Here's Junior following in the footsteps of his old man--two of Frank Lloyd Wright's textile block houses are lounging on the market here in southern California, and now designer Xorin Balbes is selling his Lloyd Wright Mayan Revival effort, the Sowden House in Los Feliz. Balbes bought the house in 2001 for $1.2 million, according to Redfin, and did two rounds of renovations, in 2002 and 2009. The LA Times reports that he put "more than $2 million" into the house, which originally had seven bedrooms and four bathrooms, but is now listed with four bedrooms and five bathrooms. The Sowden was down-low listed in 2006 (price available then only by request), and listed for rent in 2008 at $25,000 per month.
The Sowden, aka the Jaws House, was built in 1927 for artist John Sowden, and it's shown up everywhere from "The Aviator" to "90210." Former LAPD homicide detective Steve Hodel's family lived in the Sowden in the late forties, and in his 2003 book "Black Dahlia Avenger," he claims his father, physician George Hodel, killed Black Dahlia Elizabeth Short there in early 1947. In the book, Hodel describes the living room's "floor-to-ceiling bookcase that concealed a secret room, accessible only to those who knew how to open the hidden door."
The Sowden was built in 1927 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It's also a city historic-cultural monument and Mills Act eligible. Asking price is $4.2 million.
· 5121 FRANKLIN Ave [Redfin]
· Home of the Week: The historic Sowden House in Los Feliz [LAT]