Monday, October 1, 2007

Gossip Queen Janet Charlton Has Mid-Century Mania

SELLER: Janet Charlton
LOCATION: S. Rossmore Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $2,995,000
SIZE: 4,361 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Ready for restoration, this 5BR/5BA 1961 mid-century residence is by David Hyun (AIA), who worked w/ Neutra and Alexander. Concrete blocks, walls of glass, and terrazzo floors comprise the property's classic elements. The floor plan is as hip today as in its heyday: kitchen opens to family w/FP, office w/separate entrance, masster w/views of massive pool, room guest suites, 2-room pool cabana; all w/ ultimate rivacy. Used in films and TV, the swinging Hancock Park home brings Palms Springs to LA.

YOUR MAMAS UPDATE: Your Mama was honored to be contacted this morning by Miz Charlton herself who tells us her house has indeed seen the likes of all sorts of big name celebrities who have entered Miz Charlton's mid-century modern time warp. The long list includes Gwen Stefani, Ricky Martin, Drew Barrymore, Cloe Sevigny, Kathy Griffin, Jessica Alba, Nic Cage and on and on. We were also told that Brad Pitt used the terlit, Annette Bening slept in her bed, and Alec Baldwin fell down drunk on the kitchen floor. Well sort of. All that happened during the making of Running With Scissors, which was filmed in the house.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: One almost expects to see Sammy Davis Jr. mixing martinis and Shirley MacLaine doing the watusi on the dining room table as you step through the door of gossip maven Janet Charlton's thoroughly mid-century modern home in Los Angeles' Hancock Park.

In case y'all do not know, Miz Janet Charlton is an LA-based high priestess of the celebrity gossip scene who was slinging dirt and floating blind items about the Hollywood hoi polloi long before Miss Casablanca even knew what gossip was.

Back in the mid 1990s, mid-century modern fanatic Miz Charlton went a-house hunting and in April 1997 fell in love with and purchased a somewhat pedigreed but neglected house that occupies a very bizzy corner in posh Hancock Park. According to property records, the combat boot wearing queen of scuttlebutt paid just $540,000 for the 4,361 square foot house that features 3 proper bedrooms, a den, study, an eat in in kitchen with attached family room, and huge swimming pool out back.

We already know a whole slew of you are going to comment and write to Your Mama about the perceived crime problem in Hancock Park and the amount of time it takes the LAPD to respond to calls over the amount of time it takes the Beverly Hills po-po to knock on your door after dialing 911. Whatever. Crime problem or not, Hancock Park is chock full of celebrities living in expensive and dee-luxe estates that surround the swank Wilshire Country Club. With prices in the Platinum Triangle of Bev Hills, Bel Air, and the Holmby Hills skyrocketing to unfathomable heights, Hancock Park is attracting increasing numbers of celebrities and other high profile individuals with it's central location, large lots, street after tree-lined street of gor-gee-us housing stock, and much more modest price tags.

Just like Miz Charlton and all the other urban design snobs across the good ol' U.S. of A, Your Mama is fond of the mid-century modern era. We have a nice Noguchi coffee table and a couple of Eames loungers for the Dr. Cooter, not to mention a Florence Knoll two seater with the original tweed fabric. We've even got a gorgeous Jens Risom credenza, but it's all mixed in with less pedigreed and more current furniture and artworks. But if Your Mama is being honest, and we always are, we think the lovely and talented Miz Charlton has done flooded the car with too much of a good thing. Yes, it's all fun and we'd LOVE to go to a party at Miz Charlton's house of mid-century madness, but as a place to live, it's just too much of a one note time capsule for our personal taste.

We do love the George Nelson sofas in the living room that double as side tables, and we swoon over Miz Charlton's little collection of Eero Saarinen Tulip chairs with the cute orange pads. We can even appreciate those cock-a-mamie ottomans that look like a pair of dice and we totally respect her decision to keep and maintain the original kitchen appliances when possible. But Janet hunny, this place looks more like a mid-century modern furniture store than it does a modern home. Your Mama recommends that when Miz Charlton gets this place sold, she auction off some of her considerable collection and replace it with some more contemporary pieces, say a few things from the Bouroullec brothers and maybe even a thing or two from Crate and Barrel or some other generic big name retail emporium.

