Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Bel-Air stunner on the market

This Paul Williams‒designed house at 651 Siena Way in Bel-Air was built by philanthropist George Castera in 1936 and was later the home of actress Jane Wyatt (Father Knows Best) and her husband, Edgar Ward. Wyatt died there in her sleep in 2006 at the age of 96.

As good as it gets in Bel-Air

The house is on the market now, presented in a lengthy slide show prepared by the agent.

In a 2007 application by the Los Angeles Conservancy to have the house designated a Los Angeles Historical-Cultural Monument, the style is listed as "French provincial." Approved L.A. Cultural Monument #893 has nonetheless been "preserved, yet re-envisioned," which may account for the less-than-French-provincial look it has today. The large, multi-paned sash windows (Georgian rather than French) are especially nice.

Multi-paned sash windows are a nice touch.

The listing price of $32 million shows the pathological optimism of Pollyanna, especially in this market (the Assessor's Office lists a combined land and improvements value of under $10M), but by any account this is one of Williams's masterpieces.

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