SELLER: Josh Abraham
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: (approx.) 4,700 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: Anyone who follows the residential real estate market in Los Angeles knows the showbizzy city is chock-a-block with homes and estates steeped in entertainment industry lore. One of those homes, a 1920s Spanish just above the Sunset Strip currently owned by pop/rock record producer and songwriter Josh Abraham — he’s worked with Pink, Carly Rae Jepson, Adam Lambert and Jared Leto’s band Thirty Seconds to Mars, just to name a few, has come up for sale at $3.295 million and current marketing materials show the house, known informally as Cresthill after the curved cul-de-sac on which is sits, measures in at about 4,700-square-feet with four bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms.
Cresthill is perched on the hillside directly above a Sunset Boulevard building that once housed Ciro’s, a see-and-be-seen nightclub thronged in the 1940s and ‘50s with a who’s who of Hollywood. So the scuttlebutt goes a secret underground tunnel once connected the nightclub to Cresthill — marketing materials suggest “a mysterious hatch” in the floor of the lowest level of the house may have been the access point — there are, per listing details, accounts of Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland attending after-hours gatherings at the house. Ciro’s later became a rock ‘n’ roll club called It’s Boss — The Byrd’s were discovered there in the 1960s — and in 1972 comedians Sammy Shore and Rudy DeLuca took over the building and opened The Comedy Store. As part of their divorce settlement, Sammy Shore’s ex-wife Mitzi Shore assumed management of now internationally celebrated comedy club in 1973 and in 1976 she bought the building. At the same time she bought The Comedy Store building, Miz Shore additionally acquired Cresthill and throughout the late ‘70s and most of the 1980s the three-story residence served as a notoriously louche crash pad and hang out spot for a motley crew of stand-up comedians including Andrew Dice Clay, Jim Carrey, Mark Maron, Robin Williams, and Richard Pryor.
Property records reveal Miz Shore, now in her 80s and grappling with Parkinsons, sold Cresthill in August 1999 for $750,000 to occasional movie producer (“Highland Park,” “28 Hotel Rooms”) and powerhouse real estate developer Andrew Meieran, the man responsible for the recent renovation of the iconic and magnificently kooky Clifton’s Cafeteria in downtown Los Angeles. (Seriously, kids, if you haven’t been to Cliftons, make the pilgrimage. It’s insane in all the best ways. But, anyhoo, we digress.) Mister Meieran sold Cresthill exactly two years later for $900,000 to veteran music industry producer and songwriter Randy Spendlove, currently President of Motion Picture Music at Paramount Pictures, who apparently caught a raging case of The Real Estate Fickle and flipped it less than a year later, in April 2002, for $1.195 million to Mister Abraham.
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Cresthill’s main living spaces, located one floor down from the turreted street-level entrance, include sunny and spacious adjoining living and dining rooms. The living room has a massive original fireplace and a sensuous barrel-vaulted ceiling and both rooms have dark hardwood floors and French doors that open to a sizable and sunny, south-facing semi-circular terrace with an unfortunately head on and up close view of the Mondrian hotel. There are, it should be noted, much more lovely city views to be had on either side of the hotel and an exterior staircase leads down from the terrace to a flat patch of grass that looks plenty large enough to accommodate a swimming pool. The kitchen, partly open to the dining room, features both solid surface and butcher block counter tops, an array of designer appliances, a center island with snack bar, and French doors that open to a tiny dining terrace. There’s also a small bedroom and a comfortably ample den/family room with corner fireplace on this floor while the upper level holds two more guest/family bedrooms as well as a master suite complete with terrace access, a remodeled bathroom, and large walk-in closet. The lowest level has a private entrance that makes it suitable as a home office or self-contained guest quarters and is, per listing details, “reminiscent of a chic NY loft” with a mix of rustic wide plank wood and polished concrete floors, exposed brick accents, and a long curved colonnade of windows.
This is not the first time Mister Abraham and his wife, Regina, have attempted to sell Cresthill, which online resources show popped up for sale in May 2015 with an asking price of $2.995 million that dropped to $2.695 million before it was taken off the market three months later. A quick spin through various property record databases indicated the Abrahams additionally own a 4,205-square-foot house in the guard gated Summit community in the mountains between Beverly Hills and Studio City that they scooped up for $2.5 million in what appears to have been an off-market deal in late 2012 from Emmy winning “Malcolm in the Middle” writer/producer Linwood Boomer.
Listing photos: Compass