March 20, 2017 / Property Spotlight

The Luxury Edition: Holmby Hills Georgian Revival Mansion

Home to star-studded parties during Tinseltown’s Golden Age, and with a grand heritage of its own, The Edie Goetz Estate really is the stuff of legend

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It is so discreetly located, so totally private, you may not even know it’s there. But, so legendary is the history of The Edie Goetz Estate, a Georgian Revival mansion in the heart of Los Angeles’ Holmby Hills, so big is the part it played during Hollywood’s Golden Age, it could command its own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Over four-and-a-half acres of park-like grounds feature rare specimens of Arizona cypress, Brazilian pepper, Brisbane box, evergreen pear, Canary Island and dwarf mugo pine, and weeping cedar of Lebanon.Completed in 1938, the Goetz Estate was designed by Gordon B Kaufmann, who had built Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills, now frequently used as a filming location, a decade earlier. But it was after Edie, the daughter of movie mogul Louis B Mayer, and her husband William Goetz bought the Delfern Drive property in 1947 that it became the place to be. Edie enlisted actor-turned-interior-designer William Haines to turn the mansion into the perfect setting for the glitziest, most fashionable parties of the era.

“The highest accolade … was to be invited to the Goetzes. They had the best food, the best people, and the best things on the walls.”

Cary Grant, James Stewart, and composer Irving Berlin were regulars; Elizabeth Taylor retreated here after her break-up from Richard Burton (reconciling with him here, too); and Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow’s wedding reception was held at the estate.

A trophy compound in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, this legendary estate offers an 11-bedroom mansion, three guesthouses, a tennis court, and two swimming pools—as well as endless Hollywood appeal.Development in Holmby Hills began in the early 20th century, its prime location evident from the start, with all compounds at least an acre in size, and has since become one of the most exclusive enclaves in the United States.Holmby Hills, unlike neighboring Bel-Air, is mostly flat, allowing for gated, private estates that afford maximum usage. “This property breathes magnificence, just as it did in its heyday,” says Jeff Hyland. “A lot of new properties don’t come close to the integrity of this home, which exudes classical style.”

Edie was a Hollywood princess and a peerless hostess. “The highest accolade … was to be invited to the Goetzes,” filmmaker Billy Wilder said. “They had the best food, the best people, and the best things on the walls.” Edie and William had an art collection to rival that of any gallery. Guests would dine with these masterpieces, then marvel as a van Gogh or Picasso was obscured by a screen rolling down to show pre-release movies after the meal. Cary Grant said, “Edie Goetz had the best tables because she had the best guests.”

After the current owners purchased an adjoining lot, the sprawling estate now stands at over four-and-a-half acres, with three guesthouses, two swimming pools, a tennis court, a bridle trail, and a funicular on what, says Jeff Hyland, president of Hilton & Hyland Real Estate, an Affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate, is considered the finest street in Los Angeles.

And so spectacular are the manicured grounds, planted with rare specimen trees, Japanese maple, Mediterranean palms, and Arizona cypress—many of them older than the house—they have been likened to a cross between San Marino’s Huntington Botanical Gardens and New York’s Central Park. “To have this in LA is unique,” says Hyland. “You can always improve a house, but you can’t just plant 50-foot, 100-year-old trees. This estate has it all.”

The paneled Art Deco library-cum-den was, and remains, the focal point of this residence, which has been immaculately restored to its former glory. Classical style is evident in the wonderful soaring ceilings, and the herringbone and wood-beamed flooring in the grand rooms of the mansion.

Photography by Paul Raeside

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Stephanie Jones
is a regular contributor to Christie's International Real Estate magazine

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