Return of the Wolff House

Unusual Hollywood Hills home designed by architect John Lautner back on market
Fridays on the Homefront
Perched on a winding hillside road above Los Angeles' Sunset Strip is architect
John Lautner's Wolff House (above), which is now on the market for $6.5 million. Designed in the spirit of Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater, Lautner created the home in 1961 for interior decorator Marco Wolff. All color photos: Darwin
Nercesian - courtesy of George Salazar and Tilsia Acosta
Fridays on the Homefront
Lautner in 1970 at the Wolff House. Photo: Julius Shulman
(© J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles)
Fridays on the Homefront
Living room leading to cantilevered deck.
Fridays on the Homefront
Stone and wood spiral staircase.

Homes designed by onetime Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice John Lautner are the ultimate in modernist eye candy, but sellers and would-be buyers are often far apart regarding their worth.

Several have languished on the market recently for multiple years despite seven-figure price cuts.

One such home went back on the market recently, perched on a winding hillside road just above the famous Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. Lautner built the home in 1961 upon being asked by interior decorator Marco Wolff to design something in the spirit of Wright's Fallingwater masterpiece.

"This is a jewel," said George Salazar, representing the property at 8530 Hedges Place along with Tilsia Acosta for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties. "Anyone who comes to see it is blown away."

Perhaps, but the question is, will they be blown away enough to pay $6.5 million for the Wolff residence when prospective buyers over the past four years have been unwilling to pay $8 million or $7.5M.

"Marco Wolff bought a vertical lot," Salazar said of the unusual, hillside orientation. On that nearly undevelopable parcel, Lautner built a single-bedroom house with 1.5 baths covering 1,664 interior square feet. Two years later, he added a three-bed, two-bath guesthouse on the 9,784 square foot lot. The two structures are connected by a copper-lined roof.

"It has original blueprints signed by John Lautner," the realtor said of the guesthouse plans, which are included with the home. Salazar said the Michigan-born Lautner identified the Wolff residence as one of his five favorite personal designs, and in 2006 it was recognized as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Landmark.

The top floor of the angular, stone-clad home has 16-foot glass walls looking out over West Los Angeles, with equally tall glass doors opening onto a balcony. A circular staircase winds down to the bottom floor. The lot's verticality makes for nearly complete privacy.

"The kitchen and the bathroom have been remodeled over time, remarkably well," said the realtor, conceding that buyers may want to do still more remodeling. Consequently, Salazar said he has contacted "several famous architects" about the project.

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