Hidden Classic Hollywood Gems

By: Laura Pardini – Realtor
Contributor’s website:  CityStyleLA

Old world charm, Hollywood nostalgia, Andalusian style references and throw in a courtyard…I’m more than sold!  Maybe I’m an old soul, but there is nothing like stepping foot on one of these properties.  It feels as though I’m on a vintage movie set.  

Let’s start our tour with Colonial House on 1416 Havenhurst.  This is the former residence of screen icon, Bette Davis.  I remember looking at the brass placard residence name plate and seeing her name still on there.  Out of homage to her, the building has never changed it.  I love the details throughout the building.  The foyer has a monogrammed “CH” within the wood floor boards.  There is a spacious brick courtyard with a fountain which overlooks the pool. 

I can only dream of the lovely parties that have taken place within this area alone.  The Bette Davis unit in particular is very special.  It overlooks the courtyard on the south side and the Chateau Marmont to the north.  On my last visit I saw a picture in a silver frame of Ms. Davis on the fireplace mantle (she was posed in front of that very same fireplace) and I can’t forget the Oscar that was predominately displayed in the telephone cubby within the entry hallway that belonged to the tenants at the time.  

Being a transplant here from San Francisco, I can’t help myself when it comes to knowing  whether a celebrity has lived in a building.  Besides Bette Davis, there has been numerous other film stars that have called Colonial House home.  According to “Hollywood: The Movie Lover’s Guide”; Carole Lombard and William Powell lived there in the early thirties and Clark Gable had also became a resident.  Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock, Tim Burton, Myrna Loy (according to findadeth.com) graced this premises and I also heard Jodie Foster at one point had bought a unit in there.  We must give props to Leland A. Bryant; he was the designer of this magical residence. 

The Andalusian (1471-4475 Havenhurst) is a stone’s throw away from Colonial House.  

A husband and wife design team: Arthur and Nina Zwebell created this stunner back around 1926.  The interior courtyard is sensational.  

Cesar Romero and Clara Bow (according to Wikimapia.org) are rumored to have lived here.

Next stop…Il Borghese (450 N. Sycamore Ave).  I’ve read in various sources that this development was featured in “Mulholland Drive” and the “Truth about Cats and Dogs”.  The center courtyard has a koi pond and outdoor fireplace.  

I can’t end this piece without mentioning El Cabrillo (1832 -1850 Grace Ave).  Many Angelinos have never even heard of this place, but I tell you…its pure nostalgia.  

This 1928 building was restored by Xoren Balbes.  He owns the Sowden House.  If that sounds familiar, I wrote a piece about that place a few weeks ago.  This development was built by Cecil B. Demille.  Per the N.Y. Times, Mr. Demille used set designers to create the architectural details.  This may look familiar to fans of the NBC show “Chuck”.  This was the home of the main character on the show. (source: Wikipedia).  

David Wallace, author of  “Lost Hollywood”, believes that Cecil B. Demille built this place to house the N.Y. actors that he transplanted here from New York.  One way to keep them here too!

Hope you enjoyed our short tour of these precious buildings.  This architecture is so wonderful to see and I’m grateful that they are still intact and lovingly preserved.  We are lucky to be able to get a glimpse of Hollywood’s past that was jammed packed with such glamour and grace. 

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Contributor’s website: CityStyleLA

(image credits: photos 1 & 3: Rory Barish, realtor at Keller Williams,  photo 2: Arleen Ruby: realtor, photo 4 &5: Ron Holliman, Coldwell Banker, photo 6: Richard Battaglia, Prudential, photos 7 & 9: Marianne Singer, Coldwell Banker)

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