Preservationists and the owners of Richard Neutra’s Chuey House in the Hollywood Hills have reached an agreement that could save the home from demolition.
Built in 1956, the home hit the market last year, advertised as a “unique development opportunity.” The Los Angeles Conservancy rushed to landmark the residence in hopes of preventing its demolition, should it sell to a buyer hoping to redevelop the property.
But in January, the conservancy mysteriously withdrew its landmark application, saying only that it was working with the owners on preservation options that wouldn’t require the home to be designated as a Historic-Cultural Monument.
Now, the home is returning to the market, but the outlook for its future is much brighter.
According to the conservancy, owners Paul and Gigi Shepherd have agreed to make sure the home is kept intact after its sale. If necessary, that could involve moving the home to an entirely new location—though it’s not yet clear where that would be.
The agreement takes demolition “off the table,” the conservancy’s director of advocacy, Adrian Scott Fine, in a statement.
“We now need a preservation-minded buyer to step forward and ensure the long-term preservation of this significant home,” Fine said.
That buyer could either purchase the house and the land around it, agreeing to leave the residence intact, or buy the house only and move it to a new location. That would allow the land surrounding the home to be redeveloped. Either way, the unique design of the house would be preserved.
The residence was constructed for artists Josephine and Robert Chuey, who used it as a gathering place for bohemians and as a particularly scenic location for experiments with LSD, according to the home’s Historic-Cultural Monument application.
Josephine Chuey was previously married to Gregory Ain, a disciple of Neutra. Chuey collaborated closely with Neutra on the home’s design, and called the architect’s firm “almost daily” during its construction, says the application.
Photographed by Julius Shulman shortly after it was completed, the house still appears to be in fairly original condition. Its simple post and beam construction allows for expansive glass walls that provide stellar views around the city and surrounding hills.
The home is listed by Neville Graham and Elizabeth Donovan of Pacific Union International. Asking price will be $8.3 million—down considerably from the $10.5 million it was listed for last year.