An Acclaimed Architect’s Former Home—in All Its 1980s Splendor—Seeks $1.9M Near L.A.

By Kathryn M.

Built into a steep and forested hillside, the striking residence designed by Harold J. Bissner Jr. features dramatic cathedral ceilings and a Japanese-inspired penthouse sunroom.

In 1981, the acclaimed architect Harold J. Bissner Jr. designed and built his personal dwelling in South Pasadena, California. The site was particularly meaningful to Bissner Jr., who was born in the area in 1925. The distinguished Bissner House served as the late architect’s home for the last nearly four decades of his life. Now, the five-level residence—which is located less than 10 miles from downtown Los Angeles— is on the market.

To accommodate the sheer slope of the lot, Bissner Jr. designed the residence to rest upon 23 wood piers, which allowed the hillside to remain largely untouched during the construction. The 1981 home features a bold exterior with shed-style roofs, diagonal redwood siding, pipe chimneys, and angular glass windows. Its monochromatic and earth-toned facade evokes the popular modernist palette.
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