June 14, 2011

The Ultimate RBA Trophy Property

Face it, any engineer can go work at Google or Facebook or The Next Big Thing Dot Com and get a few million dollars in option payouts.  If you’ve made your mark technically, you want to let your colleagues and future underlings know that you haven’t just arrived, you’re miles ahead of everyone else, and those are YOUR footprints on their back. 

And you’re not going to do that living in a tract house in Real Gray Area.  You need a house that says “I am a Master of the Universe.”  And Burbed reader nomadic has found the house.

21200 Center Ave, Los Banos, CA 93635


Bedrooms: 6
Bathrooms: 4.5
Sqft: 3,800
Lot size: 3,419,460 sq ft / 78.50 acres
Property type: Single Family
Year built: 1961
Parking type: —
Cooling system: —
Heating system: —
Fireplace: —
Days on Zillow: 281
MLS number: 81042858

The Fawcett House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1955 while he was working on the Guggenheim Museum, is one of less than 300 now irreplaceable Frank Lloyd Wright houses in the world. The historic Mid-Century Modern house built of concrete block, mahogany and glass was completed in 1961.

imageYes you read that correctly, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  Few architects attain the stature of instant recognition that Wright did, and if you can casually mention that you’re living in a FLW original… well, let’s just say watch your colleagues step back to let you select the best seat at your next meeting.

Some of you may object to the location.  That’s foolish.  We’re talking Frank Lloyd F*cking Wright.  Huge name architect trumps location any day. 

Face it, it’s better to live in a tissue box designed by a Wright or a Gehry than one of those soulless cloned crapboxes we make fun of.  You want to moan about needing Palo Alto schools, then go find yourself a cookie-cutter mini-mansion with zero lot line and lots of fake Spanish tile on the roof.  You may be on the right side of 101, but Frankly, you’re doing it Lloyd Wrong.

Los Banos is going to be the next Mountain View, just you wait!

Comments (26) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:10 am

26 Responses to “The Ultimate RBA Trophy Property”

  1. SiO2 Says:

    I wonder what’s up with the Zestimate on this. Down to $300k in 2009, then popped up to $1.9m in 2010, back down to $622k, now $1.7m. Normally it doesn’t move around that much.

    Is this a registered historic home? Can the buyer touch the groovy shag carpet?

  2. z2amiller Says:

    I can’t believe they’re trying to get 2 million for a 50 year old house, it is probably using knob and wire electric, non grounded outlets, and I bet all that glass isn’t even tempered. What a maintenance nightmare. There’s not even complete data in the listing, the agent is probably trying to hide something, like a portal to hell, or ghosts, or even worse, a bad school district.

  3. Tracy Tea House Says:

    I love this house! In the Spring issue of Modernism magazine there is a big article about falling waters, as well as 12 products for the modern pet! I wish I could find and afford a similar house, and it does not have to be a FLW either!

  4. sfbubblebuyer Says:

    2 million for a CMU house? Daaaaaang! You can relive your dorm years!

  5. nomadic Says:

    What a maintenance nightmare.

    But z2amiller, did you not see the part about it being a FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT orginal?! Of course it’s a maintenance nightmare. But it’s a work of art too. You’ll need more than Drano and lightbulbs – so what? 😉

    (Actually, if it’s in any condition close to Taliesin West in Scottsdale, it doesn’t have a portal to hell. It has a black hole for cash. I love FLW style, but the workmanship wasn’t always top notch.)

  6. sfbubblebuyer Says:

    #1 : Maybe they were valuing it as agricultural land before somebody noticed the giant leaky behemoth designed by somebody with no engineering knowledge who constantly ignored material tolerances sitting like a giant concrete turd on the property. KACHING!

    #5 : See above mentioned lack of training and knowledge for why they are maintenance nightmares. Failing beams, leaky roofs, poor consideration of local weather… yah, it’s FLW alright.

  7. Michael Boltonestater Says:

    Los Banos? Not sure you’ll be miles ahead of everyone else but you’ll be miles away that’s for sure.

    This house has been on the market for a while. Asking price was $2.7M back in 2009.

  8. SamAdu Says:

    I would like to hear what comments Gilroy Alex has about this house. I value his comments the most.

  9. Alex Says:

    This may be a Frank Lloyd Wright in beautiful, calm, relaxing Los Banos…

    but it cannot touch an Eichler on the right side of the street in Real Bay Area. Where in the world can you go and still rub elbows in cafes with guys like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg?!!

    There’s only one RBA. And if your house ain’t made of iShit 2.0 or located in Farmville er Professorville, you may as well live in hell.

  10. Alex Says:

    I would like to hear what comments Gilroy Alex has about this house. I value his comments the most.

    $8, my opinion counts for more as I live closer to the RBA. Not a whole lot closer, but still closer.

    And I hope to someday make a redhead-Asian sandwich.

  11. sfbubblebuyer Says:

    The best thing that could happen to this house is to rent it out to Ricki Lake.

  12. madhaus Says:

    I hope you weren’t taking me seriously about Los Banos being the next Mountain View. Mountain View doesn’t have a Frank Lloyd f*cking Wright anywhere in the city limits.

    Black hole for cash, yeah that says it all. Maybe this is one of the homes he designed during his “abandon the wife and run off with another married lady” period.

