Mid-Century Modern Lovers Will Geek Out Over This Gem – House of the Week

Pour yourself a Manhattan and turn up the Sam Cooke: this mid-century modern manse is on the market for the first time in decades.

The Los Angeles-area house hasn’t been open to the public since it was built in 1957 (during the Dwight D. Eisenhower administration, in case you’re keeping track).

Photo by Susan Pickering Photography.

The so-called “Research House 1957” was part of a series in the Los Angeles area to showcase new ideas in modern home design, according to listing agent Sam Buchanan. This home, designed by architect John C. Lindsay, was reportedly so radical that a quarter million people flocked to Flintridge Hills, CA, to see it once it was complete.

Photo by Susan Pickering Photography.

“Research House 1957… has been planned and executed specifically to illustrate what the new products in the building industry can do, especially when they are put in the hands of rating experts,” wrote House & Patio magazine in its winter 1957 issue.

“[The house] is not, perhaps, properly termed avant-garde, though its system of laminated beam construction literally fastens it to a hillside – something of a revolution in the trade,” the magazine continues.

Click here to see the full feature story in ‘House & Patio’ magazine from 1957, courtesy of Sam Buchanan.

Perched on a hillside, the 2,935-square-foot house looks like something straight out of “I Dream of Jeannie.” The entryway carpet is a groovy olive green and is anchored by a drop-down fireplace.

Photo by Susan Pickering Photography.

Bathrooms are decorated with original ornate wallpaper, including one with flamingo pink polka dots. One even includes a pop-out clothes hamper and drop-down scale, thought to be innovations at the time, Buchanan said.

Photo by Susan Pickering Photography.

Multiple living areas are wood-paneled, while the living room boasts floor-to-ceiling windows. 

Photo by Susan Pickering Photography.

The kitchen features a built-in can opener and pop-out toaster oven, while the original soda fountains still work.

Photo by Susan Pickering Photography.

The backyard is a “Mad Men” dream, with a mod-shaped geometric pool, hot tub and views of the surrounding mountains.

Photo by Susan Pickering Photography.

An outdoor kitchen has bright yellow, orange, green and blue cabinets – a place where the Brady Bunch would’ve felt right at home.

Photo by Susan Pickering Photography.

A number of original furnishings remain at the house, Buchanan said. A few spots were given modern upgrades about 10 years ago.

Photo by Susan Pickering Photography.

But perhaps the most unique feature, Buchanan said, is an underground tunnel built to service the elevator (yes, the elevator still works). The tunnel is 10 feet wide and more than 8 feet high – perfect for a modern wine cellar.

Photo courtesy of Sam Buchanan.

The current owners had lived in the home since 1959, but the husband recently passed away at the age of 93, leading his wife to put the property up for sale. The first open house, last week, drew 500 visitors.

It’s been hidden away for 60 years,” Buchanan said. “I know a lot of these people can’t afford a $3 million dollar house, but I wanted them to see it.”

Photo by Susan Pickering Photography.

The house is listed at $2.99 million – or, roughly, 245 times what the average house cost the year this place was built.

Sam Buchanan of B&B Properties holds the listing.

Top photo by Susan Pickering Photography.



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