David Ming-Li Lowe, Architect

The Earthquake House, 1990


1955 1/2 Purdue Ave, Sawtelle, CA 90025


The award-winning architect, artist and educator David Ming-Li Lowe’s own home built in 1990, a masterpiece of residential design. As part of the AIA. centenary celebration, this project was selected as one of the nation’s 100 most important, receiving accolades for its design. Assumably the first in America built on visco-damper base isolators to protect it from earthquakes, along with steel as the major structural framework. Also used were precious materials like galvanized sheet-metal refrigeration panels and beautiful translucent Kalwall sheeting.

The 3-story home is a light-filled, private, artistic and creative space, just waiting for a new owner’s personal touches. The floor plan is easy to adapt to multiple uses, as creative space, as an office for an architect, tech startup, or production studio, etc. Located in the desirable and hip Sawtelle neighborhood, with many restaurant choices. It’s easy to get to the beach and many LA attractions.

The private yard includes a wooden deck and a teahouse, and the home is set back from the street. The 2-car garage has high ceilings and an industrial roll up door. There is a basement, other storage, and solar panels. The property also expanded land use concepts. Technically a condominium, Ming-Li Lowe created what is effectively 2 single family residences on a R-2 lot.

Property Documents

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Property ID
Property Size
3913 sf
Garage Size
Total Garages
Year Built
David Ming-Li Lowe, Architect
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Contact Information

Christina Hildebrand
  • Christina Hildebrand
  • 310.275.2222 x122 310.890.3313
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  • Address 1955-1/2 Purdue Avenue
  • City Los Angeles
  • State/county CA
  • Zip/Postal Code 90025

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Christina Hildebrand
  • Christina Hildebrand