In Laurel Canyon, Atomic Age modern with wild history lists for $4.5M

By Pauline O’Connor

You can find a property with an interesting history on the market in Los Angeles pretty much any day of the week, but very few are as fascinating as that of Laurel Canyon’s Wohlstetter House.

The International Modern-style home was designed by architect Josef Van der Kar in 1953. The son of Dutch immigrants, Van der Kar was a card-carrying Communist whose political activism made him a target of the House Un-American Activities Committee. The architect’s closest friends included fellow “radical” architect Gregory Ain and union organizer Henry Shire.

But surprisingly, Van der Kar’s inner circle also included neoconservative heroes Albert and Roberta Wohlstetter, a husband-wife team of foreign policy and nuclear arms strategists. A national security advisor to every president from Eisenhower to Reagan, Albert Wohlstetter was one of the inspirations for Stanley Kubrick’s nutty warmonger Dr. Strangelove.

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Home of the Day: In the Company of Giants

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By Bonnie McCarthy

In a pedigreed neighborhood boasting residences by architectural icons such as R.M. Schindler, Harwell Hamilton Harris, Gregory Ain and J.R. Davidson, this Silver Lake modern with an experimental design by former CalArts painter-turned-architect Sean Briski fits right in.

Industrial interior details include poured concrete finishes, exposed structural steel, curtains made of shredded tire tred, and glass panels filled with packing peanuts. Soaring walls of glass open to a deck with city views.

Address: 2358 Silver Ridge Ave., Los Angeles, 90039

Price: $1.55 million

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