When it comes to midcentury modern residences, good things often come in small packages. To wit: a modestly sized home designed by influential modernist architect Gregory Ain in L.A.’s Mar Vista neighborhood that’s recently come to market for just shy of $2.5 million. Measuring almost 1,800 square feet and looking much as it did when it was built 75 years ago, the flat-roofed bungalow is nicely maintained and, per marketing material, “lovingly renovated by the creative family who live here.”
At the front, slender, V-shaped legs support an extension of the roof that forms a covered path to the front door. Other midcentury design hallmarks include clean lines, clerestory windows, and walls of glass. Built-ins, cabinet pulls, windows, and other original features of the three-bedroom, two-bath home have been preserved alongside updates that include quartz countertops and stainless-steel appliances in the kitchen and bamboo floors throughout.
More from Robb Report
The galley kitchen, just inside the front door, is open to the living room over a built-in dining table. The humble original brick fireplace anchors the airy living room, where a full wall of windows brings the greenery of the backyard into the house. The main bedroom has direct access to the yard and a bathroom updated in a minimalist manner that’s complementary the original architecture, while the two-car garage has been converted into a multipurpose space with a polished concrete floor, a couple of skylights, and a pivoting door that doubles as a chalkboard. It’s also where the washer and dryer are located.
The L-shaped backyard is an organized collection of concrete patios for relaxing and dining and a rectangular stretch of turf flanked by expanses of pea gravel. It is shaded by mature trees, including a large redwood, and enclosed by bamboo and olive trees.
One of about 50 homes that the innovative modernist master designed and built in the late 1940s in a small tract conceived as a community within a park, a marriage between smart modernist design, low-cost postwar housing, and a cohesive landscaping scheme conceptualized by acclaimed landscape designer Garrett Eckbo.
As it turns out, the completed homes, marketed as “modernique” in style, were less affordable than similarly sized but more traditional homes in the area, and so the tract was not initially a success. However, with the resurgence and enduring popularity of midcentury design over the last few decades, the neighborhood was designated in 2003 as a Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ), which, among other restrictions intended to preserve the micro-neighborhood’s architectural integrity and historic value, prevents second stories from being added and front façades from being altered.
It’s not often that one of Ain’s “modernique” homes comes up for sale, and they tend to get snatched up quickly. Only four of the Ain-designed homes in the Mar Vista tract have changed hands over the last three years, most recently this summer when one of them traded for almost $2.5 million.
And, indeed, records show that this house, listed with Brian Linder of Compass, already has a contingent offer less than two weeks after it was first listed.
Click here for more photos of 3550 Meier Street.
Best of Robb Report