A lovingly preserved house nestled high in the Beverly Hills enclave of Trousdale Estates has sold for $8.4 million, and the buyers are iconic pop artist Ed Ruscha and his longtime wife, Danica. Sprightly 81-year-old Ruscha, who famously migrated from Oklahoma City to Los Angeles in the 1950s, is now both the artist most oft-associated with L.A. and California’s most expensive living artist — lest anyone forgets, his 1963 word painting “Smash” sold for $30.4 million in 2014.
As for Ruscha’s new .64-acre Beverly Hills estate, it last sold exactly 50 years ago for a paltry $65,000, and the current residence was custom-built in 1971 for renowned law professor Jesse Dukeminier and his life partner, psychiatrist Dr. David Sanders. Following Dukeminier’s 2003 death, Sanders continued to live in the house until his own passing last year.
Hidden on a flag lot behind a long gated driveway, the multi-winged structure spans a comfortable 3,443 square feet of posh living space. Within the vine-encrusted walls are an oversized living room with city lights views, a formal dining room with floral wallpaper, and one decidedly dated (if well-maintained) kitchen. The master bedroom features a fireplace and floor-to-ceiling bookcases, as does one of the two spare bedrooms and the private office.
On a clear day, the property sports sunset views stretching to the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island. The green-tiled pool directly overlooks Coldwater Canyon and is surrounded by a courtyard patio area. Skinny-dipping privacy is ensured by several well-placed pine trees that effectively surround the peach-colored residence.
The listing, presented by Daniel Banchik and Amy Dantzler of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, gently hinted that the peach-colored residence may be a potential teardown — it “presents an amazing opportunity to rehab or develop” in their words — but it’s not known what plans the Ruschas, who were repped by Daniel John Cavanaugh, have for the home.
In any case, the couple maintain a substantial property portfolio that includes another larger Trousdale home they’ve owned since 2002, a house in Malibu’s celebrified Point Dume neighborhood, an artist’s studio in Culver City, and several hundred acres of vacant land deep in the Mojave Desert, out near scenic Joshua Tree. The couple also long owned a Los Feliz bungalow and a second Point Dume house, though records show both properties were deeded over to their son, Edward Ruscha V, several years ago.