Urban Kitchen’s intimate classes teach the tricks of the trade

Raised in a home where her family connected over food and cooking, Michelle Hohman was inspired by the special moments she experienced growing up. Trained at Le Cordon Bleu with restaurant and test kitchen experience, she opened Urban Kitchen in 2013 to offer a space where people could create and enjoy meals together.

“Urban Kitchen is a culinary space that celebrates community and connection over the preparation and enjoyment of handcrafted meals,” Hohman says. “We do this through a variety of curated experiences, including our recreational classes and workshops, private dinners, corporate team-building events and kid camps.”

Cooking classes are offered in Urban Kitchen’s industrial loft-style space in South Pasadena, which includes a large kitchen that resembles one you’d find in a person’s home, not a restaurant. Hohman designed it this way this so that customers could learn how to make a meal and visualize themselves doing it at home.

The classes cover everything from pasta making, breads and desserts to farm-to-table Latin meals. Seasonal classes, such as making desserts as holiday gifts, are added to the schedule at various times of the year. Classes are taught by Hohman and her team of guest instructors—all are accomplished chefs who share knowledge, tips and tricks that participants can incorporate into their cooking at home. Previous instructors have included Food Network star Jane Soudah and chef Matthew Roberts of Union Restaurant, among others.

Class sizes are eight to 10 people and typically last three hours. The first two hours are spent cooking, followed by the last hour, where everyone sits together around a table and eats their creations. Hohman’s weekly classes were always full and quickly booked up on the website—so much, in fact, that the South Pasadena space had already reached full capacity. Hohman was planning to open more locations in other cities in order to accommodate people in other communities that wanted to enroll in her cooking courses. But then the COVID-19 crisis occurred and changed all of her plans.

“We had great momentum going into 2020 when the pandemic hit,” Hohman says. “I think initially we thought it would be somewhat short term, so we postponed our recreational classes and private events for the first few weeks. As the coronavirus numbers and casualties continued to mount, we realized this was going to be our new reality for the foreseeable future. The revenue stream was completely cut off.”

Back to square one, Hohman knew she had to get creative—and fast. She and her team members began reaching out to their loyal customer base and asking how they could be of service. Based on the feedback they received, Hohman built out a more robust recipe page on the website, provided meal plans and shopping lists via her newsletters, and hosted “Saturday Social” live lessons on IGTV.

“We also began promoting like-minded businesses who were also in need of help during this pandemic,” Hohman shares.

“These were not revenue-generating activities, but we felt it was important to be a resource to our customers and community. This pandemic has taught us so much. We learned to stay positive and turn to our customers as a resource for how we can best serve. It created the space and revealed the importance of reaching out to other businesses and developing long-lasting partnerships. It solidified the idea that we needed a revenue stream that we could maintain should this happen again. We are a family-owned and -operated business, and this pandemic certainly brought us closer together.”

Just prior to the shutdown, Hohman had been planning the addition of a pantry component. She picked up the pace on the project during the time that her business was closed.

“We’ve been working with our fabulous branding team, Designsake Studio, on building out the pantry component,” Hohman says. “Urban Kitchen Pantry will have an on-site and e-commerce presence and offer many of the products and ingredients we use in our classes and then some.”

As businesses have begun to gradually reopen, Hohman says she will offer her popular “Kids in the Kitchen” summer camps once again this year but with new guidelines. Designed for kids ages 9 to 14, each week-long session enables young chefs to learn new culinary skills, tips and techniques. On the last day of camp, participants get to compete in a friendly “Chopped” challenge as they put their new skills to the test.

Hohman and her team are excited to see its campers and have been busy redesigning the space and curriculum to adhere to Los Angeles County guidelines. Urban Kitchen’s adult recreational classes will also slowly restart, but their private parties, workshops and team-building events will remain on hold for now.

“The pandemic may have been a punch to the gut, but the recent display of minority-targeted brutality and violence knocked us out emotionally,” Hohman says. “Since the day we opened our doors, Urban Kitchen has been deeply committed to providing a safe culinary space to celebrate family, friends and community. Our community only thrives when we collaborate while celebrating our differences.”

