Chris Pratt Isn't the Only One Tearing Down Famous Homes

It's part of a larger trend of razing historic houses to erect McMansions, per 'WaPo'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2024 9:49 AM CDT
Chris Pratt Isn't the Only One Tearing Down Famous Homes
Chris Pratt arrives at the world premiere of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" on April 27, 2023, at the Dolby Ballroom in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Chris Pratt and his wife, Katherine Schwarzenegger, recently created quite a stir after buying, then demolishing, the Zimmerman House, a famous midcentury home in Los Angeles. Kriston Capps says that's nothing too out of the ordinary, however, writing for the Washington Post that it's part of a "larger, disturbing" trend to demolish historic homes around the US in favor of McMansions, "often under cover of night with little to no warning." Preservationists don't seem shocked, though they're not happy about it. "This situation isn't isolated. We do lose houses like this more than we care to say," says Adrian Fine, head of the Los Angeles Conservancy nonprofit. "We're seeing more of these teardowns, because people see these as valuable plots of dirt."

Los Angeles especially is rife with modernist architecture, but because of people's "ravenous desire for larger and larger homes," there's been an uptick of such demolitions—partly because those modernist homes are starting to need repairs that could be unwieldly due to antiquated systems and a lack of people who know how to make such repairs. Those dedicated to fighting this trend have realized that offering incentives against teardowns might work better than punitive measures, but it's still looking like an uphill battle. "The sad story of the Zimmerman House pits elite aesthetics against conspicuous consumption," Capps writes. "But it also reflects broader dynamics of scarce housing, rising prices, and [an] insatiable need to possess more and more." More of this "cautionary tale for all Americans" here. (More McMansion stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.