Chris Pratt Faces Backlash for Demolishing Historic LA Home

Actor Chris Pratt and wife Katherine Schwarzenegger demolish historic 1950s Zimmerman house in LA, sparking outrage among preservationists over loss of architectural heritage.

Bijay Laxmi
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Chris Pratt Faces Backlash for Demolishing Historic LA Home

Chris Pratt Faces Backlash for Demolishing Historic LA Home

Actor Chris Pratt and his wife Katherine Schwarzenegger have come under fire for demolishing a historic 1950 Zimmerman house in Los Angeles's Brentwood neighborhood. The single-story mid-century modern home, designed by well-known architect Craig Ellwood, was recently purchased by the couple for $12.5 million. Despite the property being identified as potentially historic by the city's SurveyLA program, no protections were afforded, and the home has since been cleared to make way for a 15,000-square-foot modern farmhouse mansion.

The Zimmerman house, which also featured landscaping by Garrett Eckbo, was considered an important example of mid-century modern architecture. It had been featured in Progressive Architecture magazine and was highly regarded by architecture enthusiasts. The Los Angeles Conservancy and the Eichler Network have lamented the loss of this noteworthy modernist design, with the Eichler Network stating that "at the same time as architectural homes are being marketed as high-end, collectible art, others are being torn down to build new."

The demolition has sparked significant outrage among preservationists and architecture enthusiasts who view it as a disregard for architectural heritage and the loss of a significant piece of Los Angeles' cultural history. Many have criticized the wastefulness of tearing down a well-maintained home, as well as the impact on the mature landscaping. There are also suggestions that Pratt could have built his new home elsewhere instead of demolishing the historic property.

Why this matters: The controversy surrounding the demolition of the Zimmerman house highlights the ongoing tension between preserving architectural heritage and the desires of property owners to build new homes. It raises questions about the effectiveness of historic preservation efforts and the need for stronger protections for significant architectural works.

The house was reportedly sold to Pratt and Schwarzenegger quietly, rather than being marketed publicly, which has added to the controversy. Pratt, known for his roles in films like Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World, and Schwarzenegger have been actively expanding their real estate holdings in recent years. They previously renovated a Pacific Palisades mansion and own a farm in the San Juan Islands. The demolition has drawn comments criticizing the couple's decision and questioning their taste in replacing the renowned home with a modern farmhouse-style mansion, a style that is popular but often criticized in the area.

Key Takeaways

  • Chris Pratt and Katherine Schwarzenegger demolished a historic 1950 Zimmerman house.
  • The mid-century modern home was designed by architect Craig Ellwood and featured landscaping by Garrett Eckbo.
  • The demolition sparked outrage among preservationists and architecture enthusiasts.
  • The controversy highlights the tension between preserving heritage and property owners' desires.
  • The couple has been actively expanding their real estate holdings in recent years.