In the early years of the 20th century, before the film industry came along and muscled in, before real estate developers installed illuminated letters 50 feet tall and visible from miles away, the foothills above L.A.’s Beachwood Canyon were home to citrus orchards, hunting cabins, and the Krotona colony, an outpost of the Theosophical Society. Founded in New York in 1875, the organization described itself as “an unsectarian body of seekers after Truth, who endeavor to promote Brotherhood and strive to serve humanity.”
After acquiring a 15-acre swath of land from real estate developer and Beachwood Canyon namesake Albert Beach, the group erected numerous buildings geared toward a variety of uses, from housing accommodation, to classroom instruction, to dance and theatrical performances. But before long, the movie studios and their newly wealthy stars began wreaking havoc on the utopian society’s meditation practices, and in 1924, the Krotona colony decided to relocate to the more peaceful environs of Ojai, where they operate an educational and residential center to this day.
The Theosophists left behind an eclectic array of structures for us to remember them by. These include the baroque fever-dream of a mansion known as Moorcrest, purchased in 2014 by comedian Andy Samberg and musician Joanna Newsom, the Ternary, a Spanish-Moorish-style apartment complex designed by architect Alfred Heineman in 1915, and this boho board-and-batten-sided cottage that’s just joined the market.
Built circa 1906, the rustic residence fits three bedrooms and two bathrooms into its 1,366 square feet that are divided between two floors. Period details, such as hardwood floors, exposed-beam ceilings, wainscoting, handcrafted casement windows, French doors, clawfoot tubs, and a wood-burning stove, abound, although the simple kitchen, unconventionally located on the cottage’s top floor, has been updated with modern appliances.
Along with numerous towering shade trees, flagstone paths, and private terraces, the home’s 9,603-square-foot bucolic grounds contain a detached two-story artist studio with .75 bath that, per the listing, was originally constructed for potter Sana Krusoe.
Last sold in 2007 for $777,000, the charming cottage compound is now on offer with an asking price of $1.5 million. Richard Wilkinson of the Wilkinson Group at The Agency represents the listing.