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Chris Pratt and Katherine Schwarzenegger slammed as ‘McMansion seekers.’ Why people are mad at the couple for demolishing L.A. home.

People are mad at Chris Pratt and Katherine Schwarzenegger. Really mad.

The power couple ruffled feathers in the architectural preservation community — which, as it turns out, is rather large — when it was revealed they demolished a $12.5 million historic home in Brentwood, Calif. The Los Angeles property, known as the Zimmerman House, was completed in 1950 and designed by the late modernist architect Craig Ellwood. In its place, Pratt and Schwarzenegger are apparently building a farmhouse-style mansion. Here’s why the internet cares — and what Ellwood’s daughter has to say.

The home, commissioned in 1949 by Martin and Eva Zimmerman, sat on a 0.83-acre estate and included five bedrooms and three bathrooms. It featured a blocky exterior and 2,770 square feet of single-story living space. The famed midcentury home was one of Ellwood’s earliest projects. As noted by the Robb Report, which broke the news of Pratt and Schwarzenegger’s demolition, Ellwood is considered a pioneering modernist architect. His work is rare.

The Zimmerman House was sold in 1968 and again in 1975. Both times, the property remained intact. It was quietly sold off-market in January 2023 for more than $12 million, and the home was quickly torn down. It was revealed earlier this month the buyers were Pratt and Schwarzenegger. The digs sit across the street from two properties owned by Schwarzenegger’s mom, Maria Shriver.

In its place, the couple is putting up a two-story mansion. The Robb Report said the house-in-progress is designed by Ken Ungar, “perhaps one of the Westside’s most prolific and successful designers of large modern farmhouse-style mansions.”

Social media gets mad at the Guardians of the Galaxy star a lot. But Schwarzenegger, who wed Pratt in 2019, largely stays out of the fray. This time, the internet has come for both of them: “It’s sad to see icons of modernism needlessly destroyed by insensitive McMansion seekers,” read a post on X.

“Maybe i’m different but i would have a hard time sleeping soundly if i spent $12.5 million on this house only to tear it down,” another person wrote. It’s a sentiment felt across the internet.

The Los Angeles Conservancy, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve historic places, wrote: “Older homes of all eras can nearly always be updated and expanded to meet current needs while still respecting the original architecture and design. It is what we consistently press for at the Conservancy: ** win-win outcomes ** that allow L.A. to grow and adapt while still holding onto its heritage.”

Nothing. Yahoo Entertainment reached out to reps for both stars but did not get a response.

Erin Ellwood says she is not “bitter” about the situation; however, she told the Los Angeles Times she would have gone about this whole thing differently.

“I think it would have been really cool to keep it and do something … add to it in a really interesting, innovative way,” she said. “But you know, maybe this just isn’t their style. I mean, it clearly isn’t if they’re building a farmhouse.”

Ellwood added that destroying the home is “so brutal” and asked if there was “something more creative that could’ve been done in the process of taking it away that could’ve given it some honor.” She wished the home had had a celebrated send-off (tours, donation of materials) before it was destroyed.

“I think what people are responding to is [the home] is like this time capsule,” she explained. “I think that’s what hurts people so much — is that there aren’t that many great ones.”

However, Ellwood did not believe the Zimmerman House was her father’s best work, and her heart isn’t broken over the ordeal.

“I don’t feel bitter. I understand the love of family, I understand wanting to be close to my mother or my mother in-law,” she noted, as Pratt and Schwarzenegger reportedly purchased the house to be near Shriver. “I understand being a multimillionaire and wanting to build exactly what I want and keep my family close. I get all that. Unfortunately, it involved tearing something down.”



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