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Case Study House #18, On National Register, For Sale as Possible Teardown

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Rodney Walker is one of the lesser-known architects who participated in Arts & Architecture's groundbreaking Case Study House program, which introduced Mid-Century Modern to the masses, but over his career he created scads of strikingly lovely houses around Southern California. One of those is his Case Study House #18, aka the West House, which sits on a bluff in Pacific Palisades and, along with several other Case Study Houses, on the National Register of Historic Places. But that doesn't mean it can't be demolished. The 1948 house has just come up for sale and the listing gently hints that a new owner might want to tear it down.

CSH #18 is still quite well-preserved, with two bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, a garden room, glass walls, "pristine white galley kitchen," and a double-sided fireplace, all on a little more than half an acre overlooking the ocean. (It faces the Pacific, but is set back from the cliff a bit to reduce noise; according to its Arts & Architecture feature, "the privacy of the open south and east exposures of Case Study House No. 18 can be threatened only by an occasional sea-gull.")

But Pacific Palisades is not the remote territory it was in 1948 and the property is asking a hefty $6.8 million. The listing says it's "Suited for simple living in paradise or a possible, incredible development opportunity with incredible OV acreage. Live-in and/or celebrate the rarest of properties to build a private, ocean view estate seconds to the ocean." The house is not a city landmark and listing on the National Register is basically ceremonial. However, there is a lot of land here, and a new owner might take the approach of nearby Case Study House #9, aka the Entenza House, which now serves as a guesthouse to a newer mansion.


· 199 Chautauqua [Redfin]
· Mapped: The Case Study Houses That Made Los Angeles a Modernist Mecca [Curbed LA]
· LA's Most Famous House Finally Makes the National Register [Curbed LA]