Neutra-Designed Midcentury Modern Home on the Market

By Adrienne Gaffney

In 1957, renowned architect Richard Neutra built a hillside home in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., for John Rados, a fellow Austrian immigrant, and his wife. ‘They wanted a very clean, simple house. Simple in that it was very smooth lines and stuff like that,’ says their grandson, Bob Rados, Jr. His grandfather was a shipbuilder and owner and president of Harbor Boat Building Co., which built military vessels during World War II.

The home is being sold outside the Rados family for the first time. Mr. Rados’s parents moved into it in 1978 after the death of his grandparents and lived there until his mother died in October.

In around 1984, Mr. Rados’s parents did a small addition that added 300 square feet to the home, as well as an indoor Jacuzzi, bringing the house to 5,185 square feet. ‘They added to the back and it was very easy. They kept with the same lines and everything’s exactly the same,’ says Mr. Rados.

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Mr. Rados’s grandparents loved to host guests in the space. ‘They always had family there. They were big entertainers. With the shipyard, they always had the outlaws and all that stuff up there and always had big parties,’ he recalls.

Mr. Rados’s mother enjoyed the color green and used it in splashes around the otherwise neutral-toned house. The flooring throughout is terrazzo.

Mr. Neutra built a fountain for the home that stands adjacent to the entrance. Mr. Rados recalls much of the home’s beams being built in the shipyard from Honduras mahogany.

The den was a favorite place for the grandchildren of the family to convene. Mr. Rados, who is 73, was living on his own by the time his parents moved into the home but as a child he spent every Friday night there visiting his grandparents.

The 1984 renovation opened up the kitchen space to extend it and create a new breakfast area.

The house has three bedrooms and four bathrooms and is set on 1.25 acres. It is listed for $4.1 million with Matthew Berkley, Mike Deasy and George Penner of DeasyPennerPodley.

The home has 270-degree views on the Los Angeles Basin and the San Jacinto mountains. When it was originally built, the views were so clear that with binoculars the eldest Mr. Rados could see his shipyard three or four miles away. ‘He could keep an eye on what was going on while he was at home,’ says his grandson.

Mr. Rados says that privacy has not been an issue despite the floor-to-ceiling windows. ‘It’s on an acre and a quarter and the house is back against a hill,’ he says. ‘We’re up high and nobody can see us.’

Mr. Rados said his grandparents swam in the pool every morning before they went to work. Mr. Neutra created transparent walls around the pool to break the wind.

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