Rise Up Logo

Call Us Today!
(562) 659-9599

Iconic home on Balboa Island designed by architect John Lautner finds a buyer

Iconic home on Balboa Island designed by architect John Lautner finds a buyer

1 of 15

The unusual house, with 2,100 square feet, three bedrooms and an elevator, first went up for sale in 2010. MARILYN KALFUS

1 of 15

The design of the home at 804 S. Bay Front, left, makes it stand out among the other homes on the street and the island. LEONARD ORTIZ, FILE PHOTO

1 of 15

The downstairs living area as it looked years ago when a Register photographer was given a tour of the house. NICK KOON, FILE PHOTO

1 of 15

A view from upstairs looking down the hallway from the master bedroom NICK KOON, FILE PHOTO

1 of 15

The upstairs master bedroom boasts a contemporary use of wood paneling and built-in drawers. NICK KOON, FILE PHOTO

1 of 15

Fine woodwork is one of the hallmarks of the home. The upstairs bathroom has a wooden sink. NICK KOON, FILE PHOTO

1 of 15

An exterior view of the house shows how the architect blended wood and concrete in an artful way. NICK KOON, FILE PHOTO

1 of 15

John Lautner also designed the famous Elrod residence in Palm Springs in 1968. JOSHUA WHITE, COURTESY OF THE HAMMER MUSEUM

1 of 15

Another view of the Elrod residence in Palm Springs JOSHUA WHITE, COURTESY OF THE HAMMER MUSEUM

1 of 15

Chemosphere in Los Angeles, designed by John Lautner in 1960 JOSHUA WHITE, COURTESY OF THE HAMMER MUSEUM

1 of 15

Another view of Chemosphere, Los Angeles JOSHUA WHITE, COURTESY OF THE HAMMER MUSEUM

1 of 15

Marbrisa, Acapulco, designed by John Lautner in 1973 SARA SACKNER, COURTESY OF THE HAMMER MUSEUM

1 of 15

Beyer residence, Los Angeles, designed by John Lautner in 1983 JOSHUA WHITE, COURTESY OF THE HAMMER MUSEUM

1 of 15

Pearlman mountain cabin, Idyllwild, designed by John Lautner in 1957 JOSHUA WHITE, COURTESY OF THE HAMMER MUSEUM

1 of 15

Another view of the Balboa Island house MARILYN KALFUS

View slideshow

The unusual house, with 2,100 square feet, three bedrooms and an elevator, first went up for sale in 2010.MARILYN KALFUS

A landmark Balboa Island home by acclaimed architect John Lautner, on and off the market for the past five years, has found a buyer.

The dome-shaped home was the residence of the late philanthropists Robert and Marjorie Rawlins. The couple’s gifts helped bring classical concerts to Orange County from around the globe; they paid for music scholarships and gave the UC Irvine’s School of Arts its first endowed chair.

After the Rawlinses died, Michael LaFetra, a film producer and preservationist who restores architecture, bought the house. In 2010, he put it up for sale at $ 5.49 million. Its most recent asking price was $ 4.39 million.

The home, at 804 S. Bay Front, went into escrow on Oct. 19, real estate home tracker Redfin shows.

LaFetra has a special relationship to the house, according to his website. When he was growing up, his family rented a place on the other side of Balboa Island for a few weeks in the summer.

“After dinner the family would grab a frozen banana and walk around the whole island,” his site states. “Michael would stop dead in his tracks every time he came upon this house. When the Rawlins passed away a few years ago he purchased the house and started to work on it.

“It needed new plumbing, new electrical, and the passive radiant heat system had failed. He replaced the roof and added solar panels. He is currently adding some finishing touches.”

Lautner, a onetime student of Frank Lloyd Wright, designed a variety of one-of-a-kind properties in Los Angeles and elsewhere. He died in 1994.

Built in 1979, the Balboa Island house has 2,100 square feet, three bedrooms and an elevator. It has been listed by several agents over the years.

“He wants someone who appreciates the house,” a real estate agent from Beverly Hills said of LaFetra in an interview with The Register a few years ago. “If someone wants that cookie-cutter Cape Cod, that’s not the right buyer.”

The property is currently represented by Tim Smith of Coldwell Banker Previews International.

The Orange County Register – News Headlines : Real Estate News