This melodramatic Mediterranean Revival estate north of Los Feliz Boulevard was built in 1921 for Victor Schertzinger, a composer, screenwriter, and director of silent and sound films. An accomplished concert violinist, Schertzinger is credited with bringing music to the movie screen. He was the first to compose an original score to accompany a moving picture, and wrote the music for a number of popular songs, most notably “I Remember You.”
The estate’s main residence was designed by Frank L. Meline, the unlicensed architect of countless mansions in moneyed enclaves such as Beverly Hills, Bel Air and Hancock Park, while its grounds were done by renowned landscape architect Mark Roy Daniels, whose body of work includes Pebble Beach’s “17 Mile Drive” and the layout of Bel Air. Evidently, Mr. Scherzinger was seriously in the money, because he also commissioned a guesthouse for the property from the illustrious firm of Morgan Walls & Clements.
When the Schertzinger estate surfaced on the market for the first time in decades back in 2015, its tarnished grandeur invited comparison to Norma Desmond’s musty mansion in “Sunset Boulevard,” and not just because its extravagant details included a pipe organ relocated from the Monterey Theatre in 1925.
Since that time, the 7,800-square-foot residence has undergone an extensive overhaul courtesy of Richard Manion. The Los Angeles-based architect’s website states, “Our work merges tradition with modernity,” and indeed that would accurately describe the revamp of the Schertzinger estate. While the pipe organ pipes no more, and a sizable ceiling fresco has been wiped out along with the home’s general patina of age, other exceptional original features, such as a monumental Batchelder fireplace, coffered doors, scalloped doorways, a stenciled wood-beamed ceiling in the dining room, and three Malibu tile fountains, have been retained and restored.
Among the six-bedroom home’s modern elements are a Christopher Peacock-designed kitchen with Bluestar platinum series 10-burner range, custom pewter hood, white oak cabinetry, an integrated butcher block, and marble countertops. There’s also a quarry’s worth of marble in the bathrooms, which boast heated book-matched Carrera floors and wainscoting. Other updates include custom concealed in-wall speakers, new wood windows with integrated pull-down screens, a Crestron home automation system, a spacious gym, a screening room or recording studio, and a guest suite with its own full kitchen.
Per marketing materials, the palm tree-shaded grounds have been revamped by Hoffman & Ospina Landscape Architects. Along with the aforementioned restored Malibu tile fountains, there’s a lyre-shaped pool rebuilt from its original incarnation to include a spa, as well as two detached guest cottages, and a pool pavilion with outdoor shower.
Asking $12.75 million, the .64-acre property is listed with Bryan Abrams of Sotheby’s International Realty.