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December 23, 2011

Following a close call for another Los Angeles showstopper designed by Richard Neutra, the 1955 Kronish House, a Bel Air home by one of the West Coast's most revered mid-century architects hits the sales market. Also built in 1955, the Staller House—restored in phases by its last two owners—has so far avoided the teardown-happy fate of its peers. The Kronish House came within two weeks of its demise this fall, before a preservation-minded buyer purchased it at auction. The Staller home has a slightly different story to tell.

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Neutra renovation living
Architect 

Built in 1955, the post-and-beam style home underwent a meticulous restoration in 2001 by Irish architect Lorcan O'Herlihy, who was also responsible for the facelift of a related property, the Rafael Soriano-designed home of photographed Julius Shulman in the Hollywood Hills. The Staller House was one of many LA homes photographed by Shulman in his heyday, a career in pictures that shaped the very aesthetics of California modernism.

The home is much larger than most of the architect's other commissions, clocking in over 6,000 square feet on a one-acre lot and outfitted with a wine cellar, a guest house, and parking for twelve. The front facade shows a typical use of clerestory windows separated by vertical mullions and the combination staircase-atrium, bordered by walls of sliding glass, are pure Neutra.

And all that history at a discount! When the owner, film producer Gary Levinsohn, first put the restored four-bedroom home on the market this summer, it was asking $10.9 million. Now it's up for a cool $8,500,000, according to Coldwell Banker.

 

Neutra renovation exterior

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