Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Little Afternoon Architectural Deliciousness

SELLER: Not A Celebrity
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $11,995,000
SIZE: 13,250 square feet, 7 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Listen chickens, Your Mama feels like veering a little off track this afternoon. Instead of our customary celebrity real estate fare we're gonna have a wee look-see at Artemesia, a wet-your-pants-with-awe Craftsman-style architectural tour de force privately positioned on 1.79 acres in the hills above Hollywood and newly listed with an asking price of $11,995,000.

Listing information shows the hulking but achingly elegant and intricately articulated main house—the largest Craftsman-style house in the U.S., built in 1913 and painstakingly restored and upgraded over the last 25 years by its businessman owner—measures in at 13,250 square feet with 7 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms.

A long, gated drive passes though a porte-cochere, wraps around the front of the house and continues up the hillside to a detached and deliciously stodgy red brick structure with a garage on the lower level and additional living space above for guests or live-in domestic staff.

Numerous terraces and deep, shaded porches surround the house and give way to thickly wooded hillside grounds laced with pathways and dotted with water falls and ponds.

Rather than prattle on endlessly as we're want to do most of the time, we're just gonna leave y'all to gasp, drool and weep with real estate envy. We suggest you take special note of the ceiling treatments in the formal living and dining rooms; the built-in pipe organ in the living room; the 6 enormous Batchelder tile fireplaces; the roller rink-sized ballroom on the lowest level with full bar and the stoutest of stout columns; the intricate, artisanal carpentry throughout; the barrel-vaulted, green-tiled bathroom with step-down shower; and the kill-me-now-we're-in-heaven sleeping porch with Murphy bed.

P.S. Lots more photos to pore over here and here. The swooniest of the listing snaps can be perused here.

listing photos: Michael McNamara (Shooting LA) for  Keller Williams Beverly Hills


Anonymous said...

Very interesting property - the interior is way to fussy for a craftsman tho.

WrteStufLA said...

Just a couple of weeks ago, Curbed had a posting about the apartment located above the garage being available for rent. Wild that a home listed for almost $12-mill would have an apartment that could be rented for under $2,000:


Candy Spelling said...

Mama, isn't this advertising exec Leonard Fenton's house? He's been well-known in LA for this restoration and for being exceedingly difficult to work with, but I digress.

As for the architecture - well, to each their own. Craftsman is probably my least favorite style, so personally I find this place hideous. The interior reminds me more of an ugly museum than a home.

But many thanks for the porn, Mama! Keep it coming! xo

Anonymous said...

Gosh, what house, Mama, and what a find for you to share with us. Sleeping porch? Unbelieveable. I really love the house and the grounds. It won't be on the market long. It's just a beautiful place.

Rugby E. Root said...

I'd always been taught that Green & Greene's divine Gamble house was the largest Arts & Crafts house in the country. According to their website, it's 8200 sq ft.

I think everyone's already hit on the problem with this house: while the exterior is a masterpiece of Arts & Crafts design, the interior is a series of dark and oppressive period revival rooms, mostly in the Elizabethan Revival style, which has to be the nadir of early 20th century historicist styles.

Though the current owner has made a noble go at it, there's not much you can do with all that dark paneling and those ceilings, which are not only decorated like a wedding cake at a New Jersey nuptial, but also way too close to the floor.

It's a shame the architect wasn't allowed to continue the Arts & Crafts style throughout the house, as the areas where he had free reign -the ballroom and bathrooms, for example- are stunning. It's another turn-of-the 20th century house where the service spaces are cooler than the main living spaces.

ExcitingLA said...

We blogged this property today too. Wish I would've thought to check the photographer's website for more pictures though. I just used the MLS photos, and they left something to be desired. Hardly any parts of the property were displayed in the MLS pics.

Also, Michael McNamara is an EXCELLENT photog. He's so nice too! We just used him for an aerial shot of one of our upcoming listings!

Anonymous said...

where the heck is the pool?

Anonymous said...

beautiful on the outside and the entry hall. the ceilings in the formal rooms are awful and not 'craftsman and makesme wonder if they didn't want to fix cracks in what was probably a plaster lathe type of ceiling originally

Kirk said...

I would have to agreed with Candy (girl), the craftsmen style is my least favorite architecture. It is so fussy and reclaimed looking. Not A Fan.

Anonymous said...

Mama, I beyond love this house. After reading the comments, I perused the photos here and on the rock star listing web site and I didn't see any dark rooms. Is this part of the estate that Brad Pitt is trying to restore? He has purchased a ton of properties in this area trying to piece back together a 6 acre estate. This home is right up his alley. I hope he buys it, this home deserves such a competent steward. I wish I could tour this home it's amazeballs!

