Sherman Oaks House Designed by R.M. Schindler Seeks $1.5 Million

  • Los Angeles Daily News | Sandra Barrera
  • 06/22/19

A previous owner restored the house using the modernist architect’s original designs. (Photo by John Hoon Lee)

A Sherman Oaks home designed by pioneering modern architect Rudolph M. Schindler is on the market for $1.499 million.

A protege of Frank Lloyd Wright, Schindler designed the 1,668-square-foot house at 4000 Sunnyslope Avenue for Harry J. Wolff in 1938.

Known as the Harry J. Wolff House, it includes Schindler’s signature “plaster skin” design – putting stucco and plaster over wood framing instead of using concrete to make modern architecture more affordable.

Schindler also experimented with spatial designs.

The two-bedroom house has clerestory windows, flat ceilings of different heights and an open floor plan that brings in natural light.

Plywood built-ins, an updated kitchen with period-appropriate cabinetry and lush landscaping with a waterfall are other features.

The house had undergone changes through the years at the hands of subsequent homeowners. In 2000, the filmmaker and architectural preservationist Michael LaFetra bought the home for $522,000, property records show.

His goal was to restore it as he has with other modern architecture classics, including John Lautner’s Wolff, Rawlins and Stevens houses, Thornton Abell’s Rich house, and Richard Neutra’s Millard Kaufman house.

Schindler, the Austria-born American architect who came to Los Angeles in 1920 to oversee construction of Wright’s Hollyhock House and never left, built mostly single-family homes for artists, teachers and lawyers. His original notes, blueprints, and historical photographs from his work on the Wolff house guided LaFetra in the restoration.

LaFetra did away with a basement playroom to reveal the long-hidden breezeway, returned the exterior to its golden stucco color and reinstated the interior’s pink plaster and plywood built-ins.

The house was registered under the Mills Act as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument, which allows significant property tax savings.

In 2006, LaFetra sold the restored property to Gina V. Nieto for $1.425 million, property records show.

Now it’s back on the market.

Louis P. Delaura III of Sotheby’s International Realty holds the listing. It will be open from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 22 and Sunday, June 23.

Work With Us

DeLaura Real Estate Team is always willing to go above and beyond to serve our clients’ needs, and always are readily available at a moments notice. Additionally, the team is more than happy to help any client with questions regarding art for their homes.

Contact Us