Neutra Hooks Up with Nature

Modest Taylor House feasts on mountain preserve as its sheltered canyon viewshed
Fridays on the Homefront
The Taylor House, designed by architect Richard Neutra and built in Glendale in 1961, is currently on the market. It has been on several historic home tours over the years, described as "an elegant distillation of the architect's most important ideas about transparency, circulation, and quality of life." Photos by Tim Street-Porter - courtesy Crosby Doe Associates

A nifty nexus of Neutra and nature is on the on the L.A. housing market, nestled as it is in a comparatively remote neighborhood for one of the master architect's SoCal creations.

Austrian-American architect Richard Neutra designed numerous modern homes in the fashionable thick of the metropolis, Silver Lake and the Hollywood Hills. Clients Maurice and Marceil Taylor were lovers of the outdoors though, so they bought a lot up a rustic canyon in nearby Glendale, and their architect designed a sparkling glass box to drink in the views of the surrounding vegetation and wildlife.

The Taylor House (1961) at 3816 Lockerbie Court was listed at $1.75 million by the dean of mid-century modern real estate in Los Angeles, Crosby Doe and Associates.

Fridays on the Homefront

"There was an offer and it didn't work, and now it's available," Doe said recently about a young mother's offer on the two-bed, two-bath, 1,477-square-foot home on half an acre. He concedes, "It didn't seem like an ideal house for children."

Grarled, century-old oaks and squirrels populate the house's Whiting Woods neighborhood, also home to John Lautner's renowned Schaffer House. Doe's concession notwithstanding, it does boast presence in enrollment areas for exemplary schools in the Glendale district.

More significant to some, it sits at the dead end of a street that winds into the northeast border of the Verdugo Mountains Open Space Preserve.

Fridays on the Homefront

"The siting is perfect and wonderful," Doe effused, noting that it was the architect's last construction supervised by fledgling Manhattan Beach architect John Blanton. "This is one of the most uniquely original houses there is of Neutra's."

The Taylor House has been on several historic home tours over the years, including one in 2011 during which Neutra scholar Barbara Lamprecht talked about her description of it as "an elegant distillation of the architect's most important ideas about transparency, circulation, and quality of life."

Doe sold the home for Marceil Taylor in 1997 for $321,500 to the current owner, retired film producer John Solomon. He said Solomon has since retired from driving, adding, "He needs to get into a place that's a little more walking [oriented]."