SELLER: Estate of Charlton Heston
LOCATION: Beverly Hills, CA
SIZE: (approx.) 3.5 acres, 5 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: For the first time ever, the Los Angeles compound of late Hollywood icon Charlton Heston has come up for sale with an asking price of $12,249,000. Privately nestled on an approximately 3.5-acre promontory high above Coldwater Canyon in the Beverly Hills Post Office area, the daring, sharp-angled contemporary, still owned by the Heston family, was commissioned by the “Ben-Hur” star in 1959 and designed by accomplished if too little lauded modernist architect William S. Beckett. The Oscar and Golden Globe winner, a staunch gun rights activist who served as the president of the National Rifle Association from 1998-2003, lived in the house for nearly half a century, until his death at 84 in 2008.
Set down a cypress-lined lane that gives way an impressively long, wide and gated driveway that accommodates ten or more parked cars, the audaciously conceived main house is virtually unchanged since the time it was built so certainly the place will require more than spit and polish to bring it up to date. That is, of course, unless the property — as is the prevailing trend in L.A.’s costliest zip codes — gets snatched up by a deep-pocketed developer with grandiose plans to raze Heston’s house and build a five-star resort style gigamansion designed to appeal to a money-is-no-object, globe-trotting gajillionaire who spends but a few weeks a year in Los Angeles.
The main residence, which comes in at about 5,100-square-feet according to the L.A. County Tax Man, offers sweeping mountain and canyon views from just about every room and, according to marketing and publicity materials kindly provided to this property gossip by listing agents Myra Nourmand and Howard Stevens of Nourmand & Associates, the compound-like estate provides a total of five bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms. The main residence has one staff bedroom, two en suite bedrooms for family or guests, and a spacious master suite with fireplace, dual walk-in closets and two bathrooms while another guest or staff suite is privately situated in another building on the property. A massive fieldstone fireplace stands between vast, floor-to-ceiling expanses of glass in the sprawling, unconventionally shaped living room that features a clearly custom and probably ludicrously expensive starburst pattern rug. A marble-accented bar divides the living room from the terrazzo-floored dining room where two solid walls of glass open to the swimming pool on one side and a cantilevered deck with built-in grilling station on the other. Mister Heston’s window-lined office, still furnished with the bookshelf-fronted desk at which he was photographed before there was color photography (see gallery images), has a rugged and manly fieldstone wall that anchors the small space that appears to hover thrillingly over the canyon. The master bedroom connects to a downright dynamite if decoratively dated double-height library where a floating curved staircase echoes a towering, gently curved wall of book-filled bookshelves topped by a curved bank of windows that provide panoramic views from the upper level. In addition to a small, trapezoidal swimming pool and an interconnected, also trapezoidal spa just outside the living and dining rooms of the main house, the grounds include a meditation garden and a considerably sized separate structure that borders the tennis court and houses the aforementioned a guest or staff suite plus a two-level viewing deck, a screening room with multi-level lounge seating, and a cavernous, elevator-equipped three-story photography studio.
A quick scan of property records and other online resources reveals the Heston family continues to own a recently renovated residence in a quiet enclave just off Mulholland Drive above Laurel Canyon that was acquired by the “Planet of the Apes” and “The Ten Commandments” star in 1994 for $944,500.
The Heston property is represented by Myra Nourmand and Howard Stevens of Nourmand & Associates. Listing photographs are by Jeff Elson and vintage photographs are courtesy of the Heston family.