February 28, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

James Whale’s Former Estate, Home to the creator of “Frankenstein,” Hits Market at $7.245 Million

Iconic Tuscan-Style Villa, Restored to Old Hollywood Glory, Offers Breathtaking Views in Los Feliz

By Dolores Quintana

A majestic Los Angeles estate that once belonged to pioneering and openly gay horror movie director James Whale during the creation of Universal monster movie classics like “Frankenstein” in 1931 and “The Invisible Man” in 1933 is now available for $7.245 million as reported by Mansion Global.

Constructed in 1927 by Henry Harwood Hewitt for Olympic gold medalist golfer Clement E. Smoot, the Tuscan-style villa has undergone a recent restoration while preserving its Old Hollywood charm, according to listing agent Richard Yohon of Sotheby’s International Realty – Los Feliz Brokerage. The property, listed last week, is co-handled by Konstantine Valissarakos of Nourmand & Associates.

Yohon noted that the current owner invested in detailed restoration work, seamlessly integrating new features with the original elements that define the house’s character. “People connect with the older houses,” Yohon said, emphasizing the craftsmanship evident in elements like moldings, flooring, and plaster walls, which he believes surpasses that of contemporary homes.

Property records from PropertyShark reveal that a limited liability company acquired the estate for $5.625 million in 2021.

Perched on a sprawling flat hilltop in Los Feliz, the three-bedroom property offers stunning views, including the downtown skyline and Griffith Park with the observatory. Yohon emphasized the prime locations of many older Los Angeles houses, explaining, “Los Angeles started getting developed in the 1920s so all the best lots were taken up in the ’20s and ’30s.”

The estate can be accessed through a turreted entry and the home boasts open dining and living rooms with handmade tiles, a fireplace, and multiple French doors leading to a sizable terrace that extends to a gazebo overlooking the city.

Other features of the home include a chef’s kitchen with luxury appliances and a built-in breakfast nook. Upstairs, the master suite includes a sitting room and an updated bathroom, while the home’s tower offers a space ideal for an office or den, according to the listing.

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