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For sale: John Lautner's Wolff House - Hollywood Hills, CA

Posted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:02 pm
by DavidC

Posted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 11:30 pm
by SDR
Is that deck bench in photo 5 really of the same sheet metal as the rest of the enclosure ?

This idiosyncratic house must be difficult to photograph convincingly. It is useful to hear that Lautner's client wanted something Wrightian---apparently.


Posted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:25 am
by SDR
Images from Lautner's and Hess's books.

Lautner's description of the project:









Color photos © Alan Weintraub

Posted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 10:52 am
by Roderick Grant
Yes, the metal is the same throughout.

This house has been through very few ownerships, possibly only 3, suffering no indignities that I can see,
other than the replacement of the concrete railing on the cantilevered terrace with glass, which is no improvement.

The original client lived there until his death in the late 70s or early 80s. In the 90s, when a few of us FLW fans were taking an impromptu tour of LA architecture,
an elderly man owned the house. He said he was the second owner. Very nice gentleman, but wouldn't let us in.

The house was featured early on in HB. One of my favorite Lautner designs.

Posted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:20 am
by Matt2
Always loved this house...perhaps because the interior seems so thoroughly protected. Of course, that makes the exterior appear as a bit of a bunker with all that concrete. I'm tempted to pose as a millionaire so I can request a tour.

Posted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:54 am
by Roderick Grant
Matt, drive to the north end of La Cienega at Sunset Blvd., go up into the hills on Miller Drive,* wend your way through some curves, to a lot just past 1385 Miller,
a 4-story stucco box, from which position you can view the downhill side of Wolff. Then proceed to Hedges Place, the next left, for a glimpse of the entrance façade.

* This is a tricky intersection to navigate from La Cienega. It would be easier to reach Sunset by way of Crescent Heights, turn left, and you get a straight shot at Miller Drive 5 blocks west.

In the 80s, this house sold for just over $300K.

Posted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 8:58 pm
by Tom
Say plan north is top of page
then do I understand correctly
that the main entry to this house
is down a flight of steps from the north west corner
landing in the living room?

Pretty cool how he built around all those trees
... love the plunge pool.

Posted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 10:04 pm
by SDR
It would be lovely to see another section through the house, one that took in all the stairs and steps.

The remaining Weintraub photos in the Hess/Weintraub monograph:

Image 3

Image 4,5

Image 6,7

photos © 1999 Rizzoli International Publications, Inc

Posted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:42 pm
by Tom
That shot helps.
I think the steps coming down behind that fireplace must be the main entry stair.

The stone is veneer on concrete, right?
Looks great.

Posted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:53 pm
by SDR
In the first plan above, at street level, the row of diagonally-placed low piers that appears in the Weintraub #3 photo are visible---but
the adjoining steps seem not to have been drawn. Unfortunately, the section view was cut at a point beyond those (and other) stairs . . .

So, the entry sequence as built is, first, a short exterior flight from the carport, then indoors and down a longer flight. If the plan draw-
ings omit that first flight, then the design was changed at some point, perhaps to lower the whole construction relative to street level ?

A related element visible on the plan but not in photos (here) is what appears to be a group of concrete (?) planks, their ends lopped
at diagonals (reminiscent of other paving "bars" in Lautner houses, such as Schaffer)---perhaps an extension of the carport paving ?


Posted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 1:50 pm
by Roderick Grant
Tom, the stair behind the fireplace goes up to the guest addition. The main stair is to the right of the fireplace in the photo, out of sight. In the plan, it is quite obvious.

Lautner's plans tend to be messy and hard to read. There was a plan in the HB article drawn by the wonderful Madeleine Thatcher, who had the job I always wanted.

Posted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:38 am
by SDR
Bingo: ... residence/

Perhaps the second and third photos show the addition ?


Posted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:56 am
by SDR
Image . . . . . .Image


Wish I knew what magazine the article appeared in . . .


Posted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:14 am
by Reidy
This house was in the 1998 movie Twilight, along with Oboler and the Cedric Gibbons house in Santa Monica Canyon.

Posted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:31 am
by Roderick Grant
SDR, yes, the second and third photos are views of the guest wing. No plan for this addition has been published, as far as I know. The stair behind the living room fireplace originally led to an outdoor space off to the side of the main entrance.

The only word I can read is "January." So we know what month the article appeared. Other than HB, I have never seen an article on the house. The plan included looks like Thatcher's work, however, so it might be HB from the 60s (before construction of the guest wing in 1970).

What I wonder about is how Wolff and Lautner got away with that staircase!