Chris Pratt blasted for secretly demolishing historic LA home to build 'McMansion'

Martha Ross, The Mercury News on

Published in Entertainment News

The Robb Report said the five-bedroom, 2,770-square-foot Zimmerman house was originally commissioned in 1949 by Martin and Eva Zimmerman, completed in 1950, and featured in Progressive Architecture magazine.

The preservationists are especially upset, Dwell reported. Save Iconic Architecture called the demolition “devastating,’ with at least one commenter likening the couple’s choice to “buying a Rothko for the frame.” The advocacy group’s cofounder, interior designer Jaime Rummerfield, said she more than understands the internet’s collective disgust for Pratt and Schwazenegger, the daughter of TV journalist Maria Shriver and former Hollywood action star and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Rummerfield likened the situation to “an endangered animal that just got poached again,” Dwell said.

Nearly 40,000 people also have liked a TikTok video tour of the former home, presented by fashion and design historian Quinn Garvey. Garvey captioned the video, “Chris Pratt and Katherine Schwarzenegger ‘demo’ a mid-century home to build something ugly.” She shared her visit to the house during a 2022 estate sale. The video shows that the home featured many classic midcentury design features, including an open floor plan, clean lines, lots of glass and natural wood and a fusion of indoor and outdoor spaces.

In her video, Garvey said she was shocked to learn the home had been demolished. “I thought it was in great condition,” she said. “I never thought it was gonna go. It’s just like, Really? You had to do that?”

The Robb Report said that Pratt and Schwarzenegger probably selected the Zimmerman property because the lot happens to sit almost directly across the street from a two-house compound owned by Maria Shriver.


Dwell said people might be especially angry because they don’t think Pratt and Schwarzenegger needed to demolish the residence. Dwell quoted L.A. architect John Dutton who said that the couple could have kept the Ellwood-designed home, but “amended” it and added to its existing “footprint.” This effort would have taken longer and cost more, but the resulting home would have been more “special” than the “advertisement of status” that they are currently erecting, according to Dutton.

Many people also asked why the house wasn’t protected, saying that it should have been on some sort of historic list, Dwell said. But according to Rummerfield, Los Angeles has been incredibly lax about granting that sort of designation, passing the onus onto citizens and architectural fans in the community. Since there is no head of preservation in the city government, requests for a property’s historic designation can take years to be addressed.

Meanwhile, Pratt and Schwarzenegger can wait out the construction of their controversial new farmhouse-style home while staying in their current residence, a massive, contemporary Mediterranean-style manor that they’ve put on the market for $30 million, the Robb Report said.

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