The Richard Neutra-designed Kronish House in Beverly Hills features 6,891 square feet of living space, six bedrooms and 5 1/2 bathrooms. (Marc Angeles, Unlimited Style / July 24, 2011)

The Kronish House, one of a handful of Beverly Hills residences designed by Modernist architect Richard Neutra, appears headed for demolition.

Soda Partners, the limited partnership that owns the nearly 7,000-square-foot residence north of Sunset Boulevard, has secured a permit to cap the sewer line, a step that often precedes a request for a demolition permit, said Jonathan Lait, Beverly Hills’ assistant director of community development.

The owner has not yet applied for a permit to raze the structure, an action that would require a 10-day notice of demolition. Mitchell Dawson, an attorney for Soda Partners, did not respond to requests for comment.

Rumors have spread among preservationists that a tear-down is imminent.

The house, which is not visible from the street, has been “terribly neglected, but the bones are still there,” said Dion Neutra, an architect who teamed up with his late father, Richard, on the project. “The new owner thinks it would be more valuable to tear it down and have empty land.”

Dion Neutra and the Los Angeles Conservancy say the loss of the Kronish House would be akin to the 2002 demolition of Neutra’s 1963 Maslon House in Rancho Mirage. That 5,000-square-foot, six-bedroom landmark was flattened even after assurances from a real estate agent that the new owner was thinking of restoring it. Preservationists across the nation protested the loss.


Martha Groves
Los Angeles Times