An architectural masterpiece in Pasadena, Calif., listed on the National Register of Historic Places with a showbizzy background, has been sold for exactly $4 million. The sellers are prolific producer/director Troy Miller (“Arrested Development,” “Flight of the Conchords”) and real estate agent Terri Miller, and tax records reveal the new owners are TV writer/producer Robia Rashid and her husband Michael Oppenhuizen. Rashid cut her television writing and producing teeth on the sitcoms “How I Met Your Mother” and “The Goldbergs” before she created the Netflix series “Atypical,” which will air its fourth and final season next year.
Designed by the illustrious architecture firm Buff, Straub & Hensman in a midcentury modern manner influenced by American Craftsman and Japanese architecture, the distinctive home was commissioned by Richard and Mary Alice Frank, owners of Lowry’s Foods, and completed in 1957. The house was briefly owned more than 20 years ago by mononymous musician Beck, who purchased the property from the Frank family in March of 1998 for $1.275 million but sold it almost exactly a year later for $1.38 million to a couple who flipped it the following year, in August of 2000, for a smidgen under $2 million to the Millers.
The house has appeared in numerous films and television shows, including “How to Live with Your Parents,” but may be most recognizable as the home of the Pfefferman family on the eight-time Emmy winning Amazon series “Transparent.”
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Perfectly sited on a rolling acre of land surrounded by trees, the almost 5,100-square-foot multi-level home was carefully updated and restored by the Millers and has the playful feeling of a tree house with huge expanses of windows and elevated decks that sit among leafy treetops. A glass-walled and stone-floored entrance gallery passes the dining room and a lounge area before it steps down to a voluminous living room under a soaring exposed wood ceiling. Dominated by an asymmetrical brick and stucco fireplace, the room’s walls of floor-to-ceiling glass provide a verdant, tree-framed view of the San Gabriel Mountains.
Flooded with light thanks to skylights in the vaulted ceiling, and arranged around a bi-level island with integrated snack bar, the kitchen adheres to its original layout with its original cabinetry sensitively modified to accommodate sleek, up-to-date stainless steel appliances. Beyond the kitchen, an informal dining area flows easily out to a large deck floating among the trees and, downstairs, a stone-floored family room offers additional entertaining space with a brick fireplace, a wet bar and an original, deep-cushioned built-in sofa banquette. The room doubles as a screening room with a hidden movie projector, while full-height glass sliders lead out to a covered patio. Surrounded by thick foliage that screens out any trace of neighboring homes, the swimming pool (and a long, skinny koi pond) sit in a sunny clearing above a flat expanse of lawn. The gardens were originally conceived by illustrious landscape architect Garrett Eckbo, and as part of their exhaustive restoration and update the Millers brought in a landscape historian to return them to their original design.
The house’s five bedrooms and five bathrooms include an owner’s suite where a wall of windows that looks out to a private patio muddies the distinction between inside and out. A dressing hall is lined with precisely milled bespoke cabinetry and the up-to-date bathroom sports original cabinets and a pixilated tile pattern around the sunken shower. Elsewhere, a dedicated children’s or guest wing offers three bedrooms and a bathroom, plus a cozy den with hidden loft.
Rashid and Oppenhuizen’s new home is quite an upgrade from their not-especially-architecturally-interesting long-time home in the hilly Los Feliz area of Los Angeles that tax records show they scooped up in 2011 for $735,000.