TakeChargeDad said...

This house is just above the Brad Pitt compound in Los Feliz. With 7 bedrooms he might just add it to his real estate portfolio. And may be priced this high hoping he'll want it.

Anonymous said...

Mama, first, the "no celebrity connection". Be real, the house is in LA and it's on the market. There is no way in Hell that Justin Beiber and at least one Kardashian hasn't looked at it.

Now, the house. Delightful to look at in a "delightful to look at" way. I applaud the owner for all his work and dedication. Sadly, the only person who would look at home here is an 80y/o spinster living with at least one elderly collie and a full-time nurse. I see about a '47 (real)wood(y) wagon in the drive waiting for a trip that never comes.

Can you imagine picking up a sassy, long-legged blonde (no, not her, some other sassy, long-legged blonde) at a Sunset Strip bar and bringing them home to this place. This home, lovely as it is in its way, won't put anyone in the mood, it would put them to sleep... even the porches are for sleepin' and not sparkin'

Beautiful museum that's nice to look at but, not for me.

Anonymous said...

The exterior is craftsman.... the interior not at all. I hear you all screach and howl when someone builds a house today ***cough Hadid cough new house cough*** when the interior doesn't match the exterior of a home... but you swoon over and old one that is just that.

Anon 6:33 clearly knows nothing about actual architecture because the craftsman style is actually pretty simplistic and clean lined... not fussy really at all.

This house could be such a cool place if the interiors had some major work to make them how they should be to fit the house.

That said... Los Feliz... $12m? DREAM ON!!!!!

Rosco Mare said...

Thanks for the RE porn, Mama Dearest. I appreciate craftsman, but it's really not my bag - interiors are usually too dark for me.

I agree with others: the structure and grounds are amazing, but the day-core requires re-working. A lot of the furniture should be replaced with a style more in harmony with the strong architecture.

Rugby E. Root said...

@ Anon 6:33 PM: you're incorrect about the ceilings. I'd bet money they are original. One of two things happened when this house was built: either the architect or the owner was afraid that Arts & Crafts wasn't "formal" enough for a residence on this scale, and they went with traditional historicist style(s) for the interior or else the interiors were not done by the firm who did the exteriors. I've seen instances of both happening in houses of this period.

@Rosco: the proper furniture to go with those interiors would be a low of heavy, dark wood pieces with swollen ankles and red velvet upholstery, which would make the interiors even more depressing, in my opinion. Check out some Elizabethan Revival interiors from the 1910s and 1920s to see just how cave-like the interiors would have been originally.

Has anyone figure out who the architect(s) of this pile were, yet?

Daniel said...

Sickening. It's not quite giving me the landscaping I need but the murphy bed makes up for a lot of that.

Anonymous said...

If the tax facts listed on the MLS sheet are correct, it's no wonder California is in financial trouble:

Property Tax

Taxable Value
Land $372,579
Additions $475,640
Total $848,219
Tax (2011) $11,213

l'il gay boy said...

Appears to be a typical instance of a period piece of architecture owned by the architecturally deaf; with no idea of how to decorate/remodel, someone got lost.

That may be what it looks like, but some of the craftsmanship looks to be original, indicating the architect had a psychotic break at some point...

...which makes it a lovely canvas to put an informed mark on. Great bones, fabulous grounds, but to much money.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that step down shower is straight up CREEPY!!!!

Anonymous said...

I am astonished at all of the bad taste and how forward people are with sharing their assessments.

Personally, I find this place amazing. There are only so many mid-century moderns one can look at and say, "Oh my God." Even if it isn't one's style, how can it not be seen as incredibly beautiful, elegant, historic, and unique?

My favorite part? The "creepy" green shower and the sleeping portch. Oh, and the old school telephone. I guess it's different strokes for different folks.

Shawn said...

Its a nice place! Very relaxing and fussy, interior designer on this house really did a great job.

Anonymous said...

In response to one reply, I've actually worked with Lenny and he's one of the nicest guys I've met in L.A. No bullshit. A shame so many people in this town have nothing better to do with their lives than talk shit about people they don't even know. I guess that's what happens when you're not doing anything with your career. And to the poo-pooer of the price because it's in Los Feliz . . . I'd pay millions extra on anything to live around decent people rather than the shithead snobs of west L.A.

Ragemanchoo said...

I JUST saw this house on Discovery Channel's "Epic Homes". Its amazing. The vast majority of the home's interior is original.