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Santa Schlepped Here : Beverly Hills House: The Price Is Right

December 21, 1986|RUTH RYON | Times Staff Writer

Beverly Hills, where homes are listed for up to $25 million, has a two-story house for sale at a minimum bid of $60,000.

And it was owned by the Original Santa Claus of Finland, who left it in Southern California when he vacationed here earlier this month.

The Original Santa Claus is the name of Finland's good-will ambassador, who lives in Santa Claus Village in the town of Rovaniemi, capital of the Finish Lapland. He came to California at the invitation of the Santa Claus Foundation of Beverly Hills.

The nonprofit foundation was formed this year to give disadvantaged Southern California children an unusual holiday experience. This year, the foundation sent 50 children from five youth agencies (Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times, The Salvation Army, Chinatown Service Center, Los Angeles and Hollywood YMCAs and the Orange County Indian Center) to Finland with the Original Santa Claus for a seven-day excursion.

Santa's house is being sold to benefit the foundation, which was initiated by the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce and has 21 governmental and corporate sponsors and a number of honorary founding members who are celebrities.

Among them: Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager, Lloyd Bridges, Michael Caine, Greer Garson, Monty Hall, Karen Grassle, Charlton Heston, Marty Ingels, Shirley Jones (Ingels), Bernie Koppel, Fred MacMurray, June Haver, Roger Moore, Jaclyn Smith, James Stewart, Dennis Weaver and Cornel Wilde.

Designed and built by Finish artisans, the two-story, 14x10-foot log cabin was made of silver pine from northern Finland. A 45-foot-long winding staircase leads to the entry of the cabin, which is currently in the Garden Patio of J. W. Robinson's at 9900 Wilshire Blvd.

The eventual sale price includes relocation and setup. The purchase also comes with a tax write-off. The Karl B. Schurz Co. at 9439 Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, has the listing.

"It's really a house on stilts," Schurz said, "and it's as cute as can be. It would be a wonderful real estate office up at Mammoth by a ski lift."

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