Architect Bob Ray Offenhauser was ahead of his time. When he completed a 5,239-square-foot home at 1317 Delresto Drive in 1971, he got a lot right despite designing in an era later dubbed “the decade that taste forgot.”
“What’s great about Offenhauser is that he built with these incredible ceiling heights,” says Billy Rose, founder of the Agency, a Los Angeles–based real estate brokerage which is representing the nearly $16 million Beverly Hills listing. The house sold for $6.3 million in 2014 when potential buyers were encouraged to “embrace the magical Old World feel of the Italianate architecture and feel as if you are living in the Umbrian countryside of Italy.”
“This house had good enough bones to save it,” says Rose’s colleague, principle agent Santiago Arana. “But it was such an ugly house—Italian/Mediterranean with very bad taste.” How the 70s-era villa was transformed into a 9,680-square-foot contemporary work in only 15 months is no less than impressive. This before and after look proves some things really do improve with time.