Embezzlement, Hollywood stardom and architectural fame are wrapped up in the Samuel-Novarro House. Designed in 1928 by Frank Lloyd Wright Jr. (known as Lloyd Wright), the Los Angeles home was listed for $4.195 million in November 2011. But after sitting on the market for six months without securing a buyer, the listing was removed. Now, less than a year later, the historic property is for sale again with an even bigger price tag of $4.49 million.
While perhaps overshadowed by his fathers groundbreaking architectural design, Wright made his mark on Los Angeles real estate, designing homes for silent-movie stars and contemporary A-listers. This property, located at 2255 Verde Oak Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068, was named after its first two residents.
Ramon Novarro was the first Latin American actor to achieve stardom as one of Hollywoods top silent-movie stars. Wright was asked to design the home for Novarros personal secretary and companion, Louis Samuel. However, when Novarro discovered Samuel was embezzling funds from him a year later, he said he wouldnt press charges if Samuel made it right. The secretary proceeded to turn over his prized home to Novarro to make up for financial losses. Novarro accepted the offer and rehired Wright to make the house his own, adding a pergola, music room and bedroom suite.
Its a very unique property, said Hilton & Hyland listing agent Aaron Kirman. There is a lot of nice open space; gardens and terraces throughout.
The home also boasts a pool, sleek concrete floors and dramatic windows not to mention its highly sought-after location in one of L.A.s most exclusive neighborhoods, The Oaks.
In the listing description, Kirman says the home has been meticulously restored, keeping the architects original vision intact. While its unclear exactly what Wrights architectural vision was, Oscar winner Diane Keaton, who owned the home in the 90s, thinks it was perhaps more about making a design statement than housing a growing family.
If you have a family, its not as easy to live in a Lloyd Wright house, she told The New York Times in a past interview. They are beautiful. But they have very, very small bedrooms.