One of 2020’s biggest deals in the historic Los Feliz neighborhood was the transfer of this lovely Mediterranean compound, which sold for exactly $7 million last month. Built in 1928, the house was restored and extensively upgraded by the sellers, filmmaker Guy Shelmerdine and his wife Ashley Jacobs.
The estate’s new custodian is Andrew McClain Hershey, a Cleveland, Ohio native and current Brooklyn, N.Y. resident better known to the general public as dancehall music producer Dre Skull. Through his indie label Mixpak Records and his NYC recording complex, Hershey has written and produced for the likes of Snoop Dogg, Popcaan, Drake, Beenie Man, and Lily Allen, and his focus on Caribbean music has earned him comparisons to Diplo — with whom he’s also collaborated on several occasions.
It’s worth noting that in addition to his successful music forays, Hershey is also a fantastically wealthy heir to an East Coast-based insurance fortune. His father, Ohio businessman Barry J. Hershey, grew Capitol American into a market juggernaut; in 1997, the firm was sold to insurance giant Conseco as part of a $1.7 billion deal.
Tucked into the rolling hills just below Griffith Observatory, on one of the best streets in Los Feliz, the Hershey villa contains three separate structures: a detached three-car garage, a two-story main house, and a wee guesthouse that’s partially hidden behind leafy foliage, sequestered at the very back of the .36-acre lot.
Only the garage is visible from the street; a walled and gated entryway protects the main house, which is set far back from the road behind a charmingly overgrown front garden, shaded by mature olive trees, that the listing terms “magical.” The foyer offers original tile flooring and staircase, while the living room features soaring ceiling and wide-plank hardwood floors, plus beautifully original French doors leading to the gardens.
Authentic tilework and wrought iron details continue throughout the house, which weighs in at nearly 3,900 square feet of living space, per tax records, though it’s not clear if that number includes the one-bed/one-bath guesthouse, which has its own whimsical kitchenette overlooking the backyard pool. The main house includes three bedrooms and two full baths, plus powder rooms and an upstairs bonus room that could be a large fourth bedroom or an office, schoolroom, or Dre Skull’s new West Coast recording studio.
Back downstairs, the kitchen goes for all the decorative wows with cabinetry painted a deep forest green, neatly contrasting with thick slabs of white marble atop the counters. But perhaps the property’s most dazzling feature is its shelter magazine-worthy backyard, which boasts broad steps leading down to a full outdoor kitchen with BBQ. Bright bunches of bougainvillea and fragrant jasmine surround the patio and its dark-bottomed pool with inset spa. Beyond that, directly adjacent to the guesthouse, there’s a built-in banquette with a sleekly curved outdoor fireplace.