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The Transformation of Holmby Hills

At Apr 10, 2017

Southern California is known for its affluent neighborhoods, especially the area around Los Angeles where you can find the Platinum Triangle. At the apex of the triangle is Holmby Hills, formed in 1925 between the more well-known neighborhoods of Beverly Hills and Bel-Air. Residents love Holmby Hills because of its more private and secluded locations that provide quieter streets and easier living. The formation of Holmby Hills (which didn’t actually get its name until much later) began as an ambitious dream of the Los Angeles and Santa Monica Land and Water Company. The company purchased the land from John Wolfskill in 1887, paying over $400,000 for 4,438 acres.

Their plans were derailed from the start. The company had not planned ahead for providing essentials such as water, electricity and natural gas to the residents, nor did they have a solution for flooding, which was frequent during the rainy season. They believed that the increase of travelers to the area would ensure that their project succeeded, despite their poor planning. Unfortunately, they could not see into the future, and in 1888, the real estate market crashed.

The land company eventually had to sell the land and it was purchased by its former owner, John Wolfskill, who used the land to grow lima beans and barley. His ranch was largely undeveloped, making it the most desirable property in the area at the time. After Wolfskill died in 1913, his family made one of the biggest real estate deals for that era, selling the ranch for two million dollars in cash. In 1922, the land was sold once again to the Janss Investment Company, who began selling plots of land to working-class citizens and to commercial clients, such as restaurants and retail stores, in order to build up the neighborhood, which is now known as Little Holmby.

In 1925, the Janss Investment Company began selling estate lots on their property. The lots had plenty of flat land for homes and gardens, plus large ravines in the back for water runoff to prevent flooding. The Janss company wanted to maintain the beauty and extravagance of the land so purchases came with restrictions and conditions. Homes had to be worth more than $25,000, land was sold in one-to-four acre plots and the original plots of land could not be divided for fifty years after purchase. Telephone and electrical lines had to be buried underground to preserve the natural beauty.

Although the sale of real estate slowed down during the Great Depression and World War II, Holmby Hills was able to build up the community and sell out of most of the land plots. After World War II, Holmby Hills remained untouched by the new construction that was taking over Beverly Hills and Bel-Air. The residents were able to maintain the natural presence of their neighborhood, something they still enjoy today. Holmby Hills is a fantastic representation of what make Southern California one of the top places to live in the United States.

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High-End Amenities Help Put Price on Mansions – LA Business Journal

At Apr 10, 2017

REAL ESTATE: Developers, designers look to create next big thing to hook ultrarich.

By Helen Zhao
Friday, March 31, 2017

From his and hers bathrooms to six-car garages, amenities once reserved for the ultrarich have become standard fare in what some call the “middle market” of luxury homes in Los Angeles, ranging from about $5 million to $15 million.

“It’s a routine conversation we have with high-end developers: What am I missing? What’s going to make my house stand apart?” said Jesse Harrison, business development director at Harrison Design, an architecture firm headquartered in Atlanta with offices in Los Angeles. “What’s going to make someone walk in and say, I’ve got to have this house?”

Those attractions range from elevators to large commercial kitchens, putting greens, infinity pools, saunas, gyms, screening rooms, temperature-controlled wine rooms, and home automation.

Such amenities are often necessary for projects to justify their asking price, said Hamid Toufanian, a developer, architect, and general contractor in Santa Monica.

“The prices of properties are soaring up,” he said. “And to make a house and sell it with profit, we have to add items of luxury.”

Toufanian is placing an elevator, arts-and-crafts station, dual master bathrooms, gym, wine cellar, and screening room in a home his company, Architecture West Inc., is building in Santa Monica and hopes to sell for just under $9 million.

“In 2006, you couldn’t spend $200,000 on a door because the market wouldn’t support it. It does now,” said David Kramer, an agent at Hilton & Hyland. “A house in 2006 in the top top high end now looks tired and not nearly the level that you see today.”

Kitchens for catering

Attracting wealthy buyers has started an arms race among developers, each one seemingly looking for the next “thing” to set their homes apart.

Harrison said his firm designed a simulated golf range with a giant screen in a custom $10 million Brentwood home for a links enthusiast.

Many of his clients also want full catering kitchens with walk-in refrigerators and freezers. Butler’s pantries that once housed china and silverware are giving way to a “dramatic, beautiful second kitchen” housing a second oven and refrigerator as well as often quirky decorations such as “a crazy wallpaper or funky chandelier,” he said.

