LOS ANGELES (AP) — Germany has purchased a Los Angeles house once owned by Thomas Mann, averting demolition of the home where the Nobel Prize-winning novelist lived for a decade after fleeing the rise of Nazism.
The home, built in 1941 and designed by modernist architect J.R. Davidson, had been listed last summer for about $15 million and labeled as ready to be demolished, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.
An online petition called on the German government to save the home in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood, describing it as a monument to exiles who settled in California and resistance to the Nazi regime. It was bought for $13.25 million and officials said it will be renovated and used as a residency for artists.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the residence symbolized “a home for many Germans who worked toward a better future for their country, paved the way for an open society and laid the foundations for common trans Atlantic values,” according to a statement posted by the German consulate in Los Angeles.
The Mann home will be renovated and its day-to-day operations will be handed over Villa Aurora, a German government-subsidized cultural program and residency for artists and writers.
Mann fled Germany in 1933 and lived in Switzerland before immigrating to the U.S. After living in New Jersey, he moved to Southern California in the early 1940s.
While living at the home, Mann wrote “Doctor Faustus” and “The Holy Sinner,” according to the Times.
Mann’s and his wife returned to Europe in 1952. Three years later, he died in Switzerland.
The native of what is now Lubeck, Germany, received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1929 for his novel “Buddenbrooks.”