Sunday, July 5, 2015

Hal Levitt: Sophisticated Compound Retreat, 1969 - Trousdale Estates

1810 Rising Glen Rd, Los Angeles - Hal Levitt, architect, 1969 - $7,195,000
High above Sunset Plaza in the Hollywood Hills at 1810 Rising Glen Rd, you come upon a 1969 single-story mid-century modern design by architect, Harold 'Hal' Levitt.  The gated and private five bedroom and five bathroom design is perched high above the road.  It is more than an exquisite house, it is an exquisite property.  What is appealing is its position in the hills.  This is a compound with a main house and elegant pavilions up on the hillside. With a design background, Levitt was never shy in showing dynamic expression through architecture. He understood the impact his design would have.  He enjoyed working with large surfaces, demonstrated with this particular design, while allowing nature play the softer role. Just look at the curve of the driveway wrapping around nature as you head upward.  Not a bad entry, I'd say.         If you are a qualified buyer and would like more information, contact modern homes los angeles.
Levitt's love with nature harmonically merge the outdoors with the indoors. This mid-century love affair with the outdoors and environment were a concern within the philosophy of mid-century modern architecture.  With a strong background in design, Levitt took it upon himself to go big.  A prime example is the photo above of the entry to the home.  Here, Levitt uses large mass to hold the fort while a large plate glass wall allows a seamless flow to bring the outdoors into the interior.  It is as though the design becomes a gateway to nature.
The living room is quite extraordinary with its walls of glass, terrazzo floors, and exquisite finishes to present a tranquil and sophisticated design. Levitt extends the interior fireplace wall through plate glass and outdoors, creating a garden wall.  Again, wonderful mid-century design.  By now, in 1969, the movement was strong and thriving.  Levitt had been refining his skills by this point.  Surrounded by lush verdant period landscaping on a very private lot of approximately an acre of prime hillside land.  The pride of ownership shows in this pristine one-story turn key home that has been updated with the finest fixtures and finishes.  This mid-century modern architectural by Hal Levitt is being offered for $7,195,000.  
The kitchen is a clean and crisp design and equally as understated as the rest of the home.  With a wall of sliding glass, the pass-through from the kitchen to the outdoor patio around the pool completes the functionality of how the kitchen and its position within a home plays a dramatic role, especially with those who entertain. 
The master bedroom has a beautiful fireplace to keep you cozy on those chilly evenings and a private garden retreat through sliding doors. The master bathroom is like a spa retreat with the finest in resources and finishes and again nature is easily accessed through fenestration.  This modern geometric design is an all together clean design with a touch of International Style, Bauhaus and Modern philosophies incorporated throughout this home. The pavilion-like qualities in the architecture throughout the estate are quite something.  
The sleeping areas are serene and peaceful with gardens and nature through large sliders. Again, how Levitt uses walls of glass and minimizing the envelope's need for anything other than glass is apparent in another of his bedrooms.  Beautiful light shimmers its way into the clean and tranquil interior as you can escape through the sliding doors and out onto a private garden. 
Abundant outdoor seating areas and retreats are found throughout this tasteful design.  It was the late sixties so the pool was synonymous with Southern California modern architecture and living.  Here the pool becomes the central focus as the family room opens itself onto the pool deck and pool area.  Plenty of room to entertain and relax with friends while passing through walls of glass in and out of home and nature.  
The property imbibes park-like grounds with mature plants and manicured gardens. The setting of this modern design is an experience all unto itself.  This home happens to position itself on one of the larger lots at the upper end of Rising Glen Rd.  Imagine owning an acre of land, let alone a parcel with a gorgeous mid-century tasteful architectural design by Hal Levitt.  The feeling of being in a forest reserve is high while amongst the lush and lovely hillside landscape. 
Positioned above the home are two modern pavilion-like structures.  These glass boxes could easily be utilized as an office, gym, studio or meditation area.  Anyone looking for the finest in design and wants to be close to the action down below on Sunset Blvd, but still wants a relaxed home lifestyle, than this home should be yours.  Serenity and peacefulness play on your senses in this home.
The second pavilion being used as a gym.
Above the property rests a grassy knoll with western exposure allows one to admire views and take in the sunshine.
Private entry gate to the Hal Levitt compound.
Public record shows the home consists of 3,726 square feet of interior living space, making this home cost $1,931 per square foot.  Along with this being a turn-key and pristine architectural treasure.  At note, this home changed hands in 1997 for a price of $1,465,000.  It just so happens that mega producer Darren Star was the buyer.  In 2005, it landed in the hands of a denim mogul who purchased the mid-century modern home for $4,650,000 leaving a nice profit for Star. Currently, the home is once again listed after on-again off-again market listings since 2013. It was first offered at close to $10 million for the property at that time.  My instinct tells me this Hal Levitt design will sell this time around at or above the . 

