Old Hollywood Glamour, Re-Scripted, $20MAuthor:Philip Ferrato
Bob Ray Offenhauser (1927-2016) was one of L.A.’s most successful architects, working in a classically eclectic but always luxurious style that somehow managed to be simultaneously tasteful and over the top. Born in Pasadena, most of his work was residential, and like his contemporaries John Elgin Wolff, Paul Revere Williams and William Haines, he was one the key proponents of what we call Hollywood Regency. Their work was instilled with a kind of British or European formality, with high ceilings and grand fireplaces, designed for entertaining but open to much better weather, in an amalgam that could only happen in Southern California. It was a style as much informed by Hollywood film sets as it was a reassuring bulwark against some of the most tumultuous times in American history.
Built in 1967, this elegant example of Offenhauser’s work (perched just above Sunset Boulevard in the legendary Bird Streets) was once the long-time home of film producer David Niven, Jr, the son of the famous actor, and was the scene of many parties, with Niven entertaining both Hollywood luminaries and public figures like Ronald Reagan. In Niven’s day, the living room (above) was painted a deep red and full of English antiques. But in a neighborhood where so many Mid-Century homes have been replaced by new construction, this one is also a remarkable survivor.
It’s now been expanded and restored in a way that beautifully integrates contemporary living with Hollywood Regency’s more traditional, formal attributes.
The grand interior spaces and French doors still open to vast views of L.A., but so do the completely new open kitchen and gathering areas along the pool.
On the lower level, an austere wellness center with an enviable spa bath co-exists with a glamorous screening room.
More: Go to the listing for many additional images and details. A very special opportunity represented by James Harris, Mary Hellmund and David Parnes of The Agency.