Historic Hancock Park manor

Times Staff Writer

Hancock Park already had emerged as a neighborhood for the well-heeled when in 1925 Frederick S. Albertson, an automobile company executive, bought a sprawling piece of real estate there. Primary construction of this two-story manor, designed by Alexander D. Chisholm, was completed in 1929. Early neighbors included the Chandlers, the Huntingtons, the Van de Kamps and the Dohenys.

Home Savings & Loan president Howard F. Ahmanson, the financier, philanthropist and art collector, moved with his family into the spacious house in 1958. His second wife, Caroline Leonetti Ahmanson, gained full title to the house in 1971; it was sold in 1975. Howard Ahmanson supported, among many local institutions, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Music Center’s Ahmanson Theatre. A vast art collection was on display to the public when the family hosted charitable events at the house.

Although the gated estate is striking for the home’s interior, three of Hancock Park’s largest and oldest oak trees thrive outdoors amid magnolia, olive, Chinese elm, pomegranate and citrus trees, and 25 species of old and rare roses. The latter are insured for nearly six figures.



To submit a candidate for Home of the Week, send high-resolution color photos with caption and credit information on a CD and a detailed description of the house to Diane Wedner, Real Estate, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012. Questions may be sent to




Preserving its originality amid upgrades

Location: Hancock Park

Asking price: $17.5 million

Previously sold: April 17, 2005, for an undisclosed amount; March 23, 1995, for $2,465,000.


Size: 14,071 square feet, with seven bedrooms in the house and one in the guesthouse. There are 12 bathrooms, including two in the pool house. The lot size is 1 1/2 acres.

About this house: By 2002 the home, which was given a Landmark Award in 1982 by the Windsor Square-Hancock Park Historical Society, had undergone a major remodel. The project included foundation reinforcement and updated wiring and plumbing. The kitchen was modernized. Most of the house’s original rooms, windows, ceilings, oak flooring and walnut paneling remain intact.

Additional features: The house has formal dining and living rooms; a master bedroom with his-and-hers bathrooms and a sitting room; a breakfast room; a tea room; a library/den; a gym with treatment room; a family room; a wine cellar; a media room; a guesthouse with a kitchen and bathroom; a pool; a pool house with changing rooms; a lanai; and a tennis court. The kitchen is equipped with professional appliances.

Around the neighborhood: Twenty homes sold in the 90020 ZIP Code through August this year, according to MDA DataQuick. The median price was $2.3 million. In 2007 the median was $1.33 million. Currently, 13 homes are listed for sale in Hancock Park. The least expensive, at $1.49 million, has three bedrooms and two bathrooms in 1,190 square feet. The lot is 10,500 square feet. The most expensive is the Ahmanson house.


Listing agents: Stephen Shapiro, (310) 860-8888; Aileen Comora, (310) 300-1082; and Paul Lester, (310) 300-0851; Westside Estate Agency, Beverly Hills.



John Lautner’s Gantvoort Residence


Location: La Canada Flintridge

Size: Three bedrooms and two bathrooms in 1,801 square feet. The property is 39,680 square feet.

Published on: May 4, 2008

Listed then for: $2.2 million


Relisted for: $1,791,000 on Sept. 19, 2008


Hill House

Location: Pacific Palisades


Size: Three bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms in 3,400 square feet. The property is 5,000 square feet.

Published on: Feb. 20, 2005

Listed then for: $2,575,000

Sold for: $2.45 million on March 22, 2005


-- Diane Wedner