February 15, 2019

Preservation Personals: A Modernist Castle Above Los Angeles

  • By: Emma Sarappo
The two-story view of the glass exterior from the back of the house.

photo by: Cameron Carothers

Rancho Palos Verdes, California 90275.

If you know about Modernism, you understand that its global impact on art and architecture is immense, even though it’s a more recent movement than other famous and influential styles. You may also know that Neutra was one of its most important practitioners in America, and his homes and buildings can be found across Southern California. Still, I’m unique; Neutra was famous for taking each of his clients into account when designing homes, and I host plenty of features that catered to my original owner (shipbuilder John Rados), like the porthole and ship door taken from a craft his company was working on and a nice view of the Los Angeles harbor below.

Like I said, though, I’m a stellar example of Modernist design, and Neutra’s signature style is evident everywhere. Mahogany beams create clean visual lines through the house. My walls of floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding glass doors—Neutra favorites—give you a beautiful view of the city and the mountains rising above it from the house’s interior. If you'd like to get closer to the view, I have a wraparound balcony, too.

If all this sounds too good to be true, my listing will confirm that I'm a Modernist dream. Not your cup of tea? Check out all of our listings on our Historic Real Estate website.

If you’re searching for an older home with plenty of history, I might not initially stand out. After all, I was built in 1957, which is quite young in a dense field of 18th- and 19th-century architecture. But when you step back and take a real look at me, my clean lines and welcoming corners will blow you away. I’m an example of the best of Southern California’s Midcentury Modern architecture, and I happen to be one of the largest homes my architect, Richard Neutra, built in North America. Now I’m looking for someone new to fill my over 5,000 square feet of space.

A look at the house's interior space.

photo by: Cameron Carothers

I've been staged with Kelly green accents to match an accent wall by the stairs.

The view over L.A. from inside the Rados home.

photo by: Cameron Carothers

My glass walls and doors offer a 270-degree view of the Los Angeles basin below.

Emma Sarappo is an Editorial Intern at the National Trust. She can be found writing or in the kitchen of her century-old DC rowhouse.

This Preservation Month, set aside time to celebrate and explore historic places in innovative ways. We can’t wait to see what you accomplish!

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