Friday, February 24, 2012

Let's Pause...

...for a wee gander a some serious SoCal architectural gorgeous, shall we?

The Schwimmer Residence, designed by innovative and experimental architect John Lautner and set into four desirable hillside acres high above Benedict Canyon in the 90210, was commissioned and built in 1982 by a Dr. Alden Schwimmer and his interior designer wife Nina.

Doctor and Missus Schwimmer sold the castle-inspired house—Lautner reportedly described it as a "horizontal castle"—in 1998 to former fashion designer Harriet Selling-Canepa who renovated and updated the house and, property records indicate, sold it off for an unknown amount of money in January 2009 to L.A.-based real estate executive Fred Droesch who currently has the eye-popping and iconic crib up for lease at $35,000 per month.

Situated well above the tree tops for picture perfect panoramic canyon and city views, the architecturally taut and nature-minded house hugs the hillside with its gentle curved shape, measures around 6,000 square feet, and contains, according to listing information, 4 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms.

The main living areas include a voluminous open-plan living/dining area with fab stone floor, two massive stone fireplaces, wood-framed glass doors that connect to cantilevered terrace and runs along the back of the house, and a soaring, high-drama, rib-like wood ceiling with curved rafters. A more intimately scaled den—also with soaring, high-drama, rib-like wood ceiling with curved rafters—has herringbone patterned wood floors, a second massive stone fireplace and built-in bookshelves and desk space.

A series of hollowed out turrets made of Bouquet Canyon Stone solidly anchor the cantilevered two-story structure and serve a variety of purposes. One is a wet bar, another is a pantry, a couple house bathrooms and storage spaces and the one in the master bedroom functions as a pee-in-your-pants perfect sky lit shower enclosure.

Certainly Miter Lautner's Schwimmer Residence hasn't been maintained as a time capsule or museum piece, a fact some architectural purists will surely point out and poo-poo. Any number of alterations (improvements and upgrades) and have been made such as in the very airy, center island kitchen outfitted with sleek wood cabinets we suspect may not be original to the house and high-grade appliances that include full-sized, side-by-side fridge and freezers that are most definitely not original to the house.

Alterations aside, we are in unrequited and deep real estate lust-love with this house. Although it seems utterly preposterous to anyone frugally inclined like Your Mama to spend $35,000 a month on rent even if you can well afford to spend $35,000 a month on rent, were Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter ever to be in the position to pay $35,000 a month to rent a house—and we don't expect to ever be—we would be powerfully tempted by this house.

Some of the larger nearby estates are now owned by the somewhat mysterious Igor Greensberg whose mega-mansion rivals those in Beverly Park in both size and opulence and Dr. Phil McGraw.who dropped $29,816,500 for his 16,000-plus square foot mansion around the corner in July 2010. At the bottom of The Schwimmer Residence's hair pin-like gated driveway is the famous (and sadly bulldozed) Falcon Lair, a stunning Spanish style residence built in the 1920s by silent film stud Rudy Valentino and owed for nearly 50 years by American heiress Doris Duke. And just down the hill a bit more is the property where Charles Manson's minions murdered a handful of people including Sharon Tate in 1969. That property is now owned by sitcom writer/producer Jeff Franklin (Laverne & Shirly, Full House).

The ever-industrious kids at Curbed toured The Schwimmer Residence last summer and posted a couple dozen drool worthy photos that show other parts of the house not shown here that include a red-carpeted spiral staircase, the most decadent and dee-voon laundry room Your Mama and our imperious house gurl Svetlana have ever seen, and a sensually serpentine entry lined with curvaceous Richard Serra-like Bouquet Canyon Stone walls.

listing photos: Sotheby's International Realty

24 comments:

midTN said...

***

This is all kinds of gorgeous.

***

lil' gay boy said...

Fabulous; just fabulous...

One thing anyone familiar with Lautner's work knows is to expect the unexpected ––– no matter how unique each residence was, there was no mistaking it.

If memory serves me, the kitchen cabinetry is original to the house, but the hardware appears updated. Have to drag out those heavy coffee table books to be sure, but a jewel in the crown of a history-steeped 'hood, nonetheless.

