YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Way back in early December 2010 a gabby informant we named Julie Justwantstotellyou told Your Mama that Oscar-nominated actor Harrison Ford (Star Wars, Raiders of the Los Ark) and his slip of a third wife actress Calista Flockhart (Brothers & Sisters, Ally McBeal) had spent many millions for a new mansion in the upscale, celebrity friendly Brentwood area of Los Angeles, CA.
We promptly filed the matter in the back of our cluttered celebrity real estate mind for later use. Of course, we completely forgot about it until last week when we ran into Miz Justwantstotellyou who snitched and tattled all over again about how Mister Harrison and Miz Flockhart dumped twelve and a half million clams on a huge new house in Brentwood.
Property records we peeped show that in late September 2010 Mister Harrison and Miz Flockhart actually paid $12,650,000 for the recently completed mansion tucked privately into a secluded section of Brentwood’s rustic, exclusive, and hideously expensive Mandeville Canyon area. A few quick flicks of the well-worn beads on Your Mama’s bejeweled abacus shows that Mister Harrison and Miz Flockhart wisely paid almost 20% less than the $15,895,000 at which the recently erected residence was priced in March 2010 and just about 10% less than the last known asking price of of $13,895,000.
Listing information kindly provided to Your Mama by Our Fairy Godmother in Brentwood shows the cedar-shingled center hall Colonial Revival encompasses a massive if not exactly mega 13,767 square feet. The rambling residence contains a total of 7 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, and 6 fireplaces plus a detached backyard cottage outfitted with screening room and guest/staff suite.
The decidedly traditional house sits behind electronic gates that glide open to reveal a large motor court that spreads out like a concrete desert in front of the house and front-facing attached three car garage. Your Mama has to wonder if there might have been a more elegant car storage solution that would have allowed for the garage doors to face a different direction so that the first thing one sees upon driving through the gates of your nearly thirteen million dollar mansion is not a god damn trio of garage doors. Yes, children, those garage doors each probably cost as much as a Mercedes but for our twelve-plus million dollars–and we do not have twelve million dollars to toss around on a house–we do not want to look at garage doors all the time. Your Mama also has our fingers crossed that Mister Harrison–a former professional cabinet maker known to have a discerning eye for the correctness of details when it comes to architecture, design and day-core–has at least considered the replacement of the concrete motor court with pea gravel, a dee–voonly auditory material that better and more authentically suits the style of the house.
The multi-winged mansion appears to Your Mama’s uneducated but still grossly opinionated architectural eye to have been purposefully designed to look a bit wonky on the exterior, like a somewhat modest East Coast Colonial to which the owners added and reconfigured rooms as their financial fortunes improved. The huge house, built brand new from the ground up and completed in 2010, coils snugly around a central courtyard that softens the transition between the relative unfriendliness of the parking lot sized motor court with it’s big ol‘ garage doors and the warm civilities of the luxurious and dignified but purposefully casual interior spaces.
Guests and residents who cross the courtyard at the front of the house enter through an intimate vestibule that explodes into a grand double height entrance hall partially ringed by a second floor gallery. The more formal public rooms include a wood-paneled library and a ballroom-sized living room with exceptionally wide planked wood floors, a wood burning fireplace flanked by large windows, and a series of French doors that open to a covered outdoor living area. In addition to a fireplace, the formal dining room has a view of the backyard through transom-topped multi-pane windows and French doors the stretch from wall to wall and extend from the floor almost to the ceiling.
The extra wide plank wood floors unify the formal areas with the family’s private living spaces that include a gigantic game room at the front of the house and a colossal center island eat-in kitchen at the heart and back of the house with both marble and mahogany counter tops, top-grade commercial style appliances, and white glass fronted Shaker-style cabinetry. A wide pass through connects the kitchen to a glassed-in breakfast room that in turn opens to the patios and terraces that run along the back of the house. An adjoining family room has a fireplace and a wide wall of French doors that merge the family quarters with the primary dining and entertainment terrace that extends off the back of the house and surrounds the swimming pool and spa.