The main kitchen is morphing to allow families to cook together, said Peter Loewy, chief executive of Beverly Hills’ Teles Properties.

“You might find double or triple stoves. You might find different cutting areas,” Loewy said. “In the 1950s, you’d never find a big kitchen. You would never have two stations, because in the 1950s the men never cooked.”

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The Magnificent Greenacres Estate: The Best of Old Hollywood

At Mar 07, 2017

To say that the homes and estates of old Hollywood are grandiose is an understatement. I am not sure you can accurately put into words the lavish, opulent splendor that was the norm of these priceless relics. In our blog, we have taken a look at many of the estates that graced the Platinum Triangle during the 1920s, but none compare to the Greenacres Estate, the home of the famous comedian Harold Lloyd.

Harold Lloyd joined Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton at the top of the list of silent film stars. The three were known as the “Comedy Triumvirate,” but Lloyd quickly surpassed his co-stars in both fame and money. Lloyd was not shy about his popularity and wealth, deciding that his Benedict Canyon estate would be the most impressive and expensive piece of property in Beverly Hills.

Lloyd purchased fifteen acres of barren land to be the backdrop to his magnificent home. He spent the first several years of his project preparing the land, including grading the land, planting flowers, shrubs and trees and installing a nine-hole golf course complete with two lakes, a connecting stream and a beautiful stone bridge. He hired landscape architect A.E. Hansen to draw up plans and help him to create his outdoor oasis.

During the planning phase for the gardens, Lloyd and Hansen quickly realized that they needed to move forward with house designs since the home would directly affect the layout of the gardens and landscape. Hansen suggested Sumner Spaulding, an open-minded architect who created homes that fit the owners’ vision instead of adhering to the common architectural styles of the era. In 1926, construction began on the Greenacres estate home. Differences in opinion between Lloyd and Spaulding caused a year long delay, but by mid-1927, construction had begun again.

The 36,000-square-foot home featured forty-four luxurious rooms including a music room, library and large service quarters for the more than thirty servants that were employed at Greenacres. The home also boasted a stunning spiraling oak staircase and an elevator that went up to the ten bedrooms on the second floor. The dining room was a particularly famous spot in the home as the city limits of Beverly Hills and Los Angeles ran straight down the middle of the room. Guests sitting on one side of the massive twenty-four seat dining table were in Beverly Hills and those on the other side were in Los Angeles.

What makes Lloyd’s Greenacres Estate even more unique is the fact that Lloyd lived in his home until his death. Unlike many stars, he never lost his wealth and never felt the need to sell his property. At the time of his death, Lloyd turned the home over to the public and it became a museum that displayed the history of Old Hollywood. It was his dream for Greenacres to remain intact and one of the most beloved places in Beverly Hills, but unfortunately, this was not the dream of his family. In July of 1975, his children sold the estate and the museum was closed.

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The Trials of the Old Hollywood Silent Stars

At Feb 02, 2017

Old Hollywood stars had lots of ups and downs during their time in show business. Some made their own financial mistakes and others had wives who gladly spent their fortunes for them. In the 1920’s, Buster Keaton, one of Hollywood’s top three silent film stars, found out just how easily money could be made and spent.

Keaton began performing at an extremely early age. His parents were also performers, traveling around the country providing entertainment with their medicine show, acrobatics, comedy routines and music. Keaton learned as much as he could about entertaining while he was growing up and it paid off in 1917, when at the tender age of 21, he was cast in a Schubert Brothers production. He travelled from Los Angeles to New York and soon met Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, a man who would change the course of Keaton’s life.

Arbuckle was contracted with another New York agency, Talmadge Studios, and asked Keaton to appear in a new film. After filming just one scene with Arbuckle, Keaton was offered a job as costar and gag man alongside Arbuckle. During the early to mid-20s, Keaton was a huge success. He made over a dozen short and feature films. He was in the high point of his career and money was steadily flowing in.

In 1921, Keaton married Natalie Talmadge. Natalie and her sisters were actresses and her brother-in-law was the producer at Talmadge Studios. Natalie had a love for spending, buying new clothes weekly, upgrading homes regularly and doing whatever it took to stay in the elite spotlight that she felt she and her husband deserved. In 1924, Keaton bought a plot of land behind the Beverly Hills Hotel and began making plans to build an astonishing estate that cost him $300,000, an enormous sum at that time.

