Chris Pratt demolishes Craig Ellwood’s Zimmerman home for new mansion

Chris Pratt, labeled “the worst Chris” of the many Hollywood actors he shares a name with, has seemingly made a couple of enemies in the niche architecture community. Pratt, alongside wife Katherine Schwarzenegger, bought Craig Ellwood’s Zimmerman House in Brentwood, California in January 2023. Since the $12.5 million purchase the actor and his wife (the eldest child of Arnold Schwarzenegger) razed Ellwood’s midcentury residence to make room for a new home that will be designed by architect Ken Ungar.

Pratt—best known for his heroic roles in Guardians of the Galaxy, Jurassic World, and The Lego Movie—has been seemingly the anti-hero in recent months, angering preservationists who denounce his decision to demolish Zimmerman House. Now that the land has been wiped clean, the lavish property is seen as a weak remembering of what Julius Shulman once photographed.

Jon Burke was best studied under his famed pseudonym Craig Ellwood. The Ellwood name was synonymous with the midcentury modern aesthetic. The five-bedroom, three-bathroom Zimmerman house from 1950 was herald as one of the many wonderful works of Ellwood, however, it was never landmarked or listed on any register. In 1968 it was sold to Richard Kelton and then purchased by Sam and Hilda Rolfe in 2004.



Unlike other recent attempts to save historic midcentury buildings, Zimmerman House was less lucky. In place of Ellwood’s design, Ken Ungar, a notable Hollywood-home architect, has mocked up plans for a farmhouse-style mansion that will be sited on the ashes of Ellwood’s design. The new home is set to have two stories, a basement, and a backyard pool. In an interview with the LA Times, Ellwood’s daughter, Erin Ellwood, said “But you know, maybe this just isn’t their style. I mean, it clearly isn’t if they’re building a farmhouse.”

The new Pratt mansion has no set date of completion. In the meantime fencing around the site wards off angry architecture stans. Maybe an impressive innovation or historic homage in the new home might call off the dogs.

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