SELLERS: Robert and Mimi Oshodin
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 9,329 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: “Los Tiempos,” one of Los Angeles’s most storied and iconic mansions, in the historic and historically prosperous Windsor Square neighborhood and long owned by the illustrious and influential Chandler family, has come up for sale with an eye-popping and publicity assuring price tag of $50,000,000. Current listing details show the 9,329-square-foot residence, a registered historic cultural monument, sits on a painstakingly groomed .83-acre corner parcel with six bedrooms — four family bedrooms and two staff bedrooms — and a total of eight bathrooms.
According to the always informative Paradise Leased blog, the decidedly grandiose and lavishly embellished Beaux Arts-style residence was designed by architect J. Martyn Haenke and built in 1913 for physician turned real estate developer Peter Janss whose eponymous company developed parts of Monterey Park, Boyle Heights and Yorba Linda. In the mid-1950’s, after a succession of owners, the stately estate was acquired by Norman and Dorothy “Buff” Chandler, he the scion and publisher of the “L.A. Times” and she a tireless philanthropist who contributed vastly to Los Angeles’s arts and culture scene. It was the Chandlers who gave the mansion its clever and enduring name, Spanish for The Times, and during their residency they frequently entertained hordes of Hollywood heavy weights and hosted a handful of U.S. presidents including Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon.
“Los Tiempos” remained in the Chandler family until July 1997 when it was sold for $2.025 million to internationally renowned L.A.-based interior designer Timothy Corrigan, who grew up in neighboring Hancock Park and once told late and saucy comedienne Joan Rivers on her television show “How’d You Get So Rich?” that he’d done up homes for Madonna and Sarah Jessica Parker. Mister Corrigan sold the estate in November 2006 for $8.07 million to Courtney and Joseph Handleman, the latter an heir to a music distribution company. Alas, the Handleman-Callahans, who’d somewhat famously sold their previous home in the guard-gated Summit development in the mountains between Beverly Hills and Studio City to a then melting down Britney Spears for $6.75 million, later claimed they were misled by the sellers and their real estate representatives about the shabby condition of the property. They initiated an ugly, years long and ultimately fruitless legal dispute in which they claimed, according to reports, the sellers failed to disclose “faulty water pipes, leaky roofs, black mold, raw sewage and dangerous wiring” that cost them nearly $3 million to repair.
After exhausting their financial resources on a variety of repairs and restorations, the Handleman-Callahans put the property up for sale in the spring of 2012 for $11.25 million. (Mister Handleman, who reportedly suffered from a range of health issue and ailments, died in an apparent suicide the day after the legal fracas was settled in July 2012.) When the estate was re-listed in the fall of 2013 the asking price had plummeted to $10.6 million and, after a flirt with foreclosure, the estate was finally sold in June 2014 for $9.5 million to its current owner, Nigerian furniture manufacturing tycoon Robert Oshodin and his wife Mimi. At the time of the Oshodins purchase, the mansion’s living and entertaining spaces included an oak paneled entrance gallery with carved wood fluted Corinthian columns, a ballroom-scaled formal living room also paneled in oak, a baronial formal dining room sheathed in painted and gilt-trimmed mahogany, and a paneled library with marble fireplace surround. A spacious sun room with a trio of arched glass doors opened to a tented loggia alongside a swimming pool set into a thick carpet of lawn. The Oshodins, who quickly embarked on a renovation of the property, ran afoul of some of the more preservation-minded neighborhood residents when they painted the mansion a bright white that naysayers accurately screeched and hollered was garish and out of historic character and compromised the integrity of the residence. The Oshodins were eventually persuaded to have the mansion re-painted a more dignified and historically accurate buff color.
Current listing descriptions, which are strangely almost identical to those from when the estate was sold in 2014, state the storied estate “underwent a multiyear restoration and upgrade” that included the addition of a home automation system, a camera-equipped security system, new plumbing and electrical, a new roof and copper gutters, new landscaping and a new irrigation system. Interior refinements included the addition of carved custom cabinetry throughout and 400-year-old French limestone floors in the expensively outfitted kitchen that opens over a large center island to a breakfast room and sitting area with fireplace. A pool house, torn down by a previous owner, was reportedly re-built by the Oshodins “in the tradition of the original structure” and the property also includes a detached three-car garage topped by additional living space.
As it turns out, another mansion in the neighboring Hancock Park that was also long owned by a member of the Chandler family and is in need of a complete restoration and upgrage was recently sold for $5.75 million to ABC Studio president Patrick Moran.