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John Lautner's Stevens House Languishes on the Market Because There is Something Wrong With the World

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Beloved modernist John Lautner produced many of Southern California's most legendary and distinctive homes, from his mushroom-capped Palm Spring estate for Bob Hope to his curvaceous concrete gem, the Silvertop Estate, which recently sold, to the president of Beats by Dre, for more than $1M over the asking price. So why oh why has his glorious Stevens Residence, which is shaped like an "avant-garde boat," lingered on the market for nearly two years? The ocean-facing glass-and-timber home in Malibu is an architectural marvel, designed by Lautner in 1967 in the form of a wave. Listed in August of 2013 for $22M, the 8,700-square-foot spread received a significant PriceChop in June of 2014, and is now listed for $19.75M. Are there really no celebrities or other rich people who want to throw really rad parties in this pedigreed modernist property?

The five-bedroom home was not in great shape when it was purchased by film producer and serial house-collector Michael LaFetra in 2007, for $13.8M. It has now been updated and reconditioned to its late 1960s fabulousness. "The restoration included carefully selecting and replacing all cedar planking, restoring concrete that had been painted, bringing back the originally designed but never fully implemented lofts for each of the kids rooms, recreating the original tile, as well as enhancing the house's sustainability by utilizing cork flooring and converting the house to solar energy," LaFetra writes.

Although celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow occasionally splash out $14M to buy celebrated Lautner residences, his highest priced homes often steadfastly refuse to sell. Even Bob Hope's former abode, famous as it is, had to chop its ask in half after roaring onto the market at $50M. It still hasn't found a buyer. Basically, it seems like the Lautner selling sweet spot tops out at $8M.

The Stevens Residence, Lautner's first in Malibu, comes with 37 feet of private beach, an indoor pool, an expansive deck, and lots of appealing built-in furniture. It has now been on the market for 20 months.


· 78 Malibu Colony Road, Malibu [Elliman]
· John Lautner's Stevens House Hits Market in Malibu For $22M [Curbed LA]
· All John Lautner coverage [Curbed National]