Unusual Sowden Residence in Los Feliz asking $4.875 million


One of L.A.’s most unusual houses, the landmark Sowden Residence in Los Feliz, is up for sale at $4.875 million.

Set up from the street and behind gates, the Lloyd Wright-designed residence was built in 1926-27 with a distinct Mayan pyramid-inspired façade. Designs on patterned concrete blocks, a technique also used by the architect’s father, Frank Lloyd Wright, depict symbols for water, earth, crops and clouds.

The renovated five-bedroom, six-bathroom house is in the shape of large rectangle and looks in on a long center courtyard with a swimming pool, which was a later addition. The master bedroom was once a studio/stage and the courtyard was used for seating for open-air theatrical performances put on by original owners John and Ruth Sowden, for whom the house is named.


Venetian plaster, industrial-vibe bathrooms and a koi pond off the master bath are among interior features.

The 5,600-square-foot house has often been used in photo shoots, for events and for films and TV shows, including “Ruby Sparks” and “Californication.”

Suspicions that the house might hold the key to the so-called “Black Dahlia” murder case from 1947 have brought reality shows such as “Paranormal America” and “Ghost Hunters.”

There’s a detached two-car garage with additional office and bonus space.

The property, which last sold in 2011 for $3.85 million, is a Los Angeles historic-cultural monument and qualifies for Mills Act property tax savings.

Troy Gregory of Sotheby’s International Realty is the listing agent.


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