Must be the Season of Neutra - Page 2

Two of master architect’s most celebrated homes join a third on Los Angeles market
Fridays on the Homefront
The second Neutra of note now on the market is the three-bed, 3.5-bath Sten-Frenke House (above) in Santa Monica Canyon. It has undergone two expert restorations over the years before the owner added a two-bedroom guesthouse that blends reasonably well. All Sten-Frenke photos: Marc Angeles - courtesy Billy Rose/The Agency

Both homes boast film industry pedigrees, but the oceanview Sten-Frenke House (1934) in Santa Monica Canyon was built for an actress and is offered at $15M by a top director. The three-bed, 3.5-bath home was built for Ukrainian actress Anna Sten and husband Eugene Frenke and has been owned since 2009 by director Marc Forster. It has undergone two expert restorations over the years before Forster added a two-bedroom guest house that blends reasonably well with the classic home.

More surprisingly, these pricey listings (or lack thereof) are rippling the L.A. real estate pond while another Neutra gem in the wilds of Glendale loiters into its second month on the market. Crosby Doe Associates, representing the Taylor House (1961), priced at a modest $1.7 million, remarked about the lack of buyers just before the other two homes hit the market in February.

Fridays on the Homefront
The Sten-Frenke House’s oval dining room.

“You can’t find a Neutra of this quality this…cheap compared to what the others would be,” Doe said recently of his still-available listing in Glendale. A longtime admirer of Neutra, Crosby said of prices for the architect’s homes, “I think there should be a 200 percent premium, like some Frank Lloyd Wrights have been.”

The Lovell House played a significant role in the hit film L.A. Confidential (1997), while much of the action in Laurel Canyon (2002) took place at the Sten-Frenke. The site of the Taylor House, in the rustic Verdugo Woodlands, may have been featured in Disney’s Bambi (1942), but that would predate the house.

Fridays on the Homefront
The Sten-Frenke also has this beautiful ocean view.

Of course, even before this star-studded cast of Neutras hit the market, Los Angeles greeted 2020 with the January 4 opening of a photo exhibit at his old studio in Silver Lake, featuring designs and photographs by him, his sons, and other artists.

And March has only just begun! Who knows what other modernist treats this ‘Season of Neutra’ may yet bring?