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Restoring Rainbow House, a Home With Colorful Past

January 27, 2002

Regarding Home of the Week by Ruth Ryon, Jan. 6:

I was the fifth owner of the Garcia House, which picked up the name Rainbow House from a realty agent who listed the house in the late '60s.

When I bought the house in 1986, it was in substantial disrepair, and I contracted with John Lautner to renovate the structure and bring it back to its original concept.

The floor plan, when I bought it, bore no resemblance to the original floor plan as illustrated on the blueprints. However, Lautner was of the opinion that the "original" plan was never implemented anyway, but he could no longer recall how it had changed.

Irrespective, with Lautner's blessings and design, I completely remodeled the interior, removing and reorienting bearing walls and creating the interior as it exists today.

When I bought the home it was painted inside and out a sea-foam green. Lautner said he detested the color but remarked that he detested the original color chosen by the Garcias even more; a "morbid battleship gray" was his recollection. The color of the house today was picked by Lautner, who said it was his original choice. He was attempting to get a color as close to concrete as he could.

Finally, Lautner waxed enthusiastically about his concept for the property. The idea, he said, was to create a space on Mulholland Drive in which one could drive by and see through the property, including the house, into the ocean.

To accomplish that, he insisted that Garcia buy three contiguous lots. He built on the middle one. The second buyer sold off the western lot, leaving the property today with the two easternmost lots. It was thought the western lot was unbuildable, but Lautner warned that should a house ever be built there, the aesthetic would be lost and I might as well move.

Sure enough, a house did get built there.... As one might imagine, Lautner was absolutely prescient. I took the sage's advice and moved.


Los Olivos

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