Los Feliz’s famed Sowden Residence sells for nearly $4.7 million

One of L.A.’s most distinctive-looking homes, the Sowden Residence in Los Feliz, has sold for $4.698 million.

Designed by architect Lloyd Wright, who studied under his father, Frank Lloyd Wright, the 1920s house is styled to resemble a Mayan temple with a pyramid-like shape. Because of the outward appearance and jagged roofline, the 1927 home has sometimes been called the “jaws house.”

Concrete blocks — known as textile blocks — stamped with symbols for elements such as water, earth and air are used liberally inside and outside the structure.

Behind original copper doors is 5,600 square feet of renovated living space. Four wings of the house create a large rectangle enclosing a courtyard swimming pool.


Before the pool was added, original owners John and Ruth Sowden used the area to stage theater productions and entertain guests. The master suite, which once served as a studio and stage, now features a dressing room and a bathroom that opens to a koi pond. There are four bedrooms, six bathrooms, maid’s quarters and an office.

The home has frequently been in the public eye as a popular location for television and film shoots, as well as private events such as weddings. The property has even been considered as the possible site where Elizabeth Short, the victim in the notorious 1947 “Black Dahlia” murder, met her end.

The Sowden Residence previously sold in 2011 for $3.85 million, property records show.

Troy Gregory of Douglas Elliman was the listing agent.

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