We know everyone and their grandmother’s caretaker’s pet cat Rusty and his female feline friend Laquisha have written about this one already, but Yolanda just can’t resist dropping our quick and useless two cents on this unprecedented and quintessentially LA home purchase that involves a major-league celebrity and a big piece of Hollywood history.
First, a disclaimer. Yes, we know the real estate market is sizzlin’ hot right now. We reference that in almost every story we write. Yes, we know the Los Feliz area is a highly desirable, beautiful, and very expensive neighborhood. Yes, this particular house is certainly one of the best estates in the area. And yeah, it’s gorgeous.
Whew. Now that we’ve gotten that outta the way, let’s get real here. This price is absolutely ridiculous, inflated market or not. It’s more than double the record price ever paid for a home in the ‘hood. Our BFF Your Mama over at Variety — to whom we were gabbin’ about this transaction just last week — said she originally thought the house would sell for $16 million or so. Yolanda is even less generous — we think this place is actually worth about half of the ludicrous number that Ms. Jolie paid. But obviously she disagreed. And she’s got the cash, and the deal is done. So that is that.
But with all that being said, let us reiterate — there is absolutely no doubt that this place is stunning and we can totally see how someone could fall truly, madly, deeply love with it. And the Laughlin Park gated community is a great choice for both Ms. Jolie — who is known to love the LA’s Eastside — and her six children, who will now be only a mile away from daddy Brad Pitt’s own compound in Bronson Canyon.
Called the Cecil B. Demille estate for its legendary original owner, who occupied the premises from 1913 until his death in 1959, the compound currently includes a main house of 7,472-square-feet that is curiously described in marketing materials as “Beaux Arts” but is — as was pointed out by Our Mama — actually Italian Revival in architectural style. The front door leads to an elegant center hall with a curved staircase. To one side is the mahogany-paneled formal dining room with its marble fireplace; to another is the gracious living room with a fireplace of its own. Also on the main floor is an elegant (but not stuffy!) library with bookshelves (filled with real books!) that extend all the way to the ceiling.
Elsewhere there’s a kitchen with marble countertops, a vintage range that Yolanda just covets, and an attached breakfast space with a row of arched casement windows through which Ms. Jolie may peer out through the trees to the Griffith Observatory beyond. In the early 2000s, the house was restored by noted LA-based architectural firm Tichenor & Thorp for the sellers, art consultant Lisa Lyons and her poet/novelist husband Richard Grossman.
The master bedroom has hardwood floors and many sets of French doors that overlook the 2.1-acre estate’s generous grounds. Over in the master bath, there’s a built-in soaking tub.
Perhaps the most glamorous part of the estate, however, are the outdoor grounds. An overly dramatic set of concrete steps leads down, down, down from the main house to a studio building with its own entrance and motorcourt. Elsewhere is an elegantly simple rectangular swimming pool adjacent to a pool house equipped sets of mean-looking gym/fitness equipment. Just above the pool and pool house lies an ultra-petite (but very cute!) tea house.
The main house is perched atop a high knoll that affords it sweeping views of the city, Griffith Observatory, and even the Pacific Ocean (on a clear day, naturally). The entire compound — all four structures of it — features 6 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, and a total of approximately 11,000-square-feet of living space. Y’all can decide if all of this is worth the fat $24,500,000 our gurl just spooned out.
The Laughlin Park gated community is chock-full of many other big-name showbiz homeowners, the likes of which include Natalie Portman, Mary Parent, David Fincher, Ellen Pompeo, Kristen Stewart, Casey Affleck, Lauren Graham, and will.i.am.
Yolanda congratulates Ms. Jolie on her new A-list-worthy estate. But let’s just hope she doesn’t decide to move anytime remotely soon — as certain fickle celebrity types are wont to do — because we fear that even a place this fabulous and equipped with star wattage as bright as Ms. Jolie will be hard-pressed to ever top this unicorn price. Not for many, many years. And y’all are welcome to quote Yolanda on that.
Listing agents: Brett Lawyer & Rayni Williams, Hilton & Hyland