Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Your Mama Hears...

...from Amanda D. Desert that juicy word on the Coachella Valley real estate street is that A-list Tinseltown hot shot Leo DiCaprio just might be the new owner of the old Dinah Shore estate in Palm Springs (CA) that sold this week according to various online resources for a $5,230,000.

The 1.34 acre estate, in the heart of the fabled and celebrity-pedigreed Old Las Palmas 'hood, was custom designed as a series of glass-walled pavilions and built in the mid-1960s for the late and legendary singer/actress Dinah Shore by prominent mid-century modern architect Donald Wexler, now in his late 80s, who in his professional heyday plied his trade predominantly in and around the Palm Springs area.

Your Mama discussed Miz Shore's former desert digs at some length back in May 2009 when five-time Emmy-winning television writer/producer David Lee (The Jeffersons, Cheers, Wings, Frasier) had the glassy, low-slung mid-century modern compound on the open market with an asking price of $5,995,000.

The estate didn't sell until April 2011 when it was acquired for $4.9 million by Ben and Jude Lipps, an obviously rich but not exactly famous couple from Orange County. The Orange County couple, in turn, listed the compound-like estate in mid-January (2014) for $5,495,000 and this time around—lucky for the Lipps—it took just two weeks instead of nearly two years before it was quickly put into escrow and sold this week to a buyer who, according to My Desert required all parties sign confidentiality agreements. That certainly sounds like something an A-list Showbizzer like, say, Mister DiCaprio would do, right?

Anyways, the estate includes a 7,022 square foot multi-winged main house, a self-contained studio-style pool/guest house, and a third, glass walled pavilion next to the tennis court. Listing details show there are six bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms, a count that may or may not include any sleeping and/or toileting facilities in the guest house and tennis pavilion.

The groomed grounds include two discreet motor courts, an almost enclosed entrance courtyard with water feature, extensive terraces and courtyards, vast swathes of well-watered lawns, a swimming pool and spa set well away but in view of the main house, and the aforementioned (mostly glass) guest/pool house and the (mostly) glass pavilion that's adjacent to a hedge-ringed tennis court.

Although the entire property has been updated and upgraded to modern standards with all new kitchens and bathrooms the three structures retain much of the architect's original features. We look forward to a rousing debate amongst all the mid-century modern aficionados (and otherwise opinionated children) about the merits of the various improvements and upgrades made to Mixer Wexler's original architectural vision.

In the last few months the five time Academy Award nominee—he's up for an Oscar this year for The Wolf of Wall Street, who owns a pair of neighboring houses near the apex of the celeb-saturated Bird Streets neighborhood above L.A.'s the Sunset Strip, has been on a bit of a real estate buying and selling spree so maybe it's not so unusual he might have opted to acquire a pricey pad in the desert. He sold an ocean front compound in Malibu late last year for $17.35 million—he still owns another ocean front house on Carbon Beach below the estate David and Yolanda Foster have on the market for $27.5 million, has reportedly agreed to shell out an as yet unknown amount for a pied a terre in a newly developed boutique building in New York City's Greenwich Village, and was rumored last August—by yours truly, of course—to have made an offer in the $30 million range for Rupert Murdoch's house in Beverly Hills. None the less, for now, his (alleged) purchase of the historic Dinah Shore estate in Palm Springs ain't nuthin' but some delectable celebrity real estate rumor and gossip and the real buyer could very well just be some Richie Rich who prefers to keep his and/or her name under wraps.

listing photos: Surterre Properties

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

The front reminds me of my elementary school, but the rear facade, lawns, and interior are lovely. The fact that the great Dinah Shore lived in those rooms makes me swoon a little.

Anonymous said...

i'm sorry but the lawn is awful!!

Anonymous said...

I really do not understand why PS sells so inexpensively. This is a steal at 5M and some change.

Anonymous said...

If the Leo rumor is true, perhaps the prices in Palm Springs will start to soar again. Nothing like the seal of approval from an A-list actor or two.

lil' gay boy said...

Oooo, I love me some good MCM...

;-)

I admit the extraordinary degree of geometric precision of the façade and landscaping comes across as a tad undomestic, but in the context of the neighborhood, the siting on the lot & the juxtaposition with the surrounding houses, such rigor makes it the jewel in the crown.

The lines of the interiors constantly lead the eye to the outdoors, a hallmark, IMHO, of good MCM design. I'd switch out a color here & there, but overall I'd call it move-in condition.

One can clearly see here that the height of the roof planes, soaring over the glass walls to the outside, are illustrative of a phenomenon some architectural historians have referred to as "genetic memory" -- evocative of the visceral sense of shelter one might feel when standing in a cave, looking out at the bright world.

Lust.

Carla Ridge said...

I don't mind the lawn in the least, but i'll tell you what i DO think is awful -- that Ofuro tub. It looks like a drinking fountain...from the '90s.

The rest of the assemblage is, frankly, fabulous -- but it's an odd one for an A-lister these days, privacy-wise; anyone with a ladder can see over the walls. Hardly pap-proof.

Chuck.Raney Raney said...

