Photos by Pablo Rodriguez, courtesy of Michelle Bolotin/Compass
Designed in 1963 by noted local architect W. Earl Wear.
A winding ten-minute drive from Topanga’s famous storybook restaurant Inn of the Seventh Ray, which is once again open for business, 2440 Minard Road is tucked into the hills just north of the 1,255-acre Tuna Canyon Park. In case you missed it, a recent feel-good story around these parts was the discovery of a new litter of mountain-lion kittens in the Santa Monica Mountains, believed to have been fathered by P-63, who “hails from the northern side of the 101 freeway,” according to National Park Service wildlife biologist Jeff Sikich.
Specs: 3 beds, 3 baths, 1,661 square feet, 0.88 acres
Built in 1963, this two-story lodge was designed by W. Earl Wear, a Canadian-born architect who worked in John Lautner’s office during the early 1950s before launching his solo practice in Topanga. Wear’s homes are known for incorporating copious amounts of redwood, stone, and glass — and this one, which was Wear’s personal residence, is no exception, with both exterior and interior redwood siding, hand-carved stone floors, clerestory windows, and a massive stone fireplace. The gated property also features a 400-square-foot guesthouse with a kitchenette, mature fruit trees (including pomegranate, fig, apple, peach, and citrus), and parking for ten cars.
Notable feature: Angles, angles, angles
Irregular angles throughout the home — like the open-plan kitchen’s trapezoidal marble-topped island and the upper-level bedroom’s slanted ceiling and windows — are visible traces of the house’s distinguished architectural pedigree. They draw a line from Wear to Lautner, a master of dramatic shapes and angles who apprenticed under Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin West, itself a glorious composition of angled structures made of desert rocks, wood, and glass.