Saturday, August 8, 2015

Northridge West Palmer & Krisel Hits the Market – Northridge, CA

The Northridge West subdivision features some great Palmer & Krisel-designed residences built by the Cal-Frank Homes company, including this 1956 mid-century modern home. Recently renovated, this 1,392 square-foot home provides three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a two car garage and an in-ground pool on a 7,500 square-foot lot with an asking price of only $499,000.

The listing agent refers to this home as being designed by famous architect Eichler – but most of you reading this will know that that reference is laden with inaccuracies; however, we need to remember that sometimes a limited frame of reference may oftentimes lead to misleading statements. This is most definitely a Palmer & Krisel, and features many signature Krisel elements.

The exterior of the home features a lush, green rolling front lawn with mature plantings and a sweeping arced driveway. The side entry garage incorporates signature Krisel clerestory windows, while the the front of the home features classic Krisel lines, including the decorative vertical sunscreen over the bathroom window adjacent to the front door.

Walking into the home, the living area sits at the rear of the home, overlooking the backyard entertaining area. There’s a signature Krisel modernist open corner fireplace dividing the formal living room and the family room has had its original walls removed from its surround, diminishing the architectural impact of this magnificent feature, while a corner of the hearth has been sliced off at a 45-degree angle, the only one in the house. It’s still a cool fireplace, and may be a worthy candidate for restoration.

Signature modernist fireplace - note soffit placement and strange angle chewed off of the hearth

Living Room view towards entry and family room
Original Julius Shulman photo of Northridge West Living Room - Note how the massing of the fireplace significantly creates presence in the living room while remaining open to the surrounding areas© J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10)
Living Room - note the unique beam placement

The wall between the dining room at the rear corner of the home and the living room has been removed, opening the space while removing spatial delineation. There’s also a signature soffit adding emphasis to the hallway and room divisions, while the ceiling holds another neat feature – the exposed beams run parallel to the center beam – in most other Krisels they tend to run perpendicular to the center beam.

Kitchen with original clerestories

Kitchen with laundry area beyond - check out that great vintage light fixture

Kitchen with dining room beyond

The kitchen has been remodeled with contemporary high-gloss red and white cabinetry, white composite counters and white tiled backsplashes. The laundry sits at the front of the kitchen, behind a set of red-painted original accordion doors.


Master bathroom is ultra contemporary, maybe with the exception of that vessel sink

The bathrooms have been renovated in a very contemporary style, which has the potential to look dated as opposed to keeping renovations and improvements in line with the modernist roots of the home. As far as the bedrooms go, there’s not much of the bedrooms shown, we just know that they feature laminate floors throughout, and it appears from the backyard photos that they still feature the signature Krisel four-pane floor-to-ceiling windows.

Backyard & Pool

Backyard patio & trellis

The west-facing backyard is large, accommodating a pool, elevated grassy area, trellised patio and lots of planting beds.  This property shows well, is in a great neighborhood surrounded by other modernist Krisel homes, and will definitely sell fast at its asking price of $499,000.

Check out the Redfin listing here: 8843 Oakdale Avenue

Or here: 8843 Oakdale Avenue

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