I must have driven by Villa Carlotta on Franklin Ave. a million times, but never could have imagined I’d one day call it home, even if it was just a temporary stay. I am naturally drawn to 1920’s Spanish “Old Hollywood” style buildings. When I moved here from San Francisco, I thought it would be a city full of these lovely historic structures, but I was wrong. I am intrigued by their intricate details including vaulted foyers, coffered ceilings and painted stencil wood beams just to name a few. From the moment you step in the door at Villa Carlotta, you are transported back to a much more glamorous lifestyle rich in details from the past right down to the tasseled key chain they hand you when you rent a place here.
And who doesn’t love a scandalous past? This building has that too! In 1924, while aboard publishing mogul William Randolph Hearst‘s yacht, silent film tycoon; Thomas Ince was allegedly shot by a bullet meant for Charlie Chaplin. Charlie was suspected of carrying on an affair with William’s mistress; Marion Davies. What to do with Thomas’ grieving wife? Why give her a lovely building of course – Villa Carlotta! And what do you do with the famous gossip columnist; Louella Parsons, who happens to be on board at the time of the murder to keep her quiet? Maybe offer her the most luxurious two story residence in Villa Carlotta overlooking the courtyard free of charge for the rest of her life.
Over the years the building fell into disarray and was in much need of someone who appreciated her beauty and would take the time and resources to restore an important part of history. In 2014, the new owners focused on reviving her to the glamour of yesteryear with the utmost detail right down to finding one of the 1926 contractors to fabricate the awnings that grace the building today.
Throughout the years, this building has been the residence for many Oscar winning types and also a haunt for Jim Morrison back in the day. The one thing I will say is that client confidentially is definitely followed here. It is the objective of those that run it for VIPs to know that utmost discretion is paramount concerning their guests. I will add, through my own personal experience of living there, it is Hollywood’s best kept secret for those in the creative industries.
I often get asked for short term furnished residences especially lately from New Yorkers wanting a place to stay while they look for their Los Angeles home or from owners with homes on the market and for those ambitious home re-furbishers. I found myself relocating here because we sold our home in Venice and wanted a luxury residence not bound by a long term stay while I looked for the next place to buy. And personally I’ve always wanted to live in a place like this steeped in Hollywood history. I was hooked the moment I walked in! I felt an immediate connection so much so that I envisioned myself as one day representing it.
That vision I had just came true! I am happy to report I am the Exclusive Realtor for the building so if you want to live in an iconic building rich with history and character, contact me. For more details, check out my website: Lease at Villa Carlotta.
“Here’s looking at you kid!” is the line that popped into my head while thinking about my stay there and I couldn’t help but say that to end this piece. Villa Carlotta is a place you can’t help but visit and be transported back to a golden era that can be experienced yet once again in this lifetime.
Follow: My LA Lifestyle & stay connected!
(photo source: Villa Carlotta marketing department)