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Eye on LA gets inside look into city's spectacular homes

January 11, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
How many times have you driven past a spectacular house and wondered, "who lives there?" This week, Eye on L.A. gets you some answers! Los Angeles boasts some of the most architecturally incredible homes in the country and Eye on L.A.'s Tina Malave got a very special, inside look behind a few unique, intricately designed and downright quirky homes that are so very special to our city!

Stahl House

You know what they say, people who live in glass houses - should definitely show them off! And Eye on L.A.'s Tina Malave was lucky enough to get a tour of the Stahl House, an iconic glass home nestled in the Hollywood Hills with breathtaking views of the city. This home has been used as a backdrop for countless photo shoots, but it wasn't always a famous landmark. It was simply home for the Stahl family. CH "Buck" Stahl bought the property in 1954 for $13,500 and a handshake. The glass masterpiece was designed by Stahl, who commissioned famed architect Pierre Koenig to build his dream home. The house soon became part of Arts and Architecture Magazine's "Case Study House Program" and is also known as Case Study House No. 22.

Architect Harry Gesner

When it comes to legends, Harry Gesner is truly the most interesting man in the world! Gesner is an iconic figure in the world or architecture, with stories that legends are made of. His incredible "Wave House" was actually the inspiration for the Sydney Opera House in Australia. Also, Gesner never even formally studied architecture. He even turned down the legendary Frank Lloyd Wright's offer to study under him at Wright's home school, Taliesin. With a new book out, "Houses of the Sundown Sea," Harry Gesner shares his stories, and offers a look at his iconic home designs with Eye on L.A. [Watch video]

To view the short film by Eric Minh Swenson, "The Vision of Harry Gesner" visit, www.thuvanarts.com/harrygesner

Topanga Tree House

Tree houses aren't just for kids. Christiana Wyly had long dreamed about living in the forest when she moved to Topanga Canyon. And her dream came true when she met a designer named Roderick Romero, who actually built tree houses for the likes of Sting, Val Kilmer, Julianne Moore and Donna Karan. The Topanga Tree House is not only whimsical and beautiful, it's environmentally friendly and a lot of fun!

747 Wing House

Home design is taken to new heights with the 747 Wing House in Malibu. This residence, owned by Francie Rehwald, is the creation of architect David Hertz. Francie said she liked the curvilinear forms in Hertz's work. As he sketched, he saw a curved ceiling as an airplane wing, and they decided to actually make the roof out of an airplane wing! After scouring airplane graveyards, they found a junked 747, bought it for $30,000, cut it up and got it ready for its trek from the Mojave Desert to Malibu. After a police escort down the highway, and a Chinook helicopter ride to its final destination, the wings landed at their destination. Hertz also uses other parts from the 747, like cabin windows and wing landing lights to create this unique home. [Watch video]

Houdini Estate

Do you believe in ghosts? Legend has it the ghost of Harry Houdini actually wanders the Houdini Estate in Laurel Canyon. We can neither confirm nor deny this, but we can give you a tour of this estate with a mysterious and magical vibe, that is now an ideal location for events and film shoots.

Jim Morrison's Love Street House

It's the house where rock icon Jim Morrison lived with his girlfriend Pamela Courson. It is the "Love Street" house in the heart of Laurel Canyon. The home, which was built in 1922, was nearly decimated in the New Year's arson fires of 2012. But the house's current owner, Matt King brought in top L.A. designer Jorge Dalinger to restore every inch of this rock 'n' roll landmark to once again make the home fit for a "Lizard King." Eye on L.A. gives you an exclusive tour, showing you some of the new updates as well as a few preserved pieces of Jim Morrison history. [Watch video]

Beverly Hills Witch's House

Originally built in 1921 as an office and a set for silent films at Willat Studios in Culver City, the Witch's House was moved to the corner of Walden and Carmelita in Beverly Hills and became a private residence in 1926. Its second owner named the home the Spadena House and it carried that moniker until 1998 when it was purchased by real estate agent Michael Libow. Libow started what he thought would be an easy kitchen and bathroom remodel on the house and ended up doing a full renovation, removing just about every right angle inside and replacing them with curves and home details truly fitting of a proper Witch's House, including the incredible gardens designed by renowned landscape artist Jane Marshall. After almost a 10-year renovation, Eye on L.A. was given an exclusive, first-time look inside the iconic home which draws over 3500 trick-or-treaters each Halloween.

The Lawrence and Martha Joseph Residence and Apartments - The Hobbit House

Its nickname comes from characters of "The Lord of the Rings." It's a stone's throw from Sony Studios and was designed by an artist who once worked for Walt Disney. Yes, the Hobbit House is the stuff movies are made of, but this residence is no movie set. This group of cottages, known more formally as the Lawrence and Martha Joseph Residence and Apartments was a labor of love built from 1946 to 1970 by Lawrence Joseph and is the epitome of storybook architecture. It features hand carved doors, built-in furniture and high-curled ceilings. When Martha and Lawrence Joseph passed away, Martha left the house to her cats for a period of 25 years, at which time the property will be sold and the proceeds donated to a cat rescue. [Watch video]

For more information, visit: www.lac.laconservancy.org.

See the complete list of all of the places featured on this week's episode.

[Original air date: April 6, 2013]


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