Friday, May 4, 2012
Kelsey Grammer Does It in the 90210
LOCATION: Beverly Hills, CA
SIZE: 6,093 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 7.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: After a trip to Cedars Sinai to visit a funny lady with a new hip and big dinner in a not particularly fancy eatery in downtown Bev Hills, we returned home last night to a covert communique from a dear informant we call Mister Platinum Triangle who snitched to Your Mama that recently divorced (and already re-married), Emmy-winning sitcom star and producer Kelsey Grammer (Cheers, Frasier, The Simpsons, Boss) recently completed the purchase of an historic and particularly lovely, medium-sized mansion in Beverly Hills, CA.
A cursory investigation into the property records reveals the very same trust (and trustee) associated with most of the many other luxury residences owned by Mister Grammer coughed up $6,500,000 in late April (2012) to acquire a fully renovated, Spanish Colonial Revival-style mansion designed by esteemed SoCal architect Ralph C. Flewelling and built in 1926.
Mister Flewelling, in addition to a couple of well-regarded civic buildings in Beverly Hills, is the same smart architect, some of the children surely recall, responsible for the original design of the fully-rehabbed Spanish Colonial Revival-style pile in Bev Hills celebrity house-flipper Diane Keaton renovated and restored and sold to Glee creator Ryan Murphy in September 2010 for exactly $10,000,000. Remember that one, brass buttons?
Anyhoo, a double-gated gravel motor court lays out in front of the dignified and fully-rehabbed two-story residence that measures 6,093 square feet and includes a total of 6 en suite bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms contained in the L-shaped main house and detached guest house. Painstakingly clipped, ankle-high boxwood hedges and a pair of beanstalk-like cypress trees signify entrance to the mansion through an arched, wrought iron and glass front door. An exceptionally long foyer/gallery/stair hall stretches deep into the house with dramatic double-height ceiling, octagonal Spanish tile flooring, lots of arched doorways and a long row of wide, arched windows that open to the backyard and swimming pool. At the far end of the gallery, near the powder pooper and much to our pleasant surprise, there's a wood-burning corner fireplace, the first of six in the house.
A party-sized, step-down formal living room has a voluminous, vaulted wood-beamed ceiling overhead and espresso-colored hardwood floors underfoot. The room opens generously to the outdoors on three sides including through a pair of French doors that flank a wood-burning fireplace and open to a west-facing loggia that overlooks the piazza-like backyard and swimming pool.
A surprisingly compact formal dining room has direct access to the motor court through French doors and connects via butler's pantry (with refrigerated wine cabinet) to the expensively- and well-equipped but hardly colossal kitchen. We'll probably have to endure a lashing or two from some of the sassier children for saying this, but we're swooning for the playfully over-scaled, chevron-pattern green and white tile back splashes and foot boards and we are—we admit—deeply and painfully envious of the 800-pound, glass-fronted Sub-Zero fridge/freezer with its pocketbook punishing manufacturer's suggested retail price of $15,540.
The remainder of the family/service wing, according to listing information and other online marketing materials, includes an adjoining breakfast room with built-in banquet seating, a den with fireplace and direct backyard access, media room and over-sized utility room (with attached bathroom) easily converted to a live-in staff suite.
Like the lower level foyer and gallery, the unusually long and wide, wood-floored second floor gallery has a (corner) fireplace and an orderly echelon of floor-to-ceiling arched windows that look out over the backyard and surrounding tree-tops. The upper gallery acts as the primary thoroughfare that joins the 5 upstairs bedrooms that include the master suite and that each have, according to listing information, access to an en suite facility.
Listing information and property records show the corner parcel measures just over a third of an acre in a fairly prime section of the south-of-Sunset Bev Hills flats not so far from the where busy Santa Monica and Wilshire Boulevards frenetically instersect. The house sits a comfortable walking distance to downtown Beverly Hills, as if anyone in Beverly Hills besides the child minders and household domestics actually walks anywhere farther than the end of their gated driveway. (Simmer down Bev Hillians, we're just teasing. We know you also regularly amble the aisles of Saks and frequently walk from the valet stand to some restaurant or another.)