The home was placed on top a knoll on the 3-and-a-half-acre plot. Knowing that he would have many visitors, Keaton designed a two-story, 10,000 square foot home that provided twenty rooms for family and guests and an additional eight rooms for his servants. Natalie loved extravagance, and really, so did Keaton. Their home greatly displayed their mutual affection for the finer things. The front entryway itself was magnificent, with a wrought-iron and glass arched doorway and an Italian fountain gracing the vestibule once inside. The landscape was just as luxurious. Keaton had the Beverly Hills Nurseries to plant 42 giant palm trees along the driveway from Hartford Way to the home. Keaton also installed a Roman-bath swimming pool, a tennis court, an aviary and a playground for his boys.

After having two children, Natalie decided she would no longer perform her wifely duties with Keaton. Therefore, the upstairs was split into two wings. The east wing housed Keaton’s suite of rooms with a private entryway and the west wing was devoted to Natalie and included a separate room for her clothing, a mirrored dressing room and a lovely pink bathroom with gold-plated fixtures.

The cost of building the estate plus his wife’s outlandish spending did not end well for Keaton. Between his career quickly declining and the stock market crash, Keaton was left in a financial mess. Natalie refused to stop her excessive spending and instead divorced Keaton in 1932. She took everything, including their estate and their kids, and Keaton filed for bankruptcy. Just two months after her divorce, Natalie sold the home and grounds to a MGM dancer.

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$250 MILLION BEL AIR MANSION MOST EXPENSIVE US HOME FOR SALE -ABC NEWS

At Jan 22, 2017

$250 MILLION BEL AIR MANSION MOST EXPENSIVE US HOME FOR SALE

Listed at $250 million, a mansion in Bel Air became the most expensive home for sale in the United States.

The quarter of a billion dollar home includes 12 bedrooms, 21 bathrooms and a state of the art movie theater within its 38,000 square foot space.

It also comes furnished with $30 million worth of exotic cars, a piece of helicopter artwork and a $200,000 wall of candy.

“Now you’re seeing homes that are so specific and bespoke for Los Angeles world class, which we haven’t seen before,” high-end luxury real estate agent David Kramer said.

A Bel-Air mansion is the most expensive home for sale in the United States with a $250 million price tag.

Kramer, an agent for Hilton & Hyland, believed the sale of Spelling Manor in the Holmby Hills neighborhood kicked off the ultra-high-end real estate market.

“You hadn’t seen sales that high and now you’ve seen several since then. I definitely think it changed the way people thought about real estate in Los Angeles,” he explained.

However, most of the general public will be unable to take a personal tour to view the home for themselves.

“I just tell them send me proof of funds for a billion dollars and we’ll set it up right away,” Kramer said.

The real estate agent shared that for those looking for cheaper home, Spelling Manor is again up for sale at $200 million.

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Cove Way: Home of the Founder of Beverly Hills

At Jan 05, 2017

At the beginning of the 1900’s, oil was the foundation of wealth for most of the prominent men in Los Angeles and surrounding counties. It was after making their fortunes in oil, that they turned their attention to the next most profitable venture, real estate. Land that had been purchased for oil production, but ended up dry and barren, became the perfect location for new developments. This is exactly how Beverly Hills was formed in late October of 1906.

 

The “father” of Beverly Hills, oil tycoon Burton Green, had claimed land throughout Los Angeles and Kern Counties for his massive oil production and was ready to step into real estate. He was President of the Rodeo Land and Water Company, and he had a large parcel of land that had not produced the oil he had hoped for. This was the perfect combination for beginning an elite community. With the help of realtor, Percy Clark, landscape architect, Wilbur Cook, and architect, Myron Hunt, Green turned acres of dusty bean fields into the impressive community of Beverly Hills.

 

In 1912, after the construction of the iconic Beverly Hills Hotel, Green began construction on his own estate, an 11-acre lot located between Hartford Way, Cove Way and North Crescent Drive. Green hired architect, Martyn Haenke, to design his massive home. Haenke was known for creating homes that were imposing and comfortable, but not architecturally fashionable. Green’s home featured a 25-by-30-foot reception hall, a 24-by-45-foot living room and a 24-by-35-foot dining room, all on the first floor of the home! The first floor also including an expansive library, breakfast nook, butler’s pantry and kitchen. The second floor was just as remarkable as the first, with five bedrooms that included a dressing room and full bath in each, a nursery and a sleeping porch for hot, humid California nights.

