Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Producer Joe Roth Lists Eye Candy in Santa Monica

SELLER: Joe Roth
LOCATION: Santa Monica, CA
PRICE: $12,450,000
SIZE: 4,744 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Lo-werd have mercy, children, we've had to look at some serious real estate hot messes the last few days and weeks so even though we're a little late to this particular celebrity real estate rodeo, we need a hard core decorative palliative to speed us into these trying holiday times. The fine folks at Curbed LA covered today's morsel of architectural eye candy a week or two ago but we're going to have our own look-see at the stunning Santa Monica, CA domicile Tinseltown producer Joe Roth recently heaved on the market with a hefty asking price of $12,450,000.

Mister Roth may not be a household name outside of Hollywood, but he's wildly successful and we suspect that most households have viewed at least one of the many movies he's produced over the course of his career. In the early 1990s Mister Roth was the chairman of 20th Century Fox and in the late 1990s he was the chairman of the Walt Disney Studios. In 2000 he founded Revolution Studios through which he's produced a slew of movies with a-list actors that include Daddy Day Care (Eddie Murphy), Mona Lisa Smile (Julia Roberts), The Forgotten (Julianne Moore) and Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (Johnny Depp). He's currently at work on a couple of high-profile(ish) projects that include Ten with a bit too long in the tooth to be an action star Bruce Willis and Snow White and the Huntsman, which may or may not star Johnny Depp and/or Charlize Theron. In 2007 it was announced that Mister Roth–along with quirky billionaire Paul Allen–is the majority owner the Seattle Sounders, a professional soccer franchise, but of course we don't know nuthin' about that sports nonsense.

Mister Roth's devoon Art Déco dwelling, tucked up into a quiet cul-de-sac in the magnificent Rustic Canyon area of Santa Monica, was designed and completed in 1930 with the assistance of architect Douglas Honnold by legendary, influential and flamboyant film production designer Cedric Gibbons for his gorgeous superstar silent film actress wife Dolores Del Rio. Over a 35+ year period Mister Gibbons did up the art direction for dozens of iconic films that include cinematic treasures like The Wizard of Oz, Singin' in the Rain, An American in Paris, National Velvet, Quo Vadis, Little Women, The Picture of Dorian Grey, Annie Get Your Gun and on and on and on. Mister Gibbons is widely credited as the designer of the Oscar statuette, of which he won 11 and was nominated for 28 more over the course of his long long long career.

Property records show Mister Roth purchased the Mister Gibbons's old house in June of 2004 for $9,000,000. He hired insanely successful nice, gay decorator Michael Smith to do over the interiors of the sophisticated and sculptural residence. Michael Smith, the children will recall is the very same decorator hired by President and Missus Obama to work over the oval office into a dull fantasia of earth tones.

The Los Angeles County tax man shows the main house measures 4,744 square feet and current listing information indicates the house includes three bedrooms and 5 poopers plus a 4-room staff suite above the garage that, we presume, has at least one additional terliting and bathing facility for the domestic help. In addition to the main house and staff quarters, the property includes a poolside cabana and tennis court pavilion.

A too-slick stainless steel gate opens from the street into a slim front yard where an asymmetrical and inverted ziggurat design that gets repeated in various and many ways throughout the house marks the entrance to the unusually configured residence. The small foyer all leads to a large reception room on the main floor with gleaming ebony hardwood floors, fireplace with ziggurat detailing, built in banquette seating–original to the house–and a dramatic terrazzo and stainless steel staircase reminiscent of an Art Moderne ocean liner that ascends dramatically to the vast second floor living room.

In addition to the reception room, the lower floor includes a formal dining room with stepped ceiling and built in boo-fay, a very contemporary kitchen with huge butler's pantry, brushed stainless steel cabinetry and huge and marble counter tops, and an office with built in desk and banquette seating.

Mister Smith wisely divided the massive main living room on the second floor into several functional space that include seating areas with built in banquettes and bookshelves, a fireplace and stepped ceiling both with even more ziggurat detailing, and a cozy corner with cushy upholstered pieces perfect for tucking into to a long night of reality tee-vee programs that in Your Mama's house often includes the program Hoarders. Have y'all seen that show? It's like driving by a car accident. We know we shouldn't be looking for or at the crashed car carnage, but we can't help it we just look and look and look anyways as we glide by in the comfort of our big BMW.

The second floor master bedroom overlooks the swimming pool and soccer pitch sized lawn in the back yard and retains Miz Del Rio's original Lucite and mirrored dressing room where the light switches and floor to ceiling wall to wall mirrors are adorned with, natch, itty-bitty stars. According to a 2008 article in the glossy shelter rag Architectural Digest, Miz Del Rio allegedly slept in the upstairs bedroom while Mister Gibbons slept in the downstairs bedroom and would get back on forth via a ladder accessed through trapdoor in the ceiling of his closet that opened into the Miz Del Rio's closet/dressing room upstairs. Seems like a lot of damn effort just to get up in your wife's bed, but who are we to judge?

The gated and high-hedged house sits on a .65 acre lot three times as wide as the surrounding
parcels. Terraces, balconies and patios transition the glam interiors to the manicured but casual exterior spaces that include a vast swathe of lawn, a sunken, walled and lighted tennis court with viewing pavilion, a huge almost exactly square swimming pool and spa with adjacent pool house that houses the fitness and massage facilities.

Why Mister Roth would opt to sell his stunner of a house so soon after completing a renovation and where he might be going is a mystery to Your Mama but it better be someplace really damn special if it warrants leaving this house behind.


Housey said...

I love everything except the master suite, assuming that is what the only bed and bath shown are. They look a bit small.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

With the exception of the palm trees, I can picture Hercule Poirot walking into this home at any moment, twisting his little moustache around.

Anonymous said...

God forgive me, but I don't like it. Maybe I just don't feel well but I'm not seeing the big picture. Again, a dining table under the stairs, but at least the stairs aren't open.

I just watched the first season of Hoarders on Netflex. I feel awful that the mentally ill are being used as entertainment, and I watched it. I feel even worse that Season 2 isn't available yet.

Happy Thanksgiving Your Mana, to you and yours.

Home or the range said...

Hmmm...call me crazy...but it doesn't feel like a home. More like a boutique hotel in, say, Palm Springs.

What do I know. Your Mama is the expert.

Anonymous said...

That's a whole lotta moulah to live on Kingman. Although the lot size is bigger than others in the area, I think that any buyer who can afford that price will be wanting to live in another area - and with more land and more s/f.

I've always liked this house/ property very much; just never thought it would be priced at $12M.

Always enjoy the blog, Mama!

Anonymous said...

Why anyone would put a beautiful house like this in Santa Monica is beyond me.

lil' gay boy said...

Too much money for the end of that cul-de-sac –– and not even a full acre, although the tennis court takes up a sizable chunk of the lot, and an aerial photo shows it covered with a marquee for some sort of shindig.

But it is a successfully luxe blend of Deco, Moderne, and International Style, with just a soupçon of quirky style cues, like the ziggurat detailing, to keep this house a forever land-locked posh transatlantic fantasy. Whether or not posh is indeed an acronym for Port Out, Starboard Home is up to the linguists; but the timeless, over the top pre-Hollywood Regency ambiance would be neigh impossible to recreate today at any price (there are simply no more Dolores Del Rios to serve as muses).

Picture this: Posh+Paltrow+GOOP=one extremely hot mess.

Anonymous said...

1:04: Poirot could not possibly afford a house like this. A nice Art Deco apartment is the limit for him. Haven't you watched the series?

Anonymous said...

Oh Mama! This place makes me wanna celebrate Chanukah in Santa Monicah! xoxo Rabbi Hedda

Anonymous said...

i didn't mean that he would live there. but it looks like a property right out of the series. i've seen every episode and read every book!

Anonymous said...

agreed on santa monica. blagh. more than 30 minutes there and it's a nerve pill and a gin-hold-the-tonic for me. to each his own though.

I seem to remember this home being featured in the american home book some 5 years ago or so and it seemed to have a goooooorgeous ed ruscha in the living room.

humanseed said...

I like it, but it's $9-10 million more than any of the other houses around it. If that's not optimistic, I don't know what is.

Anonymous said...

I doubt if they were using the ladder to get to each other's beds as (allegedly) they were both gay.

Anonymous said...

Nice home but not my style...I like classical architecture.

This place, even as beautiful as it appears is overpriced.

Anonymous said...

Wow! What a stunning place! I'm gonna talk to my relative, who works at the LA Conservancy and see what more she can tell me about this place. Would love to see it sometime. She just took my mom to a party at the Ennis house on Monday, which she said was FAB!!! Love seeing all of these wonderful, older homes!