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For sale: architect Rodney Walker’s ‘simple but magical’ O’Neill Duplex in Silver Lake

 

Fridays on the Homefront
O'Neill Duplex No. 1 offers a flexible floorplan within a compact 2,169 square feet, containing 2 bedrooms and 2 baths, with walls of glass opening to private yard spaces. Photo: David Fitzgerald

"You get all of the ridgeline over to Griffith Park, the Hollywood sign, and of course the [Griffith] Observatory," says Pickard. "In the evening, since it's northwesterly oriented, you get this amazing sunset light, and you see the outline of [architect John Lautner's] Silvertop [home] across the way. Such a classic Southern California view, a really beautiful experience."

Architect Rodney Walker (1910-1986), was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and studied engineering at Pasadena City College, later transferring and earning a degree in art from the University of California at Los Angeles. In the late 1930s he worked as a draftsman for master architect Rudolf Schindler.

 

Fridays on the Homefront
Photo: David Fitzgerald

After World War II, Walker worked independently, designing affordable, modern postwar homes for his clientele. In 1948, UCLA showcased the architect's designs, securing his rise to prominence, and his place in John Entenza's Case Study House program.

Walker retired from design in 1965, and it is said that upon his retirement he destroyed the entirety of his architectural archive. Thankfully, many of his homes were documented by architectural photographer Julius Shulman; and others have been designated as landmarks, including our featured property, the O'Neill Duplex No. 1.

 

Fridays on the Homefront
Photo: Eric Charles

The single‐story, side‐by‐side duplex is oriented towards natural views from every room. Each unit offers a flexible floorplan within a compact 2,169 square feet, containing 2 bedrooms and 2 baths, with walls of glass opening to private yard spaces.

Low‐pitched gabled rooflines feature exposed beams, wood paneling, built‐in cabinetry, and combed plywood exterior siding. A private driveway leads to four parking spaces and an EV charging station, and it's fully gated.

 

Fridays on the Homefront
Photo: David Fitzgerald

"Our clients are preservationists who have owned this home for 17 years," Pickard points out. "They did a restoration of the owner's unit, kept it quite intact, working with a contracting company to build back to the [look of the original] Shulman photos. They brought back the cork flooring, kept the kitchen very much in the same style…improving and maintaining it as it needs to be with the Mills Act."

Honored to represent a mid-century landmark like the O'Neill Duplex, Pickard adds, "We think that through our work we can ensure the value of great architecture…It's like selling art. Anytime the opportunity arises, it's always exciting."

For more info and photos on the O'Neill Duplex No. 1, click here.

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