SELLER: Alan Poul
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 1,784 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: As we sipped on a tall gin & tonic and perused some of the less expensive listings in the Los Angeles area the other day Your Mama ran across a low-slung 1964 contemporary in the Hollywood Hills renovated in 2002, listed at $989,000—downright cheap by Showbiz real estate standards—and owned, according to property records, by out, proud and community-minded television producer/director Alan Poul.
Mister Poul’s resume on the Internet Movie Data Base shows he’s toiled in Tinseltown as a producer since at least the mid-1980s with a respectable list of credits that include the mid-90s teen drama My So-Called Life, all three of the separate mini series cycles based on Armistead Maupin’s eight Tales of the City novels, the super-hit dark comedy Six Feet Under in the early to mid-2000s and the only season of Swingtown, a 2008 t.v. turkey about a group of affluent Chicago suburbanites grappling with the 1970s sexual revolution.
Mister Poul, always the bridesmaid but never the bride when it comes to the Emmys, has been nominated seven times—for both Tales of the City and Six Feet Under—but has yet to bring one home. Some of his more recent credits include directing a couple of episodes of the The Big C (in 2010) with the always phenomenal Laura Linney and he currently executive produces the The Newsroom, an Aaron Sorkin-created drama that Your Mama tried to watch and quickly found well-intentioned and smartly produced but self-righteously high-minded and tiresomely melodramatic.
Anyhoodles poodles…property records show Mister Poul picked up his hillside home near the tippy-top of the Hollywood Hills a decade ago, in May 2002, for $750,000 from a fella named Mark Werts whose name vintage- and fashion-minded Angelenos may recognize as the founder behind the perennially popular apparel and lifestyle shopping emporium American Rag Cie.
Current listing information shows the two-story residence spans a modest 1,784 square feet with three bedrooms and three bathrooms and like many houses in the Hollywood Hills—including the one Your Mama and The Doctor Cooter just sold for a bit over the asking price—Mister Poul’s pad sits almost right up on the narrow and little-trafficked street with only a sliver of what might generously be called a front yard.
A slender porch hugs the front facade and connects the barely-there driveway to the front door that opens directly into the upper level main living space outfitted with maple wood floors, a gas fireplace and custom-built floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, some with actual books in them. Two wide banks of wood-framed glass doors swing open to a balcony deck that runs almost the entire width of the back of the house and from which there are expansive views down the rugged canyon and over the flat and vast expanse of the San Fernando Valley.
The dining area of the living/dining room area blurs to a not-optimally compact, u-shaped kitchen that’s nicely if fairly ordinarily finished with cherry—or mahogany—stained cabinetry and a full suite of higher-grade stainless steel appliances that include a six-burner range, convection oven, built-in microwave, silent running dishwasher and under-counter wine refrigerator.
Just off the living room area there’s a guest bathroom with stall shower and the neighboring bedroom has direct balcony access through more wood-framed glass doors and—in lieu of, it seems, a proper closet—a built-in entertainment center with flat-screen t.v. that allows the room to easily convert to a den or media lounge.
Downstairs, a desirable-sized second guest/family bedroom has built-in cabinetry and easy access to an adjacent, windowless hall bathroom with two-person steam shower. The children will note on the floor plan included with online marketing materials that the stacked washer/and dryer are tucked into a squeezy closet in the lower level guest bedroom. This isn’t the best scenario, obviously, particularly when you have a house guest and need to launder your underthings. However, according to Your Mama and The Doctor Cooters’ imperious house gurl Svetlana, it’s still far batter than the clothes cleaning machines being wedged into the attached but tight two-car garage just off the kitchen.
Anyhoo, the hotel suite-style master bedroom stretches more than 28-feet long with fireplace, separate sitting area, fitted walk-in closet and private—if windowless—facility with spa tub, separate fully-tiled stall shower, crapper cubbie and an space-efficient but stylistically puzzling twin sink vanity situation.
Both of the lower level bedrooms open to a large deck that’s cantilevered over the hillside and conveniently accessible from the upper level balcony by a sturdy-looking outdoor stair case. Mister Poul—or maybe it’s Staging Lady in a Pink Toyota—did up the deck as a party-encouraging outdoor living and dining space with a suite of matching slip-covered slipper-style sofas and chairs arranged around a concrete and glass coffee table. A rectangular glass-topped and steel-legged dining table surrounded by six, white, molded plastic Panton chairs was tucked into the intimate niche formed by the staircase.
Dog walkers and urban hiking enthusiasts will take note that the house is just a few minutes walk from the upper, Mulholland Drive entrance to Runyon Canyon where oodles and caboodles of famous folks of all stripes and regular people alike hike and walk their dogs.
A quick spin through property records does not immediately turn up any other property in Los Angeles—or anywhere else—owned by Mister Poul.
listing photos and floor plan: Keller Williams Beverly Hills