When the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Samuel Freeman Home in Los Angeles went up on the market for the primary time ever final summer season, there have been fears that the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations-listed dwelling may very well be dealing with a lifetime of neglect or worse. Owned by the College of Southern California (USC) College of Structure for greater than 30 years, the textile-block home required greater than $1 million in renovations after the Northridge earthquake in 1994, and, beset by roof leaks, water infiltrating the blocks, and structural rust, whoever did buy the constructing would have to have the ability to afford its steady maintenance.
As of final week, the hypothesis is over. USC has offered the two,884-square-foot, two-bedroom constructing to L.A. developer Richard E. Weintraub at a large low cost on the situation that he pay for the “intensive” repairs wanted. Because the Los Angeles Instances factors out, USC first listed the 99-year-old dwelling for $4.45 million, earlier than slicing the worth to $3.25 million; Weintraub reportedly solely paid $1.8 million.
Regardless of his occupation, preservationists shouldn’t be too apprehensive, as Weintraub is sure by a everlasting conservation easement that stops demolishing, redeveloping, or constructing incompatible additions onto the Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument. Public excursions can even be carried out 4 instances a yr below comparable circumstances at the moment in place on the Ennis Home, one other textile block dwelling (and arguably probably the most well-known of the 4 in L.A. that Wright designed) that was offered to a non-public purchaser in 2019.
Though solely a 3rd of the scale of the Ennis Home, the Freeman Home is not any much less traditionally vital. Constructed right into a steep slope and constructed from 12,000 concrete blocks textured with Mayan-inspired reliefs forged round metal armatures, commissioners Samuel and Harriet Freeman ran the home as an open salon that attracted artists, photographers, and left-leaning thinkers. In 1986, Harriet donated the constructing to USC; this month marks the primary time the Freeman Home has traded palms in a non-public transaction.
For Weintraub, the acquisition reportedly marks the most recent acquisition for a collector within the 20th century West Coast structure popularized by the iconically cool photographs of Julius Shulman. For the college, the sale means offloading a property they might by no means totally afford to stabilize, and, because the LA Instances notes, a transfer away from historic dwelling stewardship typically as the college seeks to reorient itself again towards educating and analysis.