For more information, visit urbankitchen-la.com.

Judson Studios remembered in new book

For more than a century, Judson Studios has created stained glass installations for projects around the world, ranging from historic landmarks and religious institutions to private residences.

Founded in 1897 by painter and professor William Lees Judson and his three sons, Judson is the oldest family-run stained glass company in the United States. Throughout the years, they have continued to build upon their legacy due to their level of expertise, Old World craftsmanship, and commitment to artistic innovation.

The first book to document Judson’s 124-year history was published in March by Angel City Press. Co-authored by Steffie Nelson and David Judson, fifth-generation president of Judson Studios and William’s great-great grandson, “Judson: Innovation in Stained Glass” covers generations of the studio’s famed projects and collaborations.

“The book was inspired by the creation of the new studio,” Judson says. “I found that as I was making decisions for the future of the studio, I really needed to look into its past to see when it performed its best and when it struggled the most. Expanding the company felt like a risky endeavor—knowing more about its past helped me ease my fears.”

Judson Studios was established in Downtown Los Angeles before moving to its Highland Park location in 1920, which was declared a historic monument in 1969 and remains open to this day. In 2016, the company expanded to open a second facility in South Pasadena, which hosts most of its contemporary projects and also serves as a space for exploring innovative techniques and opportunities in fused and kiln-formed glass.

“Our big push has been in the realm of fused glass,” Judson says. “When we expanded our studio to a second location, it was to move into a state-of-the-art fusing studio with six kilns, cold working/polishing equipment, and a dozen light tables to create our glass panels. No one has ever created such a major studio dedicated to working in fused glass, and we are putting together a talented team of artisans to work with fine artists in developing the future of stained glass design.”

Through 11 chapters and 300 original images, the book sheds a unique light on a fairly unknown part of the history of Los Angeles that is a visual delight. It begins with patriarch William Lees Judson’s move to Southern California and his involvement with the arts community, eventually leading to his appointment as dean of the School of Fine Arts at the University of Southern California. In 1906, his son Walter founded the family’s first studio, W.H. Judson Art Glass Company.

“The book took a little over four years to put together,” Judson shares. “To be honest, working on it was a struggle for me and way more work than I was expecting, but finding older projects that my forefathers carried out that I did not know much about was worth the effort. One of the most interesting projects I learned a lot about was the Cadet Chapel at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.”

Among his favorite historical projects that are highlighted in the book are the 1914 dome at the Natural History Museum, which Judson Studios restored in the early 2000s, along with the globe at the LA Central Library in Downtown.

“Both of these projects feel like hidden gems in the fabric of our wonderful city,” Judson said. “There are also amazing pictures of the Frank Lloyd Wright houses where Judson did work in the 1920s for the legendary architect. Some of the more recent collaborative projects we have done with contemporary artists represent the intriguing future ahead for stained glass.”

Despite a long history of success, Judson Studios faced its biggest challenge yet during the COVID-19 crisis, which forced it to completely close its operations—a first in the company’s 124-year history.

“The pandemic has been an extremely stressful scenario for us,” Judson says. “Coming back online has been difficult to manage, but luckily our crew is used to working with PPE and other precautions, so we are getting back up to speed pretty quickly. A number of our artists are working from home now at least part time, so we are really having to adapt our communication skills while working apart.”

Judson’s latest project is developing art glass for dozens of the Seattle Sound Transit Authority’s expanded public transportation line stations and working on a 3D pagoda with artist James Jean that will create an immersive experience in colored art glass.

“We will also be restoring the windows at the Air Force Academy chapel starting this fall, which will take us approximately four years to complete,” Judson says. “I hope people get a chance to go through our book and experience some of the wonderful projects that Judson has been lucky enough to be involved with over the years.”

“Judson: Innovation in Stained Glass” is available for purchase at all major bookstores in Los Angeles, including Vroman’s in Pasadena. Copies can also be purchased at angelcitypress.com. For more information, visit judsonstudios.com.

