Fritz Lang, Sidney Lumet, Billy Wilder and a host of others too numerous to mention (which means, of course, none--zero--that's it). Today we will investigate the home of the great MGM musical (and dramatic) filmmaker Vincente Minelli, father of Liza, ex-husband of Judy.
"While defendant is honeymooning all over the world, having fed 850 of her closest friends a 12-foot cake, plaintiff is alone in a cold, dark house, at age 94."
After Lee died in 2002 (age 137?) Liza sold the place to some people who planned to pull it down and put up what would have no doubt been a large, Persian-esque palace, the kind of house that has been gradually de-charmifying the so-called 'flats' of Beverly Hills over the last twenty years.
this account from Curbed LA, squatters moved in and substantially disimproved things. The Curbed LA photos lovingly document a Beverly Hills squalor unlike any you've ever seen--the picture on the left is just the beginning. The amusingly named blog "I Am Not A Stalker" also stalked the joint, coming up with these titillating views of the wreckage.
John Elgin Wolf, (pictured right), the architect du jour of that time who specialized in this strange hybrid design. Usually featuring tall double "pullman" front doors, lots of terrazzo floors, large strange sculpted walls, the then-new and elegant sliding glass doors (now old and ratty and never really able to be opened easily) and fussy non-French French details, the houses once littered Beverly Hills but are now, alas, a dying breed. Ira Gershwin's very Regency-ish house on Roxbury Drive was recently demolished in favor of a "Persian Solution" (here are some photos of the horrors). Composer Harry Warren's Sunset Blvd. estate (which I went to a number of times whilst a youth) was purchased by Madonna, of all people, and given the "grand go-by" in favor of a steroidal, lot-filling contemporary. Perhaps the truth is that Woolf's moldy but charming notion of "chic" simply hasn't aged well (when does what's 'chic' ever age well?) but one assumes they could be dressed up in a charming, period way and given new life...sort of like getting an aging actor out of the Motion Picture Country Home, dressing him in his old Sy Devore suit, and taking him to lunch at Musso and Frank. It might not be hip, but charm can trump hip if handled correctly. And whats hip about Persian architecture, anyway?
Pictured below are three Elgin-Woolf designs for your perusal. First, Ira Gershwin's staircase:
Sue Mengers patio:
The Pendleton (Nat?) residence on Beverly Drive:
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