Brian Libby

Though it measures just 1,216 square feet with two bedrooms and two baths, this classic Mid-Century by architect William Wallace Reid feels larger. Maybe that’s because, in classic Southern California fashion, the indoor spaces are just the beginning for this Santa Monica residence. Located only a half mile from the public Will Rogers State Beach in Los Angeles, the home sits on a 5,530-square-foot hillside lot and offers a variety of lush outdoor gathering spaces.

Reid was born in Los Angeles in 1917 to an early-Hollywood power couple. His father, silent-film actor Wallace Reid, was once called “the screen’s most perfect lover” and had supporting roles in two major films by director D.W. Griffith: 1915’s The Birth of a Nation and 1916’s Intolerance. Reid’s mother, Dorothy Davenport, began her career as an actress but eventually became a screenwriter, director, and producer. As a child, Reid acted in 10 films between 1920 and 1943. He later became an architect and spent much of his career designing multifamily condominiums and apartments in Los Angeles. The compact dwelling at 229 Amalfi Drive in Santa Monica marks one of the earliest single-family residences of Reid’s career. He designed the striking Mid-Century in 1953 for himself and his wife, Paula.

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