 

Green and his wife, Lillian, loved the panoramic view of their estate, which stretched all the way to Santa Monica Bay, and spent a lot of time outdoors. Their estate showcased their wealth and love of nature with full-grown oaks (transplanted from the canyons that surrounded Beverly Hills), cocoa palms, flowering trees and shrubs and other native plants. They built beautiful garden pavilions, added a pristine lake and built a playground so their three children could play while their parents relaxed and soaked up the sun.

 

As Beverly Hills grew, Green stayed focused on helping the Rodeo Land and Water Company prosper. Although he gained much wealth and prosperity from the building of Beverly Hills, he still focused much of his attention on his oil business and did not attempt another real estate development in his lifetime. He lived to be 96 years old and lived in his home on Cove Way until his death. He watched as many other large estates were sold and divided into smaller, more contemporary lots, but he knew that his initial vision for Beverly Hills had come true. After his death in 1965, the home was bought and sold three times.

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Alpine Drive

At Dec 08, 2016

In the early years, Beverly Hills was a hot spot for wealthy retirees who wanted a reprieve from the colder, Midwestern states. Acquiring a coveted spot among Hollywood’s top stars, movie producers and oil tycoons ensured that they remained at the top of the social pyramid, maintaining the status they held in their previous circle of friends and acquaintances. For Oscar English, a Nebraska native who made his fortune in gypsum, not just any parcel of land would suffice.

Oscar and his wife, Alice, wanted their new home in Beverly Hills to be a remarkable landmark in an area that already contained many impressive estates. In 1926, the couple found their perfect location, on an eleven-acre plot between Foothill Road and Alpine Drive. The setting was just as they had hoped for, a beautiful piece of property bordering the spectacular Sunset Boulevard.

Ready to build a home that rivaled the grandness of their property, the couple hired architect Arthur Kelly to draw up plans for a luxurious English Tudor. Kelly, who specialized in this particular style of home, designed a two-story structure with rough-hewn stone walls, massive stone-clad chimneys and beautiful gables that lined the rooftops. The inside rivaled the exterior with floor-to-ceiling wooden panels and stained glass windows. The couple filled the home with new “antiques,” furniture that was produced in California but had the look and feel of an older piece.

English knew that his home would not necessarily be the biggest in the neighborhood, but he positioned his home so that it was easily seen from varying points. The home was set up on a knoll with an extensive front lawn that sloped down to Sunset Boulevard, creating a majestic scene for those passing by. In addition to the spectacular view of Oscar’s home, his brother, Arthur English, built his home on the same parcel of land. Arthur chose to build his home in the popular Spanish Colonial Revival style instead of following in Oscar’s footsteps. The two homes resided side-by-side, each magnificent in its own way.

Although their estate was everything they had wanted, Alice’s health issues led her into a depression that she could not recover from. She told Oscar of her desire to commit suicide. Oscar knew he could not live without his beloved, so he joined her in planning their deaths. In October, 1935, the couple took their lives by drinking poison together in their bedroom. After drinking the poison, the two tucked themselves into their separate twin beds and died shortly after. Their daughter, Lucille, and their son-in-law lived with them in the house, but after her parents’ death, Lucille could no longer stand to live in the house they had so loved.

Throughout the next couple of decades, the property was sold to varying buyers until the 1950s, when the property was split into six smaller lots to accommodate the growing area. While Arthur’s home burnt to the ground, Oscar’s home still stands, but on a much smaller two-and-a-half-acre lot. It is the only remaining evidence of a once remarkable landmark.

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Mexican actor/director Eugenio Derbez grabs an $8 million architectural in Beverly Hills (Post Office) – LITTLE BLACK BOOK

At Nov 30, 2016

eugenio_derbez_beverly_hills_house

What would we do without our beloved Romanian pal Vlad the Revealer from Celebrity Address Aerial, y’all? It was he, after all, who demanded that we spill the proverbial jelly beans on a super-contemporary mini-mansion way up high in the Benedict Canyon region of the Beverly Hills Post Office neighborhood. For those of you ignorant young’uns, the B.H.P.O. refers to homes in the mountains above Beverly Hills. These properties carry a 90210 zip code but are technically located within the boundaries of the city of Los Angeles — which means they are saddled with LA city utilities and public services. You know the drill.

Anywho, this September (2016) the aforementioned contemporary crib sold for a hefty $7,750,000 to an enigmatic blind trust that purposely shields the identity of the buyer. Mr. Revealer, however, wasn’t about to accept that and insisted that Yolanda snitch about who the top-secret new owner is. And who are we to leave great Mr. Revealer’s wishes unfulfilled, right?

