Friday, June 29, 2012
Film and TV Writer Larry Levin Downsizes in Windsor Square
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA (Hancock Park)
SIZE:2,641 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: For almost two decades Tinseltown scribe Larry Levin (It's Garry Shandling's Show, I Love You, Man, Doctor Dolittle, Dr. Dolittle 2) and his film industry executive turned stylist/lady-decorator wife Sasha Emerson shacked up in an a customized and colorful post-and-beam modern tucked into Santa Monica's low-key but downright pricey Rustic Canyon.
Rustic Canyon happens to be one of Your Mama's fave 'hoods in Los Angeles where, one of Your Mama's friend's Mercedes-driving father who lives there (unscientifically) swears, there are more Prius owners per capita than anywhere else in all of Los Angeles.
We have no idea if the Levin-Emersons pilot a Prius around town but property records do show Mister Levin acquired the property in 1994 for $1,150,000 and sold the 6 bedroom and 5.5 bathroom house in early April this year (2012) for $3,700,000, or $3,671,170, depending on what online resource Your Mama consults. The buyer, as per our peep through the prop records, was up-and-coming (but obviously well-to-do) short film maker Elfar Adalsteins (Sailcloth, Subculture).
Where does a person move after selling a customized and colorful post-and-beam modern in Rustic Canyon for more than $2.5 million more than was paid for it? Well, it may surprise some of the children to learn, but in the case of Mister Levin and Miz Emerson, it's a downsizing to a much smaller and more modest English cottage-y crib all the way across town in the tree-lined, broad lawn-ed and historically affluent Windsor Square neighborhood.
Property records reveal the Levin-Emersons spent $1,575,000—or $1,595,000, depending on what online resource Your Mama consults—on their new house that was purchased from an L.A.-based restaurateur with a handful of successful, mid-priced Italian eateries Your Mama ain't never heard of or eaten at. But that's neither here nor there to the matter at hand.
Listing information from the time of the sale indicates the steeply and asymmetrically gabled, two-story house was originally built in 1922, measures a fairly modest but far from tiny 2,641 square feet and includes 3-4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms.
A small den/office just off one side of the front entrance hall has custom-built, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and storage cabinets while the "formal" living room off the other has dark chocolate-colored hardwood floors, a fireplace and a dizzying display of windows, some with square panes and some with diamond panes. Why didn't someone put diamond paned windows in all the windows in the living room? Bueller? Bueller? Anyone? Bueller?
The dark wood floors continue in to the dinner party-friendly formal dining room that opens through French doors to the backyard and sits adjacent to the country-style kitchen outfitted with dark-dark-dark lower cabinets, no overhead cabinets at all, Carrara marble counter tops, top-grade stainless steel appliances and a butcher block topped restaurant work table in the center of the room. A step-down room off the kitchen, at the back of the house, could be pressed in to use as a family room or bedroom perfectly suited to a live-in domestic or hormonally raging teenager.
Upstairs the two family/guest bedrooms share a hall bathroom while the master bedroom has its own pooper plus a walk-in closet and sitting area with wee, wood-burning fireplace. One of the upstairs bathrooms—an all black and white affair that we're really not sure is the master or the hall facility—has a most-unusual caning-weave pattern mosaic tile floor. The back wall of the tub/shower combo appears to be mirrored. Mirroed! We've never actually seen a mirror lined shower and, to be honest, the very notion makes us squeamish, shy and desperately insecure.
Anyhoo, the back of the house opens up to a large, rectangular-shaped backyard with circular brick bordered multi-level gravel terraces and a series of tree-lined terraced lawn areas where one might reasonably expect to—but do not—find an in-ground swimming pool and/or spa. What the backyard does have is a big ol', ugly concrete pad way out back, next to the two-car detached garage that about as inconveniently far from the house as it can be and is accessible only by a narrow alley.
If she hasn't already we fully expect Miz Emerson—as mentioned earlier, a much-published lady-decorator—will wave her decorative wand over the property and do it up in her own personal style that (now-shuttered) Budget Living magazine, where she was once the West Coast Editor, humidly but tantalizingly described as "Andy Warhol meets Sister Parish."
Windsor Square may be less lauded or well known than its hoitier, toitier and (generally speaking) more expensive neighbor Hancock Park but the historic 'hood none-the-less has more than a few fine and notable residences including the very grand, Beaux Arts-style Dorthy Chandler mansion on Lorraine Boulevard—currently on the market with an $11,250,000 price tag—and Getty House, an equally impressive English Tudor-style pile once owned by oilman John Paul Getty and now the official mayoral residence of Los Angeles.
listing photos: Keller Williams