While she isn’t a household name, Killion designed the place for herself in 1954, while she was working as a project architect in the offices of the celebrated Richard Neutra and Robert Alexander from 1952-54, according to the co-listing agent Joey Kiralla, with Sotheby’s International Realty.
He and his co-listing agent, Nathaniel Cole with Suprstructur, were compelled to research Killion’s pedigree after first setting eyes on her design.
“The house is so gorgeous and so striking, we knew it had to be somebody very, very talented,” Kiralla says. “It is known female architects at the time didn’t get credit for their work.”
He hopes to get the word out about Killion’s skills and achievements through this home, which she left as her legacy.
Killion passed away at the age of 73 in 1998, and her signature design has changed hands over the years since. Sadly, the residence had fallen into disrepair in the past couple of decades.
It would require a tasteful overhaul to return it to its 1950s heyday. The developers and home renovators HabHouse took on the project, purchasing the fixer-upper in August for $905,000.
They embarked on a top-to bottom restoration, respecting and maintaining many of the original elements, such as built-ins, brick floors, and original light fixtures designed by the architect herself. Cork floors were installed in the bedrooms, and refinished Douglas fir flooring runs in the great room.
The layout features three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and balconies, across 2,134 square feet of living space.
With the addition of air conditioning, which is hidden from sight—an “ingenious” move, Kiralla notes—HabHouse also updated bathrooms, made repairs, and brought the home back to its former magnificence.
The kitchen is a HabHouse original, with open shelving, light wood, and new appliances adding an updated but fitting Scandinavian touch to the original.
The work ended up being mainly cosmetic, because the foundation was intact, quite a feat for a home built into the side of a hill. And, now with the remodel finished, the restored home is back on the market in a pristine state.
The dramatic post-and-beam structure, clad in old-growth redwood siding, is set on a hillside lot surrounded by a large, flat garden area that’s private from the street.
Inside, the great room with 18-foot ceilings features walls of windows that offer views of downtown L.A. and beyond—all the way to Catalina Island “on a clear day,” Kiralla notes.
The design is also striking for its warmth and woodsy feel. It blends harmoniously into the Poppy Peak Historic neighborhood, which is dotted with homes by other renowned designers, such as Buff, Straub & Hensman. Neutra taught at the University of Southern California’s School of Architecture, where Killion studied architecture.
Now, her name may be added to the list of these illustrious practitioners.
The home is a clear standout. Kiralla notes that showings are booked and the listing has already received two offers.
“It was a great project,” Kiralla says. “It was definitely worth restoring.”