Open House Obsession: Calvin Straub + HabHouse, $2.1M


The gracefully simple Post + Beam houses by Buff, Straub + Hensman are instantly recognizable. Building dozens of them in Los Angeles and Pasadena during the Post WWII boom, it was the firm’s 1958 Case Study House No.20 that confirmed their place in Los Angeles Modernist history, along with Calvin Straub’s influential teaching career as dean of Architecture at USC.

Straub developed the basic post + beam format in the late ‘40s using surplus lumber; the firm’s work would go on to be immortalized by architecture photographer Julius Shulman. Straub left the firm (and USC) in 1961, but his deep sense of simplicity and pragmatism, paired with the unique indoor/outdoor aspects of LA Modernism, live on.

This Pasadena property, originally Calvin Straub’s own home and built in 1957, is a signature work of the period. Asking $2,088,888, 725 Burleigh Drive is open Sunday, July 28, 2:00pm-5:00pm and represented by Michelle St.Clair and Joey Kiralla at Sotheby’s International Realty.

Photography by Cameron Carothers.

At the top of a driveway, the house is informally arranged in a series of staggered, flat-roofed, post + beam pavilions around a parking area and carport, but the entry is screened off, accessed up a low set of steps.

“A good architect has to have a good sensitivity to need.” –Calvin Straub

Fast forward a few decades, past neglect and unsympathetic renovations, the house has recently been instilled with new life, re-invented by Andreas E.G. Larsson, the Swedish force behind HabHouse. Larsson brings his background in carpentry and photography– along with a gracefully pragmatic Scandanavian sense of design– to Mid-Century rehab projects.

In that sense, Larsson and Straub are a perfect match.

Photography by Cameron Carothers.
Photography by Cameron Carothers.

More: Go to the listing for additional images and details. And if you love Los Angeles’s architecural history the way we do, check out the LA Conservancy for more; Calvin Straub’s Wikipedia entry is fascinating.

Photography by Cameron Carothers.