Cottage of the canyon
Long before Joni Mitchell and Graham Nash wrote their ‘60s odes to Laurel Canyon, stars of the nascent movie industry such as Clara Bow and Errol Flynn spent weekends and vacations there, where they partied hearty, according to local legend. During that period, a cave was carved into the hillside atop this property and reportedly used as a speak-easy. The 600-square-foot party grotto, where squatters later hung out, was cleaned up in the early ‘90s, paved and turned into an extended patio area.
The home, built in 1928, is an original in what once was called Wonderland Park, one of the first communities established in the Lookout Mountain bowl around 1913. The cottages were rediscovered by the anti-establishment crowd in the ‘60s, and many were gentrified in the 1980s. The cost of homes went up commensurately.
Tim Felchin bought what he refers to as the dark, slightly dingy cottage in 1980 for about $135,000. He was attracted to the country architecture and the cottage’s woodsy location. The architect lived there for 10 years before beginning his $200,000 floor-to-ceiling renovation.
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Location: Laurel Canyon area of Los Angeles
Asking price: $895,000
Last sale price: $655,000 in September 2003
Size: This house has two bedrooms and two bathrooms in 1,012 square feet. The lot is 4,621 square feet.
Features: Granite and limestone kitchen and bathroom counters; French terra-cotta bathroom floors; 14-foot ceilings throughout; custom closets; updated plumbing and electrical; 15 native California oaks; faux bois touches in the garden.
About this house: Felchin’s top priority was “to lighten it up, make it airy. I wanted to bring in as much light as possible.” So he opened up the ceilings in the kitchen, dining room and master bedroom. He also installed skylights throughout home. He expanded the bathroom, where he added glass tile and plenty of mirrors. “I was sensitive to maintaining the charming, funky cottage feel.” Current owner Rachel Randel kept the bright blue kitchen palette that is echoed in other rooms, which she says contributes to the funky canyon feel she wanted.
Around the neighborhood: About 130 single-family homes have sold in the 90046 ZIP Code so far this year, according to MDA DataQuick. The median price was $997,500. In 2007, the median price was $1,125,000. Currently, 56 homes are listed for sale in the Wonderland Avenue/Lookout Mountain area of Laurel Canyon. The least expensive, at $395,000, is a one-bedroom, one-bathroom cottage in 540 square feet. The most expensive, at $1,499,000, is a three-bedroom, 3 1/2 -bathroom home in 1,929 square feet.
Listing agent: Brian Linder, Deasy/Penner & Partners, (310) 592-5417
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HOME OF THE WEEK UPDATE
Location: “Little Holmby” in Westwood
Size: Four bedrooms and 2 3/4 baths in 3,200 square feet, on a 9,500-square-foot lot
Published on: June 10, 2007
Listed then for: $2,995,000
Sold for: $2.9 million in August 2007
Location: Old North Shore, Lake Arrowhead
Size: Seven bedrooms and 6 1/2 baths in 4,558 square feet on a quarter of an acre
Published on: Sept. 16, 2007
Listed then for: $8 million
Relisted June 12 for: $7.95 million
To submit a candidate for Home of the Week, send high-resolution color photos with caption and credit information on a CD and a detailed description of the house to Diane Wedner, Real Estate, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A., CA 90012. Send questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.