We knew we had a gem on our hands when we read the usually dry real estate description:
"Absolutely dyno-mite pad with groovy vibes -- this never before seen generational home is a true prize in the Cracker Jack box of L.A. real estate."
After our friends at the Curbed L.A. real estate blog made this fabulous find, Yahoo Homes talked to Hughes Estate Sales, which gave us a preview of items from the home that it will be offering on April 11 and 12 (click here to see the gallery; the items pictured at the end of the slideshow, after the historical photos, will be for sale). Hughes made sure we also knew the home's backstory, first reported by the wonderful Retro Renovation blog -- a tale that explains why the home seems to practically "vibrate with love."
It starts when Albert P. and Gloria Martin, a commercial architect and an artist, respectively, moved to California in the early 1950s. "Depression-era folks," they paid cash for the lot near Los Angeles' Silver Lake reservoir, then designed and built the house -- not only acting as contractors, but getting their own hands dirty, as their son Neil related to Retro Renovation.
"Family stories tell of Albert and Gloria putting up beams together. [Neil Martin said:] 'My mother is holding the beam, while my dad is attaching it. "Don’t drop it," he says. "I’m not going to drop it," she says. "Don’t drop it," he says. "Hurry up, I’m getting tired," she says.' They survived the beams and went on to raise three children in the house."
Neil's sister had the room that still boasts 1960s Rickie Tickie Stickies.
Albert Martin died in 2012 at age 88. Gloria Martin, whose artwork fills the house, died a year later at 85. You might have seen her work if you've ever watched the New Year's Tournament of Roses Parade: She carved large heads, animals and other objects for the floats. Later in life, she added computer art to her repertoire.
The Martin home, listed at $1.6 million, is already pending sale.