Appointment only.  Qualified buyers only. 

Harold W. Levitt Archive:
Harold "Hal" Levitt is perhaps best remembered for the homes he designed for Hollywood’s elite, including Walter Mirish, Steven Spielberg, and Lew Wasserman. Mr. Levitt started his practice in the early 1950’s after working for the famous residential designers Roland Coate and Burton Schutt. Mr. Levitt’s work reflects the best modern design philosophies of mid-century Los Angeles. The intermixing and re-interpenetration of the indoors and outdoors was used extensively in his projects. Large glass surfaces, interior courtyards, and surprising entry sequences exist throughout his residential work and blur the boundary between the interior and exterior. In many of the homes, Mr. Levitt designed a solid large-scale door that appears from the street as the entrance to the home, but the door will lead instead to a protected courtyard. Mr. Levitt’s natural graciousness combined with his artistic vision made the ideal combination for a residential designer, and over his half-century career Mr. Levitt built long lasting relationships with many of his clients. Mr. Levitt also designed many notable commercial projects such as the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas and the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences Building in Los Angeles. Harold Levitt was born in San Francisco on July 26, 1921. He earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic arts at Stanford University and an architecture degree at University of Southern California. He retired from his own practice and moved to Reno, Nevada at age 79, and died from natural causes two years later. - Levitt+Moss Architects

Listing and photos courtesy Richard Ehrlich, WEA and Levitt+Moss Architects.

Craig Ellwood: Moore House Pavillion, 1965 - Los Feliz

4791 Bonvue Ave, Los Feliz, CA - Craig Ellwood, architect, 1965 - $2,995,000
Craig Ellwood's philosophy of "enriching the joy and drama of living" was the centerpiece in expressing his ideas through his tasteful ideology of architecture and informal style of California modernism.  Privately situated in the hills above Los Feliz Boulevard, The Moore House is an elegant design by Ellwood was commissioned in 1964, which incorporates three bedrooms and two bathrooms within 1,701 square feet of interior living space.  The mid-century modern pavilion, completed in 1965, consists of an open plan with walls of glass and surrounding scenery in a retreat-like environment on a 13,945 square foot lot. 
Per the listing, "Ellwood's finest details and prime location present an excellent opportunity to own one of the most significant architectural homes in the U.S."  For $2,995,000, you can enjoy this wonderful masterpiece. 

Contact modern homes los angeles for more details.  Appointment only.

Listing and photos courtesy Aaron Kirman, JAG.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Edward H. Fickett: A Model for Martson,1959 - Encino

