Open House Obsession: Superb Mid-Century House by Harold B. Zook in San Marino, $2.8M


Where: 730 Chester Avenue, San Marino
When: Sunday, January 19 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm
What: Designed by Harold B. Zook and built in 1955, this luxurious 4-bed, 3.5-bath house on a half-acre and surviving with many of its original details intact– still owned by the same family that built it– came on the maker this week asking $2.798M.

Zook designed handsome modern houses for prosperous suburbanites. San Marino has not changed much in the intervening years, except that increasingly, houses like this are being demolished and replaced by much larger ones. Realtor William Podley– who attended kindergarten with the current owner– told us that sadly, San Marino offers no protections for this kind of vintage house.

Inset with glass and teak, the front door slides open– Zook’s riff on Shoji screens:

Custom teak tongue-and-groove paneling throughout the house is a signature detail in Zook’s work, and if you ignore the dining room furniture, you can see how the house is composed of crisp, interlocking segments, and how the glazing meets the ceiling without frames.

The door to the kitchen– and the only access to the “service” areas– is almost invisibly set into the wall:

Below, the double-sided fireplace, dividing the living and family rooms:

The kitchen is almost intact except for a few details, and from vintage images, we know the Hans Wegner table and chairs have always been there. Below, the floor plan shows how the house occupies most of the lot and is composed of three parallel zones– the service area/maid’s room/kitchen, the living/dining/family room, and the three bedrooms.

More: Have a look at the listing for more images– including vintage black & whites of the house in the ’50s. For an overview of Harold B. Zook’s houses that have been on the market, check out Curbed LA.