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Chris Pratt demolishes historic $12.5 million LA house to build mega-mansion: shocking before and after photos

The Guardians of the Galaxy actor shares two daughters with wife Katherine Schwarzenegger

Bryony Gooch
US Writer
Updated: 23 April 2024
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Chris Pratt and wife Katherine Schwarzenegger have faced backlash after demolishing an iconic Los Angeles house to make way for a 15,000 square foot mansion instead.

The couple purchased the Brentwood home, informally known as the Zimmerman house, last year for $12.5 million. It was famously designed by architect Craig Ellwood in 1953, a classic example of mid-century modern architecture with landscaping by Garrett Eckbo, one of the pioneers of modern landscaping.

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The Zimmerman house was a single-story home previously owned by Sam Rolfe, the co-creator of The Man from Uncle series, who reportedly bought it for $205,000. His widow Hilda lived in the property 30 years after his death in 1993. A video of the property from December 2022 show that the property had been well-preserved with large windows, wood floors and a pool.

Aerial shot from Google Maps shows the property before demolition, which looked like it had a tennis court on grounds, as well as a pool.© Google Maps
Aerial shot from Google Maps shows the property before demolition, which looked like it had a tennis court on grounds, as well as a pool.

Aerial photos show that the property has now been razed completely, including the pool. All that can be seen is rubble and trucks coming to clear out the debris before the couple starts work on their new home.

Permit records obtained by Robb Report show that the couple will work with L.A. architect Ken Ungar, known for his modern farmhouse-style mansions, to build a new home in its place. This new home will reportedly be a two-story farmhouse with a swimming pool and a pool house.

Chris Pratt and his wife Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt have completely demolished a famed mid-20th Century Los Angeles home known as the Zimmerman House which they bought for $12.5million in January 2023. This photo shows the demolition, as the previous mid-century classic one story has vanished with trucks clearing up the debris.© AKGS
Shocking photo shows the post-demolition lot

The couple's decision to move into the property is reportedly due to its proximity to Katherine's mother Maria Shriver, who owns property across the street.

Los Angeles Conservancy, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the city's historic places, raised alarm bells about the proposed demolition in January 2023 - around the time the home was reportedly bought.

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"We recently learned about the proposed demolition of this 1950 Modernist residence", they wrote. "Designed by Emiel Becsky and working within architect Craig Ellwood’s office, he created a one-story, nearly 3,000 sq. ft. residence that appears to be highly intact and a noteworthy example of Modernist design from this era."

They added: "The City’s SurveyLA program identified it as potentially historic, yet no protections are currently afforded."

PACIFIC PALISADES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 04: (L-R) Chris Pratt and Katherine Schwarzenegger attend Cleobella x Katherine Schwarzenegger event at The Coast Lounge at Palisades Villages on November 04, 2023 in Pacific Palisades, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Cleobella x Katherine Schwarzenegger)© Michael Kovac
Chris Pratt and his wife Katherine Scwarzenegger, daughter of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver

"It is unclear what is motivating this demolition, as it is not for sale and has not been transferred out of longtime ownership. Viable alternatives to demolition are available." 

Mid Century Modern Daily writer DC Hillier took to Instagram to express his shock at the news: "Saddened (also angered frankly) to learn of the demolition of the Zimmerman House", he said. 

Someone commented below: "A prime example showcasing how money can’t buy taste. Very sad indeed."

Fans of the actor pointed out: "People need to mind their own business. They bought the house, they can do whatever they want with it." 

"It’s their home. If they want to change it that is their prerogative. Not everyone is going to care about the historical significance unfortunately. And you shouldn’t be allowed to force them to", another person added.

Chris and Katherine got married in 2019, and together they share two daughters.

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