Anyone who has followed Yolanda’s silly little blog for even a short period of time should know that there’s really nothing we crave more than an excuse to briefly dissect the history of a major celebrity-style estate located in a posh pocket of LA. And this next house, originally built in 1934 (though majorly renovated over the years) and sublimely located in an ultra-swank area of northern Beverly Hills is just the proverbial bee’s knees, if y’all will pardon the cliché. We love it.
Listed way back in March 2016 for a heavyset $34 million, the high maintenance compound lingered on the market for a full year before finally transferring last month (February 2017) for a still-impressive $25,000,000. And though the buyers’ identities are carefully screened behind a blind trust, Yolanda just happens to know that they are a low-profile Ohio-based businessman named Richard “Rich” Reilly and his wife, Christie Reilly. But forget about that for the moment while we strap into our rocketship and blast away, way back in time.
As we say, the Tudor-ish-style pile was originally constructed in 1934 for an unknown (to Yolanda) individual, but judging by the size and location it must’ve been someone pretty big and important. The house sits on high-nosed Tower Road on the northernmost edge of the city of Beverly Hills. Directly across the street is the city of LA (Beverly Hills Post Office).
Sometime in the 1940s the house became owned by the George Sidney family. Our Mr. Sidney was a bigshot film producer/director at MGM, and he had connections/friendships with most of the big stars from Hollywood’s Golden Age, so Yolanda can only imagine that this house was the site of some excellent — though long-forgotten — Tinseltown parties.
To be honest, Yolanda is not quite sure who Mr. Sidney sold the house to, but we think it might’ve been Freddy DeMann, who served long and exceedingly lucrative stints as the music manager of both Madonna and Michael Jackson. In any case, it was definitely Mr. DeMann who — in 1993 — sold this house for $3,750,000 to well-respected film producer Gale Anne Hurd. It appears Ms. Hurd’s second husband Brian DePalma was also involved in the purchase, though the couple were already dunzo by this time.
After Ms. Hurd married her third (and current) hubby, fellow film producer Jonathan Hensleigh, and the couple sold the house in 1997 for $4,450,000 to billionaire heiress Janet Crown of Chicago’s Crown family.
Sadly for Ms. Crown, we doubt she misses the memories that were made in this house. Sometime in 2006, while her marriage to her celebrity personal trainer hubby Gunnar Peterson was swirling town the toilet of love, her young ex-boytoy (and alleged drug addict) Peter Marino broke into the Tower Road house and was non-fatally stabbed by Ms. Crown’s security guard.
My oh my, what a tangled web some folks weave. But we digress.
In March 2010, Ms. Crown unloaded the property for a rock-bottom $9,600,000 to Marcus Everard, formerly a Hong Kong-based financier who now resides full-time in Los Angeles, so we’ve been told.
Mr. Everard spent years and dumped untold millions into transforming what had been just another big Beverly Hills mansion into the opulent, nobility-worthy compound you see below. Seriously, kiddies, the landscaping costs alone on a property of this caliber probably exceed the amount that most folks earn in a single year. For starters, the entire house is surrounded by some of the tallest hedges we’ve ever laid eyes on, and they cover all the 1,000+ feet of frontage this property sports on tony Tower Road.
The house is situated on a sloped 1.38-acre lot, which by estate standards might not seem all that big, but the place is masterfully terraced and landscaped to create the illusion of a much larger property. Neighbors are essentially invisible from the viewpoint of the home and grounds.
Many large estates have two or occasionally even three driveways, but this one has no fewer than — wait for it — FIVE gated driveways surrounding the property, which variously access the main house, the guest house, the gardens, or a service entrance. After winding around the long main driveway (above left), the main house presents as a large and grey but not humongous two-story pile. Out back, however, the structure reveals its true enormity as it drops down mullet-style to three full floors.
According to listing information, the extensively renovated and expanded main residence clocks in at 11,311-square-feet, which isn’t exactly mega-mansion-magnanimous but is quite large.
The house’s public rooms are large without being overbearing and luxurious without seeming too pretentious. Overall, we like the decorating, even that unconventionally square and all-glass dining room table. The kitchen has a massive and somewhat rustic-looking center island topped with walnut or some other lustrous-looking wood. Naturally, high-end appliances abound. And nearly every public room has French doors that open to views of the gorgeously-landscaped backyard (more on that in a minute).
We’re not sure what it is about teal paint, y’all, but that drawing room (or whatever it is) pushes Yolanda’s buttons in all the right ways. We also like that balcony equipped with couches and a glass coffee table, although we wonder what the homeowners will do with that when the rains come? Guess that’s the hired help’s problem, eh?
The master suite has a vaulted ceiling with a lovely balcony off the bedroom. The master baths (two, actually) both verge on the enormous in size. Also upstairs are four additional family bedrooms.
The most impressive feature of the estate, however — at least from Yolanda’s point of view — are the exquisitely manicured grounds, with their raked pea-gravel, sculpted hedges, and hundreds of other assorted plants and flowers (most planted by Mr. Everard during his recent renovation of the property). Props!
There is a classy rectangular pool with some of those weird water fountains. Those seem kinda cool at first but always make Yolanda think of a rich people pissing on themselves for some reason. But whatever.
In addition to the main house, there’s also a two-story guest house (which at 3,980-square-feet is larger than the majority of Americans’ main residences!) In here there are three more bedrooms and baths for a total of 8 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms in 15,291-square-feet of living space.
Now, about the buyers who felt comfortable throwing down $25 million for the house. Rich and Christie Reilly may not be household names, even in the tonier parts of Los Angeles where they reside, but they most assuredly afford a $25 million compound and much more. You see, Mr. Reilly is the President (and was the owner) of a Cincinnati-based company called Rough Brothers, Inc., which manufactures and restores greenhouses across the United States, of all things.
The company had been owned by Mr. Reilly’s father, Al Reilly. After his death, as far as Yolanda can tell, the younger Mr. Reilly inherited most of the company and is the fellow responsible for orchestrating its July 2015 sale to Gibraltar Industries for $130 million in cash.
Mr. & Mrs. Reilly have two teenage daughters — Montana Reilly and Mia Reilly. And although the family hails from Cincinnati, Ohio, they’ve actually resided in Los Angeles for at least the past 5 years or so, where the girls attend school. As a matter of fact, the Reillys own a fancy pad over in the super-posh Holmby Hills neighborhood.
The unique-looking modernist house is about as far — stylistically speaking — from their new Beverly Hills mega-compound as Yolanda can imagine, but it’s also got quite the interestesting pedigree. Behind that imposing red wall, kiddies, is one of the United States’ only pool/fountains designed by the world-famous Mexican architect Luis Barragán.
For what it’s worth, y’all, Yolanda has mad respect for Mr. Barragán. He’s rightfully a legend in the world of architectural design. However, we don’t love the look of his pool/fountain combo here. At all. Perhaps because the 4,905-square-foot house is shoehorned onto a paltry .16-acre lot, there ain’t no outdoor space and therefore the pool is pushed up uncomfortably close to the home. Looks like it’s hungry. Might swallow up everyone inside. We’re just sayin’.
But if you like the look and have millions to burn, you’re in luck. With their massive upgrade in Beverly Hills, we doubt Mr. & Mrs. Reilly will want this house hogging space on their portfolio for much longer. Give ’em a call, we say.