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Arch Oboler Gate House, 1940

Photo Tour of Frank Lloyd Wright Designs in California


Arch Oboler Gate House, 1940

Arch Oboler Gate House, 1940

©2011 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.
In the 1940s, radio and television personality Arch Oboler and his wife Eleanor set out to create an estate called "Eaglefeather" in the Santa Monica Mountains above Malibu. They intended to build a house, a film-processing studio, stables and paddock, along with other structures. Frank Lloyd Wright was commissioned to do the design.

The gatehouse was built first in 1940 and a small studio built for Eleanor stands on a nearby hilltop (you can see it in the next picture). The main house and the other structures were never realized. According to architect E. Fay Rippon, the Oboler's son was killed on the construction site, but Oboler's waxing and waning fortunes may have also played a part in the project's demise.

This structure is the only example of Wright's desert rubblestone construction in southern California. Oboler, who enjoyed collecting rocks as a hobby gathered many of the stones himself, from as far away as Arizona. It has two bedrooms, two baths and is about 2,500 square feet. According to realtor.com, it was appraised for $1.25 million in 2010.

The Obolers lived in the gatehouse until 1987. New owners were in the process of restoring it when we photographed it in 2011.

32436 West Mulholland Highway
Malibu, CA
Private residence, not open for tours

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