Top sales: A pair of storied estates change hands in Holmby Hills

Trophy estates on the Westside proved to be the high-ticket items during the final days of March and through early April. Here’s a larger look:

$40.8 million — Holmby Hills

Gary L. Wilson, an investor and former chairman of Northwest Airlines, sold his storied home in the 300 block of Delfern Drive for $4.2 million less than the asking price of $45 million. The buyer, by way of a limited-liability company, was billionaire investor Nicolas Berggruen.

Designed by Gordon Kaufman and built in 1938, the Georgian Colonial-style was once owned by Universal-International Pictures President William Goetz and his wife, Edie Mayer Goetz, the daughter of filmmaker Louis B. Mayer.

During the Goetze’s ownership, the residence became a gathering spot for celebrity and business types. Hollywood stars such as Loretta Young, Joan Crawford, Judy Garland and Cary Grant were among those to frequent the couple’s legendary dinner parties.


Sitting on more than 2 park-like acres, the house has verandas extending from each level that look out toward the swimming pool. The 14,905 square feet of living space includes scaled formal rooms, an Art Deco-inspired library/bar and a library. There are 11 bedrooms and 14 bathrooms in all.

Accompanying the main house is a pool house, a guard house and the pool. Specimen trees and lawns complete the setting.

Jeffrey Hyland and Drew Fenton of Hilton & Hyland, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate, co-listed the property with Aaron Kirman of John Aaroe Group. Linda May, also with Hilton & Hyland, represented the buyer.

$18.8 million — Holmby Hills

On South Mapleton Drive, a Holmby Hills estate built for early motion picture pioneer Allan Dwan sold for $18.8 million, or about half its original listing price of $35 million.

The Robert Finkelhor-designed home was built in 1939 for the filmmaker and his second wife, actress Marie Shelton. Dwan, who died in 1981, made more than 400 movies during his Hollywood career, which spanned the silents, talkies and the evolution of the wide screen.

Reached by a private drive, the Southern Colonial-style home has slender pillars that support a two-story portico above the front entry. Sets of green-painted shutters and flower boxes provide visual contrast against the crisp white exterior.

Beyond the grand entry, the 6,055 square feet of interior space includes large-scale living and dining rooms, a center-island kitchen, a wood-paneled study and a library. There are three fireplaces, six bedrooms and five bathrooms in all.

Outdoors, roughly 2 acres of grounds contain a north-south tennis court, statuaries, lawns and a swimming pool. The pool and an adjacent pool house were used in the filming of the 1981 flick “Mommie Dearest.” Scenes from the TV show “Beverly Hills, 90210” also were shot on the property.

Christophe Choo of Coldwell Banker and Sally Forster Jones of John Aaroe Group represented the seller, a limited-liability company linked to Artyom and Gurgen Khachatryan, sons of Gagik Khachatryan, Armenia’s former minister of finance. David Parnes and James Harris of the Agency represented the buyer.

$16.3 million — Beverly Hills

A midcentury turned contemporary-style home in the Trousdale section changed hands for $695,000 less than the asking price of $18.5 million.

Sitting on more than half an acre on Dabney Lane, the boomerang-shaped residence is visually dramatic with its offbeat shapes, dark walls and floor-to-ceiling glass. A curved wine wall and a custom aquarium offer a nod to the late 1950s.

A living room with a wet bar, an eat-in kitchen, a screening room, five bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms are within the 6,200 square feet of open-plan space.

Pocketing glass doors lead from the common areas to a triangle-shaped swimming pool with a circular spa. A sunken fire pit sits within the swimming pool and is reached by a concrete path.

Branden and Rayni Williams of Hilton & Hyland were the listing agents. Andreas Elsenhans and Aaron Kirman of John Aaroe Group represented the buyer.

Twitter: @NJLeitereg


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