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Garden home with historic roots

July 26, 2009|Dinah Eng

A Rudolph M. Schindler-designed house surrounded by gardens that extend even underneath its structure has been restored and upgraded to show off the historic property in the Verdugo Woodlands, originally designed for writer-composer Jose Rodriguez and his family.

Built in 1941, the house features varying ceiling heights, clerestory windows and a "floating" second-story bedroom wing that spans the gardens below. On the ground floor is an office, designed as a music studio for Rodriguez, and a bathroom.

In contrast to rooms naturally lighted by walls of glass, a dark entryway with Santa Maria stone flooring leads up to the second-floor loggia, living room and dining room. Plywood, considered the experimental material of the day, was used for paneling and built-ins throughout the home.

"Our Steinway piano is in the exact spot where Jose Rodriguez had his Steinway," said Michael J. Murray, who owns the house with his partner Kelly Jones. "On Sundays, the family would have the first chair musicians from the L.A. Philharmonic over for a concert. When we redid the cork flooring, we left the marks from the spikes of the cellos and bases at the base of the piano and near the sofa."

The renovated kitchen combines the old kitchen and butler's pantry, featuring stainless steel and white-washed wood. Off the kitchen are a laundry room, bathroom and maid's room. Sliding drawers are accessible from both the kitchen and dining room sides.

The master bedroom features a built-in bed and nightstands, a copper fireplace designed to look like a campfire and a sleeping porch. A hallway leads to a media room/bedroom and a second sleeping porch.

Outside, a covered terrace off the dining room opens onto a backyard with a pool and patio. An Arroyo stone walkway winds around the wooded lot, leading to a small amphitheater with stone benches that was used by the Rodriguez children to put on performances.

"Instead of having a front lawn, Schindler reclaimed the land for use by the owner," Murray said. "It's intensely private, with sycamore trees, pittosporum and ornamental fruit trees all around."

The house is a city of Glendale Historic Landmark and has a Mills Act property tax savings status.


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Glendale oasis

Location: Niodrara Drive, Glendale 91207

Asking price: $2.48 million

Previously sold for: $2 million in 2005

Size: There are four bedrooms and four bathrooms in 2,356 square feet. Lot is 16,741 square feet.

Additional features: Original zinc repousse (metalwork) panel in dining room, Fujitsu widescreen plasma television, Arcam digital surround sound and Arcam DVD player in media room, two independent heating and air conditioning systems, workroom, wine cellar/exercise room, two-car garage, reflecting pond with a reproduction of Frank Lloyd Wright's Midway Gardens Sprite statue, Rudolph M. Schindler's working drawings.

Around the neighborhood: There were 26 other single-

family homes listed for sale in the 91207 ZIP Code last week at priced from $648,000 to $1.9 million.

Listing agents: Peter Martocchio, Sotheby's International Realty, Pasadena, (626) 529-6880 and David Goldberg, Sotheby's International Realty, Pasadena, (626) 644-6011.


Home of the Week

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