Not quite a year after he dropped $2.5 million on a small compound with two historical homes in quietly coveted and increasingly expensive Altadena, Calif., just north of Pasadena and about 20 miles northeast of downtown L.A., legendary guitarist Ry Cooder has plucked out another $2.7 million for a stately four-bedroom and four-bathroom Spanish Colonial Revival residence less than a mile away. Prominently sited on a grassy knoll of more than half an acre, the circa 1929 residence sports a plethora of period detailing throughout its slightly more than 3,500 square feet.
The arched wooden front door opens to a cozily proportioned foyer. One arched doorway leads to the formal living room with a stone-accented arched fireplace as its focal point and another to the dining room where the glimmer of a gilt-trimmed molding around the coved ceiling gives the room a shiny hint of old-fashioned glamour.
Beyond the living room, a casual, fully carpeted den is lined with original six-pane casement windows and French doors to the gardens, while the up-to-date (if not especially high-end) eat-in kitchen lies beyond the dining room along with a separate breakfast room that looks out over the grassy front yard.
Two guest bedrooms on the main floor share an well preserved and updated Jack ‘n’ Jill bathroom emblazoned with vintage pale grey and aqua tile work. Upstairs, a wide landing separates two more bedrooms, each with its own en-suite vintage bath, one sheathed in lavender tiles and the other in turquoise. The larger of the two bedrooms additionally offers a roomy dressing room with original fittings as well as a fairy featureless glass-enclosed sun porch that could quite easily be made quite charming.
Conveniently just outside the kitchen, as well as one of the main floor guest bedrooms, a large aggregate stone patio with a pergola-covered dining area overlooks a wide sweep of lawn and a simple, rectangular swimming pool set against high hedging and dense foliage. An iron gate set in to an ivy-covered wall discreetly marks the entrance to a tidily kept if somewhat plain secret garden with a T-shaped raised bed planter for home-grown herbs, vegetables and flowers.
As it turns out, it’s not so terrifically unusual for the teenage blues phenom and former Buena Vista Social Club member who Rolling Stone ranked #31 on their 2015 list of the 100 greatest guitarists, to own more than one home in the same area. In 1973 he paid about $93,000 for a fairly modest home in a coveted Santa Monica neighborhood, and in 2007 he plunked down $1.6 million for the house next door. Enviably located only about one third of a mile from Will Rogers Beach, both homes are all but invisible behind a high fence and security gates among trees and foliage along a leafy canyon lane.