A positively palatial if sadly down-on-its-heels mansion on a busy street in the historic Hancock Park area of Los Angeles, originally built in 1960, has been sold for $5.75 million. The new owner, according to property records: veteran entertainment industry executive Patrick Moran, president of ABC Studios. The august neoclassical villa, inspired by the Pavillon de Musique de la comtesse du Barry at the Château de Louveciennes just outside of Paris, is set behind a stone balustrade on a nearly half-acre parcel that borders the Wilshire Country Club. The house was designed by acclaimed architect Wallace Neff for Ralph J. Chandler, nephew of the late Los Angeles Times publisher Harry Chandler.
Unquestionably in need of a total restoration and update, the lavishly embellished mansion — which boasts nearly 8,200 square feet, with three principal bedrooms, two staff bedrooms, and six bathrooms — oozes with the grandeur of a bygone era. Original architectural details include herringbone-patterned hardwood floors, intricate moldings, hand-forged hardware, and gold-leafed accents. A double-height portico framed by four fluted Ionic columns leads to a knock-your-socks-off rotunda entry with fluted pilasters, hand-carved friezes, and a colossal crystal chandelier hanging from a domed ceiling that soars to about 30 feet.
Main-floor living and entertainment spaces include a reception salon as well as formal living and dining rooms, the latter lined with hand-painted chinoiserie-style wallpaper. Extensive service quarters provide a huge if wildly outdated kitchen with adjoining butler’s pantry, along with a couple of staff bedrooms. Accessible by elevator or a gracefully curved floating staircase, the second floor incorporates three ample bedroom suites with vintage bathrooms, along with a wood-paneled den/library with fireplace and decidedly contemporary-feeling floor-to-ceiling bay window. A towering row of columns along the rear façade defines a marble-paved loggia that looks out over a flat backyard (much in need of sprucing up) with a circular fountain, formal gardens conceived by landscape architect Edward Huntsman-Trout, and a tree-framed view over the golf course.
Moran, who has a penchant for buying and rehabbing luxury homes, owns a slightly smaller, if no less dignified, 1924 Tudor in Hancock Park that he picked up in January 2014 for $3.65 million. He had that property carefully and extensively overhauled, to great effect — it was featured in Architectural Digest. Last month, he put it up for sale at $7.85 million.
listing photos: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices