Before he became a monolithic figure in American architecture, John Lautner’s first significant solo project was a home he designed for himself and his first wife, MaryBud, just on the heels of a fellowship with Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin. Now, for the first time in decades, the Los Angeles property is up for sale.
Interesting features include the hexagonal shape that defines much of the multilevel living room and kitchen, as well as the formerly open deck that separated public and private areas. Windows surround the home on all sides, overlooking treetops and a private courtyard along the front. The property also retains many original details, including stained concrete floors, plaster walls, cabinetry, and plywood ceilings.
Shortly after the home’s completion, east coast architectural critic Henry Russell Hitchcock described it as “the best house by an architect under 30 in the United States” in California Arts and Architecture magazine.
A piece the next year in House Beautiful remarked on the home’s challenging location: “The hill itself was far from beautiful. There was a sweeping view, but not much else. Trees and rocks were lacking…To the lay mind, the prospects for building an attractive small house on such an unpromising site would have seemed hopeless. But John E. Lautner, Jr., Los Angeles architect, did not see it that way.” The property was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2016, lauding its significant midcentury and Wrightsonian design elements.
Lautner lived at the property for just a few years, moving in 1947 when he and MaryBud divorced. The property was last sold for $184,000 in 1984 and recently, it was listed for $1,590,000. Keep scrolling to see more.