Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: Davidson, J.R., Architect (firm); Julius Ralph Davidson (architect)

Dates: constructed 1947-1948

1 story, total floor area: 2,684 sq. ft.

1630 Amalfi Drive
Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, CA 90272

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In 1946, Joseph and Lore Kingsley bought .43 acres of land east of Rustic Canyon previously used as a lemon grove to build this residence. The Kingsleys, Jewish immigrants who fled the Nazis just before America's entry into World War II, first interviewed the modernist architect, Richard Neutra (1892-1970). Neutra, an Austrian Jewish immigrant, had an imperious manner the Kingsleys didn't like; they asked Neutra to include a breakfast room in their plan, but he refused to consider its inclusion. Following this, they met with J.R. Davidson (1889-1977), also a recent German Jewish immigrant, with whom they got along well. Davidson produced a design for a 2,684-square-foot hillside house with three bedrooms, two baths, and an office. Its rear facade was mostly glazed doors that allowed access to a long patio. The patio commanded views toward the ocean to the south and west. The dwelling's south facing rooms were covered by a pergola on which plants grew luxuriantly, providing needed shade. Davidson designed built-in storage and interior furnishings--including a curvilinear glass cocktail table similar to a design by A.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings for Widdicomb--that were auctioned off at the L.A. Modern Auctions gallery on 05/19/2013.

The Kingsley House came onto the resale market in 02/2013, with an asking price of $4.2 million. The residence was in fine condition with all of the original architect-designed furniture in place. It sold in early 04/2013 for $4.56 million to an owner who wanted only the view not the building. The residence's relatively small size and serene interior decor was not to the liking of

Davidson designed a poolhouse with a geometric mural located down the hill to the south. built a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house and returned nine years later to add a poolhouse, mural, and updated furniture. (He also designed a neighboring house for Grandmother Kingsley.)

On 05/21/2013, the residence was in danger of imminent demolition.

PCAD id: 18590