One of Richard Neutra’s Masterpieces is for Sale
And there’s a strong chance whoever buys it will demo it.
Have a look at this Redfin posting. Seems like a nice spot, no? Two lots! Almost 2.5 acres! Expansive ocean views from Newport Beach to Pacific Palisades! But what’s telling about this listing is what it doesn’t say.
It doesn’t say that the house on those 2.5 acres is the famed Chuey House, one of Architect Richard Neutra‘s modern masterpieces.
Neutra designed the home for (wealthy) bohemian Josephine Chuey in 1956 and it has stayed in the family ever since—in fact, it’s the bankruptcy of her niece and nephew that’s driving the sale. The combination of the fact that a bankruptcy trustee has an obligation to get the maximum return for the creditors, coupled with the real estate listing’s claim that the site is “ideal for a compound, providing a truly unique development opportunity with expansive property,” has people very nervous that the unprotected building will be razed to whoever buys it.
To say this would be a travesty is an understatement—Neutra didn’t design that many homes. Take a look at these vintage photos—shot by Julius Shulman, the most famous architectural photographer in the world—and tell me if you don’t think this house needs to stick around.
View the full archive of Shulman’s shots here.