Open House Obsession: In Encino, This Hal Levitt Wants Its Glamour Back


Where: 16061 Royal Mount Drive, Encino
When: Sunday, September 1 from 2:00pm to 5:00pm
What: Los Angeles has been called “suburbs in search of a city.” Encino is one of the nicer ones and a hotbed of development after WWII. Hal Levitt was a hugely successful architect whose decorative modernist houses were sought after at the time– although much derided by strict International School adherents– and epitomized film industry glamor. This relatively modest 3-bed, 4-bath house came on the market this week, asking $1.495M and needing some help, but many of Levitt’s signature design elements are intact, like this entry through a very private courtyard:

The planters were probably pools of water. In the foyer, below, what looks like the original terrazzo flooring. The French lantern is typical of the mix of styles in a Levitt house, as are extra-tall doors:

The living room acquired its wood floor at a later date. It need ripping out– originally the room would have had a combination of terrazzo and carpet– but the fireplace surround is original. It’s all in the (expensive) details. Note that there’s no header visible for the wall of glass, below. It’s flush with the overhang:

Glamour: With two levels, the fully-shrubbed master bath has impeccable tile and mirror work and light fixures appplied like costume jewelry. Plus a shower that opens to the swimming pool.

We love that the swimming pool is dark blue rather the default bright turquoise:

Upside: An accessible, moderately-sized work by a master– think of it as entry-level Mid-Century glam.
Downside: Needs work- probably all new systems– and a sensitive decorative restoration.
More: Many more images of this house online at the listing.