LOHA To Update Julius Shulman Soriano Home


After famed mid-century photographer Julius Shulman died at the age of 98 in July of 2009, his Raphael Soriano-designed home in Laurel Canyon went on the market later that year for nearly $2.5 million. It took nearly a year but the home sold for a still-healthy $2.25 million (the rumored buyer is author Jonah Lehrer). Now the house is getting a slight facelift, courtesy of Lorcan O’Herlihy.

Lorcan is no stranger to mid-century remodels, having done Richard Neutra’s Staller Residence in Bel Air and Neutra’s Goldhammer House in Palos Verdes. He started the work on the Soriano house in May and is expected to be completed by this fall.

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According to the Architect’s Newspaper, LOHA will be bringing new life to a home that has suffered deferred maintenance issues such as chipping paint, dark carpeting, and cracking concrete. The garden, originally designed by Garrett Eckbo, is now so overgrown, it’s turning in on the house itself.

Above: New kitchen on the right

The exterior will remain mostly the same, while changes inside to the Los Angeles Cultural Historic Monument will be fairly light. The Douglas fir panels will be re-clad in a lighter wood, skylights will be added to some of the darker spots in the house, and the kitchen and bathrooms will be updated. Additionally, Shulman’s old office, a separate building, will be turned into a guest suite, and LOHA is adding new ductless heating and cooling units.

Above: LOHA is adding new screens on the right

The budget for the overhaul is fairly modest – just $240,000. LOHA is working with Soriano’s original drawings, now housed at the Cal Poly Pomona archives, and is supposed to work in landscape architect Mia Lehrer on the gardens (if the buyer is indeed Jonah Lehrer, Mia is also his aunt).

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