  13. The Gilroy Alex Says:

    I think it’s a very good rule that the opinions of those living in the RBA carry more weight, in fact it would be cool to have some kind of weighting given to the thumbs-up/thumbs-down thing here, if you live in the RBA a like or dislike would award say 3 points, living out in Gilroy as I do (and how many geese did YOU stuff into bags this morning? None? Hmmm…) my like/dislike clicks would carry one point.

    And am I the only one here to get a laugh out of the name Los Banos? The Bathrooms?

    Now, IMHO FLW is the greatest architect EVER EVER EVER IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD and I say this with authority because I had the misfortune to know a gal who’s an architect, cute at a distance, even cuter close up, but who has a personality like the smoking crater of Fukushima. And she hates FLW. Good enough for me! That’s when I learned to love FLW. Hmm, she’d be nice in that Asian/redhead sandwich, too!

    FLW designed or not, though, the thing is IN THE FRIZGGIN BATHROOMS.

  14. sfbubblebuyer Says:

    Nice architects usually hate FLW, too. He is the epitome of ‘Style over Substance’. Which makes him the perfect poster child for the RBA!

    I like modern and post modern architecture. I’d live in a house that looked somewhat similar to FLW’s designs as long as it wasn’t designed or engineered by him. He makes Eichlers look like low maintenance over-engineered bulwarks against entropy.

  15. The Gilroy Alex Says:

    Well, ok, I also like FLW because of that cool song about hims Simon & Garfunkel did.

  16. bob Says:

    Yes, the price is ridiculous- which is why its on here. That said, this is maybe about the only house I’ve seen here and not had the 2 thoughts that:

    1. its ridiculously overpriced.
    2. its not hideous, ugly, boring, falling apart, or unremarkable. Or “mid century modern” BS.

    That’s the whole deal with RBA homes: Obscene amounts of money for former working and middle class homes that have been tarted up to look like rich people’s homes.

    This house on the other hand at least has some class and style. Its rather interesting IMHO. Not for 2 mil, but still- nice house.

  17. Petsmart groomer Says:

    > I also like FLW because of that cool song about hims Simon & Garfunkel did.

    They did? I did not know FLW was that mundane.

  18. The Gilroy Alex Says:

    #17 yep they sure did. My older sis got all of their records. We’re talking late 60’s to early 70’s, avocado green shag carpet and avocado green 2-tone “sunburst” (like the way they shade a Stratocaster guitar) appliances in the kitchen, parents wondering why they’re picking on a nice man like Nixon, and we kids being convinced that we know a “hippy” when you see one, they never take baths, always have flowers on ’em, and way “yeah yeah yeah” a lot. No shit.

    And nice safe music by Simon & Garfunkel. My dad was into a wide array of music, but he never NEVER listened to anything by anyone black, and it didn’t matter if they were pale enough to “pass”, their music would NEVER make it to my dad’s record player. Only nice, safe, music. Classical, what we’d call “world” music now as long as the “world” didn’t include Africa, popularized classical, and some popular, as long as it passed the record-jacket test: You took a look at the guy(s) and if you were OK with ’em dating your daughter, then OK. Lots of Simon & Garfunkel and Elton John because my older sis could badger him to get the records, and they were nice and safe and mundane. I was well into adulthood before I discovered jazz. And my family wasn’t considered right-wing, far from it. That’s just how people were. Coccooned, narrowminded idiots who bought stupid shit like shag carpet.

  19. Petsmart groomer Says:

    So your dad was ok with Elton John dating your sister? Quite a surprise he would have had!

  20. nomadic Says:

    What could be more safe than your daughter dating a gay man? 😉

    bob, it’s not falling apart? I wouldn’t be too sure.

  21. Real Estater Says:

    >>you’re miles ahead of everyone else, and those are YOUR footprints on their back.

    You’re not only miles ahead of everyone, you are miles away from everything! Los Banos? Probably the only place worse is one that ends with “ville”.

  22. The Gilroy Alex Says:

    #19, #20 of course everyone knows he’s a flaming fruit now, but no one knew back then, and he was GOOD. It seems most of these guys become caricatures of themselves when they get old, but when they were young they kicked ass, all of ’em, Elvis, Elton, Johnny Cash, any of these big guys. Anyone remember Sting’s early years? He was actually cool.

    At least Cash knew when he was gonna die and bravely took Nine Inch Nails with him, leaving the world a bit better place.

  23. nomadic Says:

    Yep, Gilroy Alex, you could play the old fart and say that the new “artists” are all hacks, but there are some talented ones now just like there were hacks in Elton John’s heyday.

    (Cash took NIN with him…LOL)

  24. The Gilroy Alex Says:

    Err, I didn’t say new artists are all hacks at all. Maybe you need to go back and re-read my post, diagram the sentences or something. I said, some of these artists we look at as old washed-up buffoons when they’re old, really kicked some ass when they were on their way up. And yes, they were standouts in a sea of hacks, same as we have now, a few greats and a large number of less-greats.

  25. Dewane Says:

    Check the photos though. It’s like Tomorrowland meets Danish Modern. So awesome. Like Ferris Bueller, if you’re interesting, in a good or bad way, you can get away with a lot. I’d live here and rent an apt in the RBA if I had about three mil to spare.

  26. Real Alex Says:

    LOL at Rent Zestimate. $1118/mo

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