Vidal Sassoon’s Precision Flip

Your Mama has received so many emails asking and begging that we discuss the Neutra designed house high in the hills of Bel Air that venerated beautician Vidal Sassoon has recently dumped on the market for a shocking $19,500,000.

So we’re going to flip you over to RADAR where they’ve got the pix and sassy commentary.

What Your Mama wants to know from all you Los Angeles modernist house nuts is do y’all think this property is reasonably priced?

P.S. Your Mama does not think Mister Sassoon actually lived up in this modern masterpiece. He has long owned another modern house on Calle Vista Drive in Beverly Hills where his nearby neighbors include uber-agent Kevin Huvane, producer Jerry Weintraub, Miss Merv Griffin, as well as the house TomKat recently purchased for $32.5 million.

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  1. Terry Hughes says:

    Will this house be lucky to clear $10 million? Very, very lucky. Everything adverse your commenters say is true, but there’s more … and worse. The house has been changed in many ways that are outright hostile to Neutra’s entire approach to domestic architecture – including devices and finishes he knew about and always 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 something (Neutra) that’s been systematically stripped out.

    Then there’s the gigantic new addition, where the Neutra content is literally zero! The size of the addition seems to be deliberately understated in the marketing. The Wall Street Journal [], for example, reports that the Sassoons “expanded the 1959 home to 5,500 square feet from 3,400, says listing agent Barry Sloane,” But when the home was sold to the Sassoons, it was described in Architecture for Sale as having only 2,490 square feet. [] If that AFS number is correct, the Sassoons have more than doubled the square footage. The addition is so dreadful and banal that the seller doesn’t even provide the designer’s name. There is talk of Neutra’s family organizing some kind of protest over what has been done to this property.

    There is also suspicion here in LA that Sassoon may not even be the real – as distinguished from the nominal – owner and developer of this property. The Wall Street Journal says that he never lived there, but he did “throw a few parties there.” The circulating skinny seems to be that some developer and the broker (Barry Sloane) got Sassoon to contribute a few dollars and his name as a nominee on the deed, with the developer providing the money and real work.

    Sloane now often works with developers who have a rather long track record of not obtaining permits on very large properties. Indeed, he just had a $2.7Million sale in Los Feliz fall out of escrow over exactly this issue, another Los Feliz sale reputed to have required a “give back” of more than $1Million to compensate for new, unpermitted work. And there’s lots more with Barry’s projects.

    The city building code requires that when an addition this large is tacked onto an original house, the entire original house (including foundations and sheer walls) have to be brought up to current code. That’s very expensive, especially for a 1959 house. So Mr. Sloan’s involvement has a lot of people here in LA are asking if the real developer (Sassoons or not) had all of the required permits for the new work.

    But the greatest tragedy is the loss of this house’s original identity. If one doesn’t like Neutra, then why mangle a Neutra and then try to sell it as a Neutra?

    Ten million? They’ll be lucky to get the cost of the undeveloped land minus the cost of demolishing the now-pseudo-Neutra. Tragic.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been to this house many times…No way is it worth 19.+ million. When I was there last it was falling apart at the seams, the rooms are extremely small and the bathrooms and kitchen were in desperate need of upgrading, however, the extremely large property has stunning views of both L.A and the San Fernando valley..

  3. who cares says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The interiors and the window views look great.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Mama, I was at the open house and it is really beautiful. I myself own a Neutra and the restoration was top notch. But, $20 mil? The thing is that someone out here is crazy enough to pay that kind of money to live in a Neutra/celebrity owned house! If it goes for that much you might see mine next with a big old price tag attached!!!! Keep up the fantastic work!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been biting my hand on this one for a while, just waiting for when it would be put up for sale. I wasn’t thinking it would cost this much, really more in the $15-ish range. I was at the place pre-restoration, and it really is so much better now. I’m really pleased with Sassoon’s work on the place, and am considering stealing the Lucio Fontana painting above the bed in the Master!

    As for location, it is not the most convenient, but it is extremely private. Though, I agree with others that the Meier wannabe just West of the home is pretty atrocious.

  7. Anonymous says:

    anon 10.56 is so right … this part of bel air is not really very nice – well, it’s nice but not as nice as lower bel air – i think $10m – $14m max … $20m for 3000 [?] sq ft – yeah right! neutra or not!

  8. Anonymous says:

    It’s worth whatever someone pays for it, but I can’t quite see it going for $19 mil.

    The spare landscaping gives the impression of a mobile home park.

    However, I generally like Neutra houses.

    The outside view from the interior is lovely, though.

  9. Anonymous says:

    It is in Bel Air in name only. It sits on the ridge top of Mulholland overlooking the Stone Canyon Reservoir and the SF Valley. The land is difficult to use with steep slopes. I was at the open house and it still looks like a house from the 60’s. Ellen Degeneres was poking around. Huge Richard Meier knock-off looming above the property. They’ll be lucky to clear $10 million.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Supposedly, the renovation Mrs. Sassoon did is hideous, and the house itself was on the market for 6 million in 2004. 14 million dollars in appreciation in 3 years time? You’ve got to be kidding me.

  11. Anonymous says:

    It’s so overpriced … Yes, It’s Neutra but $20 million seems a bit steep – It does have a lot of land but who wants to be stuck away up on Mulholland? I don’t like that part of Bel Air but I love the house – but I’d rather pay $10M more & get the Lautner on Carbon … at least it has a great location

  12. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Sassoon paid $6M in 2004. It was listed Feb 2003 for $7M.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The price has nothing to do with Sasson. It has to do with two other names – “Singleton” and “Neutra”.

    This is the much published Singleton House. One of architect Richard Neutra’s most important works.

    The Sassoons (actually I think it is mostly Mrs. Sasson) are architecture enthusiasts. Their own home (I also heard they never lived in Singleton House) is a beautifully restored Hal Levitt.

    A beautifully restored, published architectural home on 5 acres in Bel Air, California? 20 million is a very accurate price.

  14. Anonymous says:

    4 photos is all I saw too. How can L.A. real estate keep skyrocketing out of control like this when home prices are falling across the board everywhere else? Just wait till the next earthquake. They’ll all lose their shirts cause no insurance company is going to pay out based on an owner’s excess and lack of common sense.

  15. nanc' says:

    There really aren’t enough pics to decide. I like it but $20. mil? Is it on a LARGE piece of private property?

  16. Anonymous says:

    I only saw 4 photos on there for Sassoon’s place. It is lovely with great views, but $20MM???? Come on…

  17. phoenix says:

    In my humble opinion, Sassoon’s place isn’t worth anywhere near $20 million, and I don’t find it all that appealing either. If that means I’m out of touch and have no taste, so be it.

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