Posts Tagged ‘City’

Curbed – City of Angles: Devo Founder Selling Richard Neutra’s Landmark Kun House

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015


The landmark Joseph Kun Residence in Nichols Canyon—designed by the great Modernist architect Richard Neutra for Los Angeles Examiner printer Joseph Kun and finished in 1936—has come up for sale for the first time since wrapping up a thorough restoration. The seller is Devo singer and bassist Gerald Casale, who bought the house in 2007 and devoted the next seven years to meticulously fixing it up with the help of preservationist James Rega—the first three years were spent just researching all the details of the original design, the rest were filled with stripping and restaining the wood and removing all the post-1930s details and replacing them with period elements. Those materials that couldn’t be found were made new to period-correct specification, according to a release from the broker representing Casale in the sale.

From the original cabinets down to the screws on the outdoor deck, this place—which Neutra said was his favorite of the period—should look almost exactly as it did back in 1936. The three-bedroom, two-bathroom house measures a not-extravagant 1,732 square feet, but spans three and a half stories, descending down from an entrance on the top floor, with a rooftop patio and several wraparound balconies; it was Neutra’s first house to use all-electric fixtures. The house was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 2011 and is also notable for launching the career of then-26-year-old photographer Julius Shulman, who ended up being one of the most important figures in the popularization of Modern architecture. Casale paid $ 2 million for the house back in 2007. It’s now listed for $ 3.5 million.

· Richard Neutra Kun House [Official Site]
· Aaron Kirman, President Of Aaroe Estates, Lists Modernist Masterpiece Richard Neutra-Designed Home In Hollywood [PR Newswire]

Curbed LA

Curbed – Trash Talk: Internal City Report: Los Angeles is Full of Trash

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

[Image via Davin Sanchez]

The LA Times got its hands on an internal city report this week that says Los Angeles is traaaaashy. Some of the findings in the report, compiled after a thorough investigation by senior livability advisor Mark A. Thomas, are pretty bad:

· Only about a third (35 percent) of streets are cleaned “on a regular basis,” and there’s no priority for more highly-used streets.
· The city thought there were “several thousand” trash bins out around LA, but the sanitation department mapped it recently and found just 700 (the city is about 470 square miles).
· The Fashion District Business Improvement District collects six tons of garbage every day.
· “Cleanups in South L.A. have pulled as much as 100 tons of garbage from a single alley.”
· The city spends $ 12 million a year to remove large trash items like furniture and electronics, “but it can’t keep up” with the amount of dumping.

The report recommends “a task force,” naturally, to come up with some kind of plan or another to keep the streets, alleys, and sidewalks clean, and it suggests taking inspiration from New York City’s Project Scorecard, “a data-driven approach.” In New York, this kind of intensive clean-up effort is often a gentrification exercise, a way to crack down on poor people and make neighborhoods more palatable for the rich. In Los Angeles, where neighborhoods are more segregated, the idea doesn’t have quite the Giuliani-style implications; if the city wants to put more money and energy into poor neighborhoods, that’s probably a good thing.

Mayor Eric Garcetti has already given sanitation drivers smartphone apps to help them get through their routes faster and City Attorney Mike Feuer has launched “a strike force” to catch illegal dumping “in the city’s most notorious sites.”
· Blunt report finds L.A. isn’t keeping up with removing dumped trash [LAT]

Curbed LA

Curbed – Mounds & Piles: Los Angeles City Council Votes to Cover Mound With Tarp

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

[The mound, from space]

Big mound news: today the Los Angeles City Council voted to cover a large mound of second-hand asphalt at Van Nuys Airport with a tarp. The asphalt, which is used for street repairs and ranges in size from “fine dust” to “human fist,” according to the LA Daily News, has allegedly been blowing into nearby houses and yards, making neighbors in Lake Balboa “increasingly frustrated,” according to the City Council motion approved today. The city has already “reduced the pile’s size from 30 feet to 17 feet” and today voted to cover the mound, stop adding to the mound, and come up with a longer-term strategy for dealing with the mound. “For me, the ultimate goal is to have [the mound] removed,” says City Councilmember Nury Martinez.
· 14-1536 [LA City Clerk]
· Lake Balboa asphalt mound up for Los Angeles City Council vote [LADN]

Curbed LA

Curbed – Expo Line Phase II: The Two Expo Line Sections Are Now Linked Up in Culver City

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

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[The bumperless, unobstructed view west from the Culver City station via The Source]

The race toward completion Expo Line light rail springs forward with the beginning of work to join the electrical and communications systems for Expo Phases I (Downtown to Culver City) and II (CC to Santa Monica) near the Culver City station. (The tracks were joined together about five months ago.) As seen in photos from The Source, while the tie-in itself might not be visually dramatic, one instantly noticeable change is the disappearance of the bulky bumper and pole that used to block the tracks at the end of the line.

Though there’s a clean line of sight between both phases of track near the Culver City Station, the trains won’t follow the tracks to Santa Monica until late 2015, when testing begins; Metro hopes to open the line to the public in the first half of 2016. The tie-in began last weekend and is expected to be totally finished by this weekend, with traffic unaffected by the work, says Metro.

