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William Krisel's Mid-Century Dream Home in Brentwood is Being Demolished Right Now

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[Inset of the Krisel Residence by Julius Shulman, via Modernist Architecture; main photo via A/N]

All that's left of famed modernist William Krisel's one-time residence on Tigertail Road in Brentwood are some handsome Julius Shulman photos, because it's right now being ripped apart, reports the Architect's Newspaper. Two months back, a concerned tipster wrote us, worried that the house on tony Tigertail was being sold as a teardown. Krisel, who built scads of lovely modernist houses throughout Southern California, called this his "dream home" and it was stunning. When it came on the market this year, listing photos mostly showed the view rather than the house itself, and referred to it as an opportunity to "redevelop on a grand scale." Krisel, who had at first given the house to his children, ended up selling it for $3 million to a woman named Nancy Heller and a company called Tigertail Llc. Heller promised to restore the property, but instead turned around and sold it about a month later to Darya Family Llc. for $4.26 million, according to Blockshopper, making a $1.26-million profit.

The new owner, Joe Safai, also promised to restore the home, but— surprise, surprise—found that "age-related problems, including termite infested wood and mold" would cost more to fix than the house was worth. Krisel doesn't believe that for one minute. "The house was definitely not 'beyond repair ... I am convinced that he purchased the property in order to demolish the existing house." Other houses on Tigertail that have risen from the ashes of older, demolished ones have sold for $10 to $17 million, Krisel notes.

The Krisel Residence, while widely believed to be of enormous importance to LA's architectural history, was not yet landmarked. The LA Conservancy started to move toward protecting it last month, when they got word that a permit had been pulled for the house's demolition, but was still "in the early stages of figuring out how real this was in terms of a threat" when the bulldozers fired up. They would have needed a lot more time even to do anything that could put the demolition on hold (like get historic-cultural monument status), says a rep from the Conservancy.