February 3, 2023


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For sale: Harry Gesner’s dreamy stable house

3 min read

If submerged living rooms, vaulted wooden ceilings, exposed beams and spectacular views of the natural landscape are your cup of tea, your dream home has just hit the market: dreamer Harry Gesner designed the extraordinary 1961 structure. Three bedrooms, 2.5-bath accommodation, originally built for SL and located at John Stable and 1963 Mandeville Canyon Road, Stable has maintained family ownership since the original completion and is now looking for a new buyer ready for the attractive, unique home – the original kitchen cabinetry and everything. “This is one of the most breathtaking middle-class homes in Los Angeles!” The announcement of the listed agents was made by Todd Mychad and Randy Gray, its principals Keller Williams Realty Omega Group.

Gassner was contracted to design the house a few years after the completion of the iconic Beachfront Wave House (1957) in Malibu, which made its name on the fast-growing, modernist-loving Los Angeles map. Gessner is originally from Southern California, and Talisin studied under Frank Lloyd Wright at his school in the western Arizona desert before serving in the U.S. Army during World War II. But, he thinks the school is too narrow, he is moving forward and never looked back.

Gessner’s new client Stables heard about him from previous commissions for this particular project. Although they were primarily interested in a mountain home, as they recall in a 2012 monograph about Gesner, and the initial designs closely resembled a traditional themed Swiss chat, the feedback from clients further enhanced Gesner, creating X-frame designs, where The two A-frame forms collide with vault spaces that are open to the Mandeville Canyon and beyond.

On the main level of the house, there is a dramatic submerged living room with built-in seats, an angular brick fireplace and an L-shaped section surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows. In the center of the main floor is an original bar and music booth with easy access to the kitchen, dining room and submerged living room that mimics the home’s own oblique forms with original woodwork. Bald behind the bar is the main kitchen, which retains its wooden cabinetry, paneling and red tile floor; The dining room, furnished in a palette similar to wood paneling, has direct access to a building through sliding-to-ceiling with adjoining and glass doors. There is also a bedroom on this floor with its own bathroom,

Surprisingly, the dramatic aspect and the whiplash design continues to the second floor, reaching through a curved staircase with a simple wooden handle that opens up to the wooding ceiling of the original bedroom suite. The cases of the book line the walls – there was an author of Stables – and the rest opens up to a terrace with seating that is covered by a deep overhang of a partially covered roof. The glass walls here create an artistic if asymmetrical, irregular pattern, sometimes with stiff panels instead of glass.

And if 1960s bathrooms are your thing, it will be a pleasure: a water closet, double sink, bathtub and separate shower after the original brazen blue square ceramic tile. Outside the bathroom is an office space / dressing area with a window-walled window similar to the bedroom, with access to another terrace. A flexible office space with a guest apartment or kitchen, bedroom and lower level bathroom can continue the same exposed wooden ceiling as other parts of the house but it may be more suitable as a granny flat.

But along with the spectacular design it really is the scenery that makes this house still relevant. L.A. As the Times Stables puts it in a 1969 profile, “Can anyone write with this perspective? Of course not.”

Needless to say, at Dart we must have been inspired by this home – and expect it to be snatched by the right buyer who appreciates its original features and makes the best use of the sunken livingroom and its breath-taking approach.

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