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Dale Baldwin

'Nouveau Victorian' Lifted for More Space

December 28, 1986|Dale Baldwin

Nouveau Victorian: That's what architect/contractor Carolyn McCown calls a residential remodeling she is supervising in Pacific Palisades.

Located a few blocks north of Sunset Boulevard, the house is one of the oldest in the Palisades, but it certainly doesn't qualify as a Victorian--yet. It was built in the 1920s, according to Penelope Emerson, who is assisting the homeowner, Thomas James.

The house is being transformed from a one-story, two-bedroom structure with about 1,075 square feet to a multilevel structure with a two-car garage in the basement by a favorite method of McCown's: She's raising the house and building under it.

On Feb. 24, 1985, I described McCown's design for an expanded Westside house, using a similar method.

In certain instances, McCown, whose office is at 10506 W. Pico Blvd., prefers to raise a house and build under it, rather than resorting to more conventional second-story additions that involve reinforcing the foundation and putting on a new roof.

"We have to construct a new foundation anyway, so it's just as easy to raise the house and build under it," she reasons.

The job, which involves increasing the living area to more than 3,500 square feet--including the 1,200-square-foot basement--would normally cost at least $185,000, McCown said. Sweat equity by Emerson and James should keep to cost to less than $150,000.

I'll follow the progress of this unusual remodel in future columns.

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