BUYER: Lydia Hearst and Chris Hardwick
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 8,240 square feet, 8 bedrooms, 8 full and 2 half bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: A fancifully grand and historically recognized Spanish Colonial Revival-style villa in Los Angeles’s star-studded Oaks neighborhood in Los Feliz has been sold for a record-shattering $11 million — the highest previous sale price came last year when John Gilbert Getty’s A.F. Leicht designed mansion sold for $8.3 million — and the new owner was identified by the L.A. Times property gossips as media heiress Lydia Hearst. We’ve subsequently heard from two extraordinarily well connected snitches that the fortunately born model and budding actress — her great-grandfather was castle-building newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst and her mother is Patty Hearst of Symbionese Liberation Army infamy and John Waters films fame (“Cry Baby,” “Serial Mom,” “Pecker,” Cecil B. Demented”) — purchased the comfortably sumptuous manse with her soon-to-be-husband, science-minded comedian, podcasting game show host, and entrepreneurial comedy genre power player Chris Hardwick.
The 8,240-square-foot residence, down a long gated driveway on a high and private .44-acre perch that allows for a sweeping view that includes the downtown skyline, was originally designed by celebrated architect Paul Williams, built in 1928 for prominent banker Victor Rossetti, and listed as Building 915 on the City of Los Angeles’ Historic-Cultural Monuments list. The property, which despite its fractional size arguably has more in common with Miss Hearst’s great-grandfather’s colossal castle in San Simeon, CA, than it does not, offers the betrothed pair a total of eight bedrooms and eight full and two half bathrooms divided between the three-story main house and a trio of separate offices and guesthouses.
An iron filigree glass door set into a carve stone niche set into the partially vine-covered front façade opens to a substantial entrance hall with terra-cotta tile flooring, arches held aloft by slender Corinthian columns, and an antique carved wood ceiling that looks like it could have been extracted from a centuries old European castle. Carefully restored and extensively updated, the house’s public rooms include a gracefully proportioned living room with coffered ceiling and carved stone fireplace, a paneled and pilastered formal dining room; and a barrel-ceiled library/den with fireplace and built-in book cases. The considerable, center island kitchen, which marries period details such as a fully tiled ceiling with fully modern stainless steel appliances that include a glass-doored refrigerator and built-in coffee maker, links to an informal dining room.
The upper floor bedrooms open off a column lined gallery and include a staff bedroom and a roomy master suite complete with small lounge, large bedroom chamber, city-view loggia, dressing room fitted with original wardrobe cabinets, and a vintage-tiled bathroom with double-sink vanity. The lowest level of the mansion contains a gym, wine cellar, and a family/media room. In addition to a variety of balconies and terraces, the pristinely maintained property’s outdoor recreational and entertainment areas include a swimming pool and spa and an open air cabana with outdoor fireplace that sits atop one of the guest units that, in turn, sits on top of a secondary, street-level two-car garage.
In early 2008, when just a whippersnapper of 23, Miss Hearst purchased a mid-floor two-bedroom apartment in a Midtown Manhattan tower for $1.517 million that she still owns per property records and Mister Hardwick continues to own a 1920s Tudor style home, also in Los Feliz, he scooped up in November 2012 for $2,050,000.
Listing photos: Sotheby’s International Realty