House of the Week – Richard Neutra

The “House of the Week” is typically in Nashville, TN, but this week the featured property is so special it deserves our attention all the way in Shreveport, Louisiana. It is a rare offering of a home designed by the distinguished Richard Neutra, who is my favorite architect. Part of what makes it so rare is the geographic location. The vast majority of Neutra’s residential works are located in California, where his modern style is an ideal fit. Other than one home in Iowa and one in Texas, few known Neutra products are found outside of the west, other than a handful of commercial designs such as an auditorium, library, and chemical building. This Shreveport home is a wildly unique opportunity for a Neutra fan to purchase one of his houses east of the Mississippi River. The price of $597,298 is the second component of rarity. Compared to Neutra’s Kaufmann House, Singleton House, and Staller House which have all been for sale with price tags over $10,000,000 the Shreveport house is significantly more accessible. neutra1

The Neutra Shreveport house is a sprawling 5,137 square feet, with six bedrooms and five bathrooms. Due to it’s size, the asking price is only $116 per square foot. The listing agent, Lauren West with Keller Williams, says it is, “Not only a home, but a WORK OF

ART.” She also adds that, “Richard Neutra was on the cover of TIME MAGAZINE as the BEST ARCHITECT in the US behind only Frank Lloyd Wright!!” This house was built in 1950 for Mr. and Mrs. J.C. O’brien, who interestingly chose Neutra over Wright. According to the O’brien’s son, Jim, his father interviewed Wright and, “Just did not mesh with him.”

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The house had an addition constructed after the current owners bought it in the late 90’s, more than doubling the square footage of the original 2,400 square foot dwelling. But Richard Neutra’s son Dion was contacted to oversee the addition as a consultant. The owners were sensitive to retain much of the history and continue similar design elements into the addition.

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The current owners have a nearly unforgivable taste in furniture and decor, but true fans of modern design can look past the purple walls and hideous rugs and appreciate the original elements of a Neutra design. The warm wood tones, multiple built-ins, massive stone fireplace, and floor to ceiling windows are all trademark Neutra.

For those appreciative buyers desiring to live in an iconic mid-century modern architect’s design, this could be the best opportunity in years. And for buyers seeking specifically a Richard Neutra residence in the eastern half of the United States, perhaps the chance of a lifetime.