Modern Homes Los Angeles specializes in mid-century modern c.1948-1969 real estate sales. Serving ALL home buyers and sellers in the Greater Los Angeles area. Historian and preservationist for architecture by architect, Edward H. Fickett, FAIA. Whether Hollywood Hills, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Sherman Oaks, Los Feliz or Mt. Washington, my knowledge of the marketplace is unparalleled. Friendly and an excellent negotiator making deals happen! - modernhomeslosangeles.com bre#01871422
In 1955, Edward H. Fickett, F.A.I.A was called upon by Fernando Parra, a prominent Mexican architect and his wife who were looking to build a home in Los Angeles. The Parra's were a fashionable couple and longtime friends with John and Jacqueline Kennedy and traveled with them often, which brought them to the States on occasion. The home is located, 13908 Sunset Boulevard in the prestigious Palisades Riviera area.
The task of designing a home for the Parra family was brought to Fickett, as he always was a good mediator between husband and wives who each had their own wants and desires in a home's design. Parra asked Fickett to design the home to avoid arguments with his wife about the design process, "I picked the best, most prestigious architect in America," adding "I didn't want to fight with my wife."
In 1956, the Parra House was completed and has stayed in the family ever since. Progressive Architecture, "One of Southern California's most unusual recent home stylings." The 4 bedroom and 4 bathroom, plus den home features a service wing, sleeping wing and entertainment area. The spacious 3,537 square foot home also has many outdoor seating areas and large pool. The front entry also had a koi pond, which could be seen through the wall of glass in the dining room and covered by Fickett trellis. Currently, there is only the emptied shell still remaining.
The spectacular mid-century modern design showcases
Fickett's use of common building materials, but utilized with taste. Within
3,537 square feet of interior space, Fickett's signature walls of glass
that open up to the outdoors and private gardens make you feel you are in a nature reserve. You would never know that Sunset Boulevard is just a hopscotch away distance past the circular driveway.
A simple but handsome band of copper adds some design to the double-door entry.
The stone aggregate flooring runs from the entry through the foyer and out to the back yard. Fickett's eye was always focused on bringing the outdoors in. Having the aggregate move from the outdoors and in through the home provides this philosophy and allows for a continuous design flow. You will notice many brick walls that also extend through to the outdoors and keeping a consistent line, while embracing the mid-century modern philosophy.
As you know, I always enjoy finding original Fickett-designed lighting fixtures. The Parra House has many original fixtures throughout the home, including two spectacular circular hanging fixtures in the entry which offset the vertical paneling of the wall with a hidden coat closet.
The living area is a stunner. You step up into the living area from the entry and enter the double-height, post-and-beam living room with a wall of glass overlooking an outdoor seating area and pool.
The northern facade, which faces the street, provides privacy while
allowing lots of natural light to filtrate inward through clerestory
windows and beaded glass panels.
Brick walls and clerestory windows create privacy and natural light, respectively.
One of the main focal points and design elements of the Parra House is the design of the fireplace, which incorporates a Mexican and modern aesthetic. The fireplace takes on a sculptural quality as it utilizes cinder block, brick and stone aggregate to create a statement. Fickett extends the pebbled concrete surround creating a floating seating area, as well as extending through a glass panel and outdoors to the front of the home.
On the opposite wall of the fireplace you will find a convertible den that could act as a fifth bedroom. The brick walls with clerestory windows a top, compliment the jalousie windows and paneled glass.
Located just outside of the den is a wall of closets and bathroom.
Around the corner, you enter the sleeping wing which has a long hallway with walls of glass and a built-in secretariat, along with many closets for storage. Fickett always provided ample storage and closets in his designs.
The first bedroom down the hallway connects to the second bedroom through a Jack-and-Jill bathroom. Sliders and clerestory windows fill the bedrooms with natural light while providing views of the pool and back yard area.
Believe it or not, I get a little excited when I see original wallpaper in homes. The playful and cheerful wallpaper found in the second bedroom is just a kick. Original linoleum tile is found in the flooring.
Further down the hallway is the spacious master bedroom including en-suite master bathroom with original tiles and a dressing area with closets and custom vanity overlooking the outdoors.
The east wing features the dining room off of the foyer. Walls of glass allow you to take in a private outdoor garden area. You are impressed by the double-high ceiling and a drop ceiling that leads you into the service portion of the home including a very large kitchen and eating area, additional bathroom and fourth bedroom, which would make an ideal office or family room with it's own private garden area through panels of glass. This area of the house has been neglected the most and you can see in photos the condition is in a poor state.
Through folding doors from the dining room, you enter the light and bright eating area with service bar. The kitchen area also features original Fickett lighting.
The kitchen continues with a color theme using pink as the accent color for the original appliances including a double oven and stove top by O'Keefe and Merritt. The time capsule also includes the Kitchen Aid dishwasher.
Simple, but stylish Fickett sconces hang from the tongue and groove ceiling.
Through the kitchen, you find an additional bathroom and the "mother-in-law" bedroom with natural light filling the room. It is a lovely retreat from the rest of the house with direct access to the outdoors.
Fickett's repetition of design elements can be seen throughout the home's exterior. Again, he always provides the right touches to his designs as seen in the photo above as a private garden creates an intermediary from house to garage. There is a reason for Fickett being regarded as the "Frank Lloyd Wright of the mid-century." His proportions and decisions are spot-on. You feel at ease in his designs. He also provided original outdoor sconces for the Parra House, set against the textured wood-paneled siding.
The spacious and private back yard with several seating areas and large pool create a compound feeling while entirely closed off to the outside world.
This mid-century modern architectural gem by Edward H. Fickett is currently Pending in the MLS, which has a $3,250,000 list price. Whoever purchases the home has a lovely palette to work from with the architectural design allowing for contemporary updates. There is an HOA with dues approximately $250 per year. There is also a design committee in the area that is very active. Perhaps they will hold the purchaser to high standards with this home? We can only hope, as this is a very special home with historical value.
If you are interested in the architect's work or own a home designed by Edward H. Fickett, please contact me.
Listing and some photos provided by Sheri Weisbender - Rodeo Realty-BH.