This 1955 “boathouse” has me delighted and confused

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12-598255_15_1As you have probably noticed by now, I have a raging vintage home boner that keeps me searching the internet for “homes with original details” porn. I got excited when I first glimpsed this spectacular boathouse built by renowned architect Harry Gesner in 1955.

So my first question was “what’s a boathouse?” My Googlefu turned up this post with an interesting interview, which told me that boathouses were small homes built into the steep hills of Pacific View Drive, just off Mulholland. They were constructed by Gesner’s “crew of Norwegian ship builders.” Apparently there’s a whole row of these boathouses, but this one in particular is on the market, delighting and confusing me.

12-598255_1_2This boathouse is full of original charm and boasts a fabulous view of the Hollywood sign.

12-598255_4_2But then, upon further investigation, I see that it’s actually super tricked out with modern accents. Mainly I’m fascinated by the Crestron home automation system with 10 HDTVs integrated INTO the home in, um, interesting ways.

12-598255_6_2Yup, I think those windows that look like they’re built-in aquariums are actually HDTVs!



12-598255_7_2There’s even one built into the floor! Once over the shock and confusion of a floor tv, I was also pretty pleased by that built-in seat in the corner. So cute.

Apparently this home was remodeled in 2010 by the last owner, an original member of the “W” hotel development team, to use as his “spiritual residence.” Um, could that last sentence get any more “LA”?

I love this office area in the bedroom. The use of a clear table makes having a home office in your bedroom feel less cluttered. Of course that wall of windows really helps open the space up too.

I’m not digging the bathroom, but you can really see how cool zebra wood paneling looks!

I am, however, in love with this large exterior covered deck…

…which happens to be situated above this lush garden with hill-side waterfall.

The real estate listing calls this “the ultimate pad!” But I’m not sure. Seriously, this home leaves me confused as to whether I want to own it or be bummed that someone installed TVs all over this would-have-been-original-detailed home.

What do you guys think? Yay for floor TV, or boo for high-tech-ing the hell out of this architecturally historic home?

Comments on This 1955 “boathouse” has me delighted and confused

  1. The floor TV leaves me baffled. Do you have to avoid stepping on it? Would it always be dusty? What if you dropped a hammer during a home-repair moment? No thanks. I’ll stick with regular floor on the floor.

  2. I was confused by the term “boat house” because where I’m from, a boat house is, well… a house for your boat. An analogy would be a garage for your car.

    • Right, that’s why I was confused. Clearly this isn’t a common day “boat house.” But it looks like they just called these special homes “boathouses” because they were build by that special team of Norwegian ship builders.

    • I thought someone was screwing up “houseboat”, like those actual 2-3 story homes built at dockside in Portland, Oregon (among other places).

  3. I lived in the LA Basin a few years ago and hated it. It’s just not my scene. *shrugs* I like the house but wish I could transplant it to another location.

    The first things I’d do: Rip out the TV’s, reupholster almost (but not quite) everything, take out the carpet, pick out furniture that is very, very different from the monstrosities currently in the house.

    Things I like: the windows, the windows, the windows, the windows, the hillside garden w/waterfall, the deck, the ceiling beams

  4. I love the floor TV!

    Imagine: During the day you’re surrounded by greenery and vegitation. There are koi swimming serenely everywhere. Then night falls and you change the video program. Looking out you see the stars; looking in you’re sailing through nebulae that surround you, even sail past under your house-spaceship.
    Change the video again and you’re in one of the rooms of the TARDIS. You can look down and see her control room.

    But I’m kind of a technophile. And I really want a starhouse, not a boathouse.

    • Yeah, that’s why I was torn! I like the idea of an indoor koi pond or… whatever! But then, do you NOT walk on it? What if it breaks? But OMG the idea of making your home feel like Tardis makes you so cool. Oh, floor tv, we have such a strange relationship.

      • My guess is there’s some heavy duty plexiglass over it. And it looks like there is a seam in the wood so you can replace it if necessary.
        Footprints would be a beast to clean at leas though

  5. I like the layout, but the TVs and all the surfaces design choices are distracting at best. And I certainly wouldn’t furnish my “spiritual home” this way, but that’s just me. I agree that the floor TV is confusing.

  6. i acually really like everything. i love aquariums, but they’re a pain the butt to look after, so hdtv aquariums does me just fine. and you could put hardend glass over the floor tv if you’re worried about people walking on it.

      • Not cheaper but I don’t think fake fish (or fake fires in the case of those fake fireplaces) would give me the same sense of serenity or joy that real fish swimming do.

        And though I love technology, if I’m getting spiritual or trying to relax, I like to have a lot of it turned off, not turned on more. 😛

  7. OMG that place is all kinds of AWESOME. I love the use of tech and how they’ve incorporated it. If only it were in my city (and price bracket!), I’d totally try and persuade my husband to purchase!

  8. Am I the only one wondering if the prior owner’s idea of spirituality was putting his hands (and feet) on the screen(s) and praying through the TV(s) with a feverish reverend?

  9. I wasn’t sure about the floor tv until someone connected it with a tardis or flying through space…that is awesome. But I have 2 hairy dogs so those carpets wouldn’t work, too much hoovering. I am enjoying the butt chairs (want some for round my table but fairly sure they’re out of my budget! Freecycle butt chairs anyone?!) & love love love the waterfall but for me the number of TVs do spoil it a bit. Part of what I love about having fish tanks is that they are alive. Mixed feelings on this one.

  10. I’m not a fan of the Tvs. I live in LA. I’d much prefer preservation of something so unique than adding tvs and ultra modern furniture.

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