Silver Lake’s Silver Ridge Avenue is blessed with an abundance of residences designed by notable architects, including Harwell Hamilton Harris, Allyn E. Morris, J.R. Davidson, and Barbara Bestor. But the street's best-known property would have to be Rudolph Schindler’s How House.
Los Angeles Historical-Cultural Monument No. 895, the 2,426-square-foot hillside home was built in 1925 for a client by the name of James Eads How. Heir to a vast railroad fortune, How devoted his life and much of his wealth to helping the underprivileged, eventually becoming known as the "Millionaire Hobo." After marrying at age 50, How moved to Los Angeles and hired the Viennese visionary to build a home for him and his new bride, and possibly his hobo cohort, if Gebhard and Winter’s Architectural Guidebook is to be believed. The book’s entry on the How House notes, "The floor of the house below street level, was, according to legend, a sort of dormitory for tramps who would come up from the railroad below. We cannot vouch for this, but it should be true."
Constructed with center-cut redwood, poured-in-place concrete, and glass, the modernist landmark has four bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, a two-story living room with coffered ceilings, built-in furniture and shelving, diagonally placed corner mitered windows, and a garden designed by Richard Neutra. Sited on a 14,509-square-foot lot, the house was purchased and restored in the mid-2000s by preservationist-flipper Michael LaFetra, who subsequently returned it to the market in 2008 with an asking price of $4.995 million. That bubble-icous price tag was eventually whittled down to $1.3 million by 2012, when film exec Brad Kembel and his partner Jimmy Ferrareze snagged the historic residence. It’s now listed with an asking price of $2.5 million.