One of architect Lloyd Wright's "strongest achievements," the 1926 Derby House in Glendale, is up for grabs once again. Wright's father, Frank Lloyd Wright, supposedly credited his son with creating the famous textile block technique (used in several of FLW's Los Angeles houses, including La Miniatura in Pasadena and the Storer House in the Hollywood Hills). The last time Derby was for sale, it barely lasted a month on the market—not surprising considering its epic coolness. A press release notes that the house, "on the National Register of Historic Places, has been meticulously preserved by the same owners since 1974," but it sold to a new owner in 2013.
Like his father, the younger Wright worked with textile blocks, but "In some ways, his concrete block designs have held up better than his father's better-known work," one art historian says. The blocks look intimidating, but actually seem to keep the house from being too fortressy—really it looks more like an ancient temple surrounded by native plants and lush oak trees. The residence only gets better on the inside, where soaring ceilings and enormous windows illuminate the incredible Wrightian details. "When struck by light, the blocks produce a kaleidoscope of lively light shapes and shadows upon walls, floors and other surfaces. There is constant movement within the cavernous house and upon its facade, as the sun, in its journey across the sky, leaves indecipherable, changing hieroglyphics in its wake," the LA Times wrote after visiting the house in 1993.
Double-height ceilings and "cathedral-style" windows abound throughout the five-bedroom, three-bathroom house, which also contains "a hexagonal dining room with floor-to-ceiling fireplace," according to the release. The nearly half-acre lot holds "rock retaining walls and terraces, hidden paths and benches."
The Derby House was listed in November 2013 for $1.65 million and sold by mid-December for a little under asking, at $1.59 million. Now, less than two years after being handed over to its new buyer—an LLC whose contact person is listed as the CEO of the San Gabriel Valley-based gardening empire Monrovia Nursery Company—the Derby House is for some reason up for sale again, with few perceptible changes from the last time. Regardless, it's now asking $2.795 million.
· 2535 E Chevy Chase Drive, Glendale, CA [Estately]
· Powerhouse Agent Aaron Kirman Lists Landmark Lloyd Wright Architectural Home [PRNewswire]
· Mid-Century Architecture Sell-Off: Lloyd Wright's Derby House, Soriano's Polito, Kreipl's Buchman All Go [Curbed LA]