Architect Richard Neutra’s “Troxell House” on Paseo Miramar was destroyed in an early morning blaze.
LAFD received a 3:49 a.m. call that a large, one-story single family dwelling was on fire on Paseo Miramar.
At 5:20 a.m., LAFD released the following information “The structure is approximately 2,200 square feet, a hillside home with partial collapse. Firefighters continue to make good progress but are limited in their ability to reach all pockets of fire due to the instability of the structure and the hillside location.”
Seventy-eight firefighters were assigned to the hillside structure fire and prevented embers and flames from extending to the adjacent brush. The homes on the windy Paseo Miramar road, border Topanga State Park and sit above Los Leones Park.
It took firefighters about an hour and 43 minutes to put the blaze out. There were no injuries reported and the cause of the fire and the dollar loss is still to be determined.
It was reported by the homeowner’s association that a neighbor heard a loud explosion, looked out, saw the house on fire and called 911.
A long-time Paseo Miramar resident said, “The sad part is that it was a Richard Neutra house.” Neutra was born in Austria and worked in Europe as an architect before moving to the United States in 1923, when he was 31, eventually settling in Los Angeles. He became one of the most prominent and important modernist architects in the U.S.
In a 1947 article for the Los Angeles Times, “The Changing House,” Neutra emphasized the “ready-for-anything” plan in his designs – stressing open and multifunctional plans for living spaces that were flexible, adaptable and easily modified for any type of life or event.
The Paseo Miramar home was built in 1956 on a 47,611 sq.-foot-lot for Sidney Troxell and his wife, Arilla, and their young children. According to historical reports, Neutra planned the house to provide privacy for parents and children. The dwelling had wood framing with metal windows and door frames.
The Paseo Miramar resident noted that when the house was sold after the couple died, “it was found to still have original upholstery pieces that Neutra designed, with original fabrics.”
The house was renovated in 2005 by architect Scott Hughes, and expanded to 3,000 sq. ft. A cantilevered addition was made to the master bedroom and a pool added. The house then had four bedrooms and two and a half baths.
Japanese film director Kazuaki Kiriya owned the home until 2013. Before he sold it, one realtor wrote, “The lap pool, which seems to float in the air, overlooks the Queen’s Necklace.” The house sold for $3.55 million according to several real estate websites.
“Awful, the Troxell house, restored by architect Scott Hughes some years ago, was one of my Dad’s best and similar to the recently burned post and beam Slavin house in Santa Barbara,” Raymond Neutra said after learning about the fire. The Slavin house was destroyed by fire exactly two months ago on May 8, 2021.
A retired epidemiologist, Raymond Neutra runs the Neutra Institute for Survival Through Design. The website, www.neutra.org, says the mission is: Preserve and Use the Neutra Legacy to Promote Creative Research and Design that Benefits People and the Planet.