Lloyd Wright's Infamous Sowden House Is On the Market

Lloyd Wright's Infamous Sowden House Is On the Market

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Tara Bellucci
Nov 18, 2017

In 1926, architect Lloyd Wright (yep, son of Frank) built this "neo Mayan" home in Los Feliz for friend and artist John Sowden. The property is currently for sale for $4.7 million.

The Sowden House has drawn quite a few comparisons and critiques in its 90 year existence; it's known as the Jaws House for resembling the gaping mouth of a Great White Shark, and Apartment Therapy staffers are convinced it could serve as the set of a Legends of the Hidden Temple revival (Blue Barracudas FTW). It has been criticized for its use of cheap concrete blocks, but it's also been named to the National Register of Historic Places (1971) and a Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument (2003).

It also has an infamous past: it was home to Dr. George Hodel, who was named as a prime suspect in the Black Dahlia case. His own son, former homicide detective Steve Hodel, claims the murder happened in the house in 1947, along with other murders.

The home was renovated in the early 2000s after being dubbed "a wreck" by buyer Xorin Balbes (serial killers are perhaps not great homeowners). Lloyd Wright's son, Eric, praised the open kitchen and the landscaping, but questioned the decision to add a pool and spa to the courtyard.

The 5,600 square foot house has four bedrooms, six bathrooms, and lots of dramatic architectural details surrounding modern conveniences. The property currently has a pending offer—no word on whether they're negotiating a price cut for those potential dead bodies in the yard.

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