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The house can be seen in the movie Laurel Canyon (even though the house is located in Santa Monica).
In 2002, the house underwent a restoration and renovation by architects Pentagram, with Marmol Radziner. The latter, of course, famously restored the incredible Kaufmann House in Palm Springs, while infamously â€œenhancingâ€� other historic properties.
In the 2002 work, the pergola was extended, based on a very clear drawing by Neutra (the pergola was one bay originally because the lot next door, where the pergola would have extended, was not available when the house was built. The lot was later acquired). All the original plywood paneling was ripped out and replaced with upgraded redwood plywood. The original bathrooms, while not what Neutra would have preferred, were carefully restored. And on and on.
Then, the celebrated Julius Shulman was brought in to photograph everything for the first time.
One would have thought the house was now safe for many decades. Butâ€¦the house was sold in 2009 and the new owners were disturbed by how NOT original the house was. So they ripped out virtually everything that had just been done, including truncating the pergola back to one bay. Although this was all done in the name of bringing the house back to its 1934 condition, the original, just-restored bathrooms were ripped out in order to build what Neutra intended.
I can find a lot of information about the house post-Pentagram, but very little pre-Pentagram, and nothing about the latest version.
Hereâ€™s the Arch Record article online:
http://archrecord.construction.com/feat ... uses-2.asp
From the Pentagram site:
http://pentagramarchitects.com/case-stu ... ouse-1.php
This is full of interesting information, including PLANS:
From Curbed, post-Pentagram:
http://la.curbed.com/archives/2008/01/n ... lkthro.php
It seems extraordinary that while most architecturally significant homes suffer from a lack of funds to do a proper restoration, the Sten-Frenke house has had ample funds poured into it not once but twice, and all during a ten-year period.
You know of course that a later owner will re-re-extend the pergola.
That said, the new plywood is certainly an unusual and (by some) prized material, a highly-figured flitch that would do any Art Deco interior proud. It is overkill in this context, I suppose -- but it's hard to understand why this exemplary restoration wouldn't (other than the re-truncated pergola) be "good enough" for any Neutra lover.
I don't find the drawing of the pool that Tom speaks of, so can't comment on the curious detail or note mentioned.
Yeah, gotta admit ,Doug Fir ply panels are a beautiful wood and the Redwood did have an exotic presence. The expense of all that re-work though. Ouch.