Beacon of Richard Neutra

Hilltop SoCal home designed by master's son Dion priced at $5.5mil—for its 'cachet'
Fridays On the Homefront
On the Southern California real estate market is a curious modern home (pictured here) looking for a buyer. It brings together the celebrity status of the late Louis Scheimer, Hollywood filmmaker and former owner, and the architecture of Dion Neutra, son of Richard the great.
Fridays On the Homefront
Fridays On the Homefront

Like many houses we profile here, the Louis Scheimer house in Tarzana is priced considerably above most other comparably sized homes in the same area.

When asked about this aspect of the $5.5 million listing, listing agent Aaron Kirman predictably points to the property’s “architectural cachet” as an explanation.

“There’s no way to ‘comp’ this house,” Kirman said of the difficulty in finding comparable listings in the neighborhood, calling it “a one-of-a-kind modern showcase.”

The 5,226-square-foot home was designed by Dion Neutra, son of modernist master Richard Neutra, and built in 1972. It belonged to one of the giants of television animation.

“He was a huge Hollywood guy,” the realtor said of Scheimer, who was a co-founder of Reseda-based Filmation Associates. The studio produced a successful run of Saturday morning cartoons in the 1960s, '70s, and ‘80s that included Star Trek: The Animated Series, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, and more.

“They commissioned the house and lived in it happily for a lot of years,” Kirman said of Scheimer, who died in 2013, and his family, all of whom provided occasional voice talent for the cartoons.

So you’ve got the celebrity of Scheimer, and the architecture of Dion Neutra, who had many notable works but less ‘star power’ than his groundbreaking father. Does that justify a per-square-foot price of $1,052, about double that of many other homes in the Tarzana hills?

Well, to start with, there is the terrific site, with a 360-degree view of the hills and the San Fernando Valley below.

“The site is especially unique. It’s literally like a beacon on the hill,” Kirman said of the lot at 18918 La Montana Place. Largely because of the views, Kirman identified the “walls of glass” as the most outstanding feature of the four-bedroom, five-bath home. The house also has a lovely water feature that snakes throughout the property as well as a spa, swimming pool, and cabana-style guesthouse.