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Sunset Home

Testimonial:

“Sanctuary Architects designed the exterior remodeling of our 1924 Spanish Mediterranean Revival mansion. Mark Christopher creative design seamlessly incorporated the existing architecture style in the improvements and additions. We are extremely pleased with the outcome and the resulting increase in our property’s value. Fantastic job!”

- Oscar Ancira, Owner

About the Project:

Aging gracefully, this grand home had been spared the all too common, well intended modernization efforts that compromise so many fine historic structures around the country. …except, perhaps, the addition of a coat of white paint uniformly covering every surface.

Even so, a home of this vintage was designed for a different kind of living, one characterized by formality, privacy, and separation of family space from servant space.

However, the need for change came about in response to an unusual external force. When first built in 1921, the A. W. Mitchell Residence was perched alone on a bluff on the west edge of Mission Hills. Sunset Boulevard curved around it before dropping into what is now known as Old Town. The original entrance faced Sunset Boulevard as it curved around this property. In 1942, as large parcels surrounding this estate were divided and developed, the portion of Sunset Boulevard passing by the front gate became a small private street, while Sunset Boulevard was realigned, now passing by what was originally designed to be the servant side of the home with a carport and quarters for the chauffeur, housekeeper, and laundress. This left the home somewhat disoriented and confused. The main arrival was, by default, through the carport.

Our challenge was to effect the largest change with the smallest physical alteration to the structures. We resolved to recreate the carport as a welcoming portico entry facing Sunset Boulevard, flanked by the guest quarters to the east and a new garage facing the private street to the west. We carefully mimicked, not replicated, stone carvings found elsewhere on the home, restored finishes, and discretely added lighting. A new spa, disguised as a stone fountain, graces a new terrace outside the original parlor, now a game room.