Light floods into a second family room on the second floor through a bank of windows and a small oculus fitted into the vaulted ceiling. A long ridge line sky light references and pays clear homage to the coveted Cliff May-designed California ranch houses sprinkled throughout Mandeville Canyon that often feature strategically-placed ridge line sky lights as one of the masterful architect’s signature elements.
The celebrity-style second floor master suite has a bedroom, private sitting room with fireplace and full wall of built-in book shelves plus a nearby paneled office with balcony. There’s another meandering balcony that overlooks the back yard, substantial closet space and two deluxe bathrooms. The mister’s sizable facility, a wood-paneled men’s clubby space, features a room-sized shower bathed in brown and white-veined marble while the lady of the house is meant to ablute and etc. in an even larger bathroom swaddled in mirrors and pale gray veined white marble.
The back of the house spills out to an interconnected series of covered patios and open terraces that hug the rear façade and link the interior areas with the good-sized but hardly humongous back yard. Naturally, there’s a built-in fire pit and a soccer pitch-sized square of lawn divides the swimming pool, elevated spa and built-in barbecue center from the detached structure that houses the screening room and guest/staff suite.
Property records (and The Bizzy Boys at Celebrity Address Aerial) reveal that Mister Harrison has long owned several other homes in Los Angeles including a 3,530 square foot house in Encino he bought in 1997 for $1,515,000 and another in the Rancho Park area (near Century City) that’s 1,855 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, that he bought in 1985 for just $78,045. Possibly these are investments, maybe they’re occupied by ex-wives or children, perhaps they’re little more than expensive storage facilities, family offices or housing for domestic assistants.
In the summer of 1983, probably around the time he and his Oscar nominated second wife Melissa Mathison (E.T., The Black Stallion) went splitsville, Mister Harrison paid $1,000,000 for a 7,164 square foot Country Colonial in the Brentwood. The house sits high above the street in the southern shadow of The Getty, which was not there sitting like a shining city on a hill back in 1983. Anyhoo, Mister Harrison’s house in Brentwood was originally designed by noted architect Gerard Colcord and it remains to be seen if he’ll sell his architectural gem or if his heart strings will have him to hold fast to the meticulously restored real estate treasure.
Mister Harrison also maintains an 800-acre ranch outside of rugged and drop dead gorgeous Jackson, WY as well as a 5,664 square foot prairie-like penthouse in lower Manhattan that he bought in October 2001 for $5,295,000 and has had on the market since early December 2010 with a $16,000,000 price tag.
We’re not really sure why Mister Harrison would choose to shake up his real estate portfolio in such a significant way all at the same time. However, if we’ve said it once we’ve said it 99 times: Amongst the rich and/or famous a new spouse often means a new house. We find this entirely unscientific celebrity real estate theory often holds true even for folks who lived contentedly in unmarried sin for years as did Mister Harrison and Miz Flockhart before June 2010 when they hitched their wagons in the eyes of God and government after 7 or 8 long years of unwed coupledom and child rearing; She has an adopted child that he co-parents and he has four adult children and at least three grandchildren from his previous two marriages.
Well, no wonder they wanted a bigger house. Count ’em up, puppies. The Harrison-Flockharts are more than two dozen people for Sunday family dinner with just their immediate family not to mention any ex-wives, in-laws, close friends and other relatives who might stop in for a top-shelf boozy beverage and private chef-prepared nibble.
Anyhoo, someone whose not, as far as we know, changing up her property portfolio with such vigor as Mister Harrison is Miz Flockhart. Since the late 1990s, when she starred on Ally McBeal as a love-starved young attorney with an overly insistent biological clock that took the form of a disturbing dancing baby, Miz Flockhart has owned a 2,870 square foot house on a quiet cul–de-sac in the flats of L.A.’s affluent Brentwood area. Records show she paid $1,400,000 for the property. We’re not sure what goes on at this house now but some years back she put the high-hedged, gated and fully secured 3 bedroom and 2.5 bathroom Cape Cod-style crib on the rental market at $10,000 per month.
listing photos: Partners Trust