Schindler’s Early Masterpiece: The James Eads How House in Silver Lake, $2.5MAuthor:Philip Ferrato
Where: 2422 Silver Ridge Avenue, Silver Lake
What: One of Los Angeles’ most important surviving Modernist houses, Rudolf Schindler built this powerful composition of interlocking spaces for railroad heir James Eads How in 1925. Created from redwood beams, poured concrete, stucco and delicate window frames with mitered glass corners, the property was meticulously restored in the mid-2000s by LA’s serial architecture collector/restorer Michael LaFetra.
Rudolph Schindler (1887-1963) was brought to Los Angeles by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1920 to supervise his burgeoning California practice (primarily the Hollyhock House) while Wright went off to Tokyo to concentrate on his masterpiece, the Imperial Hotel. Schindler settled in West Hollywood, building a house (now open to the public) that he and his wife shared for a time with his fellow Austrian and occasional co-worker architect Richard Neutra. There’s more than a little of Wright’s influence on his protegé here in the deep horizontal elements and soaring central space, but unlike Wright, Schindler was not so much concerned with making the hearth the central focus of a room. Neutra’s contribution was the terrace and garden design.
Described (and ridiculed) in his day, the deeply spiritual James Eads How devoted his life and fortune to improving the physical and intellectual lives of indigent, unskilled workers, often migrants and homeless– a hobo army that traversed the country looking for work in the first half of the 20th Century.
What We Like: Besides the opportunity to live in an uncompromising work of architecture that someone else has brilliantly restored for you, the house has been designated Los Angeles Historical-Cultural Monument No. 895 and benefits from substantial Mills Act tax benefits. The 4-bed, 3-bath house looks fresh today, not vintage; LaFetra’s renovation fully updated the systems and air conditioning, so it’s ready to live in.
More: Check out the listing for more images and details. As per Curbed LA, the house was purchased from LaFetra in 2012 is currently owned by film executive Brad Kembel and his partner, retailer Jimmy Ferrareze.