Stop the presses, hold the phone, and turn the car around — if it isn’t an honest-to-goodness Mellenthin home, one in seemingly near original condition, no less! For San Fernando Valley denizens (and longtime professional observers of L.A. real estate), these sweet midcentury ranches used to be as common as sunshine, but nowadays, they’re getting to be as scarce as hen’s teeth, replaced by the ubiquitous “modern farmhouse.” In 2023, it’s especially remarkable to encounter as pristine a specimen as this one in the Hollywood Hills.
Erected by prolific developer William Mellenthin from the 1930s through the 1950s, Mellenthin homes were identifiable by a signature flourish — some version of a birdhouse, ranging from a cupola topped with a finial to built-in dovecotes. Other hallmarks include diamond-pane windows, brick fireplaces, and board-and-batten siding, all of which are present and accounted for in this particular residence.
Located in Nichols Canyon, a little north of the 62-acre Trebek Open Space park, the home was built in 1955 and looks to have been well-cared for ever since. Measuring 2,244 square feet, it features four bedrooms and three bathrooms. Three of the bedrooms are arrayed in a row along the home’s southern end, while the living room, dining area, family room, and den all wrap around the long galley-style kitchen. Standout features include vaulted beamed ceilings, hardwood floors, two wood-burning fireplaces, colorful period tile (hello, “Mamie pink” bathroom), huge picture windows and skylights, built-in bookshelves and seating, and lots of knotty pine paneling.
Between the rear facade of the house and its backyard is a long brick patio perfectly sited for enjoying glorious canyon and citylights views. There’s no pool, but with a half-acre lot, there’s certainly plenty of room for one. On the market for the first time since 1997, the property is listed with Jeffrey Daniels at an asking price of $2.57 million.