Given the $2,995,000 asking price, it appears that lucky Miz Charlton is going to wind up with a wad of cash once her house sells to another mid-century modern aficionado who will likely renovate and restore this place to within an inch of acceptability. Either that or someone will knock the sucker down and built yet another too big Mediterranean-ish monstrosity.

The house is listed by a gentleman named Jeff Yarbrough, and Miz Charlton asks that any of the children that might be interested in purchasing the house give her man at Keller Williams in Beverly Hills a ringy dingy.

Source: Larchmont Chronicle

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

This house is on the busy(noisy)corner of Rossmore/3rd Street. The Marlborough Girls school is directly across the street. Good luck on the asking price.....

They shoot a lot of movies inside the house......
A guy I met who worked on a film there referred to the house as "worst home in Hancock Park."
Looks totally out of place for Hancock Park.

Anonymous said...

I just cain't stand them phallic looking bush things out the front door...What is that? Are those gherkin lookin' shrubs meant to exude some regal hauteur?
Banana trees yes,great way to salute the so.cal climate, but them shaggy missles remind me of a term we used back in the day...
piss elegant.

so_chic_darling said...

Yes Mama it's all wrong,I love mid century too,BUT this looks like a junk shop on the wrong end of Melrose to me!

Anonymous said...

Having driven by this for years, I can congratulate the photographer for making a silk purse out of a sow's ear. It may look ok on the inside, but the outside is crap. Just look at the cracked asphalt driveway and it will give you an idea of the quality of the home. I wish her all the best in getting that price but would bet money the house will be plowed under once the ink dries on the escrow docs.

Anonymous said...

This is ubercool, but I think the stereo room needs to be redesigned. That look no longer works. The compact kitchen is interesting too. Don't know if I could live with it, but the cool tones throughout the house are soothing (except for that stereo room!). Also, the living room could use a mix of furnishings. I never like when people live in a period museum, even if a midcentury modern museum. Mix things up! Give it some life.

Anonymous said...

I for one love it. There are more midcentury houses sprinkled around Hancock Park although the area is better known for the big Tudors and other more traditional styles. I don't think this house is going anywhere between the location (it is a busy corner so who would pay 3m for land?) and the Hancock Park HPOZ (Historic Preservation Overlay Zone). By the same token, I'm not sure she will get her asking price.

SOUL POLE said...

Love me some Mid Century.Especially when it veers into Jet Age interior styling.

bitterspinster said...

Like you, Mama, I am loving the tulip dinette set and the atomic styled mirror in the den is rather cute but otherwise I agree that it is just too much.

Virginia girl said...

Ugh, ugh, ugh! Everything about the house is absolutely hideous. The only thing not horribly tacky is the pool area. It's so fug!

Anonymous said...

Soooo passe.

Layler said...

I LOVE it - except for the giant dice. Wondering if there is a decent yard?

I bet the do shoot movies there - easier to pay her for a day's shoot than try to find/make a set that looks that genuine!

Hippie Canyon said...

First, let me just say that Janet Charlton is one of the good girls in town, the antithesis of Perez Over-the-Hill-ton (Devo hats anyone?). Which brings me to this gawdawful mausoleum. I wish I had a dollar for every time some broker promises the would-be home seller the most outrageous price just to secure the listing, only to slash the price $500K after it sits on the MLS for, oh, I don't know... 8 months? It happens all the time! This house is not worth it in any way, shape or form! The exterior is boring and the interiors are as Mama and other have already said: a mid-century furniture store. Does it not look just like some film set for a pix starring a Bette Midler type, whose character would be an over-the-top "LA type" art collector always into the latest of the latest?! This house is drek!

Haku said...