Demetria Graves has helped countless folks resolve legal issues

Demetria Graves handles cases that focus on all aspects of family law, including divorce, child custody and support, visitation rights, and other related legal matters. Born and raised in Pasadena, she is an alumna of Loyola Law School and has received numerous accolades over the years, including the Women in Business Award and Attorney of the Year. Since starting The Graves Law Firm 15 years ago, the certified family law specialist has helped countless families resolve legal issues so that they can start the next chapter of their lives.

“The main area that we are currently helping people in is divorce,” she says.

“Especially now with people being quarantined with their spouses, we’ve received a lot of calls about our services. Before starting the process, I always encourage people to talk to a therapist with their partner to make sure that divorce is the right decision for them. In some instances, I’m hesitant to go forward because it may be related to stress caused by COVID-19. My goal is to ensure that my clients make the best decisions for themselves and their families.”

Custody and visitation are the second most common issues that Graves helps her clients with, and as a result of COVID-19, these cases have become even more complex. Graves is committed to working closely with her clients, always paying close attention to their needs.

“Some of the current issues we’re dealing with include families being impact by reduced income, which affects their ability to afford child support,” she shares.

“There are also concerns about custody and visitation when one parent lives out of state and there is hesitation about letting children travel, or a parent is concerned about the other not practicing social distancing. I translate for clients what the court process looks like, what the judges want to see, put together their case strategy, and am their helper during that time. I know a lot of attorneys don’t enjoy family law, but I enjoy what I do and want to help as many people as I possibly can. I love being able to provide support to someone through what may be one of the hardest journeys of their life so they can have a new beginning.”

Passionate about helping others in and out of the courtroom, Graves is involved in various organizations such as the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles Bar Association and Black Women’s Lawyers Los Angeles. She is working on creating a resource for women who want to open law practices.

“I was really young when I opened my practice, and I wasn’t aware of all the challenges that I would face,” Graves says. “On top of owning a business, you’re running a law practice and managing employees, in addition to caring for your own family. Only 5% of lawyers in California are African American, and an even smaller number of those people are women. There aren’t a lot of female and minority attorneys out there that have their own practices. Back when I started, I had nothing, and over the years I’ve done a lot of on-the-job training, so I’m going to package all of that and provide a resource for women that want to take this journey and be successful.”

1055 E. Colorado Boulevard, Suite 500A, Pasadena
9595 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 900, Beverly Hills

The Azat brothers fight for those who can’t fight for themselves

From wrongful termination and sexual harassment to discrimination and unfair compensation, workplaces yield a variety of legal issues.

COVID-19 has also presented new issues, such as concerns about safety and health at work as well as record-high unemployment rates. To protect one’s rights and interests, there are times when it is necessary to seek legal representation. 

Issa and Michael Azat are plaintiff attorneys who specialize in employment law and have a proven track record in and out of the courtroom.

Prior to forming The Azat Law Group in Pasadena with his brother, Michael was a military police officer who had the rank of captain while in the U.S. Marine Corps. After earning his law degree from the University of Southern California, he worked as a federal prosecutor and served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

“I’ve spent most of my professional career fighting for the people who can’t fight for themselves,” Michael says. “Issa and I aren’t intimidated by the size of a firm or an attorney’s credentials. That is something that sets us apart—you have a lot of employment attorneys who have never done a trial or don’t feel comfortable stepping in front of a jury.”

Prior to joining his brother, Issa was a criminal prosecutor with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office and the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office. A graduate of Loyola Law School, he works with individuals and corporations in a wide range of plaintiffs’ litigation.

“There’s a big difference between arguing your points on a phone call and sitting in a courtroom with 12 peers that you need to convince of all the facts,” Issa says. “It’s essential to be able to articulate your points and share the story of the victim you are representing in a concise manner.”

With their unique backgrounds and expertise, Issa and Michael have developed and executed winning strategies for clients who have been the victims of various employment-related issues. Throughout the legal process, The Azat Law Group works closely with clients, providing them with crucial support, helping them explore their different options, and educating them about the various resources that are available.

“We enjoy the human aspect of working on employment cases,” Michael says. “There aren’t a lot of people with our backgrounds who do what we do. We take plaintiffs’ cases we can win and focus on pushing them towards trial. We are honest and upfront with our clients as to whether they have a case or not. We get to make a difference in the lives of people who need our help the most.”