4552 Martson Dr, Encino - Edward H. Fickett, F.A.I.A., 1959
Post war architecture was a time where the economy was booming and the Boomers needed homes.  Due to the work load, there were several prominent developers that had all ready begun the planning of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley prior to the boom. Along with a vast amount of homes needing to be built, there comes the architect who works closely with the developer to bring a fresh point of view.  
Here we have an example of the developer and architect working together to create 10 homes atop the hills of Encino down a private gated road.  4552 Martson Dr, Encino, CA was the premier model home for then developer, Stanley Arthur Martson (1925-2010). Martson had commissioned Edward H. Fickett, F.A.I.A. to design 10 different designs, including a two-story home down the street.  At hand, is a beautiful example of the work by Fickett. This 1959 design welcomes you with open arms.  The collaboration resulted in a lovely handful of homes.  Martson had met Fickett through his father-in-law, Elwaine Steinkamp. Steinkamp was one of the most influential developers in Los Angeles history, if not the most influential in the area.  Steinkamp has left his thumbprint on many areas across Los Angeles.  Steinkamp and Fickett were close collaborators from the early days where the two met through church.  At that time, both men were Christian Scientists.  So, this is how the story goes.  Martson was a self-made man.  His personal story of his youth is quite sad.  He learned early in life how to survive and be successful.
Upon walking through the high atrium entry with playful wooden screens designed by Fickett and a cut-out in the roof, you enter a world of beautiful natural light throughout the home's interior.  The deep eave off the back provides shade for the seating area below and helps reduce the solar gain the home experiences.  The post and beam mid-century design is drool worthy for any of us who appreciate unspoiled architectural gems. 
The stylish home was once photographed for an issue of LIFE magazine by the legendary LIFE photographer, Ralph "Rudy" Crane.  With beautiful fenestration by Fickett, as well as the usage of partial walls, the flow of the home is lovely and tasteful.  The dining room shares the slump brick partial wall that also house the chimney with the living room expanse.  A custom teak shelving unit by Cado was used in this home's design.  Aggregate stone floors are throughout the home while providing cool flooring in the Summer months. 
The spacious 2,655 square foot interior is positioned with amazing views of the San Fernando Valley.  The redesigned open kitchen comes with Viking appliances and Sub Zero refrigerators.  The update of the kitchen is well done and not over done.  Take advantage of the massive center island and spread out your tasks in the kitchen.
The family room is a comfortable and quiet area of the house, even though located at the front of the house.  Remember, the home is located on close to an acre of land on a private gated street.  The family room has a handsome slump-brick faced fireplace with plate glass slotted into the brick.  Clerestory windows and transom windows are also abundant.  The ceilings are a beautiful tongue and groove and walls around the wet bar are wood paneled. Done boozing it up and serving alcohol?  Then, close up the folding doors and put that bar away.  No one would ever know. 
At the rear of the house, bedrooms are found with spectacular views.  Plate glass, glass doors and clerestory windows create walls of glass that engage the house in being relative to nature as the home nestles itself on the hillside with its low-slung roof line. There is a sense of calmness in this work.  As with the kitchen, bathrooms in the home have been updated.  All of the bedrooms provide ample storage and closet space.
An additional bedroom on the opposite side of the house also has views of the Valley and of the pool area. 
Here, the third bedroom is being used as an office area.
Talk about a gathering spot.  Under the shade of the deep eave designed to provide diffusion from the harsh Southern California sun rays, is plenty of area for seating and dining.  With an endless flow from the outdoors in and the indoors out, this home is like living in a very large tent with nature footsteps away.  The large pool can accommodate any social gathering.
This home recently sold on June 12, 2015.  Originally listed at $1,595,000, it eventually sold through multiple offers for a total of $1,727,000 to a very lucky buyer.  Prior to this sale, the home sold in 2013 for $1,120,000.  If you are looking to purchase a Fickett home and would like assistance of knowledge of the off-market homes for sale, contact modern homes los angeles.

The only Realtor® endorsed by Joyce Fickett.
The Martson Encino Tract mapped (10 Homes Total):

Stylish and Swanky Fairhaven Tract Eichler Home

896 S. Woodland St, Orange, CA - 1960 - $840,000
I really like this Eichler Home in the Fairhaven Tract in Orange.  Built in 1960, this mid-century modern post and beam design has many original qualities to this design.  896 S. Woodland St, Orange, CA provides a generous 2,022 square feet of living space in this open plan home.Just take a look at those paneled walls in the dining area!
Floor-to-ceiling walls of glass and sliding doors which open to a large back yard, allow natural light to enter the home while the deep eave provides for shade in the back of the house.  The four bedroom and 2 bathroom home is being offered for $840,000.  If you are interested in this home and would like more information, please contact modern homes los angeles for assistance.  I really like this home as it is in very very good condition with many original original details.  If I had to choose between the recently listed Fairhaven Eichler Home at 3810 E. Fernwood with the grotto, I'd certainly chose this one.  I think the photos say it all.

Listing and photos courtesy of Kelly Laule, BLSC