If you have a passion for historic real estate, and about $4 million, there are two noteworthy pieces of architecture for sale in Santa Monica – the Zuni House and the Merle Norman House.
Listed @ $3,800,000 is the Zuni House, prestigiously perched over Santa Monica Canyon @ 710 Adelaide Pl. This 4-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom Pueblo Revival residence by architect Robert Stacy-Judd was built in 1923. It is the only known example of Stacy-Judd’s work in Santa Monica. The design of the house embodies many of the character-defining features of the Pueblo Revival style, including an asymmetrical facade, block composition, and flat roofs with parapets highlighted by red tile coping. Noteworthy are projecting roof beams (a.k.a. vigas) typical of the Zuni tribe of Arizona Indians. The rounded corners of the terraced walls simulate adobe. A stepped Mayan motif is repeated in the door and window frames. has been enhanced with a new pool, spa and guest house.
Stacy-Judd’s style was inspired by 19th century engravings such as the celebrated etchings Frederick Catherwood did for John Lloyd Stephens’ “Incidents of Travel in Central American, Chiapas and Yucatan” (1841) and “Incidents of Travel in Yucatan” (1843). It’s said that the work of this architect “is always a surprise.”
Stacy-Judd became a minor celebrity in the ‘20s and ‘30s when he brought Mayan and Aztec motifs into the design of Southern California architecture. Stacy-Judd’s work, specifically the Aztec Hotel (1924) in Monrovia achieved overwhelming popular success and earned praise in publications ranging from the New York Times to the trade magazines American Architect and The Hotel Monthly. His other work includes the Atwater Bungalows (1931) in Los Angeles, the Masonic Temple (1946-51) in North Hollywood, and the Philosophical Research Society headquarters (1936, 1959) in the Los Feliz area.
The 710 Adelaide property is officially known as the Mrs. L.K. Worrell house, but the locals call it the First Grofe House. Composer Ferde Grofe lived in the structure from 1947 to 1948. Grofe played (viola) with the LA Symphony (1906-1915) and taught at Julliard, but is best remembered as the composer of Grand Canyon Suite and for his orchestration of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.
Coming on the market at $4,000,000 is the Merle Norman House at 2523 Third St. in Ocean Park.
Founded in 1931, Merle Norman Cosmetics Inc. has developed, manufactured and distributed its own full line of skin care and color cosmetic products since the Great Depression. They are sold at more than 2,000 independently owned and operated Merle Norman Cosmetic Studios in the United States and Canada.
As her business grew, Norman commissioned architect Ellis G. Martin was to design and execute of a Mediterranean Revival style villa with divine foliage.
A home not at all similar to its Victorian and Craftsman neighbors, this spacious 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom Mediterranean Revival style features a tiled and hipped roof with bracketed eaves caps the stucco structure. The asymmetrical façade’s entry is located in a large port cochere with rounded arches.
Mediterranean Revival style is considered to be somewhat more baroque than the more austere Spanish Revival Style often found in Santa Monica. Known for distinctive arches and bold columns, and exposed rafters and bracketed eaves, Mediterranean Revival Style provides a warm, inviting feeling.
The use of architectural elements and designs indigenous to the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea as a fundamental trend began to take hold in the late-19th century and reached its apogee at the San Diego exhibition in 1915. There were several forces at work—most notably the Colonial Revival, which touted Classicism, and the American Arts & Crafts movement, which gave the world the Mission Style that was derived from ancient Spanish Missions in the American Southwest.
Merle Norman’s first home on this lot was a turn-of-the-century cottage built in1904 by W. H. Slack. It was here the original cosmetic formulas were developed. Instead of demolishing the home, in 1935, she had it moved to 740 Raymond Avenue.
Even before she opened her first studio in Santa Monica in 1931, Merle Norman’s philosophy of “Try Before You Buy” was being carried out as she offered free samples of her products to neighbors, hoping they’d discover the benefits and return as paying customers.
And return they did. Many even opened their own studios and the company now has studios throughout the United States and Canada. Carrying on the Merle Norman tradition, franchisees now offer skin care products, from cleansers and toners to sun defense, and a full line of cosmetics.
Mrs. Norman’s cosmetics business began in the garage of the original property in Ocean Park, where she created her own line of cosmetics to help women care for their skin and enhance their natural beauty. Norman offered free samples of her products to neighbors, believing they would soon return as paying customers. This happened during the Great Depression, when free had a lot of value. She built a loyal customer base for her products, and her company continues to be an active family-owned business today.
p.s. a. This is not intended as a solicitation if your property is already listed with another agent.
b. We are not the listing agent on these properties. Broker/Agent does not guarantee the accuracy of the square footage, lot size or other information concerning the conditions or features of the property provided by the seller or obtained from Public Records or other sources. Buyer is advised to independently verify the accuracy of all information through personal inspection and with appropriate professionals. Copyright © 2013 by Combined L.A./Westside MLS, Inc. Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.
