An Immaculate Midcentury Abode in San Diego Asks $1.55M

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By Michele Koh Morollo
Designed by influential architect William Krisel, the three-bed, two-bath residence promises comfort and style.

Pioneering architect William Krisel is best known for his affordable, Southern California tract houses that encourage indoor-outdoor living. One of the most influential figures in American architecture in the 1950s, Krisel succeeded in bringing the practical and aesthetic benefits of midcentury modernism to the general public.

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A meticulously maintained, 2,047-square-foot house designed by Krisel and built by Drogin Construction in 1962 is now on the market for $1,549,000 in La Jolla, California.

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The house includes many of Krisel’s signature architectural features such as clerestory windows, a spacious and private backyard, vaulted ceilings, and a flexible floor plan with three bedrooms separated from the common areas by a hallway. 

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The property, which is incredibly open and bright with sheltered patios that encourage cross-breezes and bring in sunlight, retains much of its original details such as tile floors and tongue-and-groove ceilings. 

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One of the sellers—the CFO of the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art—was responsible for most of the interior design and furnishings. 

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He wanted the house to look and feel true to its midcentury origins, so no major alterations were made. 

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His approach was to match the interiors with the architecture as much as possible, so just a few skylights and some windows were added to the master bedroom. Some built-in cabinets and new closet doors were installed. 

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Most of the furniture items are George Nelson designs, and the others were purchased at secondhand shops and estate sales over the years. 

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Above the fireplace in the living room is a colorful, handcrafted glass art installation created by Higgins Glass Studio

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The house at 5433 Avenida Fiesta in La Jolla is available through the Nelson Brothers at Willis Allen Real Estate

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