YOUR MAMAS NOTES: In June of 2007, modernist architecture aficionado and hairdressing honcho Vidal Sassoon listed the legendary Richard Neutra designed Singleton House, located on Los Angeles’ near mythic Mulholland Drive, with an asking price of $19,995,000. After a gut wrenching and long 470-some days on the market, the glassy 4 bedroom and 5 pooper designed domicile was de-listed and then, in February of 2009, re-listed with a radical $5,000,000 price chop. Two and a half years after first being listing, the 5+ acre estate with its renovated and “restored” residence continues to linger and languish on the market with a still very high asking price of $14,995,000.
Thanks to the kindness of a Los Angeles real estate insider whom we’ll call Connie Combsthelistings, Your Mama has learned that the Mister Sassoon recently listed his other mid-century modern house in Beverly Hills–this one originally designed by noted architect Hal Levitt and dramatically re-worked in the early 1990s by architect/designer Larry Totah–with an asking price of $17,500,000.
Property records show the fully re-habbed 6,139 square foot residence was scooped by the precision cut pioneer prior to 1992 for an undisclosed amount of money, or at least an amount of money Your Mama was unable to tease out of the interweb. Willie Whispersinourears, a man with intimate knowledge of many mid-century moderns in that neck of the Bev Hills woods, told us that it’s his understanding that Mister Sassoon’s Hal Levitt house was formerly owned by Her Royal Highness Princess Shams Pahlavi, the now deceased older sister of the last Shah of Iran, who covered the floors in purple shag carpeting.
Listing information nor property records for Mister Sassoon’s carefully calibrated residence, reveal the number of bedrooms or poopers on the property. However, thanks to Willie Whispersinourears we’ve discovered that the Sassoon’s main house includes 3 bedrooms plus a home gym behind the kitchen that could be used as a staff room or home office, and the guest house, tucked up behind the garage, has two additional bedrooms that share a single pooper. There is also, in the main house, a small home gym and pooper behind the kitchen plus three (or maybe 3.5 additional poopers) in the main house and an additional
There is, however and according to listing information, a guest house and all the children know how much Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter l.o.v.e. us a guest house in which to stash inlaws and nosy–not to mention noisy–house guests.
A chunky gate opens to a long curving driving that climbs and curves its way around the back of the house to the front where there is a large motor court. Entry to the low-slung and glassy house is through a forest of pillars that marry the motor court to the front door. The interiors spaces are open, airy, minimal and at turns both cozy and sterile. The living room has polished terrazzo floors–or what appear to be terrazzo floors–a high, flat ceiling and a wood burning fireplace. Behind the fireplace a half flight of stairs leads down into a sunken area with tall walls of glass and ecru colored super-shag wall to wall carpeting that probably feels nice on the bare tootsies but that Your Mama’s sour pussy Sugar would have shredded into confetti in less than 48 hours.
The main interior spaces wrap around an interior courtyard. A bridge with retractable walls of glass divides the courtyard in two, spans the swimming pool and connects the main area of the house with the bi-level master suite. In addition to a large bed chamber, the master bedroom includes a crisp pooper with a celebrity style make up counter and soaking tub with flat screen tee-vee mounted at one end, and a cozy sitting area with two walls of floor to ceiling glass and a wall of book shelves that are, Your Mama is happy to report, filled with actual books…the kind one actually reads.
The central courtyard contains a classic Southern California aqua colored swimming pool and spa and several raised concrete planters, each with moss beds and few sprigs of bamboo. A staircase just outside the sitting area of the master bedroom leads to a roof terrace with long, wide and unobstructed views of LaLa Land from downtown to the Pacific Ocean. A massive spherical, olive-shaped sculpture, that looks like it might be an Anish Kapoor, beautifully reflects all the beauty surrounding it but Your Mama imagines that at a certain angle on a glimmer, sun-shiney afternoon that thing could blind the blind.
The Sassoon’s residence, nestled into one of the finer areas of Beverly Hills, sits just spitting distance from both the 55-room, 46,000 square foot Greystone Mansion built in 1928 by oil baron Edward Doheny, and The Knoll, the former estate of both Kenny Rogers and oil and entertainment tycoon Marvin Davis who picked up the 10.77 acre estate in 1982 for $20,250,000. The Knoll, for anyone who might care, was purchased in 2005 for somewhere around $46,000,000 by Beverly Park resident and tool tycoon Eric Smidt who proceeded to, for all intents and purposes, knock down the huge house and build a newer and even bigger monster mansion.
A number of famous folks have in the past and currently own Hal Levitt homes including Steven Spielberg, Lew Wasserman, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, who sold their Hal Levitt designed house on Bel Air’s Ashdale Place back in 2006, and Jennifer Aniston, who bought her Hal Levitt house in Beverly Hills in late 2006 for $13,500,000 and then spent boo-coo bucks on a recently completed total overhaul.
photos: Everett Fenton Gidley