Terrific Twitchell

By Robert Plunket July 29, 2009

A small but perfect Ralph Twitchell house beckons.

By Robert Plunket 

Click here to see our Real Estate Junkie discuss this house on ABC7.


That Ralph Twitchell house we looked at several weeks ago is back on the market. The buyer’s financing fell through—something that happens a lot these days. But their loss is your gain, as they say.


This house is a great deal. Everything about it is “right”—location, condition, price. The only drawback is size—it’s just over 900 square feet and would best work for a single person or a couple who really liked each other.



It was built back in 1959 for Twitchell’s secretary, a colorful lady some people still remember, named Lu Andrews. Even though it’s small it has a lot packed into it. The built-ins come with the house, the closets are adequate and most rooms have clerestory windows and skylights. I’ve looked it over twice and each time I discovered new things—custom space-saving details that add to the livability. Take the lanai, for example. It’s big and spacious and overlooks a beautiful pond that’s covered with lily pads and full of birds, ducks, egrets, etc. The lanai furniture (original) comes with the house.


As far as architectural history goes, this is a very important house. Paul Rudolph was working for Twitchell at the time, and although he officially has no link to the house, it’s very similar to what he was doing. You can just see him getting ideas—or contributing some of his own. It’s been featured in many books and TV shows and is the only Twitchell design that remains exactly the way he designed it. Even the air-conditioning, added later, is virtually undetectable.



It’s got 2 bedrooms, 2 baths (one with a wonderful stainless steel vanity), terrazzo floors, a fountain on the lanai, a fireplace, a new roof, and it’s in a great neighborhood (Tahiti Park) that’s west of the trail and a short walk from downtown. Best of all, you can actually afford it. The price is $299,900. Call the owner at (941) 587-2192.
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