SELLER: estate of Sue Mengers
LOCATION: Beverly Hills, CA
SIZE: 4,434 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: All the children know that brevity ain’t Your Mama’s strong point. However, because we’re well beyond fashionably late to this particular real estate party and because we have a very complicated pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap cookie crust to make–from scratch, natch–we’re going keep our prattle to a bare minimum today.
About a month ago legendary talent agent turned Hollywood hostess-with-the-mostess Sue Mengers died at the age of 79…78 or or 81 depending on who you ask and where you read. Miz Mengers, in case any of y’all don’t know, was a diminutive Tinseltown dynamo, a wonderfully zaftig powerhouse über-agent who often wore over-sized round glasses and possessed what surely was one of the most extensive collections of caftans in the entire world.
She used her sharp wit, fearlessly blunt manner and innate showbiz savvy to become the most powerful agent who over the years represented just about anyone and everyone who was or became anyone important in Hollywood including Barbra Streisand, Jack Nicholson, Mike Nichols, Ali McGraw, Peter Bogdanovich, Faye Dunaway, Bob Fosse, Cybill Shepard, Sidney Lumet, Cher, Michael Caine, Ryan O’Neal and on and on and on.
Besides engineering and steering the careers of countless Hollywood icons, Miz Mengers was equally well-known for her low-key but star-studded salon-style dinners, first at a small modern house on Dawnridge Drive in Beverly Hills where, according to a 1987 article in the L.A. Times, “Julie Christie met Princess Margaret” and “John Travolta met Laurence Olivier” and later at the gigantic French Normandy-style mansion on Bel Air Road she bought in 1977 from Zsa Zsa Gabor.
In May 1988, shortly after Miz Mengers officially retired, she shelled out $2,000,000 to acquire her final home and party pad, a spectacular salmon-colored John Elgin Woolf-designed Hollywood Regency-style residence on Lexington Road in Beverly Hills that was listed in the weeks after her death with an asking price of $4,995,000.
Listing information shows the immaculately maintained (if not entirely updated) single story residence was built in 1959, measures 4,434 square feet and includes a total of three bedrooms and three bathrooms. The house, according to someone Your Mama knows who knows such things, was originally built for Los Angeles ranching and real estate scion and politician Alphonso Bell Jr. That’s Bell, people, as in the cities and communities of Bell, Bell Gardens and–you got it–Bel Air.
The primary entertaining rooms include a sizable living room with fireplace that opens to the central courtyard through a curved wall of floor-to-ceiling windows, an intimately scaled oval dining room, and a library with second fireplace and full wall of built-in bookshelves. Your Mama is quite certain we’d pass out from envy just from perusing the titles of Miz Mengers’ collection of books.
The master suite, according to listing information, has “dual closets” and two bathrooms, one oval-shaped with a campy-glam pink marble floor and oval-shaped soaking tub set into a mirrored niche. The children will know the “Oui Oui” pillow on the chair in the bathroom. It’s really dumb but sort of brilliant all at the same time, right?
The house wraps around a magnificent oval-shaped courtyard lined with what listing information calls “slender Greek Revival columns. At the center of the courtyard an oval shaped swimming pool that makes Your Mama’s knees go weak with real estate desire and envy. At the far end of the courtyard, directly opposite the living room, a wide set of stone steps that ascend to a small but very private and grassy yard enclosed by thick foliage and mature shade trees.
The trustee responsible for the sale of the property is none other than billionaire entertainment mogul David Geffen who has set up the sale of the property so that all best and final offers on the house be submitted by December 7, 2011. According to the listing agent’s website more than 125 interested parties have toured the property and with that Your Mama expects the house will have many and multiple offers and will eventually result in a sale price well above the $4,995,000 asking price. We predict the sale price will be millions more but then again, what do we know?
Your Mama and we imagine every other architectural enthusiast and (arm chair) historian can only hope Miz Mengers’ manse is purchased by someone who will cherish and maintain the house in a manner respectful to Mister Woolf’s original design but would anyone who knows anything at all about real estate in Los Angeles be surprised if the property was purchased by a developer who plans to blow Miz Menger’s Woolf-house down and replace it with an horrifically over-articulated and belligerently bloated mcmansion? We shall see bunnies, we shall see.
listing photos: Nourmand & Associates