When it comes to real estate, “Million Dollar Listing” agents Josh and Matt Altman know a good one when they see it. And the duo’s latest luxe investment, acquired this March in a $4.7 million, off-market deal, is no exception. Tucked away on a narrow cul-de-sac in the mountains above Beverly Hills, the glam midcentury modern was originally designed in 1948 by iconic, pioneering female architect Greta Magnusson Grossman as her personal residence.
“The Greta Grossman residence is one of the most important midcentury moderns in Los Angeles history,” says Josh, who heads up the Altman Brothers Team at Douglas Elliman with brother Matt. “She built this house for herself in 1948 and, for two decades from 1940 through 1960, was the only female architect in all of Los Angeles.
“Matt and I feel that this home is an important piece of Los Angeles history, as well as a piece of art, as it has been meticulously restored to perfection over the years,” he adds. “As top real estate agents, we take pride in preserving some of the most important houses in Los Angeles, and this is a perfect example of one.”
Born in Sweden, Grossman emigrated to California as a young woman and opened a design studio on Rodeo Drive; that’s where she began creating her own special brand of furniture and custom lighting for a wealth of corporations and celebrity clientele alike. Perhaps her most well-known design is the playful Grasshopper Floor Lamp, which is still being reproduced to this day (available at Design Within Reach for around $1,000).
Grossman went on to launch an architecture career, and to design at least 15 area homes based on the Case Study House design principles — striking glass-walled structures that largely rest on hillside parcels of land. Upon retiring in ’66, she decamped L.A. for a house she built for herself in Encinitas, and painted landscapes until her death in 1999. Today, her work is heralded in numerous books and exhibitions, and her original designs also net substantial prices on the auction block.
As for the architect’s Beverly Hills outpost, it’s changed hands several times through the years. The structure was eventually revamped and expanded in 2009 by then-owner/designer Darryl Wilson and architect Tony Unruh based on Grossman’s original plans, replete with a modernized design that included terracing the small hillside lot, and enlarging the exterior living space with varied levels of seating areas, along with a pool and waterfall. An indoor refresh was later undertaken, in 2015, by interior designer Molly Luetkemeyer. Recent owners have included gallerist Maggie Kayne, followed by Alex Rosner of Toms Capital; it was Rosner who sold the property to the Altmans.
Situated near the end of its cul-de-sac — atop a steep incline offering sweeping views of city lights and lush greenbelt from almost every room — the home’s exterior dazzles with walls of glass and a dramatic cantilevered roof.