Despite its relatively compact size, the landscape architects managed to pack a lot onto a small lot. In addition to the double-gated gravel motor court at the front, there's a detached three-car garage (with adjoining 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom guest house) at the rear of the property. The main house hugs a courtyard-ish backyard with flagstone terracing, swimming pool and vine-enshrouded open-air dining pavilion. Tucked into the far back corner between the main house and guest house/garage, a wee, flat grassy pad will be perfect, we imagine, for the installation of a shockingly expensive jungle gym for the twins Mister Grammer—already a father of 4 and grandfather of 1—and his new (and much younger) fourth wife Kayte are reportedly expecting.
Long prior to his not-amicable divorce with third wife (and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast member) Camille Grammer, Mister Grammer went on a wild goose hunt for a New York City nest to feather with his then-girlfriend-now-wife Kayte. There were reports of the May-December duo looking at multi-million dollar apartments in many the best starchitect-designed buildings both uptown and downtown. Finally, according to a November 2010 report by the kids at Curbed (via the Post), Mister (and soon-to-be-fourth Missus Grammer) settled on a 3,076 square foot, 3-4 bedroom spread on a high floor at an exuberantly articulated Jean Nouvel-designed building in Chelsea. The apartment Mister Grammer (allegedly) bought was listed for $7,250,000 and sold in late 2010 for $6,400,000 to a limited liability company that may (or may not) be connected to Mister Grammer.
As decadent (and expensive) as owning a sexed-up apartment in New York City and ritzy new mansion in Beverly Hills is, they are hardly the only luxurious residences owned by Mister Grammer, wildly successful, enormously rich and well-known for constantly rotating his property portfolio that, until recently, included more than half a dozen high-priced and high-maintenance homes from Hawaii to the Hamptons, several of which were photographed over the years in all their glossy glory for Architectural Digest.
As far as we know—which is next to nothing—third ex-Missus Grammer, Camille, retains use and ownership of the erstwhile couple's former family seat, a 4.77 acre, park-like, equestrian estate tucked into the back of the guard-gated and celebrity-stocked Serra Retreat in Malibu purchased in May 1998 for $4,500,000.
A 1.67 acre tennis court estate in the Hamptons—once optimistically listed at $16,100,000—was sold in May (2011) for $9,995,000 and a gigantic ski chalet in the Bachelor Gulch area of Avon, CO—listed in March 2011 at $7,900,000—is currently available on the open market and priced at a recently reduced $6,995,000.
A 10,567 square foot English Country-style mansion in the hoity-toity Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles was built in 1980 for composer Henry Mancini and later owned by baking soda heir Michael Hammer who sold it to Kelse and Cammy in September 2007 for $13,700,000. The real estate fickle couple quickly flipped the 7 bedroom and 9 pooper pad back on the market less than a year later with a substantially higher asking price of $19,900,000. Bless their real estate hearts, the house did not sell and according to property records we peeped, continues to be owned by one or the both of them. The plush pad is not, as far as we know, on the market but we'd be shocked if qualified buyers were unable to schedule a showing iffin they know which of the right Platinum Triangle property purveyors to ringy-dingy.
Mister and third ex-Missus Grammer, Camille, have owned at least two Hawaiian hideaways, one on Maui sold in 2005 and another, we think, still owned by one or both of them.
Additionally, and finally, Kelse and Cammy owned—and still own either separately or together, we don't know—a bucolic country estate near the semi-remote Catskills community of Andes (near Margaretville), about three hours north of the city and—in case anyone might care—about 40 miles down Highway 28 from the gigantic farmhouse on 400 pristine acres above the Ashokan Reservoir Your Mama rented for almost 2 years back in the olden days before we met The Dr. Cooter and, as our pithy pal Falsetta Knockers sometimes joshes, married up and bought a turn-of-the-20th-century shingled farmhouse in an historic whaling village on the East End of Long Island.
But we digress with our nostalgia...
listing photos: Sotheby's International Reatly / Brentwood