Taking advantage of some increasingly desirable, ever-revitalizing riverfront real estate is this glassy new mixed-user, slated to replace a Reseda auto shop with 254 one-, two-, and three-bedroom units, plus around 7,700 square feet of retail space at the street level. Building LA has images of WaterMark, the six-story building headed for a 2.5 acre parcel at Reseda Boulevard and Kittridge Street (where Reseda meets the LA River). Developed by LA-based company Metric Holdings Corporation and designed by The Albert Group Architects, the mixed-user includes a "glass-clad" tower to serve as a beacon to draw those traveling the river path toward the building's shops; green space and bike parking along the site's southern edge and eastern face are also meant to draw in shoppers.
Brentwood's celebrated Modern architecture tract Crestwood Hills originally contained 150 residences designed by the team of A. Quincy Jones, Whitney Smith, and Edgardo Contini. Regrettably, one-third of those houses were destroyed by the devastating wildfire that ravaged Brentwood and Bel Air in November 1961. Now hitting the market for the first time ever is a Crestwood Hills house erected the year after the conflagration, though well in keeping with the architectural style the neighborhood is famous for. Per the description, the 2,901-square-foot post and beam's original details include "slate floors, extensive custom woodwork and vintage kitchen and bathrooms." The three-bedroom house also features walls of glass, a floating fireplace, a central atrium, and "commanding city lights, Getty Center, canyon and ocean views." Sited on a .28-acre lot, it's listed in a trust sale at $1.999 million.
What do Highland Park residents think about the constantly changing Highland Park? Antioch City Church, which is based in the neighborhood, asked a variety of "community members" that very question as they walked along the very hip York Boulevard (ground zero of the gentrification/upscale-ification of the 'hood) during three Northeast LA Art Walks recently. While you might expect art walks to attract one certain kind of attendee, the crowd in the video is diverse—young, old, male, female, and all races. Equally diverse are their ideas about Highland Park: Being put on the spot to define your neighborhood is challenging, but the range responses both confirm the terrifying stereotypes ("Highland Park is where all my friends who can't afford Silver Lake are moving!") and capture the fact that this is a neighborhood and community that's trying to adapt to quick changes while still remaining a place that people can comfortably call home. Antioch will be doing a Figueroa shoot next.
Ten bedrooms, 14 bathrooms,27,000 square feet (yes, of actual living space)—all of them oozing the kind of over-the-top lavishness that one would expect from Richard Landry, the man whose name is synonymous with ridiculously large houses made for people with too much money. The "French Chateau style" mansion, tucked onto just under two acres in gated megamansion playground Beverly Park (via Homes of the Rich), was built in 2008 and hit the market that same year with a $45-million pricetag; it sold in 2009 for just $31.5 million. (Just!) That's a steal for all the totally necessary features the house includes, like a two-story foyer, ballroom, library "with glass floor," home theater, 2,500-bottle wine cellar, and indoor swimming pool. There's also a six-car garage, multiple water features, and an outdoor pool. The estate is asking a much-deserved $50 million.
Hannibal Buress, the super-funny comedian who co-stars on super-funny Broad City and The Eric Andre Show (and stars in this brilliant episode of High Maintenance), appeared on Conan last week to bring us the latest Crazy Landlord Story Where Everyone Ends Up Looking Like an Asshole (a rich genre). Earlier this year, Buress rented a place in the Valley with its own grotto; obviously, grotto equals party, but his landlord had outlawed parties, so he politely waited until she went out of town. However, the place was rigged up with a live-streaming surveillance system. What followed were dogs jumping in pools, nasty texts, fake feng shui, rent paid in pennies, and generally just a lot of uncool behavior from both parties. Watch here:
We couldn't possibly and wouldn't dare argue with the listing's insistence that this house has "Unique Architectural design in the style of Frank Lloyd Wright." Same for its claim that the house "was built with traditional Feng Shui flow of atmosphere in mind." Actually, we won't argue with anything having to do with anything with this listing. This is the kind of place it's just best to back away from slowly while nodding politely and maintaining a calm but non-committal smile. But if you dig crazy and have always thought that Frank Lloyd Wright's textile block houses would look better rendered in stucco, 1980s tile, and disorienting wallpaper, you should look into this five-bedroom house in Diamond Bar's gated The Country. It comes with an art gallery/museum, cabana with three-quarters bathroom, a wine cellar, a conversation pit, and a "Deep Garage." Ok, yes, Deep Garage, sounds great, super cool, wonderful, love it, $4.9 million, good luck, gotta go now!