I totally disagree with the other comments . I worked on a photo shoot there a few years ago. I found it to be a totally unique property. The high ceilings, massive swimming pool, great open layout, mid-century modern style with all of those great furniture and furnishings. There is no other property like it in Hancock Park. If I had 3 million dollars I would make an offer.

Honey West said...

LOVE THE WHOLE PACKAGE!!!! JANET'S TASTE IS IMPECCABLE!! ALL YOU NAY SAYERS, JUST STAY IN YOUR LOCAL SHOPPING MALLS & KEEP THE TIRED STATUS QUO MACHINE ROLLING!!!

Anonymous said...

Hancock Park is such a beautiful nook in L.A. I live on the Westside, but I love when I am in that area.
The house is fun, but I couldn't live in that, and look at it every day.

Anonymous said...

honey west,

sorry but this over-the-top-mid-century is a certainly one of the status quo's of Los Angeles at the moment. It's too overdone, and way too literal. It looks nice, but sheesh....overkill.

And it's not that I don't appreciate mid-century. My home is just that. but it isn't all Nelsoned out either.

The Hollywood Mayor said...

I pass by this house every week and on a quick pass-by it looks very tacky. As was noted, it's on an incredibly busy corner, and I've been in nicer homes on the middle of the block of Rossmore nearby that didn't sell for $2.7M..

I like the modern style, and the outdoor flow is really nice. I think it sells for close to $2M (if that's acceptable by the seller)

NYgirl said...

Size matters. Look at the SF !!! Robert Cray's house is much smaller and look at that asking price. It's all about location, location, location.

sugarhoneyicetea said...

Yikes! This place is overdone to the hilt. I don't think the next buyer will be able to see through all this mid-century modern stuff. I know I can't. And I love me some midcentury modern. But I can't see the bones of the place for all the kitschy furnishings. The kitchen is cool and the pool is gorgeous. But I would rip everything else out and start all over.

The Hollywood Mayor said...

The "location, location, location" is on a VERY busy corner...

Linda Hoof said...

honey west doesn't know shit.Go back to your double wide baby.

Talkin' Tina said...

To LINDA HOOF 'N MOUTH- YOU ARE the PIECE OF WHITE CHRISTMAS TRASH that Santa forgot to flush!!!

Anonymous said...

Say "mid-century" a few more times. Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

300 South Rossmore is owned by the cheapest person who haggles at the Rose Bowl.She also relies on other peoples talents to put her house together. And then takes full credit. She had a guy landscape her home and he lived in the guesthouse for seven years.When she was done with him she evicted him. Its so funny that the Hancock news didn't cover this when he sued her and won. I guess that having a cool Mid-Century home and being a slum landlord renting a illegal guest house is the only way for Janet to get a head? It so funny that Janet Charlton is put on such a high Concrete fence. Janets home has a job since the Queen of Gossip was fired from the Star magazine. She is just another trashy user on her way to condo living.The money that house has made you think shed at least get a decent color of hair.Her house has no warmth in it. It only reflects the horrible person that she is.

Anonymous said...

Wow...all this over a home designed in era that is highly under appreciated especially in Hancock Park. I for one have toured this home recently. Being a neighbor who lives up the street I have always been intrigued by what was in store behind the awful gate and wall. However, once inside the property it is truly an amazing home. Yes, it is like a museum...what she obviously wanted. Yes, the home is dated and has limited appeal, however, with very few cosmetic changes this home can once again be a showplace. Is this what happened in the 1960s when buyers and the like looked at homes built in the 1930s which are now so highly revered? Yes, this home is on a busy street with a very exclusive private all girls school across the street, however, once inside the concrete home you do not notice the sound of traffic nor do you see anything of the outside world. The home is focussed on the pool area and this too is quiet from any outside noise. Yes, the price is close to 3 million, however, there are homes on this street, my street that are going for close to 9 million.

I just hope that someone does purchase this home (for a few hundred grand less) and preserves it's architectural and historical integrity.

Anonymous said...

Has it sold yet?