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Alterations, Extensions, Modifications: How Far Is Too Far?

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Metropolis Mag discovers a forgotten and radically altered Edward Durrell Stone residence in Chatsworth - his only private residential project in California. Built in 1958 as a model house for Life magazine, the residence "demonstrat[ed] modern living, the three-bedroom, two-bath, 1,440 sq. foot building occupied a suburban tract and it offered potential buyers the opportunity to consider something different, even progressive." But years of alterations and extensions (an additional bedroom, an altered roofline, new solid cement walls higher than the original brick screens) have rendered the house unrecognizable. So Metropolis asks: How far is too far? Can the house be saved? Should it? Even architect Leo Marmol weighs in, but the answer isn't all that optimistic: "The question for any restoration-minded buyer is cost. And while Marmol suggests a partial or gradual restoration—even with the structure’s prestige factor—it may be difficult to sell after restoration if the neighborhood does not reflect the investment in the house." Perhaps this discovery should be added to LA Weekly's recent list of architecturally-significant structures now lost to rising rents, bulldozers, and legal quagmires. [Photo of Durrell house by Julius Shulman, Copyright J. Paul Getty Trust/Julius Shulman Photography Archive]


[All photos by Jennifer Reiley, Metropolis Mag]
· Unearthing Stone [Metropolis Mag]