Looking Back: Three Favorite Listings From 2021


In the course of a year, I write dozens of real estate posts for CH+D, and every December, I choose three favorites. This year, a common thread appeared among the houses that resonated most for me. Each of the three epitomized California residential design in the 1920s, 1940s, and the 1960s, but another generation of designers had brought them firmly into the second decade of the 21st Century.
All three renovations were guided by the concept of stewardship, bringing a deeply respectful approach to these significant, historic properties without diminishing their inherent character. Click on the links for the original posts. –PF

Effortless ‘20s Vintage Charm in LA
As the founder and driving force behind Palisociety, Avi Brosh has brought his own seamless version of BoHo chic to a collection of hospitality properties. His own home, which came on the market this past February, was the distillation of years of collecting, both with a discerning eye and an appreciation of the anonymous and generic.

Photo Credit: Barcelo Photograohy for Compass
Photo Credit: Barcelo Photography for Compass

1940s Wurster in Pacific Heights
William Wurster’s influence on California architecture cannot be underestimated, but his work (at top and below) was often so understated you might take notice briefly and wonder what you had just walked past. Or as his wife once quipped “Bill can take $5000 worth of millwork and make it look like $500.” Which is apparently what his discreetly wealthy clients wanted back then, and his deep-pocketed fans today are willing to pay for.

Photo Credit: Brad Knipstein for Sotheby’s International Realty
Photo Credit: Brad Knipstein for Sotheby’s International Realty

Star Power: A 1961 Edward Skinner in Hidden Valley Estates
Tucked away in the gated celebrity enclave of Hidden Valley Estates in Beverly Hills Post Office, this immaculately restored time capsule, the Rowan Residence, was originally designed and built in 1961 by renowned LA Modernist Robert Skinner. A complex series of interlocking, luminous spaces arranged around an entry courtyard and a skylit spine, this masterwork of Mid-Century domestic architecture was photographed by Julius Shulman in the ‘60s, images that would later be featured in Taschen’s c.2000 Julius Shulman, Modernism Rediscovered. Beautifully restored by the previous sellers, it was snapped up within weeks of listing by architecture collectors Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi.

Photo Credits: Juwan Li for Compass
Photo Credits: Adrian Anz for Compass