It happens in art, why not in real estate? Buyers hiring experts to verify a property’s starchitect pedigree

A property billed as a "Frank Lloyd Wright home" may not necessarily be one

TRD LOS ANGELES /
Jan.January 11, 2018 11:30 AM
Paul Williams homes (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

A starchitect’s name can add cachet to a listing, and raise the price several notches. But how can a buyer be sure that a home they’re slapping down millions for really is a Frank Lloyd Wright or Paul Williams creation?

Well-heeled buyers are increasingly enlisting architectural historians to dig up the true origins of a prospective property to ensure they aren’t duped into paying for a pedigree that isn’t there, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“In today’s competitive and sometimes frenzied marketplace, none of the parties are always as diligent as they should be in researching attribution,” Karen McNeill, a historian at wealth management firm Ascent Private Capital, told the newspaper.

Los Angeles County is dotted with the works of dozens of the world’s most famous architects. Many, like the Case Study Houses commissioned with the top architects in the world during the mid-20th century, are easy to verify as legitimate.

Others, like the works of pioneering architect and Los Angeles native Paul Revere Williams, are not. Williams, the first African-American to be admitted to the American Institute of Architects, was prolific and designed thousands of homes and buildings (like the Theme Building at Los Angeles International Airport) around Los Angeles County during the last century.

His works haven’t been exhaustively catalogued, so establishing his connection to homes can get tricky.

Hilton & Hyland’s Jeffrey Hyland told the Journal that his agents will describe a home as “in the style of Paul Williams,” if they can’t definitely prove his involvement. [WSJ]


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Richard Neutra's Lovell House in Los Feliz is open for events -- and possible offers from buyers.

Richard Neutra’s Lovell House, in need of TLC, invites buyers in

Richard Neutra’s Lovell House, in need of TLC, invites buyers in
A rendering of the project

Landlord sues Kuwait-based burger chain for failing to comply with USA Patriot Act

Landlord sues Kuwait-based burger chain for failing to comply with USA Patriot Act
Malibu Real Estate Investments principals Bedros Oruncakiel and Kirkor Suri

Malibu spec mansion lists amid softening luxury market

Malibu spec mansion lists amid softening luxury market
Chandler Parsons and his property on Stone Canyon Road (Credit: Getty Images)

Durant wants out of Malibu, and now Chandler Parsons is listing his Bel Air mansion

Durant wants out of Malibu, and now Chandler Parsons is listing his Bel Air mansion
CoreLogic's Andrew LePage and Orange County (Credit: Wikipedia)

SoCal housing market shows signs of life, with a caveat: report

SoCal housing market shows signs of life, with a caveat: report
Bridge Housing CEO Cynthia Parker and a rendering of the view from Walnut and Anaheim (Credit: SVA Architects)

Fully affordable complex set to rise in vacant Long Beach lot

Fully affordable complex set to rise in vacant Long Beach lot
Tracy Tutor and her Brentwood home

Tracy Tutor of “Million Dollar Listing ” asking a lot more for Brentwood home

Tracy Tutor of “Million Dollar Listing ” asking a lot more for Brentwood home
Anton Lessine and 321 South Bristol Avenue, and Behati Prinsloo and Adam Levine with their home (Credit: Getty Images and Zillow)

This week in celeb real estate: Adam Levine unloads $45M home, a Hollywood film producer sells in Brentwood…and more

This week in celeb real estate: Adam Levine unloads $45M home, a Hollywood film producer sells in Brentwood…and more
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...