Sorry for the delay, buttons, but Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter–and our long-bodied bitches Linda and Beverly–are actually on a wee getaway vacay with all the grays and gays out in Palm Springs, CA. We spent the better part of today day with our almost-famous artist pal Henny Penny during which we went t0 the Palm Springs Art Museum. We had a look-see at a print retrospective of John Baldessari, passed through the permanent contemporary collection, had our photos taken with a bone-chilling Duane Hanson sculpture andtoured a small and incomplete but still interesting look at the architecture of noted Coachella Valley modernist architect Donald Wexler appropriately called Steel and Shade. Then we had a crappy late lunch. Now we're back at our home base sitting by the pool thinking we should probably think about getting back to our real home. Anyhoodles poodles...
There has been heaps and hordes of hoopla and hoo-ha the last few days over a proposed 80,000-plus square foot compound an as yet unidentified property owner wants to build on a 5.2-acre property in the upscale Benedict Canyon area of Los Angeles, CA. The proposed plans call for an opulent 42,681 square foot mock-Mediterranean-style main house, a double-winged 27,000-plus square foot "son's villa," a 4,400 square foot guest house, a 5,300 square foot structure for housing staff and a 2,700 square foot gatehouse.
The Los Angeles Times revealed earlier this week that the proposed monster mansion is to be built for a single man with three children. Ownership of the property is shielded through a serious of LLCs, attorneys and the like but there is much speculation that the property owner may be a Saudi royal, specifically Prince Abdulaziz ibn Adbullah ibn Abdulaziz al Saud who happens to be divorced man with three children.
The massive–and some might say utterly preposterous–scale of the project has the dander up of Benedict Canyon residents who have formed an ad hoc group to stop the construction of the compound that will rival the square footage of Hearst Castle in San Simeon, CA. Interestingly, one of those who oppose the colossal compound is Hollywood honcho Michael Ovitz who himself recently completed his own humongous and über-contemporary crib in the 'hood.
There are many hoops and hurdles for this unnamed property owner to hop through before he can break ground on his mini-mall sized mansion but iffin Your Mama were the betting type–and we're not–we'd wager this real estate size queen will get his way even if he has to scale things back to a more modest but still elephantine 50 or 60,000 square feet. For more information on the group opposed to the development visit their website Save Benedict Canyon.
It's come to our attention via a well-connected Los Angeles real estate-o-phile that the possibility of an 85,000 square foot compound in the Benedict Canyon area isn't the only possible construction of a mega-mansion that's working the last nerves of concerned citizens in some of L.A.'s priciest zip codes.
Over in the Franklin Canyon area of Los Angeles, another angry ad hoc group staunchly opposes the efforts of controversial Ritz-Carlton hotel developer Mohamed Hadid to construct a huge and palatial residence–that he claims is for his own use–atop an unspoiled peak much cherished by urban-dwelling hikers and nature lovers.
Mister Hadid, the children surely recall, is the same man who famously sold his Bel Air mega-mansion Le Belvedere in the summer of 2010 for a gut-punching and record-setting $50,000,000. There is at least one person Your Mama knows who believes that fifty million dollar deal was shady and presented us with some documentation that indicates that Mister Hadid's (former) Bel Air estate is now bank-owned, but that's another alleged scandal for another time.
Mister Hadid has already begun to bulldoze the mountain to create a large flat pad for the sprawling spread he wants to erect but he was presented with a "stop work" order in late February. Those who want more information should visit the Save Franklin Canyon website.
Finally, there have been many queries from the kids as regards to the real estate history of two-time Oscar winning actress Dame Elizabeth Taylor (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, BUtterfield 8, Suddenly, Last Summer, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and etc.) who went to meet her maker earlier this week at the too-young age of 79. Your Mama could spend hours recounting each of the many homes around the world she's owned but it's already been done and done well here and here.
The world lost one of it's last great Tinseltown stars with Elizabeth Taylor who championed AIDS funding and research at a time when it was simply not socially acceptable to do so. May she rest in peace.