Back in 2010, “Mad Men” show runner Matthew Weiner and his architect wife Linda Brettler paid former talk show host Leeza Gibbons $4.8 million for a 1920s Mediterranean-style house in the Hollywood Hills. Originally designed by noted architect George H. Fruehling, the seven-bedroom, 11,000-square-foot sprawler had languished on the market and needed a lot of work.
Fortunately, Brettler was not deterred by the challenge. An accomplished UCLA- and Harvard-educated residential and commercial architect with over two decades of experience under her belt — plus a keen eye for spotting a historic structure’s ultimate potential — she embarked on what became a laborious restoration project. Among the tasks on her to-do list: creating a more seamless indoor-outdoor living experience; expanding the puny kitchen; and converting a lengthy upstairs hallway into a master retreat and trio of children’s bedrooms for her four sons.
Brettler intended to stay in the home for the foreseeable future, even telling Luxe Interiors + Design that “This is it … I’ve told them I plan to live here forever. They’ll have to cart me out when I’m 100!” But that was then, and this is now; and life happens. After almost 30 years of marriage, Weiner and Brettler divorced in 2019, not long after Weiner was accused of sexual misconduct by one of the writers for “Mad Men.” Records reveal Brettler has now laid out $3.1 million for an architecturally pedigreed stunner elsewhere in Los Angeles.
Known as the Grossman House — after its original owner, aluminum contractor Albert Grossman — the midcentury modern residence was crafted by pioneering modular prefab architect Raphael S. Soriano in 1963. Officially completed in ’64, it was the first all-aluminum house designed by Soriano, and the only example that survives today; accordingly, it was designated a Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Monument in 1997.
Nestled on a 0.29-acre parcel of land in Studio City, the exterior of the four-bedroom, three-bath structure features a mix of corrugated metal and floor-to-ceiling walls of glass that Grossman loved so much for their low-maintenance nature — they never need painting! — that he nicknamed the place “El Paradiso.” Inside, nearly 4,000 square feet of colorfully hued living space is punctuated throughout by walls of glass, corrugated metal and wood-beam ceilings, cork paneling, Formica surfaces, built-ins and black Terrazzo tile floors.
Meant to serve as a live-work environment, the main living quarters are found on the lower level and open to atriums and the outdoors, while the entire second floor is dedicated to an expansive home office space. Standing out is a kitchen boasting canary-yellow Formica cabinetry, an eat-in peninsula and a built-in radio, along with a primary bedroom suite that’s got a wall clad in the original cork paneling and a bath outfitted with the original soaking tub.
The private, tropical-inspired grounds are exquisitely manicured and include a pool, plentiful lounge areas and a garden. There’s also an attached carport.