listing photos (above series): Westside Estate Agency
SELLER: David Schwimmer
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 11,336square feet, 9 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES (UPDATED 8/14/12): Late last year, after it was shopped around off-market for a little bit, Friends actor David Schwimmer listed his grandly-scaled house in Los Angeles’s affluent Hancock Park ‘hood with an asking price of $10,700,000. The price eventually dropped to $10,200,000.
In May we heard from someone in a position to know, let’s call her Penny Pincher, who snitched to Your Mama that Mister Schwimmer’s residence had been eyeballed by at least one big name celebrity and that we should expect the house to soon be sold for a good deal less than the last asking price. Low and behold property records reflect the mid-city estate was sold in late June 2012 for $8,865,000 to a generically-named blind trust that shields the identity of the buyer.
Naturally we did some asking around with some of our better informed informants in the cut-throat world of high-end real estate and it wasn’t long before two separate sources identified the buyers of the deeply discounted Schwimmer estate as filmmaker (and Tinseltown scion) Eric Eisner—his papa is none other than Hollywood power player Michael Eisner—and fashion designer Stacey Bendet Eisner, founder of the lighthearted, uptown-girl-goes-downtown Alice + Olivia label. However, it should be noted a representative of Missus Bendet Eisner contacted Your Mama to let us know that our informants were dead wrong. Well, she didn’t say it like that, she was far to professional to say that but that’s, in effect, what she said but in a much more friendly fashion.
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Listing information from the time of the sale shows Mister Schwimmer’s hulking, 11,000-plus square foot main mansion has 9 bedrooms and six bathrooms (plus a pair of powder poopers), five fireplaces, and a state-of-the-art screening room. Additional, loft-like living space with living room, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom—perfect for guests, live-in domestic(s) and/or irritating house guests—sits atop a detached three-car garage.
The meticulously groomed 1.02-acre grounds—walled, gated and well-screened for celebrity-style security and privacy, natch—encompasses a rear motor court, flat lawns, parterre garden or two thick tropical landscaping, resort-style swimming pool and spa, and a properly-aligned (north-south) tennis court with viewing pavilion.
Some of the high profile peeps who own homes in the immediate vicinity include Jason Alexander; (Seinfeld); Sean Hayes (Will & Grace), who unsuccessfully attempted to sell his manse in 2008 with an asking price of $8,950,000; writer/producer Shonda Rimes (Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice) who bought her fully-updated and upgraded mansion for $5,600,000 in March 2010 from indie music superstar Beck; and sitcom superstar Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond, The Middle) who, Your Mama hears through the celebrity property gossip grapevine, will allow her estate to be shown with a $12,000,000 (or so) price tag through one of Hancock Park’s most successful Real Estates. Just more celebrity real estate rumor and gossip.
We queried our exceedingly smart Fairy Godmother in Bel Air on the matter and although she was entirely unaware of the Eisner’s (alleged and denied) acquisition of the Schwimmer estate in Hancock Park she was quite certain a home the Eisner’s own in the Bird Streets area above the Sunset Strip is currently on the market with a (greatly reduced) asking price of $3,495,000. Now, we ask that y’all use yer noggins: Ownership of residence is obscured behind a generically named trust so Your Mama can’t say for certain the house in question (below) is owned by Mister and Missus Eisner. However, it’s worth nothing, Our Fairy Godmother in Bel Air is not, nor has she ever been, in the habit of providing Your Mama with inaccurate real estate information.
listing photos (above series): Sotheby’s International Realty
Anyhoo, current listing information we perused shows the recently renovated contemporary-Spanish residence was built in 1970 and last purchased in April 2000 for $1,575,000. There are 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms in the single-story residence that angles around a flat backyard with flagstone terraces, built-in barbecue station, swimming pool and elevated spa. The bedroom wing also opens up to deep terraces nestled between the house and the thickly-planted property perimeter.
