In 1926, Lloyd Wright, son of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, completed a 5,600-square-foot Mayan Revival house in Hollywood for John and Ruth Sowden, an artistic couple with a flair for the theatrical. It would be, according to the New York Times, "a bohemian playhouse for aspiring actors and Hollywood bons vivants." Since then, the Sowden House has changed hands five times—and even linked to the Black Dahlia murder—with its most recent owners being CBD entrepreneur Dan Goldfarb and his wife Jenny Landers, who purchased the storied abode for $4.7 million with the hopes of making it a cultural hub for art and philanthropic events.
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The home was originally designed with four wings that each open onto a central, inner courtyard that today also contains a pool and jacuzzi. The exterior comprises custom, concrete "textile blocks" that were cast to emphasize the pliable nature of the material, and feature images of the harvest, water, clouds, and sun—all stylized in a neo-Mayan design. The unique exterior and central gathering space made the home a dramatic stage for live performances, hinting at Lloyd Wright’s experience as a set designer with Paramount Studios.
Through the years, the Sowden House has retained much of its original building fabric and design—one of the things that most attracted current owners Goldfarb and Landers. Although the home has been updated, it has also been preserved, imbuing a sense of "magic" that is, as Goldfarb and Landers say, "intimate and exclusive, yet open to the sky."
The couple also see the imposing residence as the perfect venue for charity events. Goldfarb made his fortune on hemp-based supplements for pets, Canna-Pet, after being inspired by the needs of his own Persian cat, Mariano. Since then, he and his wife have established the PetConscious Foundation, an organization that supports animal rescues worldwide; the couple is also interested in fostering the arts, youth development, and plant-based wellness.
Since moving in, they have hosted events for numerous organizations, including homeLA, FLAX Foundation, Kindred Spirits, and Food Forward. The house has excellent acoustics, and over the years, the home has led a colorful life, hosting everything from photoshoots and non-profit events to films, music videos, and TV shows. Goldfarb and Landers’s vision for the home is for it to become a entertainment hub, one that "truly comes alive with the creative energy of artists and manifests an immersive experience for its audience."
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