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Neutra’s Chuey House in Hollywood Hills up for sale as a tear-down

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The Sunset Plaza modern was designed in 1956 for artists Josephine and Robert Chuey

Exterior view of Chuey residence
The Chuey House was photographed by Julius Shulman in 1960
Photos courtesy of J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10)

It seems like there might be trouble on the horizon for Richard Neutra’s Chuey House in the Hollywood Hills.

The Sunset Plaza Drive property hit the MLS yesterday, but ominously, the listing includes nary a word of reference to the much-admired midcentury modern. Instead, the property is described as “a truly unique development opportunity” that’s “ideal for a compound.”

Neutra designed the glass-and-steel home in 1956 for Josephine Ain Chuey, a poet who’d been married to Gregory Ain, and her third husband, painter Robert Chuey.

According to Sylvia Lavin’s book Form Follows Libido: Architecture and Richard Neutra in a Psychoanalytic Culture, “Both Mr. and Mrs. Chuey thought of the house as a device that would increase their creative energies.” As well as Robert Chuey’s painting studio, the home served as a salon “for orgone box users and aficionados of Timothy Leary and his experiments with LSD.”

Following Josephine Chuey’s death in 2004, the house was deeded to her niece and nephew, Gigi and Paul Shepherd. Court records show the Shepherds filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June; the listing copy notes that all sales will be subject to approval of bankruptcy court.

The listing that surfaced yesterday is conspicuously lacking in photos of the house, but a different one (perhaps a previous pocket listing) that showcases it from the outside can still be found online. Vintage interior shots can be viewed at the Getty’s Julius Shulman archive.

Located on a 1.5-acre lot, the property is seeking $10.5 million.

View into the house from outdoor patio
Chuey House at night Photo by Julius Shulman, courtesy J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles