Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dan Castellaneta Double Whammy I

SELLER: Dan Castellaneta and Deb Lacusta
LOCATION: Pacific Palisades, CA
PRICE: $5,750,000
SIZE: 4,415 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Comedian and voice over king Dan Castelleneta–otherwise known as the Emmy-winning voice of Homer Simpson, Krusty the Clown, Mayor Quimby et al on The Simpsons–must miss him some modern architecture, hunties.

Back in September 2007 Your Mama discussed the quite contemporary residence of Mister Castellaneta and his sometimes writer wife Deb Lacusta, who also plies her trade for The Simpsons program. At that time, the comedy tee-vee royals had their 3,891 square foot abode in Santa Monica, CA on the market with an asking price of $3,295,000; The five bedroom and 5 bathroom house sold slightly over asking in early 2008 for $3,305,000.

We did not at the time of our first discussion of Mister Castellaneta's real estate doings have any knowledge about where he and the Missus planned to decamp. As it turns out, according to The Bizzy Boys at Celebrity Address Aerial, the laugh riots relocated to a somewhat larger but far more traditional mock Tudor on a high-hedge-lined street in the ritzy Riviera neighborhood at the eastern edge of the posh Pacific Palisades community in Los Angeles. Records we peeped at for the property show it was purchased in late December 2006 for $5,750,000.

Last week the Castellaneta-Lacustas pushed their gated mock Tudor on the open market with an asking price of $5,750,000. Someone, it seems, has learned a valuable real estate lesson in regards to current price thresholds in the middle of the high-end market in Los Angeles.

Anyhoo, the Castellaneta-Lacustas no longer want or need their residence in the Riviera 'hood because according to The Bizzy Boys, they've already acquired their next home, a far more modern dwelling, also in the Riviera, just a couple of blocks away. More on the new house later.

Listing information for the mock Tudor Mister Castellaneta and Miz Lacusta currently have on the market show it was built in 1928. The architecturally historically-minded house was designed by respected and beloved but too little lauded California traditionalist Gerard Colcord who designed a number of delicious homes in southern California for a number of high-profile people including Alan Ladd, Norton Simon and Henry Fonda. For better or worse, Mister Colcord is perhaps best known as the architect responsible for the original iteration of the somber but grand Bel Air mansion once owned by financially embattled actor Nic Cage and Las Vegas-y crooners Tom Jones and Dean Martin. Colcord cribs remain popular among showbiz types like Harrison Ford who has long owned a Colcord-designed residence in Brentwood just below The Getty museum complex.

Although Mister Colcord's traditionalist concoctions may have been mostly commissioned by and for the well to do they maintained a mostly relaxed, unpretentious and family-friendly aspect even as they flipped the bird at a local architectural vernacular that then and now skews more towards ranchy-hacienda than a English country house. The Castellaneta-Lacusta's comfortably large but far from over-sized Colcord measures 4,415 square feet–downright tiny by the current steroidal standards of today's mcmansions–and contains 4 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms.

A wide flat lawn provides a park-like buffer between the public street and the fully restored and updated private residence. The staircase in the impressive but somehow still intimately-scaled entrance hall winds around to a vaulted and sky-lit landing with a wall of built-in bookshelves filled with books...real damn books.

We don't know Mister Castellaneta nor Miz Lacusta but we love that they remain loyal to books. We're all for new-fangled technology, people; Read on your computers and Kindles all you want. It is, without question, the future of literacy. Call us old-fashioned–and we've been called way worse–but as far as Your Mama is concerned a home without books looks and feels sterile, shallow and–yes, puppies–sad. Books are magnificent windows into the psyches and interests of a home's inhabitants. A bookshelf lined with science fiction novels and self-help manuals reveals something very different about a residence's resident than does a bookshelf full of historical biographies, cookbooks and Richard Russo novels.

With that in mind Your Mama's Decorating Rule Number 11 states that all well- and properly-dressed and dwellings must feature at least a small collection of books the owner has actually read. Formal libraries curated by a paid professional and full of first editions that the homeowner never has nor never will crack are only barely acceptable under Rule Number 11.

Anyhoodles poodles, let's push on, shall we? Pointed arch doorways lead from the entrance hall into the sunken formal living room on the right and the shiny formal dining room on the left that glistens and glimmers with a chrome and glass dining table, an antique crystal chandelier, reflective silver ceiling treatment and a wide credenza with shimmery Mother of Pearl panels.

Those like Your Mama who still read books–actual books not e-books–will appreciate the cozy windowed reading niche next to the fireplace in the living room and the intimate reading room/den with built in banquette, beamed ceiling and fireplace.

The well-equipped and newly-fitted but tight-squeezy-looking all black-and-white kitchen doesn't do a damn thing for Your Mama but we are rather smitten with the adjacent breakfast room where an oval marble-topped Eero Saarinen Tulip Dining Table and a pair of Tulip Chairs make a tingly and taut decorative counter point to the very trad many-paned bay window and original built-in corner cabinetry.

A nearby family room, painted a deep and not entirely pleasant shade of cornflower, has more bookshelves filled with books and opens to the wide stone terrace that runs along the back of the house. A studio/media room with separate entrance has a soaring loft-like ceiling, dark hardwood floors and a full bathroom. The children will note there are even more books in the studio/media room.

Entertainment spaces in the terraced backyard include stone patios and wood decks, a curtained gazebo-lounge and a couple of generous expanses of green green grass. The yard slopes gently down the back of the property and towards a heated saltwater swimming pool with electronic cover.

listing photos: Sotheby's International Realty / Pacific Palisades


Anonymous said...

Yes, ma'am, hunty! You laid this one like poetry!

Shopgirl said...

That is not the kind of kitchen one would expect in a $6 million dollar home.

Anonymous said...

Kitchens and bathrooms sell homes. No pic of the baths, but that kitchen screams an upgrade or reno. Which translate to a drop in price if the future owner is smart.

Anonymous said...

re: the books comments, bravo and spot on.

It's a nice house - refreshingly normal, too, given its location.

The Devoted Classicist said...

It really has the essence of a charming home. The kitchen and decor in general could take a little tweaking, but it would be an easy task to have fabulous results.

m said...

Old house: very nice.

New house: ugh. Downgrade IMO.

lil' gay boy said...

Nice for the 'hood ––– if you like that uptight sort; reminds me of a recently-heard joke, "...a sphincter so tight when you fart only dogs can hear it."

But there is a plethora of Cliff May jewels nearby, including the late Bea Arthur's compound north of here.

The listings photos do show a decidedly eclectic decor, from the glass & chrome dining suite to the diamond-paned windows ––– the home of someone with very distinctive tastes (i.e. folks who read, sometimes for hours at a time) ––– me likee.

Given its provenance & shrewd pricing, I believe our Mama has once again hit the real estate nail hard on the head...

...all puns intended (it is Castellaneta, after all).

Macey, I agree...(see above).

StPaulSnowman said...

Someone who owned this place obviously got a really big Ikea gift card at some point.

mid TN said...

Agree with Macey.....and I love the tight, but quaint looking kitchen in the old house.

Why do so many think they need a kitchen large enough to supply the patrons of a cafeteria?