YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: The long-time Encino estate of late Hollywood mandarins Steve Allen and Jayne Meadows is now available with a newly reduced and frightfully complicated-looking asking price of $3,988,888. The property first came available in mid-August, less than four months after Miz Meadows passed at 95, with an also complicated-seeming asking price of $4,488,888. Mister Allen and Missus Meadows-Allen, married 46 years until he died in 2000, purchased the 1.15-acre, walled and gated hilltop estate in the leafy and affluent Royal Oaks neighborhood nearly 60 years ago and current listing details, which make no secret of the estate’s Tinseltown pedigree, show the relatively unassuming, multi-winged residence was originally built in 1951 and weighs in at an ample 7,542-square-feet with five bedrooms and seven bathrooms.
A gated drive splits around a towering shade tree as it passes the front of the residence — let’s call it a French Provincial farmhouse meets a classic California ranch house — and wraps around to a three-car attached garage and massive motor court that can comfortably accommodate a dozen or more cars. A filigreed screen divides the humbly sized foyer from the grandly proportioned if arguably low-ceiled living room that, like the rest of the house, appears to this property gossip in listing photographs as eclectically decorated and thoroughly dated but meticulously maintained with thin strip wood floors, wood burning fireplace, and massive picture window that overlooks the driveway. A cozy library — or a tiny, reading room, depending on one’s point of view — nestles between the living room and the chandelier lit formal dining room that also has a picture window that overlooks the driveway as well as two sets of French doors that open to the garden. A lattice walled sunroom adjoins a brick floored kitchen that’s certainly spacious and voluminous with an exposed wood vaulted ceiling but otherwise ordinary with probably expensively crafted but generic raised panel oak cabinetry and white ceramic tile counter tops and back splashes interspersed with rows of tiles painted with various vegetables such as pea pods and green onions. A vast family room at the back of the house offers a flat and wood beamed ceiling, a second fireplace flanked by open bookshelves, a mirror backed wet bar, a long bank of picture windows and glass sliders that open to the backyard, and an all wood, open tread staircase that makes a tight swoop as it ascends to a blue carpeted office tucked up into the eaves of the otherwise single-story residence. The grounds, ringed by mature trees and nicely elevated for privacy above the two streets that border the corner estate, include clipped lawns and well-tended gardens sprinkled with what listings details call “musical statues” along with a sunny swimming pool and extensive, partly shaded terracing for lounging, dining, and sunbathing.
Online marketing materials ask us to imagine the Allens entertained a “myriad of 20th Century Hollywood stars” during their 57-year residency. And, no doubt, they did. Listing details go on to describe the estate as a “piece of television history where ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,’ ‘Steve Allen’s Christmas Special,’ ‘Person to Person,’ and many more shows were broadcast.” We’re quite certain all of that is accurate to a letter, as well. But, let’s be honest, butter beans, this rich show business history will probably not be of much value to the next owner who we can all probably safely bet the proverbial farm will radically alter if not completely raze the existing residence to make way for something larger and more overtly “luxurious.”
Listing photos: Coldwell Banker