CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 14, 2013 |
Blake House, the Northern California mansion that is intended to be the official residence of the University of California system president, may be coming back to life. Because of its rundown condition, UC executives in 2008 stopped living in the Mediterranean-style mansion in the unincorporated Contra Costa County neighborhood of Kensington. With a financial crisis for the university at the time, nothing much was done to fix up the 13,200-square-foot house, which is surrounded by 10 acres of gardens.
August 24, 2013 |
To attend the preview party for the $28.2-million Hollywood Hills compound flipped by actor-turned-developer Brad Blumenthal and his business partner Leo Hauser this summer you needed that valuable Tinseltown commodity: an invitation. Think movie previews and red-carpet events. Nothing draws interest quite like exclusivity in this town. Here's my insider experience: Turning onto a side street off Sunset Strip I left my car with the valet service and was greeted by about a half-dozen young men in suits with matching iPads bearing the name “The Agency.” One of these real estate agents, whose company is marketing the estate for sale, checked me off the guest list, and I moved to the driveway where a trio of Lamborghinis from a local dealer caught the eyes of passersby.
August 19, 2013 |
Actors Jeremy Renner and Kristoffer Winters have sold their latest house remodel in Holmby Hills for $24 million. The buyer of the Roaring '20s Art Deco-style mansion, which was listed at $24.95 million, is British luxury property developer Nick Candy. The Reserve, which has a wine cellar, a theater, five fireplaces, six bedrooms, 11 bathrooms and 10,005 square feet of living space, was sold furnished and toothbrush ready. Among items included were a stocked bar and linens. The two-acre property features gates, a cobblestone driveway and a swimming pool with spa. Renner and Winters have been buying and redoing residential properties for more than a decade.
August 16, 2013
Bringing to mind a country estate in Europe, the Tuscan-style Mendenhall Estate sits on acres of landscaped grounds in a gated community. The graceful mansion's high-ceiling living room, master suite and swimming pool take in views of the surrounding mountains and canyons. PHOTOS: The Mendehall Estate in Topanga Location: 21000 Mendenhall Court, Topanga 90290 Asking price: $21.5 million Year built: 2004 House size: Eight bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, 12,000 square feet Lot size: 23 acres Features: Media room, office, wine cellar, children's wing with game room, covered terraces, saline swimming pool, spa, lighted tennis court, soccer field, bocce court, well, solar panels, fruit trees, four-car garage, 35 on-site parking spots, zoned for horses About the area: In the first half of the year, 42 single-family homes resold in the 90290 ZIP Code at a median price of $980,000, according to DataQuick.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 6, 2013 |
Mayor Eric Garcetti said he and his wife, social activist Amy Wakeland, are mulling whether to move into Getty House once renovations underway at the official residence are completed. The couple live with their toddler daughter, Maya, at their private Silver Lake residence. But Garcetti, in a brief interview at the spacious Getty House grounds, said it's possible they'll swap their modernist, eco-friendly abode for the 8,076-square foot English Tudor-style mansion in Windsor Square.
July 22, 2013 |
Vincent Price once lived on Swallow Drive, just up the hill from the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills, in a house full of art. The actor, who was both connoisseur and also the deliriously over-the-top investigator of evil as the mad Dr. Rappaccini in the 1963 horror flick“Twice-Told Tales,” needed but drive five minutes to enter into the enthralling grip of one of the most refined gardens in the county. Would Price have been right for the title character of Gotham Opera's production of “La Hija de Rappaccini,” an early opera by Daniel Catán that had an unusual outdoor performance at Greystone just before sunset Saturday?
June 28, 2013 |
LAS VEGAS - Liberace's old off-Strip mansion is up for sale for a veritable song, but is the property fabulous or a decrepit fixer-upper? Built in 1962, the once-lavish 14,939-square-foot spread sits on a half-acre lot near the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and features two bedrooms, 10 bathrooms and several large areas for entertaining. There are flashes of the legendary pizazz once embodied by Liberace, whose life was the subject of the recent HBO film, “Behind the Candelabra,” which details the eccentric entertainer's secretive romance with former chauffeur and lover Scott Thorson.
June 26, 2013 |
Although Hacienda de la Paz in Rolling Hills is extraordinary for its unseen five subterranean levels, the $53-million ranch estate's eight acres of grounds hold a few surprises too. A grove of 80- to 150-year-old olive trees brought in from California's Central Valley is harvested for use as oil. There are citrus trees near the bar - lemon, lime and orange - for use in mixed drinks. Table grapes cover an arbor above an outdoor table. The orchards include more than 26 varieties of fruit and nut trees so that homeowner John Z. Blazevich is never far from a quick snack.
June 25, 2013 |
If the $53-million price tag doesn't stand in his way, President Obama need look no further than Hacienda de la Paz on the Palos Verdes Peninsula as a place to settle down after life in the White House. Set in gated Rolling Hills, behind gates of its own, the ranch estate includes 8 acres of edible landscaping and five bunker-worthy subterranean levels beneath its ground-floor living space. There are back-up generators, a system to turn the indoor pool water into oxygen, a state-of-the-art security system, thermal generated power and enough wine cellar space to lay in a supply for years to come -- everything a head of state needs to weather a national or worldwide emergency.
June 23, 2013 |
Behind the gates of bucolic Rolling Hills, where multimillion-dollar homes stretch out on roomy spreads, sits a house that is unusual even by mansion standards. In keeping with rules that homes in the equestrian enclave be single-story, the early California Spanish-inspired residence is one level - at least, above ground. Unseen are five subterranean stories formed when the owner excavated down to bedrock, uncovering fossil fragments of whales and dolphins along the way. The nearly 50,000-square-foot behemoth is rivaled by the best Westside compounds in size if not perhaps in imagination.