Updated Jan. 16, 2019
The Largent House at 49 Hopkins Ave. by Architect Richard Neutra in San Francisco was illegal torn down. I viewed photos of the house, and the pool with the waterfall in the center of the house. If I had bought the house, I would not have removed the swimming pool. I would have repaired it. I am not sure it needed repair, but the house sold at a lower price, because the one bedroom/one bathroom situation. The buyer had no right to tear it down. He knew it was a landmark when it bought it. He did not ask permission, so now he has to rebuild the house and place a plague to say, what happened.
Many of the Neutra Homes are nice, but do we need to keep them all? That could be decided on a case by case basis. If you have a large collection of figures you may want to prune them down and save only the best ones. Is it practical to save all of them? That being said, the outside the house was not remarkable, but the interior pool was worth saving. The house was built for the Largent’s who were a married couple of artist and teachers. I guess swimming was a big priority for them, more so then having enough bathrooms and bedrooms.
The house is on a steep grade also, and would not good for the couple as they aged. It looks like a dangerous place for older people to live. I found the photos on Zillow from the sale of the house. The house would good for a young couple who were fit and could hike the hill and swim the pool.
Updated New information
In this update the Owner claims that the swimming pool was added in the 70s or 80s. I want to know if this can be proven. If that was true, he should not have to rebuild the swimming pool. So, maybe in fact the couple who commissioned the house were not really into swimming. The pool may have been added later by their children or other owners who were on health kick. Fleishhacker Pool was in operation from 1925 to 1971, so maybe they wanted the pool in the 70s or 80s to make up for the loss of the great place to swim in natural salt water from the ocean, which I’m sure was fantastic.
Updated: The owner is suing the city for 10 million dollars. I was able to discover that the rebuilt house will not look like the white stucco building with a swimming pool and waterfall in the center. It will look like the original house. I have not seen a photo of the original house if one exists. There are plans available however, so the owner can rebuild the house exact like it was when it was first built. The house was only considered a minor house by the architect and not one his more important works. The more I look into it the stranger it seems. The house was only Neutra minor work, but if we are bothering to rebuild it, why not instead rebuild a more important Neutra house? If you could save just a few of the Beatles songs from destruction you would not select a minor song. You would save Strawberry Fields or a Day in the Life. If the city has loses the suit that means we, the tax payers, have to pay this fat cat developer from Florida 10 million dollars. If the owner would rebuild the house he could rent it out and make a slow but steady profit, which may not cover the costs of his losses. The rental market is desperately in need of housing. The newer housing units are all large building apartments. Many people would like to rent and live in a new house in San Francisco, that was single unit housing and unique instead of corporate boring. None of the newer units are under rent control.