Rare Neutra Destroyed - Page 2

‘Dragon of demolition’ plagues California homes designed by the master modernist
Fridays on the Homefront
Threatened: Neutra’s Chuey House, Hollywood Hills. Photo: Julius Shulman photography © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10)
Fridays on the Homefront
Gone: Neutra’s Von Sternberg House. Photo: Julius Shulman photography © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10)
Fridays on the Homefront
San Francisco supervisor Aaron Peskin (left) and Dion Neutra (right), architect, activist, and son of Richard (right). Photos: Doc Searls (right), FINSw8 (left).

Dion Neutra says at least two other California homes designed by his father are potentially facing a similar fate, including the Chuey House (1956) in the Hollywood Hills, as we reported here in September. After three months of asking $10.5 million for what the listing described as "a truly unique development opportunity," the house was delisted and removed from the open market in early December.

Meanwhile, the Connell House in Pebble Beach is "being slowly destroyed by its owner in prep for demo," according to Dion Neutra, who also fears for the future of the Roberts House in Covina and the Loring House in the Hollywood Hills.

Of course, this is a not a new problem for Neutra admirers. Indeed, www.neutra.org has a tab called Demolition Derby featuring photos and video of other lost buildings. These include the Von Sternberg House (1935) in Chatsworth, destroyed in 1972; and the Cyclorama visitors center (1962) at Gettysburg, demolished in 2013.

Wherever possible, the architect's two sons, Dion and Richard, have gotten involved in trying to save their father's work. So have preservation groups like the Los Angeles Conservancy and the Alliance of Monterey Area Preservationists, which is currently battling on behalf of the Connell House.

"Attorney Tony Lombardo expressed his concern that the Connell House is in danger of loss due to intentional neglect," the Alliance reported of testimony at a Monterey County Historic Resources Review Board meeting. Lombardo, the website says, "hopes the HRRB can recommend that the current owner be put on notice that this neglect cannot continue."

Meanwhile, the dragon of demolition licks its chops, gazing patiently at those million-dollar views of Pebble Beach.