on a Neutra in the near future.
At the high-end, "Home of the Week" featured the 1934 Anna Sten and Eugene Frenke house for $8 million dollars. Apparently, fully restored since its mid-2001 purchase, this Santa Monica Canyon home built for an eccentric Ukrainain actress and her husband, features classic early Neutra International-style design, the original wood built-ins and a pool all on a large 16,000 sq/ft lot. Also large is the price. Listed at just under 3,000 sq/ft, the sellers are asking almost $2,700 a square foot. This is well beyond the recent area comps at about $1,000 a square foot. The most expensive recent sale in that neighborhood listed on Domania.com was $3.6 million. Even doubling the neighborhood average per square foot for the architectural significance of this house, and an assumed world-class restoration (where Neutra homes generally get a 30% to 40% permum) the selling price would still then be only $6 million. To put this in context, $8 million would be the highest price paid for a Neutra home in Los Angeles and is well above the $5.9 million paid last year for the Singleton house in Bel Air, an even more famous and documented house (the cover photo of the Julius Shulman book is the Singleton House's reflecting pool). And the Singleton House lingered on the market for almost a year at that price. Two other Neutras nearby sold in the $4 million range, including the Troxell House and the Case Study house on Chitaquia. My vote is to wait for a reduction.
On a budget? Keller Williams is selling a two bedroom, two bathroom unit in the now-condo-converted "Strathmore Apartments" which Neutra built three years later in 1937. Also on the Westside (Westwood Village), also storied, with residents including Orson Wells, playwright Clifford Odets, film star Luise Rainer and a young Eames couple, this stacked cluster of one and two bedroom units was influenced by Lloyd Wright's Palm Springs guest house and Taos pueblos. Listed at $785,000, in "original" (read unrestored) condition, the unit for sale has a private garden. The issue here isn't the price (it is premium-priced, but in line with its significance), but the location. UCLA and its loud students are your surroundings and one can imagine the Saturday night noises, including beer cans being thrown into your garden. That said, you can't generally buy anything with such an architectural or documented Hollywood history for this price, so the investment in ear plugs or a white noise generator might be well worth it.
· That's a Neutra all right [LA Times]