After a few weeks of intermittent closures, the dusty and sun-baked Silver Lake Dog Park reopened this past Saturday for the dedication of some new shade canopies. According to Eastsider LA, the green fabric structures were designed to be supported by two posts instead of four, which should reduce the risk of dogs and people running into them. (Yes, dogs had been crashing into them). The project's been in the works for about two years and is already providing some relief for playful pups, including the one dog intently listening to Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell's speech at the event.
This past weekend, 10,004 volunteers gathered at 45 waterfront sites for Heal the Bay's twenty-fifth annual Coastal Cleanup Day, and by the end of it all, they'd picked up 26,170 pounds of "cigarette butts, food wrappers, bits of Styrofoam, plastic bottle caps," and other assorted refuse that people couldn't be bothered to dispose of properly (and that's just an initial total). Every year, there are wacky unexpected items found among the trash—wedding dresses, "WWII-era gas masks," things that turn out to be surprisingly realistic replicas of human skulls. Heal the Bay says that this year did not disappoint in the weirdness category (though nothing will ever top the headless rooster found in 2012's cleanup). Here are the 10 greatest, oddest finds from HtB's 2014 event:
· a piece of a semi-automatic gun
· an intact handgun
· four octopuses and "at least 100 crabs" tangled up in man-made trash
· a horse saddle and cash register (Agoura Hills)
· a manhole cover (Compton Creek)
· a video promoting a transgender beauty queen contest (LA River)
· a Pepsi can from 1994 (King Harbor)
· an unopened bottle of the fine, under-$5 sparkling wine Andre
· small religious statuary:
One thing we know about U2 in 204 is that they do not care what anyone else wants. They do not care if you want their album, they are going to make you have it, and guitarist The Edge does not care if you want his mansion development on your untouched coastal land, he is going to do whatever it takes to build it. The Edge, aka David Evans, has been trying to build five "eco-friendly" houses—including one for himself—off of Sweetwater Mesa Road in the Santa Monica Mountains since 2006 and, after years of kinda-shady machinations, has gotten the support of the California Coastal Commission staff (they've recommended the CCC approve the project at its meeting in early October, with a few changes).
The Edge submitted plans for the five houses separately, under separate names, which CCC staff originally took as an attempt to skirt environmental rules, according to the LA Times. They also found that the project "would scar a steep, undeveloped ridgeline visible from much of the coastline, cause extensive geological disturbance and destroy environmentally sensitive native vegetation." A few months later, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy suddenly switched their stance on the development from con to neutral after The Edge gave them $750,000 in cash, $250,000 worth of work by a consultant, and 97 acres of land for conservation. Then, in 2012, The Edge's "extensive team" started lobbying for a pro-development, anti-environment state bill that would've helped clear the way for the project. After passing the Assembly, it was rejected by the Senate.
Finally The Edge tried just making the plans more acceptable. Following a year of negotiations with the CCC, the path has been clearcut for a modified version of the 151-acre development; the size has been slightly reduced and plans call for less grading of the hillside; some of the houses are also shorter and together they'll be placed lower on the ridge, so they won't be as visible from below. The five houses range from 8,786 to 14,980 square feet and would be accompanied by a new 20-foot-wide access road.
[Aluminaire House on the campus of the New York Insitute of Technology via Curbed NY]
Palm Springs, home to enough wonderful Modernist buildings to devote a week to them each year, is hoping to add to its collection with a famous transplant all the way from New York: Aluminaire House, by Albert Frey and A. Lawrence Kocher. The Desert Sun reports that the mayor of Palm Springs is heading up the effort to raise $600,000 to disassemble, transport, and reassemble the iconic, all-metal house in the desert town where Frey lived and where many of his most famous works (the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway station, the Tramway Gas Station, Palm Springs City Hall) still stand today.
The 1931 prefab Aluminaire is acknowledged as the US's first all-metal house and likely the nation's first prefab house. Frey and Kocher (then the managing editor of Architectural Record) exhibited it at a show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where it was admired by both critics and the public. Made entirely of donated materials and originally assembled in just 10 days, it's been called one of the "the pivotal works of modern architecture in America." Created for the purpose of demonstrating that Modernist architecture could be made for middle-class families, it is also largely credited with bringing the International Style, already popular in Europe, to the US.
Regardless of its illustrious past, the once-famed structure is presently homeless since New York's Landmarks Preservation Commission rejected a proposal in January to put the house and two condo buildings on a corner in Queens—much to the delight of locals who were very vocal about not wanting them there. Palm Springs is working with the Aluminaire House Foundation, helmed by two architects who were principals at the firm trying to incorporate the building into that development.