No sooner did the mansion known as Fleur de Lys sell this week for a record-breaking $102 million than another L.A. estate hit the market with even higher aspirations: $135 million.
Called the Beverly House, the six-acre compound in Beverly Hills also is available to lease at the relative bargain price of $600,000 a month.
Although similar in square footage, the two mega-mansions aren't much alike. The faux-French Fleur de Lys was completed a dozen years ago and sits less than two miles away on five acres.
Beverly House, built by local banker Milton Getz in the 1920s, was the onetime residence of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst and actress Marion Davies. Adding more glitter to the pedigree, the Beverly Hills manse served as a honeymoon spot for Jacqueline and John F. Kennedy.
The storied manor has appeared in films, including "The Godfather" with its widely remembered scene depicting a bloody horse head that ends up in a film producer's bed.
Unlike socialite Suzanne Saperstein, who held Fleur de Lys' asking price steady at $125 million since 2007 before settling for less, attorney-investor Leonard M. Ross has marketed his 50,000-square-foot mansion at different prices during the same time frame. Listed at one point for $165 million, the estate was priced most recently at $115 million.
The Saperstein transaction is being seen as a signal that the record-setting luxury home market, buoyed by foreign billionaires, is ripe for more sales of this magnitude.
"We've broken that glass ceiling, getting over $100 million," said Jeffrey Hyland, who has the Beverly House listing at Hilton & Hyland. "There are a number of properties in our market that warrant at least that amount, and this is one of them."
Architect Gordon Kaufmann designed the terra-cotta-hued stucco mansion, drawing from Spanish and Italian styles.
Gates near the two-story gate house swing open to the invited, and a long private driveway winds upward, ending at a motor court and fountain.
Inside the H-shaped home, intricately carved ceilings and paneled walls, French doors, balconies and arched ceilings create the ambience of a fine art museum.
The main level includes a 50-foot entry hall with loggia, a living room with 22-foot-high arched and detailed ceilings that has seen its share of entertaining, a welcoming garden-view bar and a hushed library with hand-carved woodwork. A staircase leads to a second-story wrap-around balcony and bookshelves.
The billiard room retains its original herringbone parquet floors and a massive carved stone fireplace mantle from San Simeon.
Floor-to-ceiling windows overlook cascading waterfalls that lead to the three pools and the Venetian column-flanked pool house. An outdoor terrace can seat up to 400 for dinner. There are 30 bedrooms and 40 bathrooms.
The compound, which includes seven structures on three parcels, also has a tennis court.
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