If you know me, follow my real estate page or read this column, you know I am a huge fan of mid-century modern architecture. And L.A. has no shortage of amazing, architecturally significant examples. ‘Mid-century’ can refer to architecture, design, furniture, etc. It would be impossible to cover very much history in this limited space, but the term is essentially a descriptor used in reference to modern design, architecture and urban development from the mid-1930s until the mid-1960s. The goals of the modern movement were to bring elements of modernism into post-WWII design.
Some characteristics you can expect to see in these homes include lots of windows; simple, clean design; visual representation of horizontal and vertical lines (often including flat rooflines)’ open floor plans designed with the intention of opening up interior spaces and bringing elements of the outdoors in. Another notable trait was the idea put forth by Louis Sullivan—“form follows function”—meaning that the result of design should derive directly from its purpose.
Some of the most prominent architects in the modern movement are Frank Lloyd Wright, A. Quincy Jones, Richard Neutra, Rudolph Schindler and John Lautner (among many others), and in L.A., it’s not as difficult as you might think to acquire a house by one of these giants of design. How easy is it? Funny you should ask! There happen to be several great examples of these homes listed for sale right now!
1925 Carla Ridge
4br/3ba in 3,268 sq. ft. on a 21,190 sq. ft. lot
Trousdale Estates is one of the most revered areas for real estate in all of L.A., with a very rich history of architecture and celebrity. Private, tranquil and tucked away at the top of Carla Ridge, this one has expansive city, ocean, mountain and valley views. Large, open living room with walls of glass leading to the pool. Curved walls, terrazzo floors, sculptured trees and large covered terrace. This one needs updating but can be absolutely stellar with the right eye! Virtual tour at bit.ly/xVf7sa.
3807 Reklaw Dr.
3br/2ba in 1,348 sq. ft. on a 6,370 sq. ft. lot
You don’t have to have deep pockets to own a piece of historical architecture. This home, commissioned and built in 1941 and being sold by the original owners, is known as The Goodwin House and was built by R.M. Schindler. The house has many of its original features and charm but also has been well-maintained and has had upgrades to many of the systems. A street-to-street lot with great light and incredible views of the canyons from every room—minutes from everything but surrounded by nature and away from it all.
7744 Torreyson Dr.
3br/3ba in 3,365 sq. ft. on a 13,306 sq. ft. lot
The Blevins Residence, 1965. Perfectly sited on a rolling hillside taking full advantage of the limitless views over the valley to the San Gabriel Mountains, this mid-century modern above famed Mulholland Drive features light-filled rooms, grand scale and an open floor plan conducive to modern living. A pure homage to the indoor/outdoor aesthetic of ‘60s modernism, the bright and open high-ceilinged public rooms feature walls of glass with views from every room. Spectacular grounds and a gorgeous pool.
1010 N. Rexford Dr.
5br/6.5 ba in 7,718 sq. ft. on a 51,840 sq. ft. lot
Situated on more than an acre of land, this rare A. Quincy Jones tennis court estate with pool was newly restored in 2005. A chef’s kitchen, separate butler’s kitchen, sushi bar and wine room facilitate easy flow for entertaining. Spacious living room, family room and dining room all lead out to a generous terrazzo outdoor living space.
Oh, how much space I could fill with examples of great mid-century architecture in L.A. It’s all around. And don’t even get me started on the magnificence of some of the homes in Palm Springs. There are lots of great books and websites you can check out if you’re really into this type of design.
If you see anything you like here, or are interested in finding out more about what’s on the market, please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email or give me a call. And if you know anyone looking to buy or sell a home, please put them in touch with me and I’ll be glad to help.
Jefferson Hendrick is an L.A.-based Realtor with Keller Williams.Contact him with questions, concerns and real estate inquiries at [email protected] or facebook.com/jeffersonhendrickrealtor.