Born and raised in South Pasadena, Mike and Issa remain close to their hometown and incorporate their family values into their practice as well.

“My brother’s office is right next to mine, and I don’t think that’s something you’ll find in very many law firms—a former federal and state prosecutor who are siblings that work together,” Issa says. “This is a family business, and we have that ‘family-first’ mentality approach when it comes to our clients.”

Adds Michael, “Whether it’s a factory worker denied time off to care for his sick father or a doctor who was let go because of his or her sexual orientation, we get the same satisfaction out of helping someone who feels helpless. Being able to be a voice for these people is very satisfying. We’re hometown trial attorneys who care about the people in our community, and we will help them in whatever way we can.”

The Azat Law Group
1785 E. Locust Street, Unit 3, Pasadena
626-509-8675, azatlaw.com

Building for Success

Southeast Construction Products continues its legacy

Quality materials are the foundation for successful construction, design and home projects, and with summer around the corner many people want their yards and outdoor living spaces to look their best. 

Southeast Construction Products has remained a consistent trusted resource for builders, contractors and the general public since it was founded in 1939. The company is one of the largest dealers and distributors for building materials in Southern California, with five locations throughout the San Gabriel Valley. In addition to its main store in South El Monte, it has four other locations in Chino, Covina, Monrovia and Whittier.

Southeast Construction Products was started by Guy Mattox, a manufacturer of concrete products who built and sold incinerators. After serving in World War II, he branched out into landscape materials and his company became a household name due to its excellent service and products. Over the years it has continued to expand its offerings, which include a wide variety of materials for all types of residential and commercial projects.

“We have a vast product line and competitive pricing,” says Robert Lewis, president of Southeast Construction Products. “We offer hundreds of different types of bricks in many different colors. We also have a full-service shop and a welding facility.”

The company specializes in high-end specialty materials and has more than 18,000 SKUs. Some of its most popular products are interlocking paving brick, landscape rock, synthetic turf and steppingstones. Other offerings include stucco products, safety equipment, tools, and pipe and fittings. Throughout the years, it has helped customers complete a variety of projects, including swimming pools, backyard décor, and interior and exterior walls.

“If we don’t have something, we can get it,” adds Brian Trestrail, the company’s vice president. “When a product isn’t available, we pride ourselves on being able to get it for our customers in a short amount of time. We’re the place that people come to when they need something.”

Another unique aspect of Southeast Construction Products is that it is 100% employee owned. Lewis and Trestrail have been with the company for 35 years, and the average tenure of an employee is around 18 years.

The company offers equipment rentals and services for construction jobs, such as concrete and plaster mixers. It also provides job site deliveries, and while it doesn’t do the installation portion of projects, it is happy to provide customers with a list of trusted referrals upon request. Its website includes a series of instructional videos from its vendors on different topics, ranging from installing curved brick steps to building an outdoor stone bar.

During COVID-19, Southeast Construction Products remains open for business but is following proper social distancing measures and operating under the guidelines of the CDC, state and local officials. It is taking orders over the phone and offering delivery as well as curbside pickup. Inside its stores, plexiglass screens have been installed for additional safety and all employees are required to wear masks. Additional masks are available for customers who don’t have their own masks.

“We’re doing our best to make the customer experience convenient and not so scary,” Lewis says. “We’re an essential business and want to be able to continue servicing our customers’ hardware needs in case they encounter any emergencies.”

Southeast Construction Products prides itself on its customer service, which remains at the heart of the business.

“It starts inside at the counter,” Trestrail says. “We’re not just salespeople—we are here to educate our customers and spend time explaining how products originate, how to use them, what their purpose is, and anything else they need to know. We love seeing our customers’ successfully completed projects.”

Last year, the company celebrated its 80th anniversary by hosting appreciation days at each store location for customers. In addition to discounts on items, it offered food, games and raffles, and many of its vendors were onsite to help with projects and designs.

