Thornton Montaigne Abell

Case Study architect Thornton Montaigne Abell was among the great innovators in architecture invited by John Entenza, editor of Arts and Architecture magazine, to participate in the Case Study House Program.

During the program Abell delivered Case Study n° 7  located in San Gabriel, CA.

Designed for a small family the home is made up of three zones utilizing sliding panels. Similar to how Gregory Ain used them in the Avenel Housing Cooperative the panels open up the interior to maximize flexibility, spaciousness, and indoor-outdoor living while also giving the family options to separate themselves in their private rooms. As intended, Abell’s home is an excellent example of a relatively affordable, replicable house for post-War family living, using new materials and new techniques in residential construction.

Abell designed about 21 structures throughout Los Angeles. In recent years we’ve seen a handful of his mid-century modern steel, glass, and wood residences in print and for sale. In 2015 the Siskin House in Brentwood Park, owned by film and tv producer Jerry Bruckheimer hit the real estate market with an asking price of $14.5 million. It’s an International-style modern sited on over three-quarters of an acre with “voluminous high-ceilinged glass enclosed living room, formal dining, library/study, kitchen and breakfast room, and a media room.

That same year LA Times featured the home of Brenda Spira who renovated her Thornton Abell-designed Pacific Palisades home. The remodel simultaneously honored the past and created a brighter space for her and her daughter.

Abell’s former personal residence in the Santa Monica came on the market in 2012. Sited on a 12,000 plus hillside lot the home was in need of major cosmetic repair. The new owners hired noted architect Scott Prentice AIA. Prentice executed a meticulous and thoughtful renovation. Now returned to its former glory the home is up for sale again with an asking price of $3,7000,000.

To find modern homes and architecture for sale in Los Angeles visit my curated list of homes currently on the market.