Sunday Morning Snapshot: Fairytale Romance

For all its wealth and status Beverly Hills just doesn’t do much for me architecturally. With some notable residential exceptions of course, most of the homes “north of the tracks” just don’t stand out much less hold a candle to those that can be found in, say, Los Angeles’ West Adams, Hancock Park or Angelino Heights districts. But then there’s this wonderful and beloved anomaly at the corner of Carmelita Avenue and Walden Drive in the 90210 (click to triplify):

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2007/07/whouse-thumb.jpg

Having been undergoing exterior renovations since as far back as I can remember (which would be February 2006) and maybe longer, my wife and I found the famed storybook-style residence looking really good again when we detoured to cruise by it yesterday on the way to the Hammer Museum to say hello to the awesome Dr. Pozzi there (thanks to Julia’s excellent suggestion).

Informally known as the Witch’s House I found (via a 2005 L.A. Times article on the genre) it is officially refered to as the Spadena House and that it was originally built in 1921 in Culver City for a silent film studio there and then moved to its present location in 1934 where it’s been a private residence ever since. When its second owners but it on the market in 1997 all prospective buyers wanted to do was tear it down and put up a McTuscan monstrocity, so real estate agent Michael Libow paid the $1.3-million sticker price and came not to bury the sagging fabled gables but to raise them. Bless him.

2 Replies to “Sunday Morning Snapshot: Fairytale Romance”

  1. This house is significant to me as it represents many “firsts” for me in LA. The first time I came to Los Angeles was the summer of 1984 (I was 17) and that trip was the first time I went to Disneyland, the first time I saw movies right when they opened in theaters (read more about that here) the first time I went to a Dodger game–more specifically, the first time I went to a major league sports game of any kind–and on the way home from that game my hosts drove by this house. It was weird!

    I’ve driven people by it a few times since living here and am so glad someone in BH has the sense of history, sense of humor and loads of cash to save it. Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Will.

    (And glad you saw Dr. Pozzi!)

  2. Awesome post, Wil. I love to drive by this house when I detour through the “hills” and show it whenever I give out-of-towners a driving tour of LA.

    It hasn’t always been under renovation. I remember it when it wasn’t. But I also believe I’ve driven by (before the fences were put up) and could see a bunch of fire damage on the structure.

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