Enjoy an Old Hollywood fantasy getaway in this beautifully restored mansion and updated Mayan Revival masterpiece. Designed by Lloyd Wright, son of America's greatest architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, this 1926 home is a magical oasis in the heart of modern-day Hollywood.
Conveniently located next to the best of Los Angeles shopping, nightlife, and dining. Once inside this unique 6,000 square foot house you feel as if you are in another world entirely. All rooms face the interior courtyard which shelters a secluded Jacuzzi and pool amidst an immaculate succulent garden with flowering vines. The courtyard doors slide into the walls to create a stunning indoor/outdoor feel, while the addition of water and fire features give unity and completion to Wright's elemental vision.Renovated in the year 2000 by designer Xorin Balbes, a sleek, modern edge was brought to the Old Hollywood glamour of the Sowden House. The renovation also brought it a feature in Architectural Digest, and a new era of public visibility as the location for countless celebrity fundraisers, film shoots, TV shows and commercials.
The home also features a reading room with a huge salt water aquarium, a home theater system with surround sound, a gourmet kitchen, formal dining room that seats 10, 2 fireplaces, outdoor fire pit, 2 exotic modern flaming torches, and a dramatic city view. A collection of new antique artifacts were added to the home as well, including an enormous Indonesian Buddha that looks out from atop the master bedroom, an antique Chinese dowry chest, Japanese tansus converted to bathroom cabinets. All of these new design elements harmonize with the rustic details around the door frames and the Mayan-influenced stone work.
The master suite provides luxury comfort with a king-size bed, its own private spa-soak in a freestanding tub, a shower in a glass encased steam room, and a meditation area by a beautiful koi pond. Two other bedrooms include queen-size beds and en-suite bathrooms. Additional sleeping is available in the den on a sofa bed.
History: In 1926, Lloyd Wright, son of America's greatest architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, built the Sowden House for friend and photographer John Sowden. The home utilized Wright's philosophies as a landscape architect to emphasize the elements of nature by a floor plan where all rooms opened to a central courtyard. Hand cast, sand-colored concrete blocks emblazoned with images of harvest, water, clouds, and sun were stacked together in such a way that the house became an homage to the pyramids of ancient Mayan civilization, while the pillared courtyard with multiple entries made clear architectural reference to such Yucatec Mayan temples as Sayil and Uxmal.
In his book, The Visionary State, author Erik Davis speaks of the Wright family's Mesoamerican palaces that were built in a number of Southern California locations. He goes on to say that the home that Lloyd Wright built on Franklin Avenue ... is easily the wildest of the lot, an Expressionist temple whose primeval exotica makes the visionary aspirations of the Southland's neo-Mayan architecture clear.
The Sowden House, in its modern incarnation, has served as the set for countless films, TV shows, and commercials. Among these are Martin Scorcese's "Aviator" about the high drama life of Howard Hughes, various episodes of "America's Next Top Model", and an American Express commercial featuring Ellen DeGeneres in deep meditation. All told, the Sowden House is a magnificent tribute to the interplay of shadow and light, much as are the ancient Mayan temples that inspired it. Steeped in Hollywood history, it continues to reveal new facets of its relationship to drama and stardom, while at the same time taking on new life as a center for creativity and healing. In restoring the Sowden, Xorin Balbes has honored Lloyd Wright's intention to merge architecture and landscape by making this home a living temple environment where sacred space is evident at every turn.
Additional amenities include: in-home theater, 3 bedrooms, koi pond, ipod dock, washer/dryer, patio/balcony access, city views, library/study, 6+ bathrooms, lounge furniture, dining and living room, jacuzzi/hottub, courtyard, en-suite bathroom(s), firepit/ fireplace....Read more
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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