Monday, February 18, 2013

UPDATE: Casa Encantada

For those of the children who just can't bear silly discussions about the seemingly capricious real estate activities of a pregnant reality star with a Texas-sized backside and an annoyingly supercilious baby daddy Your Mama offers y'all something altogether more architecturally edifying and decoratively edumuhcational...

Last week Your Mama relayed the delicious—and entirely unconfirmed—Platinum Triangle real estate rumor that telecom tycoon Gary Winnick might be willing to part with his epic Bel Air estate, Casa Encantada, if some deep pocketed buyer comes along with $225 million.

Casa Encantada—sometimes referred to nowadays as the far more prosaic Bellagio House—was built in the late 1930s by a wealthy widow named Hilda Boldt who had the Hollywood Regency meet Georgian style mansion designed by premier architect James Dolena and decorated by the legendary T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings who created hundreds of custom pieces of furniture for the nearly 30,000 square foot main house and its various outbuildings.

Your Mama was recently informed by a kind and academically inclined gent we'll call Willem Wantsyoutosee that in December 1939, not long after Casa Encantada was completed, The Widda Boldt had the mammoth mansion and its extensive grounds photographed for posterity by the legendary but too little lauded architecture and garden photographer Maynard L. Parker.*

Fortunately for all us architecture, real estate and day-core obsessed looky-loos, an exquisitely preserves cache of 73 of Mister Parker's pictures of Casa Encantada in all its James Dolena dignity and and T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings glory are available to view online courtesy of the Huntington Library on The University of California's Calisphere site.

The photos show grandly proportioned public rooms wrapped in exquisite boiserie and furnished with streamlined upholstered pieces and dozens of eccentric—even campy—tables, consoles and a even white grand piano perched atop carved sphinxes, griffins and dragons. The photos also show soaring ceilings with heavy duty wedding cake moldings, fluted columns galore and plaster pilasters by the dozen, numerous marble and carved stone fireplace mantels, elaborate pediments over interior doorways and barrel vaulted corridors.

As we discussed last week and is well documented in both Jeff Hyland's pricey 2008 coffee table book The Legendary Estates of Beverly Hills and Michael Gross's dishy 2011 non-fiction exposé Unreal Estate, gambling debts and bad investments forced The Widda Boldt to sell Casa Encantada in 1950 for the bargain basement price of $225,000 to hotelier Conrad Hilton who bought and kept most if not every bit of the spectacular Robsjohn-Gibbings furnishings.

Mister Hilton lived at Casa Encatada until he died in 1979 at which point the property passed to billionaire David Murdock who paid $12.4 million for the property and who retained much of the mansion's architectural detailing but sold off most of the custom Robsjohn-Gibbings pieces to make way for his own collection of 18th century English furniture. It was Mister Murdock who sold the property to Mister Winnick in the early Aughts for around $94 million in cash and property. Mister Winnick proceeded with a massive renovation, restoration and expansion of the property that, we've been told but can't confirm, honors and respects if not exactly cleaves to the original designs of both James Dolena and T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings.

*In addition to Casa Encantada, from the late 1930s through the 1960s Mister Parker snapped the Los Angeles homes of just about everybody who was anybody in Tinseltown including but far from limited to Claudette Colbert, Fred MacMurray, Ira Gershwin, Judy Garland, Mary Pickford, Fanny Brice, Edith Head, Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman, Tyrone Power, Alan Ladd, Jennifer Jones, Gregory Peck, Eartha Kitt, Loretta Young, Jerry Lewis, Vincent Price and on and on and on...

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

I went and found "Unreal Estate" at my library based its mention here last week. It would be great if you could do a post that lists books similar to Unreal.

Anonymous said...

Girlfriend, if you needed someone to direct you to those pictures then you're doing someethig wrong.
I think we've all known about those pictures sincere dawn of time, easily found when you simply google Hilda Boldt Weber.

JDM said...

I found aerials of the Daisy Canfield/Alphonso Bell mansion on Huntington or LAPL. Very cool to see.
You can tell it sat right above the Perenchio house, the land is still vacant.

