Colloquially known as the king of Hollywood Regency, John Elgin Woolf designed and built homes for many of Golden Age Hollywood’s biggest stars, everyone from Cary Grant and Barbara Stanwyck to Bob Hope and Katharine Hepburn. The Atlanta-born architect used a healthy dollop of Southern charm to ingratiate himself with Tinseltown’s elite, and along the way inspired many imitators who would help make the Regency style — which marries French-inspired architecture with modernist design tendencies plus a helping of L.A.’s own glitz and glam — a coveted design look even today.
This Beverly Hills home isn’t considered one of Woolf’s masterworks, but it certainly has all the signature hallmarks of a classic Hollywood Regency design. The elegant number was completed in 1954 and includes oval windows, parquet hardwood floors, and towering front doors that are perfect for Lurch to greet the pizza delivery person.
The vaguely crab-shaped house also boasts a sublime location in Beverly Hills, between Sunset Boulevard and Doheny Drive, and the place is just a literal quick skip to West Hollywood and the bustling Sunset Strip. That location was the primary reason the primary property fetched $12.5 million, a whopping $3.6 million over the asking price. Next-door neighbor Jill Tavelman, the second ex-wife of musician Phil Collins, reportedly outbid several interested developers for the .69-acre property, which sits catty-corner to her much larger Waverly Mansion, a Beverly Hills historic landmark.
Tavelman appears to have given the Woolf property to her daughter, successful actress Lily Collins (“Emily in Paris,” “Rules Don’t Apply,” “Les Misérables”). For her part, Collins held onto the house until last month, when she flipped it for $13.5 million in an off-market deal, as was first reported in the New York Post. Deeds indicate the buyer is Moise Emquies, a wealthy L.A.-based fashion designer who — with his ex-wife Carol Ann Emquies — recently sold his former marital Santa Monica estate for nearly $30 million, records reveal.