The Altos de Monterey neighborhood, conveniently less than eight miles northeast of downtown, was the largest post-war single-family residential housing development in L.A.’s South Pasadena community and was emblematic of the ‘close-in’ communities that became highly desirable in the even-then-traffic-thronged Los Angeles area during the late 1950s and ‘60s.
The hilly development, a mix of custom and spec-built tract homes, boasts several architecturally significant dwellings designed by prominent architects of the period. One of those homes, this one designed by architect and furniture designer Miller Fong and nipped down a curved cul-de-sac, where it’s perched on a sloped parcel with an elevated view of the leafy surroundings, is newly on the market for a bit under $2.5 million.
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The linear, low-slung charmer, completed in 1965, the year after Fong earned his architecture degree from USC, is an early example of the easy-breezy open floor plans and blurring of indoor and outdoor spaces that are hallmarks of Fong’s architectural oeuvre. Fong, who now teaches at USC, is also known for the iconic woven wicker Lotus Chair he designed in 1968 that is in the permanent collection at the L.A. County Museum of Art.
The Lotus Chair is still in production—at Fong and his brother’s venerable, L.A.-based furniture company, Fong Brothers Co.—but there’s nary one to be found among the staged furnishings throughout the well-preserved interiors of the not-quite 2,300-square-foot home that is eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.
Beyond the elegantly simple front doors, the home’s bi-level living and dining space is defined by high ceilings, strong horizontal lines, and walls of glass filled with tranquil views of the surrounding greenery. Elsewhere, the kitchen adheres to the home’s midcentury style but has been updated with modern appliances over the years, while an adjoining lounge spills out to a courtyard patio framed in clipped hedging. On the other side of the house, a long corridor extends from the foyer and leads to the home’s three bedrooms, all of which open to the outdoors, and three bathrooms.
The living room and primary bedroom, as well as the bedroom corridor, spill out to a central courtyard deck that provides privacy from neighboring homes while at the same time being enveloped in the natural surroundings.
Available through Silva Portugal-Singh and Ami Singh of Compass, Fong’s classic midcentury design in South Pasadena proves the relaxed California lifestyle never really goes out of style.
Click here for more photos of 1746 Las Palmitas.
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