Although the Sheats-Goldstein Residence will always remain my favorite, this one is pretty damn close behind...I know it's a matter of practicality to rent it out if it isn't your primary residence, but if I owned it, I'd go on food stamps first before I'd let a strange family & their sticky-fingered rug-rats move in.

Anonymous said...

Lots of beams for hanging yourself.

exciting LA said...

we just blogged about this property too! it's such an awesome place - love John Lautner's designs! He's one of my faves!

Anonymous said...

I am gonna commit a mortal sin, and say I am just not in love with Lautner's work. Haven't seen one house by him I'd want. I can appreciate them architecturally and such.. but I'd much rather find myself at home in the Kaufman house or something of that style.

Speaking of which... after the Auction sale fell through... what ever happened to the Kaufman house?

FonHom said...

Mmmm...wanna lick it all over...

Doug said...

Beautiful place, Mama, but for $35,000 you could mimic the wood and roundness by purchasing an old Airstream. Want rocks and a view, you can have it. Surf and salt air, no problem. High snow-capped mountain peaks, why not. For my money, anything that goes for $35,000/mo better either fly, float or f**k. I enjoyed the pictures, though.

nursedeb said...

that laundry room!!! I like it better than the bedrooms...they seem really dark to me. love the kitchen. open and bright...drool drool

Anonymous said...

lil' gay boy sure loves to ride the coat tails of Mama... Sort of like the little puppy who won't let go of the leg it's chewing on.... boring....

MarkyMark said...

I die. Who knew that a laundry room existed which you'd be glad to live in?

Bobby said...

Wow.. 35000 - that's more than I make in a year :S It is lovely though

Anonymous said...

10:13 you still butthurt that no one jumped on your coattails in your hate/jealousy of LGB?

The Devoted Classicist said...

Momma, did you forget to say - 'cause I know you never missed an episode - that this is where HOUSE OF CARTER was filmed?

Critic Housewife said...

Really good post! I don't think the pool area matches the rest of the house though. If you like John Lautner's designs, here is a great link with more photos of many of his houses: http://www.trianglemodernisthouses.com/lautner.htm

Anonymous said...

Real Estalker: I am so sorry if my comment was sent more than once. I was having trouble posting a comment. Many times the "robot" thing said I wasn't typing in the right letters, and then Blogger wouldn't let me use an Open ID - I use Wordpress.com. Anyway, sorry again. Critic Housewife

MG said...

As part of last summer's Lautner tour, this house is even more impressive in person. Not sure if it's $35,000/month worth of impressive?

One potential drawback, and this might speak to my own earthquake paranoia. The driveway is essentially a steep, exit ramp type structure leading to a parking deck at one end of the home. If one of your driveway pillars were to become compromised, you don't enter or exit your home.

Luke Gibson Photography said...

I also attended that John Lautner homes tour last year, and the Schwimmer Residence was probably my favorite, or 2nd favorite! It was so unique, had so many interesting surprises at every turn, and a gorgeous pool & views. For anyone interested in architecture, I would highly recommend checking into the John Lautner Foundation, so you can attend the next homes tour.

Anonymous said...

House of Carters was definitely filmed here.

Anonymous said...

Just because it different does that make it gorgeous.....I would have to disagree with you on this one. But it is unique.

Anonymous said...

Is this David Schwimmer's childhood home? If I remember correctly, he went to Beverly Hills HS...

Anonymous said...

thanks for a posting worth looking at - beautiful architecture. unless i can get a belly laugh from some white trash russian housewives of ____ vulgarity, i much prefer this type.

Anonymous said...

2:09 AM, no, I'm just great. Your reply gave me a huge wood. Just what I was looking for. Thanks.

StPaulSnowman said...

Somehow, I just can't see Mama in coattails of any sort. We maybe red white and blue sequined coattails and tap shoes for her "Grand Ole Flag" recital routine. And, rather than "riding on", I see LGB rollerblading beside Mama protecting her from goons. This house is so beautiful that even a curry fart would smell good in it.

Anonymous said...

I love Bouquet Canyon Stone!

I don't know if it's true in this case, but Mr. Lautner was brought back by later owners of several houses to update them with today's materials. I recall reading that he enjoyed not keeping the houses pristine but liked the chance to re-do with materials not available at the time of the original construction.