Rare, Restored Treasure

Pioneering architect Lloyd Ruocco’s historic Wexler House now on the San Diego market
Fridays on the Homefront
The Wexler House (above), located in the San Diego area, is a rare, restored treasure designed by Lloyd Ruocco, a master modernist architect who was respected for his forward thinking, and was highly influential regionally from the 1930s through the '50s. The home is now for sale. All house photos: Ollie Paterson

A serene study in California mid‐century architecture, San Diego architect Lloyd Ruocco's Wexler House is a real estate listing you'll want to lay your eyes upon.

Located in the Grossmont section of Mt. Helix in San Diego, this very special landmarked home was designed in 1963 for Henrietta Wexler, and husband Sidney, who was the co‐founder of Sparkletone Photo Service, a Kodachrome color film photo‐processing company founded in postwar San Diego.

Now listed for sale at $1,995,000, the single‐family Wexler House is furnished with original plans, and is reportedly on the Mills Act contract, which represents potential property tax savings for the next owner.

 

Fridays on the Homefront

 

Represented by Jeffrey Walker of the Agents of Architecture, Wexler's former home, which the family owned until 2015, is located at 10088 Sierra Vista Avenue in La Mesa.

"It's very private and peaceful, and has like a mid‐century‐meets‐cabin kind of feel when you pull up," reports Walker, "with all the wood, a nice row of chopped firewood in the carport, and the two wood‐burning fireplaces."

Situated in a natural setting, "the home is surrounded by large boulders, and the carport is positioned around a big boulder…plus you have a nice view of the mountains from there," adds Walker.

 

Fridays on the Homefront

 

Open‐beam ceilings rising to 11 feet, with floor‐to‐ceiling glass in almost every room, make this a particularly desirable design. Mountain views can be enjoyed from inside, and while lounging or dining on the patio and wraparound deck.

"On both sides of the main living room and in the kitchen are sliding‐glass windows," says Walker. "The living room has two on each side, and the dining room has one. The design of these original, wood‐framed sliding‐glass windows was ahead of its time."

Walker adds that the 5‐bedroom, 4‐bath home is a blend of "vintage nostalgia meets contemporary living standards," noting that the current owners are architects, and "have thoughtfully gone through it, installing all new appliances and intentionally matching cabinets to the walnut woods that were there before."

 

  Fridays on the Homefront
Architect Lloyd Ruocco on the catwalk of the San Diego Design Center in the late 1950s. Photo: courtesy Lloyd Ruocco Archive
 

Solid‐surface white quartz replicates the kitchen's original laminate countertops, and a full kitchen remodel includes new, energy‐efficient Bosch appliances.

Among the home's numerous upgrades is a new roof, a private guest suite downstairs with outdoor access, and 3/4‐inch oak flooring throughout much of the home.

Looking across the 1.66‐acre property is a magical experience, and ideal for entertaining. Newly enhanced landscaping blends a lawn with well‐established fruit trees, and Canary Island palms.

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