Jul 28th 2007 4:17PM Absolutely amazing! The sale of this property borders on outright fraud on so many levels! The entire estate has been changed and "luxed up" in many ways that are outright hostile to Neutra's entire approach to domestic architecture - including devices and finishes he knew about and rejected and others that he would have had nothing to do with if he had known about them. It's just NOT Neutra now, and it's all but fraud to market it as Neutra. This project has much of the California and world-wide architectural community in an uproar. The damage to Neutra's vision has been noted by at least one major magazine expose, and anyone who is foolish enough to buy this house had better keep in mind that he's paying for someting (Neutra) that's been systematically stripped out.
Then there's the gigantic new addition (essentially doubling the square footage), where the Neutra content is literally zero! The addition is so dreadful and banal that the seller doesn't even provide the designer's name.
Is Sassoon even the real - as distinguished from the nominal - owner of this property? The Wall Street Journal says that he never lived there, but he did "throw a few parties there." Nice. The whole thing looks as though some developer got Sassoon to contribute his name as a nominee on the deed, with the developer (and, presumably, his or her equally questionable broker) providing the money and real work. Has anyone check to see if they even had the required permits for the new work? The kind of person who would perpetrate this kind of project wouldn't think twice about complying to city code if he or she thought they could get away with it.
Too bad a beautiful house to die for what has all the trappings of a tawdry scam. Twenty million dollars? Wow. Are there that many people around with that much money and that little sense? You'd be better off buying a vacant lot and building your own.