Modernism in 'Shangri-La' - Page 2

Renewed home on architect's former family compound beckons celebrities, MCM fans
Fridays on the Homefront
Beautiful floor-to-ceiling glass walls.

Local landscape architect Paul Hendershot is credited with designing the beautiful, three-quarter-acre grounds, working around the valley's legacy oak and pepper trees.

"He did just an incredible job on this property," the realtor said of Hendershot, adding gravely, "which was just a mess when they got it."

The house is credited on permits to Chalfant Head and Associates, and MaHarry admits it is unknown whether the house design came from the Wisconsin-born family patriarch or his son Michael, himself a Viennese-trained architect. Although the father worked occasionally in Los Angeles County and built one or more homes captured by legendary photographer Julius Shulman, he apparently did most of his work in and around Ojai and nearby Ventura.

Fridays on the Homefront
A close-up of the dining area.

It's almost as titillating to speculate whether past Ojai residents, like actress Loretta Young and comedian Bud Abbott, ever spent time with the Head family as it is to pull names from the star-studded list of more recent residents and wonder if they are the sellers here.

MaHarry said she showed the house to a screenwriter recently, recalling, "She said, 'My God, this looks like a movie set!'"

Asked the house's best feature, the realtor first tabbed the rear-facing "floor to ceiling glass" walls before deciding, "The great room is the best feature, with the redwood walls and the high ceiling."

Fridays on the Homefront
Spectacular pool setting.

MaHarry said there will be no open showings of the property, even as shelter-in-place orders are eased, stating, "You have to be vetted before you get to see this."

And what a sight to see from certain angles, especially out back.

"The house from the backyard, when you look at it, it looks like a kite that's about to take off in the sky," she rhapsodized, acknowledging its exposed beams and sloped, angular roof.

Add that vision, if you will, to Ojai's longstanding reputation as a spiritual 'vortex' named for a Chumash people's word meaning 'moon,' and it would appear for the buyer of this transcendent home, the sky's the limit.

For more information about the house, click here.