Santa Monica keeps getting more praise and accolades. Recently, the courtyard at the Santa Monica Main Library ranked number five on a list of the 10 most peaceful public places the escape the chaos of urban life. We were honored when Menasha Ridge Press, editors of “Peaceful Places” guidebook series, were asked by USA Today to choose the top 10 places to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
“With the central courtyard, and its sustainable landscape, visitors can be in the library and be outside at the same time,” praises Greg Mullen, who runs Santa Monica’s libraries. A “major vision for the Main Library was a strong connection to the outdoors.”
Marine life in California’s Santa Monica Bay provided the inspiration for artist Carl Cheng to design a striking laminated glass canopy for the Santa Monica Public Library, which features seven circular ‘disk’ skylights varying from 0.6 m to 1.83 m (2 ft to 6 ft) in diameter, made using DuPont™ SentryGlas® Expressions™ technology, floating over the indoor and outdoor area of the library’s cafeteria and evoking the ‘underwater forest’ ambience that Cheng wanted to create for this public space.
The entire steel and glass structure, named ‘Underwater Canopy’ by the artist and completed in 2006, measures 9.1 m (30 ft) in diameter and is 3.3 m (11 ft) above ground. It is surrounded by two dozen shaded tables set in a surreal a desert garden and river design.
Since the library opened in January 2006, it has logged nearly 7 million visits….but wait; every big city has unique places to escape hustle and bustle. They are special oases where visitors can relax; find some peace, and maybe, some restoration of a stressed soul. At USA Today’s request, editors of Menasha Ridge Press’ Peaceful Places guidebook series chose the 10 top places in six cities: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington. Here is the USA Today list of the 10 top peaceful places in urban environments.
1) Abraham Lincoln Book Shop, Chicago
The shop in the River North Gallery District is said to be “a bookstore, museum and collectors’ delight” where employees are “quite knowledgeable and always seem happy to help,” author Anne Ford writes in Peaceful Places Chicago.
“Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves hold both out-of-print and new volumes about American presidential and pre-20th-century military history,” observes Ford.
2) The Winter Garden, Harold Washington Library Center, Chicago
The Winter Garden on the ninth floor of The Loop’s Harold Washington Library Center offers “complete silence” in “a very large room with a lovely marble floor,” according to Ford. “The glow of the sunlight coming through the glass dome is much appreciated in winter months.”
3) The Cloisters, New York
This paradise spot can be found at the northern tip of Manhattan on a hill overlooking the Hudson River.
“Thanks to the largesse of the Rockefellers, you can be in Medieval Europe a few subway stops north of Times Square,” says Peaceful Places New York City author Evelyn Kanter. The Rockefellers created The Cloisters, “an amalgam of cloisters and monasteries re-assembled atop the highest point on Manhattan Island, as a proper setting for the family’s world- famous 15th-century Unicorn Tapestries,” Kanter says.
The site houses other “priceless” artwork and is home to concerts and Medieval jousts.
4) James Irvine Japanese Garden, Los Angeles
This traditional garden, also known as Seiryu-en, is an exquisite place to escape from the concrete buildings and bustle that make up Little Tokyo and an easy walk from most downtown hotels,” says Peaceful Places Los Angeles author Laura Randall.
The garden is a hillside oasis of bonsai trees, bamboo, azalea bushes and a stream flowing from a waterfall.
5) Bookmark Cafe, Santa Monica Main Library
Some things just naturally go together. Take, for instance, caffeine and the written word. So the inclusion of coffee shops in libraries makes perfect sense. Located in the center courtyard of the Santa Monica library, the cafe and the patio stay relatively quiet creating a relaxing break from your work day or study session.
6) The National Building Museum, Washington
The museum of architecture, engineering and design features exhibitions, programs and festivals in a historic building with Corinthian columns and 116-feet-by-316-feet Great Hall with a central fountain. The neighborhood is an idyllic location for people-watching, lunching or enjoying the day.
7) Butterfly Habitat Garden, Washington
This habitat for 80 butterfly species and thousands of plants lining garden paths. It feels private although it’s very public.
Bix supper club, San Francisco
The Bix in Jackson Square feels like “a forbidden speakeasy” and is a “retro-inspired” supper club with live jazz nightly, according to Peaceful Places San Francisco author Raynell Boeck. Try the mahogany bar for an intimate nightcap.
9) Boston Athenaeum, Boston
The Boston Athenaeum offers more than 600,000 books and a collection of art, sculpture, manuscripts and maps. As it is a members-only library. Strike up a quick friendship with a member to get you to the “magnificent” fifth-floor reading room. If not you can still enjoy the historic first-floor rooms.
10) Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
The Institute of Contemporary Art, which juts over Boston Harbor, is in a “spectacular” setting. Try a padded bench facing the water in the Founders Gallery. Peaceful Places Boston author Lynn Schweikart shares, “you can savor sky, city and seascape dappled by nature’s ever-changing hues.”
The media center offers, “where you’ll have the sensation of floating above waves, unanchored by either horizon or sky.”
selected by Jodi Summers
Wow! Finally the chaos is calming down as many of those needing to buy real estate got their fix. With interest rates starting their rise off of historic lows, the past several months have been a home-buying frenzy in the Santa Monica and Venice neighborhoods. Lots of demand and minimal supply.
If you compare residential property numbers from May 2012 with May 2013 in Santa Monica and Venice, the number of for sale properties is down -31% and the number of sold properties is up 29%, according to Clarus Market Metrics.
Silicon Beach is not alone in the home price surge, though we always seem to do things bigger and better here… DataQuick reports that SoCal home prices surged in April as sales reached boom-era levels. Dwellings in the six-county area sold at the fastest clip for an April in seven years, as regular buyers and investors snapped up a total of 21,415 properties. That was a 4.1% increase from March and a 9.5% spike from April 2012.
Here @ home, in Santa Monica and Venice, comparing May-2012 vs. May-2013 the number of sold properties by month is up 29%.
The median price paid for a home in the six-county SoCal region last month was $357,000. That was a 3.3% increase from the previous month, a 23.1% jump from April 2012. April’s median price was the highest since June 2008 when the median price was $360,000. Factors contributing to the rise in median prices across the region include increased demand at a time when inventories are unusually low and the decline in sales of low cost homes relative to increased activity in the higher price ranges.
“Sales of deeply discounted properties in affordable neighborhoods are way down,” concludes DataQuick President John Walsh. “Activity in middle and high-end communities is on its way up.”
In Los Angeles County sales rose by 9.7% and the median price increased by 27.4% to $395,000.
In Santa Monica and Venice the median sold price is up 15% from May 2012 to $1,206,250
Move-up markets are posting large sales gains from a year earlier. In April, the number of homes sold that were priced between $300,000 and $800,000 jumped by 35.4% year-over-year. Sales of homes priced over $500,000 increased by 52.7% year-over-year, and sales of homes priced over $800,000 were up by 51.4% over the year. All these price ranges cater to move-up buyers more than new homeowners.
The housing market in Southern California is well on its way to recovery > prices are rising, and home affordability levels remain relatively low < especially with mortgage interest rates still hovering around 4.0%. It’s an ideal time for buying or selling.
For more information please contact Jodi Summers and the SoCal Investment Real Estate Group @ Sotheby’s International Realty – email@example.com or 310.392.1211, and let us move forward together.
edited by Jodi Summers
Santa Monica is very pro bicycle, but bicycle safety hasn’t caught up with the popularity of bicycles. Between 2002 and 2009, according to the City of Santa Monica, the number of vehicle pedestrian accidents dropped 21%, while vehicle bike accidents rose 51%. The increase in bicycle accidents from 2007 to 2009 alone was 78%.
Now that summer is here, let us share with you bicycle safety tips from the Santa Monica Police…
Bicycle Safety On the Road
· Stay on the right side of the road, ride with traffic and use the bike lane where available. (Bicycles are not permitted on sidewalks as they can endanger pedestrians.)
- · Obey all traffic laws and signals
- · Use hand signals for turning and for all stops
- · Watch for road hazards and cars in driveways
- · Use extra caution in poor or wet weather
- · Wear safe, comfortable clothes
- · Do not allow children to ride a bicycle at night
- · Always lock your bicycle using a U-lock, securing both wheels and the frame to a stationary object.
Bicycle Safety Before Your Ride
- · To identify your bicycle, engrave your driver’s license number on the frame
- · Register your bicycle with the City and keep the serial/model number on file
- · Check your handlebars, bicycle seats and brakes
- · Check your tire pressure
- · Check your first aid pouch for fresh supplies
- · Check your reflectors and light.
- · Inspect your helmet and be sure to wear it. If you are under 18, a helmet is required by law. Be sure it meets the guidelines of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or the Snell Memorial Foundation. Labels with this information will be inside helmets that have passed their testing standards.
- · Maintain the safety of your bicycle by giving it regular tune-ups
In 2009, Santa Monica reported 128 accidents involving vehicles and bicycles. Hit & run vehicle vs. bicycle accidents occur 19% of the time, more than double the average for the prior two years. Rates of injury also rose from 75% to 83%. Fatalities associated with bike hover between 0 and 1% between 2002 and 2009.
Please stay safe as you bicycle around town.
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