In 1982, Cliff May was interviewed about his five-decade career by UCLA researcher Marlene Laskey, who asked the highly influential and prolific architect which project he considered his masterpiece. Judging by the interview transcripts, May didn’t need any time to mull the question over, unhesitatingly singling out a Brentwood property he designed in the late 1930s in conjunction with architect Wallace Frost.
Occupying a 1.45-acre lot on private Oakmont Drive in Brentwood Park, the California Spanish hacienda was built for Westclox heir Frederic M. Blow and his family. Thanks to Blow’s immense wealth, May was able to build the 5,200-square-foot home without budgetary constraints, employing a team of master craftsmen—including expert stonemasons hired from Forest Lawn cemetery—for its construction.
Dubbed “Los Vientos,” the estate was photographed by esteemed architectural photographer Maynard Parker in 1940; his gorgeous black-and-white photos can be viewed on the Huntington Library’s digital archive. Parker isn’t the only noted photographer associated with the property: renowned shutterbug Herb Ritts grew up here, where he became chummy with next-door-neighbor Steve McQueen.
Since the ’90s, Los Vientos has been owned by Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz, the husband-and-wife screenwriting team behind such blockbusters as American Graffiti and Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom, but now the couple is looking to unload it for the blockbuster price of $15.95 million. Per the listing, the property features four bedrooms, five baths, beamed ceilings, painted tile, French doors, a bar/lounge, swimming pool, paddle tennis court, and canyon and city views.
- 39 Oakmont Drive [The Agency]