The new owners, as Yolanda soon discovered, are a fella from Mexico named Eugenio Gonzalez Derbezand his wife Alessandra Rosaldo.

Generated by IJG JPEG Library
Ms. Rosaldo & Mr. Derbez

Our Ms. Rosaldo is an actress/singer/dancer who has portrayed a bunch of roles on various Mexican soap operas. She is also known for her singing career, both solo and with her successful band Sentidos Opuestos. And she’s got more than a million followers on that Instweird thingamajiggy.

Eugenio Derbez is an actor/comedian/director/producer who has been a familiar face on Spanish-language TV since the 1980s, starring in Mexican soap operas such as Anabel and Papá soltero. In recent years, he has also begun appearing in klassy Hollywood films such as Beverly Hills ChihuahuaJack and Jilland Miracles from Heaven.

The real reason Mr. Derbez is able to afford a $7.75 million house in the 90210, however, is because he created, directed, and produced the highly-successful XHDRbZ and La familia P. Luche sitcomes, which went into (highly-lucrative) syndication with both the Televisa and Univision giant networks. In recognition of his success, Mr. Derbez received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame earlier this year (2016).

But we digress. Yolanda carefully perused property records and from what we can tell, the subject property was purchased by a real estate developer named Alan M. Shafer three years ago for just $1,750,000. The industrious Mr. Shafer quickly tore down the existing 3,000-square-foot house and replaced it with a big-but-not-oppressively-huge 5,343-square-feet of architectural pizazz.

The somewhat-ominous-looking front facade lacks any street-facing windows on the first floor, assuring celeb-style privacy. A two-tone paint job (or three-tone if y’all count the black garage door) keeps things fresh and different from all those other bright white contemporaries that litter these hills.

Guests wishing to gain access must enter through a front courtyard (more like a gated walkway, really) and step over a bubbling fountain to reach the inside. We’re not gonna lie, Yolanda was very impressed by the gallery-style entrance foyer that provides a straight-shot view past the formal dining table, throught the floor-to-ceiling glass walls, over the infinity-edged pool and to the thickly-wooded Benedict hills. The floors are black tile.

Speaking of the dining table, it appears to be forged from either black marble or (more likely) an ebonized wood of some sort. Then there’s one of those nifty dual-sided fireplaces, on the opposite side of which is a clubby living room overlooking the mature pines out back.

One fab thing about this house is that the view faces west, meaning those iconic California sunsets are a daily feature up here.

As you’d expect, the kitchen is sleek, chic, and uber-contemporary. The center island looks bigger (or at least longer) than most Porsche 911s and the black-glass countertops look snazzy but are probably fingerprint hell — not to mention the glass wine cellar and super-expensive Miele appliances. Six bar stools adorn the table — perfect for Ms. Rosaldo, Mr. Derbez and his four kids  Aislinn Derbez, Vadhir Derbez, José Eduardo Derbez, and Aitana Derbez to enjoy an informal meal together.

Check out that black recessed shelf in the middle of the cabinetry. Kinda cool — we can’t remember seeing anything like that before.

Oh, one other thing we like about this house is the lack of all those round recessed lights that are ubiquitous in new construction — no matter the style of home — these days. (We can only imagine that whoever invented that annoyance must be a billionaire by now!)

Whoops! Yolanda spoke too soon. Look what we got here! But it ain’t an overload, thankfully.

The structure contains a total of 5 bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms. And swankiest, natch, is the master suite. In the listing’s own words, the room features “45 feet of retractable glass doors to a private landscaped terrace, while the master bath boasts a custom book matched marble clad master shower w/ steam, three rain showers & a wall of glass to canyon vistas.”

There you have it.

The media room — or media nook — features a surround-sound system and a rather fratty-looking leather couch. No thanks on that piece!

Although the 1.06-acre cul-de-sac lot may seem generous on paper, the reality is that a significant portion of that is hillside. But the developer still managed to squeeze in plenty of outdoor living space, like that dining table and lounge-y area and what appears to be an outdoor fireplace along the side of the main structure. Plus, you’re just 10 minutes by car from the Polo Lounge at the world-famous Beverly Hills Hotel. Yummy.

