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House of the week: Frank Lloyd Wright Jr’s Dorland home

Published: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 3:01 p.m. CDT

1370 Morada Pl, Altadena CA
For sale: $945,000

While some sons avoid falling into their father’s careers, Frank Lloyd Wright Jr. followed in his architect father’s footsteps, continuing and expanding on Frank Lloyd Wright’s vision of organic and livable architecture.

The “Dorland House” was designed by Wright Jr. to be a “low-cost home of quality” for the Dorland family. Constructed of concrete block, the home is integrated with the landscape and experiments with outdoor living spaces — like many Frank Lloyd Wright designs. Other noteworthy Frank Lloyd Wright Jr. homes include the Sowden House and Samuel-Novarro House.

At the time, building with concrete was seen as cutting-edge, but both Wrights favored it as a material for creating affordable designs. Wright Jr. also incorporated walls of glass, natural wood and stone.

The overall effect of the home is one that made the original homeowners remark, “It isn’t like living; it’s like being on vacation.”

Years later, the small Altadena home — with just 2 bedrooms and 1 bath — still retains that sensibility.

“It forces you to relax,” said listing agent Cariy Hernandez. “You open up those doors off the living room and you get the view of the backyard. You can’t help but enjoy the environment and how the home blends with its surroundings.”

Measuring 1,465 square feet, the 1950 construction has been restored, with updates to the plumbing, roofing, landscaping and other utilitarian parts of the house. The kitchen was also recently redone in a 1930s-industrial style.

Calculated with Zillow’s mortgage calculator, a monthly payment on the home would be $3,321, assuming a 20-percent down payment and a 30-year-mortgage.

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