YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: The busy property gossips at the L.A. Times were the first to report that in late March (2014) Saturday Night Live alum Andy Samberg and wife Joanna Newsom quietly forked over $6.25 million for “Moorcrest,” a straight-up cray-cray manse in L.A.’s Beachwood Canyon composed of a fearless and delightfully eccentric if undeniably disharmonious cacophony of Gothic, Moorish, Andalusian, and Art Nouveau influences.
“Moorcrest” was listed on the open market in 2006 and 2007 for a variety of prices from $7.45 million to $9.989 million but this time around it was surreptitiously shopped around as a pocket listing with a suggested asking price that we heard through the celebrity real estate gossip grapevine was north of $6.5 million
Built in the early 1920s by devoted followers of the utopian Theosophist Society, “Moorcrest” was rented to silver screen icon Charlie Chaplin in the mid-1920s before it was sold to film star Mary Astor and her money-grubbing parents who later sued her for upkeep expenses and sold the property in 1934 for just $21,500.
In 2001 the .85-acre gated estate was sold for an unknown amount to L.A. businessman Andrew Meieran. Mister Meieran’s name may not ring a lot of familiarity bells outside of Los Angeles but oodles of Angelenos will certainly recognize him as an influential and entrepreneurial champion of the recent revitalization and ongoing gentrification of L.A.’s once near-moribund downtown. In addition to a recent foray in to film making (“Highland Park”), Mister Meieran owns a couple of busy downtown drinking and dining establishments that include a swanky sort of faux-dive called Golden Gopher and a Steampunk-y lounge called The Edison. He’s also the man responsible for the ongoing revamp and restoration of Clifton’s Cafeteria, a lowbrow but hilariously high-camp downtown institution that, before it closed for renovations, was one of Your Mama’s favorite downtown L.A. destinations. But we digress…
Our research indicates the preserved and upgraded three-story main house has about 6,400 square feet with — so was snitched to Your Mama — four bedrooms, five bathrooms and loads of fireplaces, including one on the roof terrace. A digital listing from 2006 buried deep in the interweb shows the interior spaces are every bit as magnificently wackadoodle as the exterior with mosaic tile floors in the Gaudí-esque kitchen, loads of slender gilded columns and hand-painted ceilings, and baseboards fashioned from copper and marble. A double-height atrium has carved pilasters and a glass ceiling while the master suite has a knock-yer-socks-off hand-hammered copper fireplace and an attached bathroom with mosaic tiled tub and separate steam shower. (We suggest a look-see at the pictures here and here before they disappear!)