I got an E from the current owner of our ’57 Nash house in Camarillo. He had an offer he was considering that would tear down this house for a more favorable use of this site of several acres. At 770K, could I produce a better offer by ‘the end of the week’?
This reminded me of just 50 years ago now; in 1972, I got a similar call regarding the von Sternberg house in the San Fernando Valley. I started to contact the AIA to see what could be done. Before I could get back to them, I heard the house had been demolished. Another similarity is our recent experience with the Kronish in Beverly Hills; again, the notion that empty land is more marketable than dealing with an icon. As of late 2016, we had evidence that this house has been restored albeit revised. No details of how, available yet. Site closed to public; owned by a shipping magnate.
I wrote the Nash owner back immediately asking for a stay of execution, and put the word out as broadly as I could. What a difference a half century makes as far as that is concerned!
As this week drew to a close, I had an indication that a realtor friend had produced an offer that had a chance of succeeding with a promise NOT to destroy! I remain guardedly optimistic that we may have dodged the bullet in this one, but there are at least a half dozen others that also hang in the balance. Check out my blog and our petitions to support some of them!
As of late 2016, the Nash house was still intact, albeit saved with many interventions tolerated by the current owners who bought around 2013 and made some adjustments without consulting our office.
As we pass days 200+ still now word as to what’s going on behind that shrouded gate. But at least no news of demolition. Does anyone know the status of Kronish?
Time marches on, with more Neutra’s in crisis. I heard yesterday that the Kraigher House in Brownsville, TX, had fallen hard times. The University of Texas at Brownsville had entered into a lease with the City who owns the site. Under the arrangement they restored the house and were to use it as a visitor center. This worked for a couple of years. Now, I’m told because of budget problems, the University has withdrawn, leaving the house empty. The city, similarly challenged, has been unable to figure out how to occupy it. Transients are reputedly now breaking in and camping out; it will only be a short time before it is destroyed. This is my effort to put the word out to the National Trust and others. Can readers help me broadcast this to parties that might help? Surely the City could assign someone to conduct city business in that venue, at least temporarily?
Closer to home, read a piece I just wrote regarding our Nash House in Camarillo. I’m hoping we may have dodged a bullet, but stay tuned?.There I was told I only had a few days to better a demolition offer; similar to what we experienced with Kronish, but instead of 60 days, I had only 3!
As we pass days 100+, I’m told the house still stands and will continue to do so, but that the owners are very secretive and do not wish to share further plans. I’ve not been asked to participate thus far, other than to be patient. I worry about roof leaks in this season. They certainly bought the right site for this!
As we pass 70 days of Kronish’s borrowed time, I thought I’d post, if only to let people know I’m still thinking about this, and for “no news is good news”! There must be some activity brewing behind that shrouded gate, but I’m STILL as much in the dark as everyone else. At least to my knowledge the house still stands back there. My offer to be of service is still hanging ‘out there’. Continue to sign that petition if only to show continued interest and support?
As we pass the 30 day allocation of the Kronish’s borrowed time, I thought I’d post something, if only to let people know I’m still thinking about this. There IS some activity brewing behind that shrouded gate, but I’m sworn to secrecy like everyone else. At least to my knowledge the house still stands back there. I’ve continued to offer my services.
It’s been a busy week; time for an up date. We’ve offered to work with the new owners of Kronish on their terms; still trying to find out who they are. Until the new course is set, this house is still living on borrowed time. I continue to gather evidence to present to the councilman, that a remodel of the crosswalk is desired in front of VDL; a lower key version on an adjacent busy highway is our model. No lights, buttons or poles.
This evening saw an ending to our valiant effort to repurpose the Kronish to a public purpose; the Neutra Center. The political will was no longer there to buy out the mysterious secret buyers who closed escrow on the house at 12.8M last week. At the council meeting, time was given to the attorney who had represented the Soda partners, who grossed over 2M in the transaction. He lauded the council for its role in the salvation of the house, along with the patience of his clients. Everyone congratulated each other with this success. My favorite councilman, John Mirisch, even managed to mention my role and interest in working with the new owners.
I’m trying to think what we can say now, as we survive Day 1, post Armagedon, except to continue to hope the that the City will come to its senses and take our offer to front the money and rescue this from whatever fate someone is devising behind the secrecy that has clouded the issue for a couple or more weeks now. I would have thought they’d have contacted me by now, if they had good intentions.
Why do I think this lovely project is now living on borrowed time? Please, ANYONE, if you have information, let me share it with this growing public, with 1100 signatures now on our petition and growing!
The Neutra Institute is conducting a National Fund Raising Campaign.
Be among many to commit and continue to change the history of preservation In our country! Our new goal is to also attract some of the richest patrons in our country to step up and make up any shortfall to repurpose this icon to ‘The Neutra Center in Silver Lake’! WE NEED $5 MILLION! We propose a partnership with LACMA, to form LACMA EAST! Donations are tax exempt between the County Museum of Art and this Institute.