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Frank Lloyd Wright Jr’s Samuel Novarro House lists for $4.295m

This Frank Lloyd Wright Jr-designed villa in the hills of Los Angeles comes with a hefty price tag and a turbulent Hollywood history to match.

The house – on the market for $4.295m via Douglas Elliman – was named after silent film star Ramon Novarro, who commissioned the architect to design it for his personal secretary Louis Samuel in 1928.

After discovering Samuel had been embezzling his money, Novarro took the house in exchange for his silence and commissioned Wright to add a pergola and piano room.

The three bedroom property has been no stranger to the housing market in recent years, changing hands in 2006 for $2.8m and again in 2014 for $3.8m.

Photography: Luxury Retreats
Photography: Luxury Retreats

In the 1990s the property was owned by Diane Keaton, who told the New York Times that Lloyd Wright houses weren’t ‘easy’ to raise a family in.

‘They are beautiful. But they have very, very small bedrooms,’ said the actor.

Other famous former inhabitants include composer Leonard Bernstein, actress Christina Ricci, and writer and director Gary Ross.

Photography: Luxury Retreats
Photography: Luxury Retreats

The house’s most distinctive feature is its Mayan Revival-style patterned copper panelling. This Art Deco offshoot became popular in the 1920s and 1930s, drawing on decorative elements typically used by ancient Mesoamerican cultures.

More contemporary elements include poured concrete floors, large windows and a swimming pool surrounded by walls on all sides.

If you want to ‘try before you buy’, you can also rent Samuel Novarro House from $1,100 a night via Luxury Retreats.

Read next: On the market: Own your own Frank Lloyd Wright



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