Historic home in Hancock Park is a hit with former Dodger

Share via

Former Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Adrian Gonzalez, who was playing for the New York Mets earlier this year, has bought a grand estate in Hancock Park for $10.5 million.

Set on two lots totaling about an acre, the Mediterranean Revival-style home was built in 1926 for J.B. Leonis, a banker and industrial developer who founded the city of Vernon. It had remained in the Leonis family until the sale to Gonzalez, which closed toward the end of August.

The two-story mansion, which blends Palladian and Italianate design elements, was designed by architect Richard D. King.


Within the 8,500-square-foot interior are a beamed-ceiling entry hall, a paneled library with a fireplace, five bedrooms and separate staff quarters. Built as a showplace for entertaining, the home boasts large-scale living and dining rooms and multiple loggias set beneath groin-vault ceilings.

On the basement level remains a holdover from Prohibition: a walk-in liquor vault. Recreation and media rooms also lie on the lower floor.

Rolling lawns, specimen trees, fountains, a swimming pool and a pool house make up the grounds. A three-car garage and detached cottage sit at the rear of the property.

Brett Lawyer of Hilton & Hyland had the listing.

Gonzalez, a five-time all-star, was released by the Mets in June after appearing in 54 games for the team.

The 36-year-old first baseman began last offseason as a member of the Dodgers, with whom he spent the previous 5½ years, but was traded to the Atlanta Braves in December as part of a deal that returned Matt Kemp to L.A. He was released by the Braves two days after the trade and signed by the Mets in January.


Sweet dreams in the Hollywood Hills

Singer-songwriter Annie Lennox of the Eurythmics has snapped up a stellar Midcentury Modern-style home in the Hollywood Hills for $4.375 million.

Designed by Buff and Hensman, the gated 1960s residence spans three-quarters of a hillside acre. Walls of glass meet walls of wood in the stylish post-and-beam interior, which has more than 2,700 square feet of living space.

The spare, open floor plan includes a modern kitchen with clean lines and an indoor-outdoor dining area. A painted brick fireplace touches up the living room, a space that extends to an expansive balcony overlooking the canyon.

Down a gallery hallway sits the master suite, one of three bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms. Flat lawns flank the home, and an infinity pool runs along the side.

Steve Frankel of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage held the listing. Jami Nash of Redfin represented the buyer.


Lennox, a native of Scotland, studied at London’s Royal Academy of Music before forming new wave bands the Tourists and Eurythmics. She found international fame with the latter; the group’s hits include “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This),” “Here Comes the Rain Again” and “Love Is a Stranger.”

Duplex sale is a wrap for ‘Deadpool’ star

Actress Morena Baccarin of the “Deadpool” films has sold an investment property in the Atwater Village neighborhood of Los Angeles for $935,000. That’s $86,000 more than the asking price of $849,000, real estate records show.

The property, fronted by a gated courtyard filled with cacti and succulents, includes two side-by-side Spanish-style residences dating to 1925. The character-filled units each have one bedroom, one bathroom, a kitchen and a living room. There is 952 square feet of living space between the two.

A detached studio/office now resides in what was once the garage. Redwood decking, a tree-topped patio and privacy hedges fill out the backyard.

Baccarin bought the duplex in 2007 for $649,000 and lived there for a period before using it as a rental property.


Will Tiao and Mary Joanne Panucci of Tiao Properties were the listing agents. Aaron Grate of Grate Real Estate represented the buyer.

Baccarin, 39, has television roles that include the shows “Firefly,” “Homeland” and “Gotham.” She has played the part of actor Ryan Reynolds’ love interest in each of the past two “Deadpool” films.

Riding a new wave out of the desert

Gerald Casale, the singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who founded the new wave band Devo, has sold his place in Palm Desert for $950,000.

Designed and built by architect-developer duo Ross Patton and Albert Wild, the Midcentury Modern-style home originally hit the market last year at just under $1.5 million. More recently, it had been listed for $949,000.


The sweeping single-story house, which dates to 1963, has been well-kept and features slate and cork floors, walls of glass and a split-rock fireplace that extends from floor to ceiling in the living room. A mosaic tile and glass-block wall in one of the bathrooms is original.

A vaulted-ceiling living room, two kitchens, an office, four bedrooms and four bathrooms are within roughly 3,200 square feet of living space.

Outside, the landscaped backyard holds a saltwater swimming pool, a succulent garden and a fire pit.

Casale, 70, co-wrote much of Devo’s material, including the seminal hit “Whip It.” The musician turned his own design talents to helping create the band’s energy dome hats and radiation suits. He has also directed music videos for Rush, the Cars and the Foo Fighters, among others.

Gregg Fletcher of the Agency and Rick Grahn of Deasy Penner & Partners were the listing agents. Laurie Moulton of Lux Box Agency represented the buyer.

A true Hollywood haunt


A home of early filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille is on the market in Los Feliz’s Laughlin Park neighborhood at $8.9 million.

The Classical-style house, designed by architect William J. Dodd and dating to 1915, was purchased by DeMille in the 1920s and combined with the home next door to create his estate. During his ownership, which spanned about four decades, the property was used as DeMille’s production office, screening room and guesthouse.

Actress Anita Stewart and comic actor Charlie Chaplin and his first wife, Mildred Harris, were among other residents.

Sited on half an acre of grounds, the two-story house has been updated while maintaining its early character. Vaulted and beamed ceilings, picture windows with diamond grills and walls of built-ins are among details of note. The living room is anchored by a grand fireplace with an ornate surround.

A chandelier-topped dining room, an eat-in chef’s kitchen, a screening room, four bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms also lie within nearly 7,000 square feet of living space.

Outside, loggias surround a long swimming pool and spa. Lawn and mature landscaping complete the grounds.


The property was owned by the DeMille family until the 1980s, when it was sold with the adjacent house that comprised the estate. The homes were eventually returned to separate residences, the larger of which was purchased last year by actress Angelina Jolie for $24.5 million.

Jonah Wilson of Hilton & Hyland holds the listing.

Gone in the blink of an eye

The home of magician-comedian Justin Willman, whose new show “Magic for Humans” premiered on Netflix last month, has quickly found a buyer in the Hollywood Hills.

The Mediterranean-style house, dating to the early 1920s, hit the market in late July, and was listed as pending less than a week later and sold for $1.618 million — $119,000 over the asking price.

The 2,134 square-foot house was updated by Willman’s wife, interior designer Jillian Sipkins, who introduced new elements while maintaining many original details. Features include arched doorways, exposed beams and Saltillo floors. The kitchen has been refreshed save for a vintage stove.


A living room with a fireplace, a formal dining room, a library, four bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms complete the floor plan. Additional flex space lies on the basement level.

Outside, mature trees and landscaping provide cover for decking, a circular spa and an alfresco dining area. Further up the hillside, a lookout takes in the surrounding hills.

Leslie Romenesko of Douglas Elliman was the listing agent.

Willman, 38, has been a frequent guest on such talk shows as “The Tonight Show,” “Ellen” and “Conan.” He’s also hosted the cooking competition show “Cupcake Wars” and the game show “Win, Lose or Draw.” | Twitter: @LATHotProperty