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):

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