The Los Angeles metro is rife with beautiful homes, but an auction next month for a particular manse is generating big buzz.
Perched on a hillside in the tony burb of Brentwood is the George D. Sturges Residence, a Usonian design orchestrated by Frank Lloyd Wright. Built in 1939, the two-bedroom, one-bathroom home was commissioned by Sturges and is the only Usonian-style residence designed by Wright in Southern California.
The home's most recent owner died in September 2015 (actor Jack Larson, who bought the home in 1967 with his partner, James Bridges). The 1,200-square-foot home will be featured in the Modern Art & Design Auction on Feb. 21. The presale auction estimate for this notable home is between $2.5 million and $3 million.
Usonians were Wright's attempt to build an affordable and design-conscious, home.
"It's the most dramatic of the steep-slope Usonian houses. It looks like a stealth bomber flying through the sky," explains Barry Sloane, the listing agent with Sotheby's International Realty. Wright was heavily influenced by Streamline Moderne, which was a popular style during the late 1930s, Sloane adds.
In 1970, Larson and Bridges hired architect John Lautner, who had worked with Wright on the original construction, to restore the house. A 21-foot overhanging deck, an open-concept living room, and Wright's trademark cantilever dining table are still intact.
Sloane says there are a few extras that can be included in the sale price. Those extras include the home's furnishings (with two chairs designed by Wright), art that includes pieces by Andy Warhol, Alex Katz, and David Hockney, and Wright's original drawings for the home. "They'll all add luster," says Sloane.
The ideal buyer, according to Sloane, is an art aficionado: "It's going to go to someone who's going to buy it as a work of art. This will be someone who will want to restore it back. The home needs some TLC, and that takes a particular kind of person. There are people who like to be custodians of architectural heritage."
Could the home be the office of the future for a wealthy buyer in the entertainment biz? Sloane's shown it to a few folks who think this home in the sky could stir up some creativity without being on a studio lot. "A lot of magnates and titans in the entertainment world live around there, and they don't want to go into big offices," says Sloane.