Yahoo! blogger Jennifer Karmon writes in a post for Spaces that Ray Bradbury’s old Cheviot Hills neighborhood, once a bastion of the middle class, is attracting wealthy buyers who raze the original ranch homes and replace them with mini-mansions. Will Ray’s house be next?
She points to the example of a house just purchased by Travis Barker of Blink-182:
In 2011, a time-capsule house built in 1950 — the classic “house with great bones,” undeniably dated and in need of help — came onto the market for the first time in more than 40 years. It had 2 bedrooms and 2 baths in its 2,220 square feet, on a big-for-the-neighborhood corner lot of about 9,500 square feet. It was listed at $1.2 million and sold for about $50,000 less than the asking price.
That humble house was torn down. In its place rose this luxe 4-bedroom, 4-bath, 4,000-square-foot “architectural showpiece” with a “children’s wing” separate from the master suite. It was listed at $4.25 million; Barker bought it for $4 million.
Karmon expects the same thing to happen to the late Ray Bradbury’s house.
His family had listed it after his death for $1.5 million; it sold soon after for more than a quarter-million dollars above the asking price. The buyer, according to Variety’s David, is prize-winning avant-garde architect Thom Mayne.
While it feels “too soon,” LA is a place where people have been erasing the past and building over for its entire history. A few readers like to track down the homes where famous writers once lived – I’ve driven by Heinlein’s Laurel Canyon address, and Judith Freeman wrote an entire book about Raymond Chandler’s apartments and houses. However, these are not public property and the owners inevitably will preserve, neglect or develop them as they like.