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Gould-LeFetra House sparkles as an architectural gem in Brentwood

Designed by modernist Ray Kappe, the glass-and-wood home has been designated an L.A. historic-cultural monument. It is the latest 'sensitive restoration' project of film producer Michael LaFetra.

February 15, 2009|Valli Herman

Shielded from its Brentwood street by a shrubbery screen is Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 886, the Gould-LaFetra House.

The three-story, glass-and-wood home, which received its designation from the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission, is the latest "sensitive restoration" project of film producer Michael LaFetra -- a sort of one-man architectural preservation society who has purchased and restored a dozen or so homes.

LaFetra is especially fond of 1960s-era modern houses, and this one, designed by L.A.-based architect Ray Kappe, has been his home for several years. The architect returned to consult on the restoration and updating of the house, which now includes an infinity pool, a rooftop deck and two fireplaces.

Kappe, who founded the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in downtown L.A. and is often compared to other pioneering modernist architects, created the house in 1966-68.

Sitting at the apex of Canna Road, a cul-de-sac that curls off winding Tigertail Road, the five-bedroom, 3 1/2 -bathroom home embodies Kappe's gentle, organic expression of modernism. Although it is essentially a house of glass, Kappe added warmth with wood -- teak, redwood, mahogany, Douglas fir -- on walls, ceilings and built-in furniture and shelves. Perched on a steep hillside, the house appears to float among the trees.

Step inside and it appears as if you haven't left the outdoors at all. Smooth pebbles embedded in concrete form a rustic walkway that leads to the two-story living room. Through the walls of windows are views of the Pacific Ocean, Santa Catalina Island, Long Beach and beyond. The second-floor master bedroom suite shares the same sweeping vista.

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To submit a candidate for Home of the Week, send high-resolution color photos with caption and credit information on a CD and a detailed description of the house to Lauren Beale, Real Estate, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012. Questions may be sent to homeoftheweek@latimes.com.

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BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX

Gould-LaFetra House

Location: 12256 Canna Road, Los Angeles 90049

Asking price: $4.95 million

Last sold for: $2.1 million in 2003

Size: Five bedrooms and 3 1/2 bathrooms in 3,448 square feet on a 13,634-square-foot lot.

Additional features: Solar panels, built-in storage, original louvered windows, updated kitchen and bathrooms, breakfast bar, two-car carport, infinity pool, outdoor living room, fireplaces in the living room and master bedroom.

Around the neighborhood: At least nine other houses are listed for sale along Tigertail Road, and its extensions to Canna Road and Chickory Lane, including one a few doors down Chickory for $3,595,000, and a four-bedroom home on North Tigertail Road for $7,468,000. In 2008, 201 single-family detached homes sold in the 90049 ZIP Code for a median price of $2,050,000, according to MDA DataQuick.

Tax relief: The house has Mills Act status, which provides property tax relief in exchange for the owners' maintenance of the historical and architectural character of the property.

More information: The house is included in the book "Themes & Variations: House Design: Ray Kappe" by Michael Webb.

Agent: Cory Weiss, Prudential California Realty, Beverly Hills, (310) 248-6455.

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