BUYERS: Bridget Fonda and Danny Elfman
LOCATION: Los Angeles, Calif.
PRICE: $3.6 million
SIZE: 4,443 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: Prolific and in-demand film and television composer Danny Elfman and (presumably) retired actress Bridget Fonda have shelled out $3.6 million, according to both real estate yenta Yolanda Yakketyyak and property records, for a meticulously maintained if comically outdated time capsule of a residence in the historic, guard-gated Fremont Place enclave that’s centrally situated between Hancock Park and Koreatown.
Miz Fonda, born into an illustrious and much-lauded family of actors — she’s Oscar winter Henry Fonda’s granddaughter, two-time Oscar winner Jane Fonda’s niece and twice Oscar-nominated Peter Fonda’s daughter — hasn’t appeared on the small or silver screen since 2002 but before that had a long and admirable career that earned her both Golden Globe and Emmy wins. Mister Elfman, the frontman for the 1980s new wave band Oingo Boingo, has composed theme music and scores for a slew of successful television programs and films including “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure,” “The Simpsons,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Beetlejuice,” “Dick Tracy” and, more recently, “Milk,” “American Hustle,” “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Fifty Shades of Grey.” He currently has about half a dozen projects in some phase of production including the Tim Burton directed “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” and “Alice Through the Looking Glass” starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, both scheduled to be released next year. Anyways….
Digital listing details indicate the Prairie-style residence sits on a flat, 0.37-acre mid-block lot and was originally built in 1916 with a low-profile hip roof and remarkably deep eaves. The two-story abode currently measures 4,443 square feet with four bedrooms and five bathrooms, per online marketing materials, with additional storage space above the detached two-car garage located behind iron gates at the tail end of a long driveway that passes under a porte cochère as it runs along the side of the house.
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From a modern-day stand point the interior spaces are — let’s be honest, children — utterly preposterous, and no doubt the entire property will likely be radically altered and updated for future use so the grim decorative details are somewhat moot. Nonetheless, listing photographs show there are heavily and unfortunately textured plaster ceilings and wall treatments, miles of floral wallpaper and floor tiles of an unknown material throughout the main floor living spaces that appear to this property gossip in listing photos a bit too much like linoleum.
At some point, possibly in the 1960s or 1970s, the interiors were revamped and opened up into a spacious, open-plan living/entertaining space that extends from the front of the house clear through to the back and includes an imposing and arguably salvageable stone fireplace. (The stone detailing around the windows the flank the fireplace, of course, would need be removed.) Toward the back of the space there’s a built-in wet bar with mirror backed shelves and an impossibly ugly carved wood canopy. Integrated cabinetry next to the bar houses an upright piano painted the exact same shade of ecru as the walls and multipaned sliding glass doors open to the backyard where there’s a flagstone terrace surrounded swimming pool and a built-in barbecue station.
A low-tiled peninsula divides the main living/entertaining space from an informal dining space that links to a clean but practically archaic center island kitchen. The most bizarre and decoratively egregious feature in the entire house might be located in the step-down formal dining room that overlooks the frond yard and where the white paneled walls are set off by a brick lined niche fitted with three beer kegs. That’s right, children, there are three beer kegs sticking out of the wall in the dining room. Quite frankly, unless this was a frat house we’re not sure what would be better, if those kegs were purely decorative or if they had actual functioning taps.
We confess we have no inside information on what plans the Fonda-Elfmans might have for the property but it seems unlikely they’ll occupy the house as their primary residence even after an extensive and expensive renovation since they have long lived in a larger, neighboring property of just over three-quarters of an acre with a much more grand and probably far more updated 1920s Italian Renaissance villa that Miz Fonda purchased, according to various online resources, in late 2000 for $2.125 million.