It’s pretty hard to believe this home above L.A.’s Sunset Strip was constructed in 1949, as the handsome post-and-beam appears to have sailed through its seven-plus decades of existence virtually untouched by the ruthless hands of time.
Perched on a tree-filled lot in the Bird Streets neighborhood, the woodsy time capsule was designed by the architectural firm of Whitney Smith and Wayne Williams. While overshadowed by fellow Pasadena-based and USC-trained contemporaries Buff & Hensman, Smith & Williams made a substantial contribution to the California Modernist movement. In partnership for 24 years, the duo participated in the Case Study House Program, had a hand in the planning of Brentwood’s celebrated Crestwood Hills housing tract, and designed scores of award-winning projects, including the Friend Paper Company Building in Pasadena, the UCLA north campus student union and the UCLA Canyon Recreation Center, and the Japanese tea house at Descanso Gardens.
A Japanese influence was present in many of their designs, as it is in this particular residence, which has never been on the market before. The house was commissioned by a young couple, Samuel and June Sale. College sweethearts who met at UCLA, the Sales would raise their three children in the home, and remained in it themselves the rest of their days. Sam, a businessman, passed away in 2014, with June, an author and the former director of UCLA Childcare Services, following this past November.
Measuring 3,240 square feet, the Sales’ redwood-sheathed residence contains three bedrooms and four baths. Its notable features include vaulted beamed ceilings, numerous skylights, shoji screens, ample walls of glass, clerestory windows, a brick fireplace, and built-ins galore. On its verdant grounds are a flat expanse of lawn, a swimming pool, and a brick patio with sweeping canyon, city and ocean views.