· Construction photos: joining together of Expo Line phase one and phase two! [The Source]
· Watch Expo Line Phase I Officially Joined to Expo Line Phase II [Curbed LA]

Curbed LA

Curbed – The Commute: LA is the Third Best US City For Public Transit Commuting

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

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People really love to hate on Los Angeles’s public transportation system, but those people are going to have to pipe down now that a study from the University of Minnesota’s Center for Transportation Studies has named LA the nation’s third best city for commuting by public transit, behind only super-obvious frontrunners New York and San Francisco. We are the bronze medalists of getting to work via transit! According to Wired, the study looked at 46 of the 50 most populous metros in the US and crunched the numbers on job “accessibility,” or how easily jobs could be reached.

The researchers assigned a value to jobs accessible within certain time frames (with job locations from the Census Bureau), giving those that can be reached in 10 minutes worth more than those that can be reached in 20, for example. They also factored in “detailed pedestrian networks” and transit schedules for business days between 7 and 9 am, to accommodate transit frequency and wait times. The greater the number of jobs accessible in the shortest periods of time, the better a city’s score. (The researchers who performed the study do admit this method favors cities with larger populations because it counts the total number of accessible jobs.)

This study was conducted by the same center that produced a 2013 study showing that LA is the number one city in the US for car commuting. They’ve provided a zoomable map of LA jobs accessible within 30 minutes here and suggest to Wired that “encouraging both residents and employers to locate in parts of the city already served by transit” can improve accessibility for everyone.

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· Access Across America: Transit 2014 [Official site]
· America’s 10 Best Cities for Commuting on Public Transit [Wired]
· Real Study Found That LA is Best in the US For Car Commuting [Curbed LA]
· Mapping the Average Commute Time From Every Part of LA [Curbed LA]

Curbed LA

Curbed – Neighbor Beefs: City Puts a Stop to Enormous, Unfinished Bel Air Megamansion

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Los Angeles has put a stop to work on a 30,000-square-foot spec-megamansion-in-the-making in Bel Air, after developer Mohamed Hadid spent two months foot-dragging instead of making his case for continued construction, reports the LA Times. Angry neighbor/entertainment lawyer Joseph Horacek III has been waging war against the project, saying Hadid illegally demolished the old house and graded the site and is now building a 67-foot house in an area with a 36-foot height limit. (Horacek lives below the site in his own 4,000-square-foot house; he “began bombarding the city with complaints” a few months ago and has nicknamed the house the Starship Enterprise.) The Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety found at least some of his complaints valid and halted construction on the project in July, giving Hadid until the end of the month to present revised plans and maps to the city for approval so he could possibly continue working on this monster. Fast forward to this past Wednesday, when the city, “tired of waiting for [Hadid and his associates] to provide us information,” finally, officially did some takie-backsies on its building permits.

“As of today, he has no permits. If he wants to continue building he will need to come in and get new permits,” a chief inspector with the city tells the Beverly Hills Courier, pointing out that the permits could be awarded again if Hadid submits new applications and the city approves them.

Meanwhile, the house doesn’t have to be demolished or anything just because it’s unpermitted, so now all those angry neighbors are still kind of screwed because this partially-completed house that has possibly affected the stability of the hill it sits on is still going to be sitting there, weighing on the land indefinitely. Spec megamansions: what could ever go wrong?
· L.A. revokes construction permits for hilltop house in Bel-Air [LAT]
· Permits Officially Revoked at Mohamed Hadid’s 901 Strada Vecchia In Bel-Air [BHC]
· Permits Revoked For Notorious, Half-Built Bel Air Megamansion [Curbed LA]
· Spec Megamansion King Goes Modern in Bel Air, Asking $ 45MM [Curbed LA]

Curbed LA

Curbed – new to market: Mid-Century Ranch Built For “Silversmith to the Stars” in Studio City Asking $2.5MM

Monday, August 11th, 2014

silversmithy 1.jpg

The listing for this rather lovely 1951 ranch in Studio City informs us that it was built for Allan Adler, who was known as the “Silversmith to the Stars.” So, just in case anyone’s been laboring under the illusion that the stars don’t have their very own silversmith, consider yourself disabused. Per Adler’s 2002 LA Times obituary, “he was commissioned to design mini-Oscars for Academy Award winners and crowns for Miss Universe and Miss U.S.A. as well as silver bowls, candlesticks and goblets for his celebrity clients,” who ranged from Errol Flynn to Michael Jackson.

Adler’s obit also contains this fascinating tidbit: “During World War II, Adler won a government contract to produce silver tubing for radar equipment, which gave him immunity from the draft and provided him with a voucher to buy silver, which was being rationed at the time. A large man with arms strong from hammering silver, Adler was not destined to serve in the military. When his government contract ended near the end of the war, he was inducted into the Army, but was soon discharged because of allergies to onions and garlic.”

Moving on to the house, which is located on Oakdell Road in Fryman Estates. A four-bedroom, three-and-a half-bathroom home, it looks to have been extensively updated. Features include an open plan, beamed ceilings, sliding glass doors, and a gas fireplace, but its strongest selling points are the outdoor areas. The .66-acre property is encircled by mature oaks and contains a grassy backyard, a swimming pool with basketball hoop, a spa, a gazebo, fire-pit, a built-in BBQ, and a koi pond. Last sold in 2007 for $ 2.21 million, it’s now asking $ 2.525 million.

· 3263 Oakdell Road [Estately]

Curbed LA