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Beverly Hills estate gets inspiration from Frank Lloyd Wright

A house dubbed the Jewelry Box unfolds with hidden compartments and built-in shelves at every turn in the architect's modern and minimalist style.

February 01, 2009|Dinah Eng

Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright's signature Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Ariz., the gated Beverly Hills estate dubbed the Jewelry Box unfolds with hidden compartments and built-in shelves at every turn in Wright's modern and minimalist style.

Designed and built by Louis Bosbrooker for himself and his wife in 1962, the home's open floor plan of the living-dining area, Japanese-style folding doors and cabinetry with minimal hardware echo Wright's sensibilities.

Current owner and architect Victor Cohenca renovated the alder wood home last year, designing a new entry to the house that brings a koi pond from outside into the foyer. A second-story master suite, with access to a gazebo for massage or meditation, was also added.

Glass walls now separate the music room from the living-dining area, and doors in every room open to bring the outdoors inside. A safe room is hidden behind shelves in the library. Closets and a bathroom are concealed by panels that at first glance seem like part of the wall.

"Frank Lloyd Wright is my idol, so I did everything I could to remain true to his philosophy," said Cohenca, owner of VC Design in Sherman Oaks. "I reused old molding to give it a seamless connection between the old and new. It was a diamond that I just polished."

Four bars have been built inside the house and around the deck for entertaining, along with bench seating for parties outside. The main outdoor seating area has a panoramic view of the San Fernando Valley north of Beverly Hills and south of Mulholland Drive.

The grounds, originally designed by landscape architect Garrett Eckbo, are shaded by trees and plantings that have created private spaces for an outdoor shower and spa.

The house is offered fully furnished with artwork and original Mosbrooker light fixtures and furniture pieces.

"It's almost like Mosbrooker stole the plans for the house from Wright," Cohenca said. "He must have been able to absorb a great deal of his spirit.

"I see this as a collector's house," Cohenca added. "It comes out of the hill, like a sculpture to be lived in."


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A beauty in Beverly Hills

Location: 9544 Oak Pass Road, Beverly Hills 90210

Asking price: $3,875,000

Previously sold for: $1,875,000 in August 2007

Size: There are three bedrooms and three bathrooms in just under 3,000 square feet.

Additional features: Gated property, terraced yard and patios, Japanese sunken tub in downstairs bathroom, outdoor shower, spa and fountains.

Around the neighborhood: 188 existing single-family homes sold in the 90210 ZIP Code last year, according to La Jolla-based MDA DataQuick. The 2008 median sales price of $2.93 million was down 2.3% from 2007. Other properties in the area have sold recently for $4 million to $15 million.

Agent: Sandy Feldmar, Coldwell Banker, (310) 488-1671

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