Anonymous said...

JDM, can you post the link?

JDM said...

Surely
http://jpg3.lapl.org/pics42/00070850.jpg

Grace Period said...

Thanks Mama. tThere is also a highly anticipated book on T. R.-H. coming later this year.

https://www.acanthuspress.com/details/t.-h.-robsjohn-gibbings.-furniture-and-interiors

Anonymous said...

That was great fun, Mama! I've never seen these pics before.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you can zoom in and see everything in pornographic detail. Holy shit

Ratna Mondol said...
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Doug said...

I wonder how much Fred MacMurray charged Parker to photograph his house?

naveed qumer said...
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Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, you will have to get back to disabling access to Anonymous and Name/URL people – allow Google, LiveJournal, WordPress, TypePad, AIM and OpenID.

Anonymous said...

Is there an update on who bought the Adrienne Maloof house?

Anonymous said...

This crazy-named guy did apparently
http://virtualglobetrotting.com/map/paul-nassifs-house-former/


Anonymous said...

Adrienne Maloof needs to make a triumphant return to Beverly Park. The Barry Bonds house or the old Lawrence house or her and Matriarch Maloof could pool their cash and move into the Hazy House. Bitch is now renting a dark mock med across the street from her and Pauls first marital house. Time to upgrade, girl

Anonymous said...

Adrienne is renting in Mulholland Estates, a house somewhere half way from Judith Light's house to Paul Stanley's house, but not as the crow flies. Some ugly Mediterranean mansion.

Anonymous said...

I know. It's one of the Gores brothers houses. He also owns the lot across the street that his kids had their own playground on, which mama wrote about once. The most interesting thing is that Adrienne and Paul lived right across the street, next to the playground lot, before they moved to Beverly Park. And now she's right back where she started, but without any skin in the game.

Anonymous said...

But how is she doing financially? Can she really buy Villa Firenze (Udvar-Házy residence) when it is not on sale and considering the fact that István Udvar-Házy is probably the richest inhabitant of Beverly Park (after who comes Haim Saban, I guess)?

Where is Paul?

Anonymous said...

Thank you, 6:41 AM, I'm not sure I know how to pronounce that.

Anonymous said...

The pronunciation is cha-ching

Anonymous said...

Lol anon 907! Net worth isn't based on the amount of land one has in Beverly Park. There are other residents and houses besides the Sabans. Lol

Anonymous said...

LOL! No, I didn't even count the land in. But it's the equally faulty Forbes: Udvar-Házy about $3.3bn, Haim Saban $3.1bn.

Rosco Mare said...

Thanks Mama Dearest for the link to the day-care porn.

Rosco Mare said...

I meant DAY-CORE porn! Auto-correct strikes again!

Anonymous said...

Haha Rosco!! You're jeopardizing this blog for all of us! Lol

lil' gay boy said...

Fabulous photos; too bad the lighting wasn't quite right in some of them.

Very '30s Luxe -- there was more than one piece in each of them I'd sell my mama for.

As for Ms. Maloof, well -- Lisa's christening them the "Maloof Hoof" turned out to be quite providential; until last night I wasn't quite sure, but now I am:

"She's a silly cow..." -- Lisa Vanderpump.

Anonymous said...

Those pictures are wonderful but now I'm just wondering what color everything is! As for Adrienne, Ken said it best "that made your shoe" if Adrienne wants to continue to intimidate and plot dumb shit with her chef and lawyer, bitch MUST do so from a trophy house. Ain't nobody gonna take some plastic divorcee in a Sherman Oaks rental seriously. She's gotta get back over to the other side of Mulholland first

Anonymous said...

Adrienne is getting out of the show and so is another housewife and the two candidates to replace them are Dayna Devon and another Beverly Park housewife, Penny Lancaster (and another Brit!)!

Rehan Ahmed said...
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Anonymous said...

Someone needs to take his or her medium-format camera, connect a Leaf Credo digital back to it, charter a helicopter and shoot these properties from 1000 ft above.

Klaus Jensen said...
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