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Magnificent Mid-Century Modern in LA for Less Than a Million

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320 Mavis 7

The 1950s were the glory days for modernist houses, with architects such as Charles and Ray Eames and Richard Neutra in Los Angeles, CA, designing the sleek, minimalist homes we’ve come to know and love.

For students of architecture, these gems from the granddaddies of Mid-Century Modernism are prized. And now, one by architect Kemper Nomland at 320 Mavis Dr is on the market for $ 925,000.

“It’s just the perfect blending of structure and site,” said listing agent Liz Johnson of the 1,785-square-foot space. “It’s the quintessential example of form and function.”

Nomland, who died in 2009, teamed up with his father to form their architecture firm. Together, they designed Case Study House No. 10 in Pasadena in 1947. (The Case Study Houses were commissioned to now-famous architects as experiments in low-cost buildings after World War II.)

The house fulfilled many of the program’s goals, according to the Los Angeles Conservancy: “The use of new building materials and techniques, affordability for the average American, simplicity of construction, economy of materials, and integration of indoor and outdoor living.”

Many of those same attributes are evident in the Nomland home that’s on the market now.

Johnson noted that in addition to serious buyers she also saw plenty of “architectural tourists” at the open house, curious to get an up-close look at Nomland’s work. Don’t be shy: She doesn’t mind.

And what an eyeful: The streamlined three-bedroom, two-bathroom house built in 1950 is a “perfect glass rectangle,” according to the listing, all the better to take in views from its hillside location of canyon, mountain, and city.

The wraparound patio and covered pergola invite residents to spend time outdoors. Inside, there’s plenty to enjoy, including an open floor plan that revolves around the kitchen. And the master bedroom features a luxurious soaking tub.

About that (sort of) modest price tag: The hilly Mount Washington neighborhood may be one of the last enclaves of affordable LA: It’s been called “The Poor Man’s Laurel Canyon,” referring to its upscale cousin in the Hollywood Hills.

In fact, former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa raised his family in the neighborhood. The views and lower price tags are also known to attract artists, actors, and writers to the area, along with families and young professionals priced out of nearby Echo Park, Los Feliz, and Silver Lake.

The tree-filled neighborhood, with its eye-popping architecture (the house Nomland built for himself is next door) and mix of original Craftsman and boho bungalows, make this area a must-see—and the house a must-have.

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