Sowden House in Los Feliz for sale at $4.9 million

The storied Sowden House in Los Feliz is for sale at $4.888 million.

Set behind gates and obscured from the street by heavy foliage, the residence has sometimes been called the Jaws house for its Mayan temple-like façade.

Typical of Lloyd Wright designs, beyond the original copper entry door are stairs and a tight hallway, creating a feeling of compression before opening up to the living spaces within.

The 1927 structure is made of so-called “textile” blocks, patterned concrete blocks also favored by the architect’s father, Frank Lloyd Wright. The designs depict a pattern of water, earth and air.

A later addition to the five-bedroom, six-bathroom house is the pool in the long center courtyard. The living room near the front of the house and master bedroom at the back make the most of this inward-looking garden view.

Seller Stephen Finkelstein has enjoyed the 5,600-square-foot house for his personal use and rented it out for photo shoots and low-key events. “It earns enough to pay for itself,” he said.

The distinctive house has been used in the film “Ruby Sparks” and the series “Californication.”

Suspicions that the house could be the site where 22-year-old Elizabeth Short was killed in 1947 have brought reality shows and a few kooks to Finkelstein’s door. The so-called “Black Dahlia” case has drawn “Paranormal America” and “Ghost Hunters” crews.

Finkelstein bought the house as an investment in 2011 for $3.85 million with a three- to five-year horizon  in mind before selling. Seeing the market heat up for high-end historic properties, the industrial hygienist  decided the time was right to put it on the market.

Troy Gregory of Sotheby’s International Realty is the listing agent.


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