Today the Wall Street Journal takes a look at the magnificent restoration of the 1962 Garcia House, designed by John Lautner and perched in all its rainbow-shaped beauty above Mulholland Drive near Nichols Canyon. Current owners John McIlwee (a Hollywood business advisor) and Bill Damaschke (chief creative officer at DreamWorks) bought the house for $1.3 million in 2002 and undertook "a complex, multiyear renovation that cost roughly $1 million more." That work was done by the mid-century experts at architecture firm Marmol Radziner. You can see the the post-resto gorgeousness in this video starring musician Devendra Banhart. Meanwhile, what's the Garcia doing in a major newspaper so long after work is done? Sure, it's always worth taking a long, hard look at, but is it possible we'll see this house hit the market soon? While we ponder that, here are some fun facts about McIlwee and Damaschke's tenure so far:
-- The couple bought the house from actor/director/dirtbag Vincent Gallo (who has since made his mark in the Arts District real estate world). They beat out "several other bids for the 1.2-acre property, including one from designer Trina Turk" in part with a three-hour lunch with Gallo.
-- McIlwee camped out in the house in a sleeping bag for a month during construction, "reading by flashlight and showering at the gym."
-- To furnish the house, McIlwee and Damaschke "turned to an eclectic set of materials for their interiors, looking to materials popular in the late 1960s and 1970s—like Lucite and onyx—rather than the more delicate aesthetic from when the home was built in 1962." Countertops and cabinetry in the master bathroom use honey onyx and glass tiles.
-- What does DreamWorks chief Jeffrey Katzenberg think of the house and restoration? "The house is one of the singular landmark pieces of real estate that exist in Los Angeles, but what's really incredible is how both Bill and John have managed to preserve its 20th-century uniqueness while also making it feel of the moment, livable and comfortable." Good to know!
-- The pool added a few years ago was actually in the original plans, but the first owners ran out of money to build it. It sits on a concrete terrace below the house.
-- It takes work to look this good: "Tasks such as changing a light bulb demand ladders and specialized handymen because of the home's curved ceiling. Replacing a window pane requires extensive scaffolding because the home sits on stilts, about 60 feet above the steep canyon ground."
-- McIlwee and Damaschke have "occasionally shared" the Lethal Weapon fantasy of pulling the whole damn house down by truck (see the clip here starting around 2:04).
· Reviving a Hollywood Icon [WSJ]
· John Lautner's Garcia House Gets the Glossy Treatment [Curbed LA]