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‘Father of personal computer’ and Sherlock Holmes author list home with secret room for $7M

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Alan Kay, who’s been referred to as one of the “fathers of the personal computer,” alongside his wife, Bonnie MacBird, an author known for her Sherlock Holmes novels and the original screenwriter for the movie “TRON” — are selling their longtime Los Angeles home for $7 million.

Located in the upscale Brentwood Heights area, this has been their residence for more than 30 years. Kay, 83, purchased the home in 1989 for $1.7 million, records show.

It is named The Contrapuntal House after the home’s iconic Contrapuntal Performance Hall — a diligently designed two-story concert hall and an 8,000-book library with a secret room.

The hall can be transformed into a dance floor or a performance venue, the listing explains, adding that “luminaries from the music, literary, computer, art and entertainment worlds have enjoyed performances here.”

The upper-level custom-designed library features alcoves for reading — and one secret spot that’s a particular perk.


The two-story concert hall.
The two-story concert hall.
Ryan Lahif

The formal dining room which leads out to the gardens.
The formal dining room, which leads out to the gardens.
Ryan Lahif

The massage room.
The massage room.
Ryan Lahif

library
The library, which currently holds up to 8,000 books.
Ryan Lahif

The zen room.
The secret room off of the library used as a Zen room.
Ryan Lahif

“A secret bookcase door hidden within the library opens to a transformative space for a children’s playroom or art storage area,” the listing adds.

Over the years, the home, which occupies over 5,300 square feet, has expanded.

Designed by renowned Southern California architect John Byers, features include an expansive living area with soaring and beamed ceilings, skylights and a designer fireplace featuring Malibu tiles.

The open floor plan then leads to a dining room with a wall of French doors and private garden views. Adjacent is a gallery.

The gourmet country kitchen features skylights, and boasts garden and pool views.


The living room with vaulted ceilings.
The living room with vaulted and wood-beamed ceilings.
Ryan Lahif

The primary bedroom.
The primary bedroom.
Ryan Lahif

The primary ensuite bathroom.
The primary ensuite bathroom, which leads to a fitness room with a Pilates machine.
Ryan Lahif

The fitness room.
A closer look at the fitness room.
Ryan Lahif

The five-room primary suite features a marble fireplace, a large walk-in closet and a bathroom in marble and Malibu tile with a deep soaking tub and a private water closet, the listing notes.

Connected to the bedroom is a gym with French Orangerie detailing and a “Japanese-style Zen retreat for meditation, massage, or creative inspiration.”

Additional amenities include a recreational room, an office and a cottage-style guest house.

Outdoor features of The Contrapuntal House include sycamores, mature avocado and fruit trees, and a rose garden.


Another bedroom.
Another bedroom.
Ryan Lahif

The outdoor patio.
The outdoor patio.
Ryan Lahif

The lighted tennis court.
The lighted tennis court.
Ryan Lahif

The home comes with a kidney-shaped pool.
The home comes with a kidney-shaped pool.
Ryan Lahif

There is also a lighted tennis court and a kidney-shaped pool along with al fresco dining areas.

Matt Witek at Compass holds the listing.

Kay, a computer scientist, led the design and development of the first modern windowed computer desktop interface when he worked at Xerox PARC — a division of Xerox tasked with creating computer-technology-related products.

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