Though Lloyd Wright had huge shoes to fill as the eldest son of the legendary Frank Lloyd Wright, he still managed to pave his own way as one of California’s best-known architects. Not only did he head up Paramount Studio’s set design department in the mid-1900s — and create the Hollywood Bowl’s first orchestral shell — but he also is responsible for several notable early modern structures throughout Los Angeles, including the landmark Wayfarers Chapel in Palos Verdes.
Standing out as well is this one-of-a-kind Mayan-style residence — called one of the architect’s “strongest achievements” by UCLA historian Thomas Hines — which recently popped up on the market in Glendale, asking just under $3.3 million. The owner is Jeffrey Sanfilippo, CEO of Illinois-based John B. Sanfilippo & Son, a distributor of Fisher and Orchard Valley nuts, who purchased the place for $2.3 million back in 2016.
Originally commissioned and built in the 1920s for businessman James Derby and his family, he and his wife separated before the home was completed and only she and their children ever lived there. Aptly known as the Derby House, the meticulously preserved dwelling is listed on both the Glendale Register of Historic Resources and National Register for Historic Places.
Resting on a 1.5-acre parcel of land dotted with mature oak and eucalyptus trees, the home’s striking exterior boasts ornamental concrete textile blocks cast in sand from nearby Chevy Chase Canyon. Stenciled on the blocks is a yucca pattern — a nod to the plant grown in the surrounding hills — which is replicated in the gates to the one-car garage, as well as the fireplace grates, French door grills and closets.
Five bedrooms and three baths are spread across more than 3,200 square feet of living space on two levels marked by soaring ceilings, cathedral-style windows, oak floors and stonework. Highlights include a double-height living room sporting a fireplace encased in an 8-foot-high wrought-iron gate and a loft-style library, plus a six-sided dining room with a floor-to-ceiling fireplace and built-in window seat.
There’s also an updated wood-paneled kitchen outfitted with newer appliances, and an upper-level master suite featuring a studio loft and access to a spacious terrace. Outdoors, the heavily wooded grounds host a large al fresco dining and lounging patio nestled alongside an expansive grassy lawn.