Roof & Walls March/April 2014 - Page 7

ROOF&WALLS WALLACE NEFF of TODAY Neff Didn’t Just Design Buildings He designed an entire way of life that has endured for nearly one century. missions and churches throughout the Southern California region, including Neff ’s own home parish of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary Roman Catholic Church. Neff ’s numerous projects at the church give the parish ownership of a sizable and rare collection of Wallace Neff works. Residence, Libby Ranch, Pickfair Estate as well as other fine homes and estates that line the streets of such well-heeled neighborhoods as Chapman Woods, Hancock Park, San Marino, Glendora, Beverly Hills, and lower East Pasadena. As Neff became more popular his services became more in-demand and he was soon designing homes across the region in his familiar style. In 1924 Neff ’s work was described by Harris Nelson, editor of The Pacific Coast Architect as both “playful” and “delightful” and further applauded Neff ’s buildings which “obtained the picture quality of the Old World to a surprising degree.” Since Wallace Neff ’s passing in 1982, demand and appreciation for his work has only grown, with celebrities like Brad Pitt, Diane Keaton and Madonna paying large sums of cash for properties featuring his classic California living designs. And his famous “Bubble Houses” still percolate the globe in far off places like Pakistan, South Africa and Brazil. Beverly Hills This Neff home is so famous that even Howard Hughes crashed a plane into it in 1946. Not “The Spruce Goose”! Hancock Park Wallace Neff ’s Hancock Park creation is fit for royalty. So much so that the United Kingdom purchased the home as official residence of their Consul General in Los Angeles. Prince William and Princess Kate famously stayed here in 2011. Pasadena The last remaining “bubble house” in the United States is fittingly near Neff ’s hometown. The owner’s say it’s like “living in a sculpture.” Wallace Neff client Groucho Marx: “I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn’t it.” Pa g e 7 Neff ’s works include the Singer Mansion, Gilette Mansion, Gates