It’s Christmas in May!
Not long ago, lovers of MCM architecture were delighted by the news that the beautiful 1956 Schumacher/Linkletter Estate @ 1100 Bel-Air Road had come on the market for the first time in decades, a house that not only had a great historic residential pedigree, but also a brilliant architect in the form of Mr. Philmer J. Ellerbroek F.A.I.A. behind its sleek design. But as exciting as that news may have been at first, it soon struck terror in our hearts when the reality sunk in that here was a house, an “old” house in need of certain updates, sitting on 4.6 acres of some of the primest of prime Bel-Air land. You could almost hear the bulldozers revving up in anticipation. Mega McMansions here we come! Even the WSJ reported it as a “Teardown.”
But while I was just about to swallow my daily bitter pill, I received the most incredible news from Stacy Wray, youngest granddaughter of Mr. Art Linkletter himself, who grew up on the estate and related the truly miraculous news the house had just sold – and to a buyer “who will not tear it down, but will in fact upgrade it’s already unique and special design.” Between this, Stavros Niarchos’ highly exciting last-second rescue of the Kronish House, Ron Burkle saving the Ennis House and Mike Chapman’s (hero of the year) stunning restoration of the seemingly hopelessly lost Lukens House I’m beginning to wonder what’s going on in L.A. Could we finally be beginning to understand what great architectural treasures we have here and to appreciate them rather than willfully destroy them? Nah, but great news is great news so let’s enjoy it when we get it. I don’t know who the savior is who bought this historic estate, but from all of us here at Paradise Leased, we send you the biggest thanks we can possibly muster. THANK YOU!!! And a very happy Memorial Day from myself and the gals at Paradise Leased!
Special thanks to the wonderful Stacy Wray for the news and to the equally wonderful Christine Hoffman, granddaughter of Joseph C. and Theresa Schumacher, the original builders/owners of the house, for all their support and information. And lastly a very special thanks to Kelly McLaughlin, another of Art’s lovely granddaughter’s, who has been a wealth of valuable information and support too! A happy day for preservation!