Iconic Ellwood Stays Afloat - Page 2

Restored home that appears to float above Brentwood hillside now has $3M price tag
Fridays on the Homefront
Fridays on the Homefront
Floor plan shows off the home's T-shape design.
Fridays on the Homefront
Fridays on the Homefront

James Tyler, F.A.I.A., designed the 2018 restoration of the house, which Jahncke says "was going to be torn down" before listing agent Frank Langen worked to find a buyer to restore Ellwood's masterpiece.

"It was all Jim Tyler/Ellwood people on the project," Jahncke said, describing outreach and collaboration with several of the designer's colleagues and family members who have 'ordained' the restoration. In fact, two of the first visitors to photograph the house since its completion were daughter Erin Ellwood and her mother, the former Gloria Henry, who played Alice Mitchell on 1960s TV's 'Dennis the Menace.'

Tyler was an associate and the principal architect at Craig Ellwood Design, and he toured the house in 2017 while mulling the project.

"He was going to go home and "talk to Craig," Jahncke said of the redesign, which featured complete upgrades of all paneling, systems, and appliances with contemporary, compatible materials. The researcher further quotes Tyler about making the house "as Jim says, what it would have been had they had these things."

He explained that under two prior owners spanning six decades, the steel-framed, T-shaped house had been "bastardized," adding, "We basically removed the mistakes that were made over the years and took it back to where it was."

Jahncke said the restoration team also drew inspiration from other Ellwood designs, modeling the streetside hardscape after that of the Palm Springs house he built for computer pioneer Max Palevsky (1968). Despite the changes and new materials, however, the researcher said the house has the "same soul, same spirit, new life."

"It's a new version of itself that's exactly the same," Jahncke pronounced contrarily. Referring to neighbors walking by it, he said, "When I stand out in front having meetings [by cell phone], people clap."

"It's special. It's literally a floating box," he said of the house's appearance from below.

Tyler also worked a lot with Case Study architect Pierre Koenig, and Jahncke said the recent sale at auction for $3.2 million of CSH #21 (the Bailey House) was used as a comp to price the Smith House. Another factor is the play Ellwood houses have gotten in several recent architecture books, he said, declaring, "It's an Ellwood moment!"

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