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1920s Compound in Topanga With Minor Cliff May Link

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The listing copy for this rustic residence informs us that it is "Topanga's Legendary Marglen Estate....the truly timeless classic family compound of Jean May, the widow of famed architect Cliff May," then goes on to say, "True to the design elements of the man known to be the father of the modern ranch style home, the living spaces flow between indoors and the stunning apx. 2 acre landscape." While perhaps not the most egregious example of brokerbabble, invoking May's name certainly qualifies as an overreach. For one thing, the 1921 residence predated his building career by more than a decade. Then there's the fact that he never actually lived here--May and first wife Jean were divorced in 1967 (amazingly, documents from their not-exactly-amicable legal proceedings are online; mutual mudslinging found therein includes the claim that Jean "expressed to her husband and his acquaintances her distaste for her husband's piano playing," as well as the gripe that Cliff required the May family's home in Sullivan Canyon "be ready for display to affluent clients upon a half hour's notice at any time from 8:30 a.m. until late at night.") But regardless of the Cliff May connection, the compound--which consists of a three-bedroom, two-bath main house, three cottages, plus a metal workshop--seems pretty darn cool on its own merits. Features include wood-paneled walls, beamed ceilings, a stone fireplace, a wood-burning stove, a "seasonal creek," and "suspended rope bridge that leads to cut stone trails, wild berry groves, and shady ancient oaks." Last sold in 2008 for $1.45 million, the 1.93-acre property is now listed at $1.295 million.
· 20946 FONTAINE Rd [Redfin]