 

READ MOREListing agents: David Kramer and Adam Press, Hilton & Hyland
Mr. Derbez’s agent: Gloria Carmona, John Aaroe Group

 

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SEVEN WONDERS: EPIC FAMILY HOMES – CHRISTIES LUXURY DEFINED

At Nov 30, 2016

This holiday season, Luxury Defined tours some of the world’s largest family homes—built to host lavish festivities and accommodate guests by the score

There’s no place like home for the holidays, when those welcome hordes of relatives and friends descend upon the family household, where merrymaking—and logistical chaos—ensue. Here we present an alternative to that “relative” chaos with this collection of epically proportioned homes. Spanning from 15,000 to 56,000 square feet, these are no ordinary houses: among this box of delights is the inimitable L.A. manor house built for TV mogul Aaron Spelling; a fairytale French château (complete with a moat); the ultimate New England family compound, with its own helipad, amphitheater, and dock; and a stately villa to waltz in the famous Viennese New Year Ball. All have exquisite décor, five-star amenities, dedicated entertaining areas, and—most importantly—oodles of accommodations (without a fold-out sofa in sight). Happy Holidays!

The Manor (56,000 square feet)
Holmby Hills, California

One of the world’s most luxurious homes, The Manor was formerly owned by entertainment royalty Candy and Aaron Spelling; in 2011 the magnificent French château-style residence was updated with no expense spared.
One of the world’s most luxurious homes, The Manor was formerly owned by entertainment royalty Candy and Aaron Spelling; in 2011 the magnificent French château-style residence was updated with no expense spared.

The Manor is the largest and grandest private residence in Los Angeles and one of the most luxurious homes in the world. Perched atop approximately five acres of exquisitely landscaped land in prestigious Holmby Hills in Los Angeles’ Platinum Triangle, the elegance and grandeur of this world-famous estate put it in a category of luxury all on its own. The French château-style residence was built by entertainment royalty Candy and Aaron Spelling. Originally designed by architects James Langenheim & Associates in 1988, the main residence’s most recent renovations took place in 2011, and the current owner spared no expense to update the estate to a contemporary style.

 

 

READ MORE AT LUXURY DEFINED 

 

 

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Misty Mountain Estate

At Nov 01, 2016

With gorgeous views and untouched acreage, Angelo Drive became the perfect spot for Old Hollywood stars and starlets to show off their wealth and prestige. In the early 1900s, one of the first Angelo Drive estates was built for Frances Marion and Fred Thompson, a screenwriter and cowboy star, who named their piece of paradise The Enchanted Hill. The home was designed and built by Wallace Neff, the most accredited architect of his time. Constructing the opulent Enchanted Hills Estate established Neff as an extremely talented and creative designer who could give his clients an impressive home that mesmerized visitors and spectators but was also a comfortable escape for the family.

 

In 1924, Neff was hired to, once again, design and build a residence on Angelo Drive. Film director, Fred Niblo and his wife had purchased land just below The Enchanted Hills estate and wanted Neff to work his magic on their property. Niblo had once been a Broadway actor, where he met his first wife Josephine Cohan. The pair began traveling and performing on stages around the world. In 1916, while living in Australia, Josephine passed away leaving behind Niblo and their only son. Niblo decided it was time to stop traveling and turned his attention to filmmaking. He starred in two films while in Australia and fell in love with his co-star Enid Bennett.

 

Niblo and Bennett married and moved back to Southern California. They bought their 7-acres on Angelo Drive where Neff would build their Spanish Colonial Revival home. During the design phase, Neff chose to create the home in a semi-circle to take advantage of the 360 degree views of the Pacific Ocean, downtown Los Angeles and two of the most prestigious communities in the area, Holmby Hills and Beverly Hills. The home itself was extravagant, containing twenty-two rooms that included six bedrooms and bathrooms, a large oval entranceway, a library, living area and dining room. The favorite room in the house for Neff was in his basement “man-cave.” The 54-foot long basement was decorated with memorabilia from his recent movies and was split into separate rooms which contained a billiards table, a wet bar, a projection room and a curio room where Bennett could display souvenirs from their travels.

 

The landscape surrounding the home was just as lavish with tennis courts, a swimming pool, a croquet lawn and a large playground for the children. The front of the home was decorated with beautiful gardens, and to the south was an expanse of immaculate lawn. The driveway was constructed in a circular pattern so guests could be driven to the front entryway, dropped off and the driver could pull away in one graceful motion. Neff and Bennett loved their home and kept it for many years. When they sold it, the new owners were just as fond of the home and chose to keep much of it the same. Even now, the owners of the Misty Mountain Estate appreciate the classic beauty, and it is one of the few homes from the Old Hollywood Era that is still much the same as it was when it was first built.

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