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LA Stories: A Rudolph Schindler Apartment in Silver Lake, Lovingly Restored (and Now Ready for Stays)

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LA Stories: A Rudolph Schindler Apartment in Silver Lake, Lovingly Restored (and Now Ready for Stays)

June 28, 2019

Here’s a story of a home that’s truly a labor of love.

Manola Court (also known as the Sachs Apartments) is a 16-unit residence  designed by one of the forefathers of Modern architecture, R.M. Schindler. In 2013, it was purchased by Paul Finegold and his wife, Gitu Bhavnani, who tasked architects and friends Tash Rahbar and Scott Strumwasser, of Enclosures Architects, with updating the building with modern conveniences while honoring and restoring Schindler’s original vision.

Phase 1 of the project, which involved the restoration of five apartments, began in 2015. Tragically, a couple years later, Bhavnani passed away from TEMPI Syndrome, a rare blood disorder. Finegold grieved. Then he got to work honoring her life; he decided to turn one of the apartments into a rental for short-term stays, the proceeds from which would go toward research on the disease that cut her life short. His nonprofit Live to Give LA, a “stay by donation” model, has already raised $15,000 since accepting reservations in February.

Guests, many of whom are architecture enthusiasts, have found unexpected meaning in their stays there. “Guest usually say how honored they feel to be able to contribute to such a lovely and personal cause. Their comments truly warm my soul and bring tears to my eyes,” says Finegold.

Join us for a tour of Live to Give LA.

Photography by Charmaine David, courtesy of Live to Give LA, unless otherwise noted.

It&#8
Above: It’s said that Schindler likened this residential complex to Greek hillside communities. Phase 2, which involves updating three more apartments, starts in August.
Bone Chairs by CBM Design group face an original working fireplace by Schindler. &#8
Above: Bone Chairs by CBM Design group face an original working fireplace by Schindler. “The architecture of the spaces feels pared-down at first glance, when in fact it’s rich with meticulous detail that draws you in and creates a sense of intimacy. We wanted that to be the throughline of the project and furnish the space in a way that drew from that philosophy,” says its interior designer, Sarah Brady (founder of Platform Home).
The white oak floors are original to the home. The ceiling is clad in cathedral plywood sourced from a small lumber mill in Portland, Oregon. &#8
Above: The white oak floors are original to the home. The ceiling is clad in cathedral plywood sourced from a small lumber mill in Portland, Oregon. “Cathedral plywood has the wood grain patterns that were typical of plywood from the 1920s and ’30s. It was a result of using old growth trees and the cutting blades of the period. The stain is a hand applied white wash,” explains Finegold. The Origami Desk is by Ethnicraft.
Both the sofa and the coffee table were sourced from Anthropologie Home. The floor lamp is by Michael Towey for The California Workshop.
Above: Both the sofa and the coffee table were sourced from Anthropologie Home. The floor lamp is by Michael Towey for The California Workshop.
A view of the bath (left), dining area, and kitchen (back). Photograph by Virtually Here Studios.
Above: A view of the bath (left), dining area, and kitchen (back). Photograph by Virtually Here Studios.
Luis Guerra Woodworking custom-made the breakfast nook, including the bench and pedestal table (which took two days to fabricate). &#8
Above: Luis Guerra Woodworking custom-made the breakfast nook, including the bench and pedestal table (which took two days to fabricate). “The two chairs are are re-creations of chairs that Schindler designed for the property, which sold for $10,000 each. The seat was widened and the slant of the back support was changed slightly to make the chairs more comfortable,” shares Finegold.
All the cabinetry and built-in shelving throughout the unit were based on designs in the original apartments. (See  Easy Pieces: Wall-Mounted Industrial Faucets for similar faucets.)
Above: All the cabinetry and built-in shelving throughout the unit were based on designs in the original apartments. (See 10 Easy Pieces: Wall-Mounted Industrial Faucets for similar faucets.)
The small bedroom features linen bedding by Five/Six Textiles, a custom leather-wrapped headboard, and views of Los Feliz. Photograph by Virtually Here Studios.
Above: The small bedroom features linen bedding by Five/Six Textiles, a custom leather-wrapped headboard, and views of Los Feliz. Photograph by Virtually Here Studios.
Luis Guerra Woodworking made all the cabinets in the kitchen and bath. A dual washer/dryer unit is concealed behind the deep cabinet. The Terra Surface Ceiling Light is by Cedar and Moss.
Above: Luis Guerra Woodworking made all the cabinets in the kitchen and bath. A dual washer/dryer unit is concealed behind the deep cabinet. The Terra Surface Ceiling Light is by Cedar and Moss.
Landscape design firm Terremoto filled the courtyard with drought-resistant and native plants.
Above: Landscape design firm Terremoto filled the courtyard with drought-resistant and native plants.

For reservations, go to Live to Give LA; there’s a two-night minimum stay and the nightly rate is $275 to $300. For more about this historic apartment complex, go to the Manola Court website.

For more LA home tours, see:

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