Lukens House Resurrected

Long abandoned, Raphael Soriano's SoCal gem rises like a phoenix—and now for sale
Fridays on the Homefront
Like so many houses from the same pre-World War II era, the Lukens House (above) of Los Angeles has a rich backstory. Taken from tragedy to treasure by a recent owner, the Lukens House was restored, and now shines with a $2.485 million price tag. House photos courtesy Highland Premiere Real Estate

One of the wonderful things about discovering vintage homes is the rich backstories they bring with them over the years. The Lukens House, the storied pre-World War II modernist home in Los Angeles, is no exception.

Commissioned by Glen Lukens (1887-1967), a USC professor regarded for his work in ceramics and metal, the instructor's personal home and studio was designed by esteemed architect Raphael Soriano (1904-1988) in 1940. Soriano is the same architect, who, nine years later, would lend his innovative eye to the design of photographer Julius Shulman's home and studio, just 11 miles away.

Now on the market for $2.485 million, the award-winning Lukens House, at 25 West 27th Street, is listed by Jane Lee of Highland Premiere Real Estate.

Fridays on the Homefront

"They were almost going to demolish the home," says Lee, "but [former owner] Mike Chapman picked that house up and brought it back to the spirit in which Soriano had designed the home."

Designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 2007, the Lukens House is located in historic Jefferson Park, one of L.A.'s oldest neighborhoods. The home is sited in the original garden of West Adams' celebrated Lyndsay Mansion, built in 1908.

"Lukens bought the terraced property and greenhouse from the grandfather of the Lyndsays," Chapman explains. "It was one of the biggest lots that were up on Adams, the only one that went all the way through to 27th Street. All the other lots ended at the back of this property."

Architect Raphael Soriano.

Lee describes the outdoor areas of the Lukens' property as "just as impressive as the actual structure," with much of the original garden dating back to the turn of the 20th century. Miraculously, the ethereal glass greenhouse that Lukens purchased with the property survives to this day, repurposed as a rather extraordinary dining pavilion.

Built in the International Style, the 1,491-square-foot, 3-bedroom, 2-bath home incorporates Bauhaus design elements, a flat roof, overhanging eaves, and a distinctive ribbon band of steel-framed windows.

To get a sense of the extent of the restoration project, we spoke with Chapman, who took the derelict home from tragic to treasure. A realtor who now resides in Palm Springs, Chapman purchased the Lukens home in 2010, and he owned it until 2019.

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