Hollywood legend has it that swashbuckling actor Errol Flynn rested his head on many a bed during his heyday. The place he called home for a while in the mid-1930s was an earlier version of this Manhattan Beach estate, according to local lore. Studios such as Warner Bros. and MGM sometimes provided temporary housing for their stars, and this one, built in 1934 and a sword's throw from the beach, supposedly was used by actor Ronald Coleman as well.
Current owner Kevin Shields, working with local architect Michael Lee, spent three years extensively remodeling the three-level home, maintaining the original Art Deco flavor while integrating a modern sensibility. Flynn might have liked hosting parties on the third-story entertainment center (the house originally had only two levels), a deck with a barbecue area, Jacuzzi, outdoor fireplace and radiant heat.
"My goal was to protect the integrity of a classic piece of beach architecture," Shields said. "I took all the good work that had been done to the house and gave it a modern flair."
About this house: Shields kept the original exterior Art Deco elements and the garage. With a nod to the period, glass and stainless steel are prominently featured in the design.
The previous owners, who bought the house in 1986, built a master bedroom over the garage and connected it to the rest of the house with an enclosed bridge. Shields ditched the bridge and connected the two sections with a staircase and a breezeway.
The 22-foot ceilings in the first-floor living room allow for maximum light. The kitchen, also at street level, features quarter-sawn maple cupboards, the same material used for the kitchen floors. The second level has two bedrooms and a playroom, plus views of Santa Catalina Island and the coastline, all the way to Malibu. The third floor, which houses the master suite, has equally stunning views from the bedroom and the outdoor deck.
Asking price: $6.5 million
Size: The house has four bedrooms and four bathrooms in 4,200 square feet. The lot is 2,700 square feet.
Features: The kitchen has a Thermador range, Sub-Zero refrigerator and Bosch dishwasher; the bar also has a refrigerator. The house comes with a breakfast nook; a billiard room; an 800-bottle wine-storage room; travertine marble and maple floors; an office; three fireplaces -- the one in the living room has an original leaded-glass window mounted above it (that window theme is repeated throughout the house); and a two-car garage.
Where: Manhattan Beach
Listing agent: Gerard Bisignano, South Bay Brokers, (310) 990-4727.
Send high-resolution color photos with caption and credit information on a CD and a description of the house to Diane Wedner, Real Estate Section, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A., CA 90012. Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.