Saving for a down payment is a big hurdle towards home-ownership. But what if all you needed was $150?
That’s the cost of a ticket in the Palos Verdes Art Center’s dream house raffle, where the grand prize is the Anderson House, a midcentury modern perched on a cliff above the Pacific Ocean. With walls of glass, redwood panelling, a wide stone fireplace, and a striking butterfly roof, it is a work of art designed by master modernist architect Aaron Green, who worked closely with Frank Lloyd Wright.
“The Aaron Green property was a rich score for us, because it’s so phenomenal with it’s location right on the ocean,” Joe Baker, executive director of the art center, said.
That fabulous cliff site is a “big part of the equation,” said Jan Novie, president of Aaron G. Green Associates, Inc., “as is the virtually seamless relationship of indoor to outdoor elements.”
Built in 1959, the house was designed for Palos Verdes residents Judge F. and Jeannie Anderson. (Anderson was not a judge by profession; Novie said he might have owned a local hardware store).
Its rooflines are sharply angled and cantilevered, but the interiors are calm and warm. A disciple of organic modernism, Green ran Wright's West Coast practice as well as his own, building a portfolio of 200 residences before his death in 2001.
"He was going to be a graphic designer or illustrator…until he came upon Frank Lloyd Wright," his son Allan told Eichler Network (Green also worked a stint with Eichler Homes). "That sort of flipped the switch. A lot of architects come at it from the engineering side. He didn't...He came at it from the artistic side."
The Anderson House is not the first modernist prize with architectural pedigree in the art center’s 15-year raffle history. Last year’s dream house was a tragically remodeled post-and-beam by Pierre Koenig valued at $3.595 million.
The 2016 contest sold 12,000 tickets, far too few for the art center to buy the Koenig house. Its agreement to purchase the property was contingent on selling 55,000 tickets and raising $8.25 million, according to the Daily Breeze. Still, it awarded a grand prize of $580,861.
As is the case this year with the Anderson House—which is valued at $4 million—the raffle winner can opt for a cash prize instead. Winners, scared off by the astronomical cost of property taxes, very rarely choose the house, Baker said.
Watch: A midcentury modern dream with stunning views
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated how much cash was given away in the 2016 raffle. The grand prize was $580,861, not $2 million, as originally reported.