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Never-Altered JR Davidson Modern in Pac Pal to Be Demolished

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On Sunday, Los Angeles Modern Auctions is selling off the custom-built furniture from the Kingsley Residence in Pacific Palisades, designed by JR Davidson, the underrated architect who designed three houses for the Case Study House program (Numbers 1, 11, and 15). Why? Because the 1947 house has recently sold and the new owner is planning to demolish it very, very soon, according to the seller (members of the Kingsley family). Boo! Hiss! According to a LAMA press release, this is "One of the last remaining Davidson houses in its original form ... The Kingsley residence was never altered in terms of the structure, and aside from minor updates by the architect in the 1950s, the interior of the home remained almost identical to the [Julius] Shulman photographs for over 60 years. While the fate of the house is still unknown, it seems likely that it will be torn down to build a larger structure." It came on the market in February asking $4.2 million and sold in early April, above asking, for $4.56 million. It sits on .43 acres.

The Kingsley was built for Joseph and Lore Kingsley on the site of an old lemon grove on Amalfi Drive. Like Davidson, the Kingsleys had fled Germany (Davidson left in 1923; the Kingsley, who were Jewish, didn't get out until the early 1940s). According to LAMA, they met with Richard Neutra to discuss building a house on their sloping lot, but Neutra refused to give them the breakfast room they wanted and they moved on. Davidson built a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house and returned nine years later to add a poolhouse, mural, and updated furniture. (He also designed a neighboring house for Grandmother Kingsley.)

Davidson also designed custom furniture for the house; items up for auction "include a biomorphic occasional table, two coffee tables (one a nod to a K.E.M. Weber design), as well as an articulated wall light, and dining suite comprised of a table and ten chairs." (More on the coffee tables here.) They'll each come with a vintage print of one of Julius Shulman's photographs of the house.

[Photographs courtesy of Los Angeles Modern Auctions; original photographs by Julius Shulman of the J. R. Davidson Kingsley residence, to be sold with the corresponding lot on Sunday, May 19, 2013]


· Fate of J. R. Davidson House In Peril; Furniture to Go to Auction [LAMA]
· Mid-Century in Brentwood by Case Study Architect JR Davidson [Curbed LA]