You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

For Sale: The Los Angeles Estate of Gore Vidal (EXCLUSIVE)

SELLER: Estate of Gore Vidal
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $5,695,000
SIZE: 4,782 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms plus guesthouse

YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: Though he died over three years ago at the age of 86, the executors of Gore Vidal’s estate are just now selling his residence in L.A.’s historic and centrally located Outpost Estates neighborhood that has just landed on the open market with an asking price of $5,695,000. Our research indicates the occasionally controversial novelist — also a nimble and insightful essayist, enthusiastic historian, and lefty-liberal socio-political critic — purchased the property in March 1977 for $149,500, an amount that nowadays is barely enough to buy a crappy one-bedroom apartment in a dumpy Los Angeles neighborhood let alone a dignified Mediterranean villa on half of an acre in a prosperous, celeb-favored neighborhood conveniently nestled into the foothills above Hollywood.

Set behind gates and largely obscured from the street behind a thicket of towering palm trees on a nearly half-acre parcel, the residence was originally built in 1929 and currently measures in at 4,782 square feet, per listing details, with five bedrooms and four bathrooms plus a self-contained guesthouse atop a detached three car garage. A covetable bevy of original architectural details — thick plaster walls, terra-cotta floor tiles, hand-carved fireplaces, and scrolled wrought iron accents — are found throughout residence’s main living spaces that include a voluminous double-height foyer with exposed beam ceiling and an elegantly proportioned formal living room with fireplace and French doors that lead to a Saltillo-tiled courtyard terrace. The formal dining room also has French doors to the main terrace as well as an adjoining lounge under a groin-vaulted ceiling and in addition to a paneled library lined with glass-fronted bookcases there’s also a separate den also lined with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. The kitchen and bathrooms appear in listing photographs to be well maintained if a far cry from decoratively au courant but we imagine even if the next owners opt to undertake a meticulous restoration the existing residence they will be gutted and replaced. Up on the hillside behind the garage and guesthouse, at the end of a long, booty-straining Saltillo-tiled staircase, a secluded swimming pool is set into a tree-ringed and sun-dappled clearing.

Mister Vidal and Howard Austen, his companion of more than 50 years, spent decades living as expats in Italy before they returned to the United States in 2003 — Austen died shortly thereafter — and took up residence in the Outpost Estates home that was unsuccessfully put up for sale in early 2011 with an asking price of $3.495 million, a missed bargain to be sure if the property sells anywhere near its current asking price. “La Rondinaia,” Mister Vidal’s fabled, cliff-side cleaving villa in Ravello, along Italy’s nerve-wrackingly gorgeous Amalfi Coast, the was sold in 2004 and, as this property gossip first revealed a few weeks ago, recently made for sale by it’s current owner — widely reported to be a boutique hotelier — with an asking price of a bit more than $21.1 million.

Listing photos: Westside Estate Agency

Popular on Variety

More Dirt

  • Kevin McKidd House

    Kevin McKidd Lists Hollywood Hills Villa

    Scotish actor Kevin McKidd has put a not quite $2 million price tag on a hillside hideaway nipped away behind imposing iron gates high in L.A.’s Hollywood Hills. The “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Trainspotting” star, who owns several homes across the Los Angeles area, acquired the secluded property just over 11 years ago for $1.625 million [...]

  • Stephen Curry House Atherton

    Stephen Curry Quietly Buys $31 Million Atherton Mansion

    The Bay Area bedroom community of Atherton, Calif. already boasts the wealthiest zip code in all the United States, but an investigation by the San Francisco Chronicle determined it’s still rapidly getting wealthier. Silicon Valley tech billionaires and foreign business barons — the majority of them from Mainland China — have punted local home values [...]

  • Joseph Abboud House Bedford

    Fashion Designer Joseph Abboud Lists Stylishly Updated Historic Retreat

    It’s only 35 miles to Manhattan, but the near-upstate New York hamlet of Bedford feels like an entirely different world. Rolling hills, peaceful pastures dot the landscape. Quaint downtown shops and leafy old-world estates hark back to a bygone era of gracious, quiet wealth. And it’s no surprise that the calming vibe has lured many [...]

  • Betsey Johnson House

    Betsey Johnson Cartwheels Out of Malibu Mobile Home

    Colorful fashion icon Betsey Johnson has her vivaciously hot pink mobile home in Malibu’s prestigious Paradise Cove Mobile Home Park up for sale at $1.95 million. (That’s right, kids. In Malibu, mobile homes cost well upwards of a million bucks and can easily make a rich person feel downright impoverished.) The famously flamboyant septuagenarian designer, [...]

  • Hedi Slimane House

    Celine’s Hedi Slimane Seeks Sale of Chic Manhattan Townhouse

    New York Fashion Week has come and gone in a sartorial storm of loose-fitting 80s inspired suits and ridiculously tiny handbags but a rakishly renovated 19th-century townhouse in New York City’s historic and high-toned Gramercy Park neighborhood, owned by maverick French photographer and fashion designer Hedi Slimane, remains on the rack with a price tag [...]

  • Kirk Fernandez House Pacific Palisades

    Entrepreneur Kirk Fernandez Drops $21 Million on the Pacific Palisades Riviera

    An eye-catching mansion within the inordinately wealthy Riviera enclave of Pacific Palisades recently sold for $21 million, an amount that ranks as the priciest Palisades home sale of 2019 so far. Built by Westside real estate developer Mark Matkins of Gunderson Matkins in collaboration with O+L Building Projects, the equestrian-friendly property was years in the [...]

  • Jay Pharaoh House Tarzana

    'Saturday Night Live' Alum Jay Pharoah Buys Imposing Tarzana Mansion

    Although the transaction actually closed late last year, it’s only now that word has slipped out about longtime former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Jay Pharoah’s stealthy acquisition of a sizable house in the Tarzana neighborhood of L.A.’s San Fernando Valley. Pharoah, a veteran comedian who’s performed stand-up since the age of 15, first came [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content