Arts blogger extraordinaire Tyler Green has a piece in the May issue of Portfolio on Richard Neutra’s Kaufmann House, which is being sold by Christie’s with an estimate of $15 million to $25 million; I blogged the house myself, back in November, and said that if architecture really were collectible in the same way as art, then we wouldn’t see it being sold at auction.
Tyler provides another datapoint proving that collectible architecture simply isn’t treated with the respect afforded collectible art:
The Kaufmann House isn’t the only Neutra on the market. His 1959 Singleton House, in L.A., is listed for just under $20 million. The current owner, hair-care baron Vidal Sassoon, bought it three years ago for $6 million and dramatically remodeled it. “It’s not so Neutra anymore,” Doe says. “What was the master bedroom is now a sunken bar. That’s a little extreme.”
Some photos of the Singleton House can be seen here. The thing which worries me most about the listing is the bit where it says "2 potential extra building pads on site". One has some hope that anybody shelling out $20 million for a Neutra house would build with the utmost respect around it. But then again, this is LA that we’re talking about.