I like that it has the modern/contemporary look in construction BUT has lots of COLOR. not needing large wall art to add color to an all white scheme.
I like it.
I don't understand the attraction of having a Palm Springs Place in the Desert AND a Malibu Beach House AND a home in foothills of LA, aka Pacific Palasades, Brentwood, BH, BHPO, etc.
am I missing something about Palm Springs ?

Anonymous said...

Chuck:
Gin and tonics taste better in Palm Springs. It's a scientific fact.

Newshen said...

Place looks like a high-end rehab facility.

Rosco Mare said...

Chuck-

Anon 3:19 is correct, especially when the house and pool are in the early evening shadow of majestic Mount San Jacinto like this one is...and the always well-stocked Las Palmas Liquor Store is nearby.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a medical dental office building. Cold and uninviting. Tear down, right?

Sandpiper said...

Just put on some Frank. I'm in mid-century love. I get a kick out'a [this place].. Has a little Quincy Jones vibe / sensibility going on too. So meticulously planned and executed. The hardscapes are incredible. Fit and finish to perfection everywhere.

I'm not one to crowbar first, think later but in the right hands, might bandy about a few modest course corrections. In Mama's last vignette, the room with blue cabinets and little door walls, and vestibule wall come to mind. Those two spaces could be so much more. Please know I'm not criticizing.

Sandpiper said...


This site link was within Mama's May, 2009 comments. More pics.

http://www.dinahshorewexler.com/

The Swan said...

At 1st sight this morning...I was so transported to SUNNYLANDS...that for a moment, I thought this was a Quincy Jones for sure! Love the Yves Klein Blue tiled bathroom, the grounds and all that's missing is a Trio of Ruth Asawa hanging sculptures, a few key Billy Haines furnishings, a smatter of Lazlo, a collection of paintings by Klein, Magritte, Ernst, De Chirico...of course a couple of Picasso's. LOVE this glamorous and historic dwelling befitting our new King of Hollywood. Gable had a wonderful place there in the Olden Golden days.

Anonymous said...

great house nice grounds if it was mine i would buy that little house next door also and expand the grounds,renovate all that and perfect.

LA Ad Guy said...

So virtualglobetrotting shows Dinahs house as the huge corner lot across the street with red tile roof (and I know they often wrong) so took me a minute to find this one across the street and I seriously doubt this is for Leo, its a middle-block lot and open drive way (I know he can put up a gate/wall) but this really is a smallish house with very little privacy and there are so many more in the hills with privacy and views like in the Southridge hood where Bob Hope's place is at the top but there are some other significant properties in that hood for sale, this just seems odd even if the house is FAB!

Anonymous said...

smallish house? it's 7000 sf!

I have an off-topic question...Google maps doesn't seem to have a 45-degree angle viewing option anymore. Or do I just not understand how to access it. help!

bentley said...

Excuse me, Leo, but may I buy it instead, please? Thanks so much.

MCM is never my go-to (nor is bloody Palm Springs for that matter) but this fucking place is ahhhh-mazing.

Woo, I'm all a-twitter over here.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:53

Zoom in on google maps until the compass lettering (N, S, E, W) shows up and then move the dial clockwise (or counter).

Anonymous said...

ChuckRaneyRaney, you don't live in Southern California, do you?

One of the many wonderful things about it is that you can do ocean, mountains, or desert, all just a couple of hours apart. And all of them are great for different reasons.

Anonymous said...

I also suspect that Mr. DiCaprio made a rather generous anonymous $6.5 million donation this week to the UCLA Lab School, of which he is an alumnus. Via the twitters.

Chuck.Raney Raney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chuck.Raney Raney said...

@ Anon 1:34
Correct. I am a Texas guy. I am only passingly familiar with the "LA" Environment. Now that Texas-born Hilary is single-ish I might be moving out there soon. Since, you know, she stalks me.
I have visited the LA area a couple times and done the Barstow to Vegas Motorcycle ride where I rescued a Greek Rider (of Greece Proper) that was broken down and spoke verty verty little-ish Egrish.His name of course was Demitri.
He gave me his BMW GPS ! too generous in my opinion but he was determined to do it as I pretty much saved his life.
I will take some Gin and Tonic and stop on the way in so I can experience the delights of Palm Springs, the desert seductress.

Anonymous said...

This house will need a major wall in front to protect privacy. I think he could have found something better then this in PS.

doug-g said...

If everyone were being honest, they'd admit that it looks like someone in about 1965 somehow managed to drive a Shell gas station through a Howard Johnson's motel.

MarkyMark said...

I'm picturing Burt Reynolds swimming naked in the pool, circa 1971...

Petra's said...

The whole thing is very "Palm Springs". Y'all can take that any way you'd like.

Personally, were I Leo, I'd have spent a few more million and have picked up the Elrod House. But that's me.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you back Petra. Did Suzanne Sommers PS place sell?? Anyone? I love her, but it was vastly over priced and I just imagine all the "critters" that you would coexist with living there. Hey, was that the house the RHWOBH stayed at (rented) when they went to PS? Anyone?

Rosco Mare said...

This house is not one of my favorites in PS. I share another's opinion that it resembles an elementary school. (It resembles mine.) I remember being disappointed when I learned it was built by Dinah Shore. I do, though, like the interiors.

One of my favorites out there is the Edris house, and I wish that Lew Wasserman's Hal Levitt-designed house nearby had not been demolished.