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Settling down in the hills

The Georgian-style home built for Harry Chandler sits on about an acre in Los Feliz.

September 07, 2008|Diane Wedner | Times Staff Writer

Harry Chandler, a major 20th century mover and shaker, newspaper publisher and Los Angeles real estate mogul, was instrumental in the development of the San Fernando Valley and Hollywood. He also helped launch a number of L.A. landmarks, such as the Ambassador Hotel and the California Institute of Technology.

When it came to building his own home, the Los Angeles Times publisher -- from 1917 until his death in 1944 -- chose five acres in the Los Feliz area, the hilly terrain at the southern end of Griffith Park. Among the first notables to settle in the architecturally significant neighborhood (director Cecil B. DeMille bought a home there in 1914), Chandler chose a lot with unobstructed views of the parkland and burgeoning metropolis. Construction of his estate, which began in 1914, was completed in 1916. Chandler's wife, Marian, lived there until her death in the 1950s.

The 24-room Georgian-style manor, noted for its grand-scale architecture, red-brick construction, high-pitched slate roof and massive brick chimneys, features a two-story entry hall as large as the lobby of an opera house or theater. One wing of the house was designated for guests and staff, the other for family members. The gated estate has views of Santa Catalina Island, Century City, Glendale, Griffith Park (including the observatory) and downtown L.A.


To submit a candidate for Home of the Week, send high-resolution color photos with caption and credit information on a CD and a detailed description of the house to Diane Wedner, Real Estate, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A., CA 90012. Questions may be sent to



Georgian manor

Location: Los Feliz area of Los Angeles

Asking price: $6,799,000

Previously sold: May 1989 for an undisclosed amount

Size: This house has eight bedrooms and four bathrooms in 8,891 square feet. The lot is about one acre.

About this house: Although this home underwent a significant structural remodel in the 1980s, the beamed ceilings, wood paneling and ornately carved fireplaces were maintained, as well as all of the original rooms. Gholam H. Mahour, the current owner who bought the home in 1989 with his wife, Barbara, said that most of the work involved bringing the home up to code by reinforcing the brick construction with steel beams. The electrical wiring and plumbing also were updated; the kitchen now has professional appliances and additional lighting. The Mahours also remodeled the pool and re-landscaped. A 900-square-foot, one-bedroom guesthouse with a kitchen and full bath occupies the upper level of the detached four-car garage.

Additional features: The house has a living room, dining room, library, solarium, butler's pantry, laundry room, built-in bookshelves, small-paned windows and oak paneling.

Around the neighborhood: Seventy-seven single-family homes have sold in the 90027 ZIP Code through July this year, according to MDA DataQuick. The median price was $1,059,750. In 2007, the median price was $1.15 million. Currently, four homes are listed for sale within about a one-mile radius of the Chandler estate. The least-expensive, at $4.2 million, is a four-bedroom, 5 1/4 -bath home in 7,065 square feet. The most expensive, at $23.95 million, is a six-bedroom, 10-bath home in 11,000 square feet.

Listing agent: Dorothy Carter and Michael Orland, Keller Williams Realty, (323) 300-1025;



Contemporary Craftsman

Location: Altadena

Size: Four bedrooms and four bathrooms in 5,154 square feet, plus an 840-square-foot guesthouse. The property is 35,189 square feet.

Published on: July 6, 2008

Listed then for: $2.65 million

Sold for: $2.3 million on Sept. 1

John Lautner's Schaffer Residence

Location: Glendale

Size: Two bedrooms and two bathrooms in 1,698 square feet. The property is 11,230 square feet.

Published on: May 4, 2008

Listed then for: $1,958,000

Relisted on Aug. 5 for: $1,775,000

-- Diane Wedner

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