The last home of late singer, actress and ordained minister Della Reese, an unassuming, low-slung 1970s contemporary notched into a hillside at the end of a cul-de-sac in the affluent foothills of Encino, Calif., is now listed at $1.775 million after first coming to market about four months ago at $1.925 million. The “Touched by an Angel Star” and her concert producer husband, Franklin Lett, had long resided in Bel Air, but decamped to Encino sometime after their $1.79 million purchase of the property in late 2014.
Bearing a striking architectural resemblance to Reese-Lett’s former mansion in Bel Air, the low-slung home offers five bedrooms and four sleekly renovated bathrooms in 4,291-square-feet that sprawls out over a single floor. A shallow porch and double-door entry opens to a roomy, wood-floored and chandelier-lit foyer flanked by a step down living room with fireplace and a formal dining room lit by a second crystal chandelier. Crisply renovated with chocolate-brown wood cabinets, almost white marble-like countertops and upscale stainless steel appliances, the kitchen encompasses an informal dining space that opens to the backyard while an adjoining family room features a cathedral ceiling, a walk-in wet bar, a modern-minded carved stone fireplace and wall of windows that looks out to the swimming pool. Four reasonably sized guest and family bedrooms are joined by a master suite that opens to the backyard through broad bank of French doors and includes a thoroughly contemporary bathroom with glass sliders to a pint-sized fenced patio. Brick accented and salt-pitted concrete terracing runs between the back of the house and a swimming pool and spa backed by a curving retaining wall that’s sheathed in azure tiles and holds back a naturally planted hillside.
Lett and Reese, who passed in the fall of 2017 at 86, previously owned a 9,000-square-foot home with a “near Olympic-sized indoor swimming pool” under the shade of 100-foot-tall pine trees on a high, serpentine ridge above Bel Air’s Stone Canyon Reservoir. They presided over the secluded property since at least the middle 1990s and sold it in a 2014 off-market deal for $7.5 million to an investment operation who razed and replaced the Reese-Lett residence with an ultra-modern glass-walled extravaganza of almost 12,000-square-feet that came up for sale in early 2017 at $23.5 million and sold later in the year for $19.25 million to an anonymous corporate entity.
Listing photos: Engel & Volkers