There is an interesting decision out of the San Francisco Planning Commission after an owner demolished a famous house without approval. The Commission clearly believes that Ross Johnston decided it was better to ask forgiveness than permission in tearing down the home known at the Largent House after securing only a permit for renovation. The response of the Commission is poetic justice: Johnston has been ordered to build the exact house that he tore down and put up a plaque giving the history of the house and its demolition.
The Largent House in the Twin Peaks neighborhood was built in 1936 and designed by famed modern architect, Richard Neutra. It was a 1,300-square-foot house with an indoor swimming pool, but clearly not as large as Johnson wanted. The suspicion is that Johnson bought the house last year for $1.2 million intending to tear it down for a larger, more valuable new mansion. The commission seems to believe that he wanted to build the 4,000 square foot home and flip it for millions in profit. If so, that is not going to happen.
So he will now be required to build the old house and add a plaque in front.