Chris Pratt and Katherine Schwarzenegger in Hot Water for Demolishing Midcentury Architectural Gem
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Chris Pratt and his author wife have upset architecture aficionados for razing a historically significant house to make way for their new mansion, sparking a fervent debate about preservation versus personal property rights.

AceShowbiz - In a move that has ruffled feathers across the architectural and conservation communities, Chris Pratt and Katherine Schwarzenegger are facing backlash for demolishing the Zimmerman House, "a noteworthy example" of midcentury modern architecture designed by Craig Ellwood, in Los Angeles' upscale Brentwood neighborhood.

Acquired for a whopping $12.5 million in January 2023, the demolition of this quaint residence has ignited a conversation on the preservation of architectural heritage versus the prerogatives of property ownership.

The Zimmerman House, not only a significant modernist design but also a piece of Hollywood history, was once the home of Sam Rolfe, a key figure in classic television. This architectural home, highlighted for its innovative design and connection to the landscape, was torn down shortly after its purchase by Pratt and Schwarzenegger, who, drawn by its proximity to Schwarzenegger's mother, Maria Shriver, have embarked on constructing a lavish 15,000 sq. ft. modern farmhouse-style mansion in its place.

The outcry from preservationists and architecture enthusiasts has been loud and clear. Social media platforms and forums like r/midcenturymodern have become battlegrounds for debate, with many expressing dismay and anger at the decision to demolish a structure identified by the Los Angeles Conservancy and the SurveyLA program as "potentially historic," albeit unprotected.

Critics argue that the loss of the Zimmerman House represents a broader issue of architectural icons being casually erased for the sake of new developments, often styled in the ubiquitous "modern farmhouse" manner that has become synonymous with luxury but lacks the distinctiveness of mid-century design.

Despite these protests, the construction of the new house presses forward, with plans for a state-of-the-art residence complete with modern amenities, including a backyard swimming pool and a cabana. Architect Ken Ungar, known for his contemporary interpretations of the farmhouse aesthetic, has been tapped to bring Pratt and Schwarzenegger's vision to life.

This contentious demolition has sparked a wider discussion on the values and priorities of contemporary society when it comes to historic preservation. At the heart of this debate is a question of balance - how to weigh the rights of individual property owners against the collective interest in preserving our architectural heritage.

As the dust settles on the site of the Zimmerman House, the controversy serves as a poignant reminder of the fragility of cultural landmarks in the face of progress and change.

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