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Site Showcases Homes Designed by Well-Known Architects

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

What’s the common cyber-link for architects Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra and Frank O. Gehry?

Homes by these prominent designers and others are for sale on Beverly Hills-based Architectureforsale.com, a Web site dedicated to home buyers who are more interested in who designed the house of their dreams than how many bedrooms it has or what neighborhood it’s in.

Originally created to showcase the listings of Mossler Deasy & Doe, a Beverly Hills real estate firm that specializes in architecture and historic properties, the site now features architectural listings from other brokers outside Southern California, throughout the U.S. and even internationally.

Craig Ellwood, Pierre Koenig, John Lautner, Rudolph Schindler, Edward Niles, Gregory Ain, Wallace Neff and Raphael Soriano are just some of the famous architects whose homes can be found on the Web site, which features photos and a description of the homes.

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The most popular style of home with the Web site’s home buyers is the modernist house, followed by the Spanish Revival style, said broker Mike Deasy, one of the real estate firm’s founders. Of course, these are also the most common architectural styles found in Southern California, where Mossler Deasy & Doe does all of its business, he added.

“Mid-20th century modern is very desirable, just like the furniture is,” said Deasy, whose firm has members of the Hollywood entertainment community as clients.

Most visitors to the site are real estate agents searching for homes for a millionaire client in need of the perfect place to house their Van Gogh. Art gallery owners and art collectors are typically very interested in finding homes of artistic merit as well, said Deasy.

“We also have a lot of wealthy dot-commers in their 20s and 30s,” he added.

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One of the most interesting estates listed on the site is a home by the famous French architect, Le Corbusier. Called Les Maisons Jaoul, the home is located in a Paris suburb and listed at 25 million francs or about $3.5 million. Actually two separate but interlinked structures, the home showcases LeCorbusier’s modernist approach to design during the 1930s.

But the Web site doesn’t only cater to the wealthy. One listing, a home in Encino, is in a middle-class neighborhood and is priced at $459,000. The architecturally interesting home was designed by the Central Office of Architecture in Santa Monica. The home features a great room with a loft-like combination living area and artist studio with polished cement floors and high ceilings. Above the main space is a mezzanine library and meditation rooms, and outside, there’s a Zen courtyard.

“That house is getting a lot of attention,” said Deasy. Mosley, Deasy & Doe brokers are only licensed to sell homes in California, so they are now looking to create alliances with brokers throughout the U.S. and internationally, who specialize in architecture.

“We’ve had clients looking for homes designed by Marcel Breuer and Walter Gropius in New England. And in Northern California, we have buyers looking for homes by Thomas Eichler and Julia Morgan,” said Barry Gray, a broker with Architectureforsale.com.

“We’re also getting requests from sellers to post properties designed by Paul Rudolph and Phillip Johnson in New York,” added Gray. “We want to refer these listings to allied brokers willing to specialize in this niche in their areas.” Deasy and Gray wouldn’t say exactly how successful the site has been, but they said the number of hits it has received has doubled every month since they launched. And the Web site, which underwent a major redesign last year, does seem to be getting notice, including a mention in the October issue of Vanity Fair.

Mossler, Deasy & Doe was founded in 1980 by partners David Mossler, who used to be in the entertainment industry; Deasy, who has a graduate degree in city planning, and Crosby Doe, a real estate broker.

The three all have one thing in common, said Deasy: “We all have a passion for architecture.”

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Distributed by Inman News Features.


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