Monday, July 21, 2014

The Neutra House Finale - Part 3

The O'Brien House Becomes London's Folly!
In late 1999, Diann London decided the 8,500 sq. foot multi-level house they were currently living in was just too much.  She could no longer climb the stairs required in this large house, but she knew she didn't want to leave the South Highland Historic District.

 She mentioned this to a neighbor friend and told her, "You need to find me another house!"
And she did!
The friend's brother, Wesley Glassell had bought the O'Brien House from Mrs. O'Brien in the 1960's and had no intention of selling it in 1999.
That is....
until Wesley received a call from his sister telling him that the Londons needed to buy it.

And that is how Dr. & Mrs. Steve London became the owners of the Neutra House in 2000.
When they bought the house it was only 2,400 sq. feet, which was less than half the size of their previous home.  More room was needed for their family of four including two middle school boys.

Diann told me that when they bought the house they had no idea how special it was until they found all the original blueprints, correspondence, specifications and certificates pertaining to the original house.

Shortly after purchasing the house, they hired local architect Charles Kellogg to design an addition.  Having now become passionate about maintaining the integrity of the house, Diann contacted Dion Neutra, (son of Richard Neutra) in California
 to inquire about possible period furniture that his father may have designed.

In the course of the conversation, she mentioned the addition they were planning.  She said she remembers him saying emphatically,
"Don't let them put granite in the kitchen!"

As a result of this conversation, Dion became a consultant on the project, making sure it was in keeping with the Neutra Name.  As a result, the flow and integrity is seamless.

Last week I showed you a picture of Diann standing where the new addition begins.  The new addition contains two floors including a family room and two bedrooms.
 They did not eliminate stairs completely, but by building a ramp from the kitchen to the new staircases, she did eliminate a few.
To the left are beautifully stained redwood stairs to the family room and the lower stairs lead to the bedrooms. 
The family room continues the open, light theme of the original plan.  They included a mini kitchen and entertainment system to facilitate family gatherings and entertaining.
 As an extension of this room
 the architect designed a balcony with an infinity reflection pool around the outside edge.

This new addition compliments the original house and with the use of glass and the second story reflection pool, continue the connection of the interior spaces with the natural surroundings.
We will now go into the intriguing lower two levels.
The Londons' added a bedroom and bath for both of the boys, plus a utility room on the lowest level.

From this vantage point, you can see three levels of the home.
The purple wall leads you into part of the original bottom floor of the house, now actually the 3rd level.
Here the London's converted the original space into a child's haven.
Both the London boys had a study area with computer connections and plenty of storage.
 Off the study is a fantastic library space for reading, watching TV or just chilling.
Behind one of the shelving units is a secret room!
What child would not love this hiding space, and what woman would not love this additional, out-of-sight, 200 sq. ft storage area?
 The second owners converted the maid's bedroom into a large storage area including a walk-in closet, with access to another bathroom and the garage area.
A characteristic architectural detail that Dion Neutra insisted on including in the addition was the
"Eyebrow" seen outside one of the bedrooms.
Diann found this period table in San Francisco and it is perfect in the dining room along with the modern seating and contemporary glassware reflected in the mirrored shelving.
One of the London's sons found this original Richard Neutra chair in California and gave it to his parents.

"Instead of us changing the house, the house changed us!  We tried to stay with what the house needed."
Diann London

I am sorry to end my blogging about this home.  I have come to appreciate it for so many reasons.  Thank you Diann and Steve for sharing this jewel with me and allowing me to share it with so many others.
 Neutra House - Part 1
Neutra House - Part 2

House for Sale!
Steve and Diann, no longer needing all the 5,137 sq. ft. space, have put the house on the market.

If they could have their way, they would want buyers who will not just like it, but appreciate the specialness of it and allow this house to change them too.

If you know of someone who might be interested, please have them contact the listing realtor. .
  • Beds 5
  • Full Baths 6
  • House Size 5,137 Sq Ft
  • Price $637,000
  • Price/sq ft $124
  • Garage 3 car garage
  • Lot Size 1.24 Acres
Elizabeth "Libby" Day
Elizabeth "Libby" Day

Hello, My name is Libby. I enjoy reading good books, painting, blogging, spending time with friends and whatever my "Heart" leads me to do. Welcome to Beauty Without Within.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful history of this home and the Architect. I found you because the proud new owner an architect himself just shared his news with his friends on Facebook. I can't think of anyone better to protect this gem of a home. I am also a blogger who calls Shreveport home. I am a new follower. I always enjoy seeing Shreveport from another point of view.


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