Real Estate Report: Greta Magnusson Grossman's 1958 Hurley House in the Hollywood Hills, Asking $1.795M
Where: 3320 Wonder View Plaza, Hollywood Hills
What: Greta Magnusson Grossman– an architect and furniture designer who was already a success in her native Sweden– emigrated to Los Angeles in 1940 and opened a furniture and interior design business on Rodeo Drive. Best known for her visually light and witty furniture, Grossman's 1958 steel-and-glass Hurley House is now being sold by the heirs of the original owners, and aside from the kitchen and a few other details, the house is in almost "as-built" condition. On the market two weeks, the asking price is $1.795M and agent Peter Lavin says there have been multiple offers so far.
At some point, the Hurleys made changes. The living room still has the original Robsjohn-Gibbons chairs, but the low cut pile carpet has been replaced with tile– probably one too many hard surfaces. In the dining area, the wood-paneled composition of hanging sideboard and pass-through has been mirrored– destroying the subtle, layered relationships between spaces and materials:
Grossman placed the pool at the top of the lot– the only bit of flat ground on the site– and cantilevered the house over the slope. Below, a early plan of the main floor:
In addition to exposed steel components, Grossman designed the railing inset with expanded metal deckplate panels– a use of industrial materials that was probably slightly shocking at the time.
There was a later expansion of the deck and the development of the lower floor, plus a wood pergola for shade. Meanwhile, the tree grew:
Upside: The house is an ideal candidate for both Mills Act tax breaks and Los Angeles Historic Resource designation.
Downside: A new owner may want to bring some details back to their original specs, and the "what were they thinking?" kitchen (not shown here) needs to be replaced. Expect to give tours to architecture students.
More: At Design Within Reach, three of Grossman's iconic lamp designs are available– along with an excellent brief biography. Check out realtor Peter Lavin's outstanding dedicated site for the property.