“We are dedicated to being better owners every day and continue to expand our resources that we’ve built over the last 81 years,” Lewis says. “Our goal is to make it a positive experience for anyone who walks in our doors, and we’ve received nothing but accolades over the years. We go way above and beyond when it comes to winning people over and getting them to come back. We look forward to celebrating our 90th year of business.”

Laying a New Foundation

Douglas Ewing wants to design every type of home

Many architects build their careers on creating a signature style, but Douglas Ewing, FAIA, has established a reputation for doing just the opposite. His wide scope of work runs the gamut of residential and commercial properties to master planning in his own unique variety of contextual, contemporary and rustic styles. Over the years, the Pasadena-based architect has received countless AIA and national awards for his innovative and sustainable design projects, which include fashion designer Ralph Lauren’s ranch in Colorado. 

The blueprint had already been laid out for Ewing’s future career when he was a child. An avid artist in the sixth grade, his mother suggested he should be an architect because they make lots of money.

“Boy, was she wrong,” he says. “I had it imprinted in my head by my mother at a young age that I should become an architect,” Ewing says. “I was always the most creative student in all of my art classes. After graduating from Monrovia High School in 1962, I stopped by the summer job board at Pasadena City College, where I came across an opening at Smith & Williams Architects. They were the best architecture firm in Southern California.”

While taking architecture classes at PCC, Ewing worked 20 hours a week as an office boy at Smith & Williams, where he began designing projects after less than a year. An important principle he learned while working with Wayne Williams was to always go to a design presentation with all options studied and leave with a positive direction.

“Smith and Williams was a design and master planning firm that worked on a diverse range of project types unlike so many other firms that specialize in a single project type” Ewing says. “When you become a specialist, all of your work starts to look the same, and eventually gets boring. I wanted to design everything houses, different building types, master planning, landscaping, fixtures, and furniture. I’m always looking for unique projects to design.”

After his third year at the firm, Ewing considered entering the University of Southern California to continue studying architecture. Wayne Williams, one of the firm’s founders and Ewing’s mentor, talked him out of it.

“Wayne was a teacher at USC and said that I would only get an hour of instruction with him per week,” Ewing points out. “He said my experience at the firm would be more beneficial working with 25 experienced design professionals instead. It made sense, and I stayed for 10 years. Smith and Williams was my schooling.”

In 1972, Ewing ventured out on his own and opened Ewing Architects in South Pasadena, a full-service firm that specializes in site and master plan design, architectural design, interior design, building renovations and restoration design. Smith and Williams began sending projects to Ewing that were too small for them to take on to help him start. In 1986, Ewing relocated the firm to a pair of 1905 bungalows that he had restored in Pasadena using his staff and Pasadena Community College construction students.

To date, the firm has completed more than 1,000 projects and won multiple American Institute of Architects (AIA) Awards. Ewing and his team have spent more than 20 years designing projects for Universal Studios and on seven sites in four countries. In 2011, he received a fellowship from the AIA Jury of Fellows, which selected him for his achievements and significant contributions to the field of architecture for the design, technology and methodology of heavy timber and log construction for recreational and resort properties.

Local projects designed by Ewing in Pasadena include more than 40 residences; Vroman’s Bookstore; the Boy Scout Service Center; Pasadena Range Rover; and Neighborhood Church, which was renovated in a progressive Pasadena Arts & Craft style. Some of Ewing’s favorite projects include those of a more rustic nature such as The Sleeping Indian Ranch and Ralph Lauren’s Double RL Ranch in Colorado, which was designed to look as though it had evolved over the last hundred years and included an antique rustic bar, guest cabins and a saloon.

Ewing has also designed more than 170 homes throughout his career, including the Glen Oaks Residence—a contemporary hillside property near the Rose Bowl that he lives in with his wife, Maggie. The original home was badly decayed; however, Ewing was able to maintain its unique floor plan during renovation after he purchased it in 2009. He focused on capturing the character of the site, which is situated in a grove of eucalyptus and pine trees cascading down an east-facing slope.

A nature lover, Ewing maximized the home’s indoor and outdoor connection with floor-to-ceiling windows that offer stunning views from every room to Mount San Jacinto. All the structural framing is exposed, which is reflective of Ewing’s unique post-and-beam style. The property has won multiple awards and has been featured on the Dwell on Design International conference home tour.

