The Bobertz Residence, designed in 1953, emerges from years of modification and wear to become a luminous example of midcentury modernist ideals.
Designed by Case Study architect Craig Ellwood in 1953, the Bobertz Residence in San Diego, California, is on the market for $800,000 following a meticulous restoration by the current homeowners, Keith and Jessica York.
York purchased 5503 Dorothy Drive in 2000, precipitating a personal flurry of research on midcentury architecture, Ellwood’s body of work, and the history of his house in particular. He befriended one of the original clients, Gerry Bobertz, who had commissioned the architect with her husband Charles Bobertz after seeing his projects featured in Arts & Architecture Magazine.
Between the Bobertzes and Yorks, however, the years had taken a toll on the house—it had even served as a dorm-style residence for local San Diego State University students, who had not been gentle with the architectural gem.
York embarked on the extensive restoration project, staying true to the original plan even if it meant reducing square footage: " There were days, early on, when I considered taking the 2,400 square feet I purchased back down to the original, 1,400-square-foot house," says York. "We compromised, holding the house at 1,800 square feet." He removed a laundry room addition, restored a patio, and pulled a glass wall to its proper place. "The most rewarding was returning the children’s bedrooms and play court to their original state," he shares. The patio, which had been enclosed to hold another bedroom, is now where Keith and Jessica have their morning coffee, enjoying the indoor-outdoor experience that Ellwood intended.
The resulting abode showcases an architectural and material clarity with sliding glass doors, stained redwood paneling, cork floors, and tongue-and-groove ceilings. At $800,000, this gorgeously revived midcentury home won’t last long on the market.