Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Goldwyn Mansion Goes on the Block

SELLER: Samuel Goldwyn Jr.
LOCATION: Laurel Lane, Beverly Hills, CA
PRICE: $24,000,000
SIZE: 10,982 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: First time ever on the market. Exquisite classic traditional architecture set on 2 BH acres on a cul-de-sac behind Beverly Hills Hotel. This superb residence has an ideal flr pln w/ patio loggias, wonderful yard, pool patio & hse. Sunken lighted profess. tennis crt. The main residence greets you w/ an elegant staircase, lovely galleria, perfectly scaled rms, 35MM projection rm. Main level offers guest ste w/ prvt entrance. Oversized motor crt. City lights. Once in a lifetime opportunity.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Hold on to your britches children because a little slice of Hollywood real estate history has hit the market. According to listing information and property records, Samuel Goldwyn Jr., the scion and son of Tinseltown tycoon Samuel Goldwyn (he of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, natch), has put the family's famous Bev Hill estate on the market with an asking price of $24,000,000.

The legendary Georgian style mansion on Laurel Lane was built in 1934 and in addition to hosting some of the biggest names in Hollywood including Charlie Chaplin, George Cukor, Frank Capra, Clark Gable and old school lesbian Marlene Dietrich, the property was often used as collateral to finance films produced by the senior Goldwyn.

Although the listing states the sprawling residence has an ideal floor plan and perfectly scaled rooms, Mister Goldwyn Jr. is quoted in a New York Times article from 2004 as saying, "It's slightly jerry-built in such a way that you can't really change anything short of tearing it down." That would indicate the floor plan might be a bit quirky and less than ideal, but children who would want to tear down a house where the famously pugnacious Mister Goldwyn Sr. allegedly won Bette Davis for her role in The Little Foxes in a poker game from movie mogul Jack Warner?

Pictures of the property are slim, but listing information reveals that guests are greeted and impressed by an over-sized motor court suitable for turning long limousines. The main house includes living and dining rooms, a den, family room, a library/studio, a 35mm projection room, an office, a kitchen with breakfast area.

Other amenities includes garage parking for 4 cars, three fireplaces, a glammy, celebrity style and solar heated swimming pool and adjacent pool house, a sunken and lighted tennis court with a proper north/south alignment, terraced gardens, expansive lawns, an elevator for the lazy and the infirm, and a guest suite on the main level with it's own entrance.

Rich Hollywood types sit with checkbooks in hand waiting for properties like this to come up for sale and Your Mama predicts the Goldwyn estate will sell quickly and possibly for more than the asking price. Yes children, we said it, for more than the asking price. But then again, we've been wrong in the past and we'll be wrong in the future, so we'll just have to wait with baited breath like all the other real estate queens out there and see what transpires.

14 comments:

pch said...

This is from A Scott Berg's biography of Goldwyn, pages 246-247:

"In late November 1934, Frances Goldwyn's dream house was completed, all to her own taste...

"At the top of their knoll off Coldwater Canyon awaited the gleaming white house with black trim, its two wings forming a welcoming obtuse angle. Inside, a generous foyer gave way to the public rooms...ahead lay a deep rose-colored dining room with a table that could seat twenty.

"To the right of the foyer was the living room with its heavy green drapery and pig pieces of upholstered furniture. At the far end was a small room just big enough for a card table and chairs. A small hallway in the foyer led past a bar into another large room, a paneled library that doubled as a screening room. Beyond that lay a guest suite that did not encourage long visits.

"The library's outer doors opened onto an expansive patio. A lawn rolled down to a large swimming pool and poolhouse, not visible from the main house...

"Upon entering the house for the first time, Sam headed directly up the spiral staircase. To the left lay Sammy's room and, farther down the hall, service rooms and servants' quarters. To the right lay another long corridor. At one end was Frances' large bedroom suite..."

Earlier, on page 227, there's this description of its construction:

""In the heart of the motion picture community -- on a knoll just above the Beverly Hills Hotel and below Pickfair -- [Frances] saw three lots on a short, winding private road off Coldwater Canyon called Laurel Lane. Director Wesley Ruggles lived in the one house already built (which tire magnate Leonard Firestone would later buy); a second lot would remain vacant for decades; and Frances Goldwyn persuaded her husband to buy the third -- two and one half acres full of promise.

"With all her fears about spending money, [Frances] was completely in charge of constructing their house. She built the place piecemeal, whenever she saw enough money in the family cookie jar to pay for each job. Architect Douglas Honnold drew the plans, but she called on Richard Day and Alexander Gollitzen from the studio to cut corners wherever they could. Studio labor installed the guts of the house. 'The result,' observed Sam Goldwyn, Jr, 'was that so much of the place -- like the electrical wiring -- was very Mickey Mouse.' It would take more than two years before the Goldwyns could leave the Camino Palmero house in Hollywood."

TheVinylVillager said...

after reading the Time article, Im a bit sad to think of the house leaving that family.

Venice4504 said...

Isn't Garflek still looking for a house?

Anonymous said...

Pickfair, the Goldwyn Mansion, Spelling's Manor......about the only major name home not on the market is the Playboy Mansion.

StPaulSnowman said...

Now that is how you handle a tennis court....accessible yet invisible!

Anonymous said...

is it me or is the negative maybe upside down on the front facade pic? seems that way based on the aeriel...

Alessandra said...

Thank you, PCH, for the additional information.

And this would be why I might not want to make an offer:

"She built the place piecemeal, whenever she saw enough money in the family cookie jar to pay for each job. Architect Douglas Honnold drew the plans, but she called on Richard Day and Alexander Gollitzen from the studio to cut corners wherever they could. Studio labor installed the guts of the house. 'The result,' observed Sam Goldwyn, Jr, 'was that so much of the place -- like the electrical wiring -- was very Mickey Mouse.'"

I'm not a fan of "Mickey Mouse" anything, outside of Disney, especially electrical wiring.

That aside, the location is great, the house is lovely and I agree that it should be snapped up sooner rather than later. ore than asking price isn't an impossibility, either.

lil' gay boy said...

The only downside I can see to this iconic abode is having to pass by the ghastly, steroidal residence across the cul de sac…

Bigdaddyj said...

Finally, a property in LA that's actually worth the price, or maybe even more!!!

Anonymous said...

Do those solar panels below the swimming pool belong to this house or the one below?

Josh Flagg said...

I guess my Grandma must not know the Goldwyn's, since I don't have this listing...

Barren Karen said...

I got laid here once. The place smelled like violets and old lace.

dsmpwls @ yahoo.com said...

My dad was the gardener there for over 20 years. I spent my summers helping him and Mrs. Goldwyn would always tell me to go ahead and jump in the pool whenever i wanted. Beautiful house and beautiful family.

Anonymous said...

I think the term "Mickey Mouse" may be misinterpreted here. There are a lot of mansions in the L.A. area built by studio heads who had their studio people work in the construction to save money. Those people knew how to get things done so they worked, but probably cut a lot of corners code wise. I'm sure the house would not still be standing if the wiring was dangerous. They used to build monumental sets in those days and the studio departments could certainly build a house.