Marijuana entrepreneur sells Lloyd Wright’s neo-Mayan masterpiece for $6.16 million

The John Sowden House, made of concrete textile blocks, resembles a temple or cave.
Built in 1927, the neo-Mayan-style showplace is made of concrete textile blocks and draws comparisons to a temple or cave.
(Visual Media LA)

The John Sowden House — a dazzling neo-Mayan gem built by architect Lloyd Wright — has traded hands for $6.16 million in Los Feliz.

One of Southern California’s finest examples of neo-Mayan architecture, the singular, striking residence resembles a temple but has also drawn comparisons to a cave or the gaping mouth of a great white shark.

Records show the seller is Dan Goldfarb, a cannabis entrepreneur best known for founding Canna-Pet, which sells hemp products designed for animals. He bought the iconic estate for $4.7 million in 2018 with plans to turn it into a cultural hub for art and events.

The buyer is Nate Daneshgar, whose family owns Grand Central Market in downtown Los Angeles. He becomes the latest in a long line of notable owners including its namesake, painter John Sowden, and George Hodel, an L.A. physician who was named a suspect in the Black Dahlia murder case. For this notorious tie, the property’s website claims that the house “might hold the key” to the unsolved mystery.


Wright — son of prolific architect Frank Lloyd Wright — built the home in 1927 using concrete textile blocks that showcase decorative Mayan themes. The house hovers above Franklin Avenue, entering through copper gates to a dramatic tomb-like staircase.

The cave-like atmosphere continues inside, where stone fireplaces anchor living spaces lined with warm wood floors. Throughout the 5,600-square-foot space, walls of windows wrap around an interior courtyard with a swimming pool and spa surrounded by art installations.

For its distinct appearance, the residence has appeared in a handful of movies including “L.A. Confidential” and “The Aviator.” It also claims a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

Ryan Ponce and Sherri Rogers of Compass held the listing. Juan Longfellow and Louise Leach of DPP represented Daneshgar.