The Swiss-born architect Kurt Meyer, was born in Zurich in 1922 and settled in Los Angeles in 1949 to design buildings. He started his own business in 1957, kicking things off with his design for Death Valley High School, now Death Valley Academy.
Meyer expanded his business rapidly. Proficient in styles ranging from Brutalist to googie, he specialized in designing institutional buildings, some schools, a lot of banks and offices. He didn’t typically monkey around with houses, designing perhaps fewer than a half-dozen, including an extremely notable and beautiful residence that he built for the family of savings and loan executive Roger E. Dunn in Long Beach at 4247 Country Club Drive.
Dunn, who was president of Community Savings and Loan, which had a branch nearby on Atlantic Avenue and Roosevelt Road, had traded up, moving his young family from their home in Lakewood Country Club to the new one, built in 1964-1965 on one of the last vacant lots along the Virginia Country Club Golf Course—this one alongside the 16th-hole fairway.
Although Roger died in 1978, the home has remained in the family, with his wife, Norma, keeping the home that the couple’s three children grew up in. She recently moved out, with the nearly 6,000-square-foot home becoming a bit too much to handle.
Now listed by Realtor Wayne Ishimine at $3 million, the five-bedroom, six-bath remains pretty much the same as when Kurt Meyer built it, with an amazing courtyard with a stunning swimming pool with a footbridge traversing the water allowing people to get from the parking garages to the courtyard patio and the main house.
Lon Dunn, Roger and Norma’s son, was in second grade when the family moved into their new home. For Lon and his two sisters, it was just a house—a place to live. The size and craftsmanship went unnoticed.
“I thought everyone had a house like it,” said Lon. “I didn’t really appreciate it. Now I live in a house in Lakewood Village that’s probably the size of the garage on Country Club,” he laughed—even though that house, along with many others of its kind, is likely approaching $1 million in value, a fact that makes the asking price for the Country Club home appear to be somewhat realistic.
“It was a great house to live in,” Lon now realizes. “There were views of the golf course from the bedrooms,” as well as most of the downstairs rooms. His dad was a member of Virginia Country Club.
“He was an avid golfer,” said Lon. “He tried to get me to take up the game, and I gave it a try, but it didn’t stick. Golf wasn’t cool when I was a kid. It was before the Tiger Woods era.”
The grounds at the property fit in well with the historic neighborhood’s fauna. Pear trees line the perimeter and they’re presided over by a 150-year-old Podocarpus tree. Giving the architecture a touch of Monterey style is a beautifully constructed overhang extending the length of the home.
Its prime location aside, the centerpiece of the home is the courtyard with its expansive pool and landscaping. The rooms in the main part of the house as well as its east and west wings, all have views of either the course or the courtyard.
Inside, the home segues from formal to casual. The entrance grabs your attention immediately, setting the tone of the home’s elegance with a sweeping spiral staircase.
The more formal west wing includes the great room, with its tall beamed ceiling, built-in curio cabinet, walnut wall unit and a fireplace.
The kitchen is the hub between wings, opening to the more casual east wing’s inviting and comfortable family room. At the end of the wing is a rec room, complete with bar, soda fountain, nook seating, and pool table ready.
A long, 30-foot second-floor hallway features windows along its length as well as walnut cabinetry. All five second-floor bedrooms overlook the golf course and are en suite, with the master suite with a walk-in closet and fireplace.