The day-core is dizzyingly vibrant with hard punches and electric pops of primary colors and a willy-nilly layering of textures and eye-spinning patterns. The guest bathroom with the floral wall covering and black and white tile flooring definitely makes a bold, exuberantly graphic and maybe even garish decorative statement but it’s so vexingly insane we can hardly bear to turn away. We’ll probably take a bullet or two from the children for saying so but Your Mama finds it unusually refreshing and commendable for someone really go at it with such a fearless and joyful abandonment of the sometimes strict confines of decorative “appropriateness,” even if the result can be a more than a little chaotic and, at moments, questionable.
As it turns out, this isn’t the only house in Los Angeles (allegedly) connected to Stacy Bendet Eisner that’s currently on the market. As has been reported here, there and everywhere including by the kids at Curbed both recently and in years past, Missus Eisner and quirky musician Moby co-own a quintessentially L.A., 1926 Hollywood Regency-style residence above the Sunset Strip designed by the late-great John Elgin Woolf and previously owned by high-sterical, high-camp comedian Paul Lynde.
listing photos (above series): Sotheby’s International Realty
Online resources show the funny house was last purchased in February 2008 for $2,950,000 and about a year later the high-glam pad popped up on the rental market at $15,000 per month. Missus Bendet Eisner and Mister Moby first and unsuccessfully attempted to sell it in June 2010 with a $3,495,000 price tag. Since then it’s been de- and re-listed a few times and showed back up on the open sales market with a higher asking price of $3,695,000. Our friend and informant Lucy Spillerguts tells us the house is or was recently leased (for an unknown amount) to a trendy, high-end sneaker-shoe designer. We don’t ask how she knows these things, she just does.
Current listing information shows the two-and-some story villa measures 3,700 square feet with a total of 3 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms, a count that may or may not take into account the separate guest house located at the bottom of the steeply pitched hillside property where there’s also a nearly secret, gated back entrance and a detached two-car garage.
Inside the decadent main living spaces have both black and white checkerboard marble or Parquet de Versailles style wood floors under foot and 12 foot ceilings over and towering windows with canyon and city views. The ceiling of the dining room has an appetite-suppressing, gridded and mirrored ceiling along with a petite table for four that looks like it came through the looking glass. The eat-in kitchen is comparatively blank with its white, raised-panel cabinetry, white and grey-veined Carrara marble counter tops and back splashes, and usual complement of high-grade stainless steel appliances.
At least two of the bedrooms in the main house are master suite worthy with bleached (or pickled or otherwise whitened) hardwood floors, pretty canyon and city views and bathrooms that feel a bit beige and Beijing 4-star hotel suite sleek for the clunky, colorful and haphazardly elegant house.
The nearly all white interiors act as a gleaming canvas for courageous and invigorating (if dizzying) finishes and day-core that include striped wall coverings, garish artworks, a pair of cheap-looking Louis the something (or something) reworked in monochromatic blood red, and a silvery rococo mirror propped drunkenly in front of an exterior door in the kitchen, It’s colorful and rebellious and not at all correct but it’s way more amusing and provocative to look at than perfectly pristine and mannered sorts of decor that typically falls within the range of “good taste,” whatever that is.
Since we’ve meandered so far astray already, let’s cover all the real estate bases in regards to the parties involved in today’s roundabout real estate story.
Moby, who maintains one of the the most charming and intimate blogs about Los Angeles real estate, paid nearly $4 million in March 2010 to buy Wolf’s Lair, a castle-like compound perched proudly atop a perfectly private ridge with panoramic views over Beachwood Canyon and Lake Hollywood. He bought the place from now broken up music executive Jay Faires and television hostess/correspondent Debbie Matenopoulos who originally wanted $7,500,000 for the quirky lair.
The New York Times reported last year Moby spent another two or so million on an extensive restoration and renovation of the idiosyncratic aerie that includes a main house, pool/guest house, an incongruous but thrilling John Lautner-designed guest house and, tucked deep into the towering stone ramparts, a secret tiki-bar lounge Moby plans to turn in to an invite-only magic den (to which we can assure the children Your Mama will not be invited).