“My home has nine different species of wood, including black wood,” Ewing says. “It makes the place feel contemporary yet rustic. I like a lot of color so that my projects aren’t just white boxes. All of the wood beams in my house are exposed. A lot of architects cover their structural systems that hold homes up. I’ve developed a following of clients who like I exposed the structures systems.”

After visiting a project site, Ewing spends time driving around to get an overall feel for the area. Important factors in the design process include topography, sustainability, compatibility, the client’s goals, and understanding what is feasible from an economic standpoint.

“I don’t ever want to design something that already exists,” he explains. “I want the project to be unique and different from anything else in the area.”

Ewing embraces challenges and is focused on finding creative solutions. With few flat lots left to build on, he has learned to work with hillsides. In Pasadena, where there are a vast number of oak trees, Ewing has never cut down a single tree for any of his projects.

“You have to be clever and figure out how to snake structures around the site obstacles and work with the site,” he said. “Instead of viewing these things as deterrents, you have to view them as unique challenges and design opportunities. I am designing a property that has 34 oak trees, which we are designing the entire home and entertainment yard around. It is absolutely magical. I believe designing with the natural conditions of a site always allows for the most creative, sensitive and significant architectural solution to almost any project.”

The Perfect Addition

Nott & Associates restores iconic properties around the Valley

The Pasadena area is home to countless architectural gems, among them craftsman bungalows, colonial estates and Spanish revivals that look as pristine as they did when they were first built over a century ago.     

Nott & Associates is a family-owned, South Pasadena-based architecture, construction and interior design firm that specializes in remodeling and restoring many of these iconic properties throughout the San Gabriel Valley.

Co-founded by local architect Tom Nott and his son, Jeff, Nott & Associates offers a variety of services for residential and commercial properties through all stages of construction, ranging from custom designs and structural engineering to electrical and more. The award-winning father-son duo has worked together for more than 30 years, combining Tom’s expertise as an architect with Jeff’s building and construction background to help clients achieve their vision while adhering to their budget.

Nott & Associates is also a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, a nonprofit organization that promotes sustainability in building design, construction and operation to enable a socially responsible, healthy and prosperous environment that improves quality of life. Along with its team of experienced designers, subcontractors and carpenters, it stays updated on the latest building techniques and technologies so it can remain on the forefront of industry trends.

Jeff grew up in South Pasadena surrounded by homes with rich architectural history and also lives in a 110-year-old home he remodeled. When working with older properties, he is committed to maintaining the historical integrity and enhancing the original style of a home, while simultaneously implementing the latest technology for modern-day living. Due to his extensive experience working locally, he is very familiar with each city’s codes, which helps projects reach completion smoothly and more efficiently.

The firm also specializes in building different types of additional dwelling units (ADUs), including detached guest houses and work studios. With growing families that are blending together, as well as more people working from home these days, ADUs have become one of their most in-demand services. 

“We’ve gotten a lot of calls from people who are tired of working at home without a proper office setup,” Jeff says. “Clients are looking into building ADUs so they can work comfortably and more efficiently.”

One type of ADU is attached new construction, which is an entirely new structure built on the same lot as a person’s existing property but with no attaching walls. Another type of ADU is an attached unit, which is connected to the primary home structure. Nott & Associates can also convert a garage or master bedroom into an independent-living unit, and it can build a smaller Junior ADU that is created by adding a kitchen and exterior door to an existing home to create a separate suite. To streamline the design process, the firm also offers several pre-designed layouts for detached new construction that clients can customize.

“A lot of ADU restrictions have recently been removed by the state of California due to the housing crisis, which has opened a lot of opportunities for us and our clients,” Nott adds.

As part of these new and relaxed regulations, there is no minimum lot size anymore, parking is no longer required, and design review has become more lenient. Besides increasing the overall amount of living space in a home, adding an ADU will increase property value and can also act as a source of potential income in the future should the homeowner decide to rent it out.

To start the home design or building process, clients can call for a consultation and schedule an in-person meeting for Nott to come out to their home. During COVID-19, the firm remains open for business but is following social distancing measures.

“First, we’ll speak on the phone prior to coming to a client’s home,” Jeff explains. “There are various precautions we’ve had to take, such as changing the way we take our meetings, setting up additional handwashing stations at our current jobs, and requiring masks on all construction sites. We’re continuing to work full time and our team is hard at work. We’ve been a family-owned and operated business for many years. We’re just making some changes to how we do things nowadays to keep up with the current times and situation.”

Connected to Nature

The Taylor House shares Neutra’s ‘biorealism’ philosophy

Located at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac on a hillside overlooking a California nature reserve, The Taylor House is a unique modernist home designed by Richard Neutra, one of the most influential architects of the 20th century.     

Built in 1961 for Maurice and Marceil Taylor, the property—which sits on more than a half-acre in the Verdugo Woodlands—was previously featured on the Glendale Historical Society’s “Icons of Architecture” home tour.

A pioneer in mid-century modernism, Neutra experimented constantly and was known for his “biorealism” philosophy: the idea that man and nature are inseparable, and that people instinctively feel more comfortable in an interior where they can communicate with nature on the outside. This became a recurring theme in Neutra’s architecture over the years—he embraced technology and sought to incorporate biological sciences in architecture so that a home’s design exploited the realm of the senses and interconnectedness to nature. He believed that being connected with nature daily was fundamental and essential to living a longer, happier and less stressful life.

The Taylors were lovers of the outdoors, and the house is a perfect example of Neutra’s philosophy with its expansive glass walls that offer sweeping views of the hills throughout the entire length of the home. The property is surrounded by tall California live oak trees and vegetation, offering a closer look at the splendor of its peaceful environment. At the end of the driveway, the two-car carport beautifully merges with the openness of the home’s natural surroundings. A large, shaded patio surrounds the exterior of the home, framed by several large oak trees.

“The Taylor House is reflective of Neutra’s late work, which reflects all that he learned over a lifetime in architecture,” says Crosby Doe, the listing agent for the property. “He really worked on letting the indoors merge with the outside of this house. The long, exterior lighting feature illuminates the indoors as well as the outdoors, eliminating the black mirror effect that occurs in many houses with glass walls and windows at night. It brings the outdoors inside—even after dark.”

The dwelling resembles a rectangular glass box and has a roofline that hangs over the large, front-facing windows. The flat roof is supported by thin pillars that, from a distance appear to blend into the background, giving the illusion that it is floating above. The obscured front façade offers privacy from the street, while the interior is open and connected to nature via floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding glass doors, blurring the boundary between indoors and outdoors.

“There’s an element of magic and the mystery to the home site and the way that Neutra placed the house,” Doe shares. “There’s a great sense of openness and privacy at the same time.”

The interior features 1,477 square feet of living space with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. In the entryway, a dark burlap panel slightly delays the reveal of the home’s views when one first walks in. The open-concept living area is framed around a large freestanding fireplace with a floating hearth flanked by brick columns. Last sold in 1997, the current owner lovingly restored the property a decade ago, preserving many of Neutra’s details and mid-century modern elements, including the red brick walls, vintage tile floors and wood panel cabinets.

“The house retains most of its original historic fabric, which can be quite rare,” Doe shares. “In the kitchen, everything is original except for the refrigerator.”

Outfitted with mahogany cabinets and vintage appliances, the kitchen is flooded with natural light from large windows that stretch along the wall. In one corner, a cozy dining nook sits against a large glass window that looks out into the garden.

The floor-to-ceiling windows continue into the master bedroom, which is a calming refuge basked in natural light. The master bathroom suite includes a special feature: a shower with a glass wall that opens, transforming it into an open-air bathing space that merges the indoors with the outdoors.

“Neutra was a master of orienting a house to its views and to its landscape,” Doe says. “He was always deeply concerned with relating the inside of the house to the outside, and this property offers a rare opportunity for nature to completely surround the house. Being at the end of a quiet dead-end street further enhances that sense of total privacy. And in today’s environment where people are currently sheltering in place, what better place to do that than here?”

The Taylor House is listed by Crosby Doe.