Sunday, September 8, 2013

John Elgin Woolf Hollywood Regency "Seiter House" Listed For Sale

2924 Montcalm Avenue, Hollywood Hills - John Elgin Woolf, architect, 1939 - $2,950,000
This elegant John Elgin Woolf, Hollywood Regency home is finally on market for sale versus just a rental.  The home designed by architect to the stars showcases the styled that was coined after Woolf who brought 19th-Century French, Greek Revival and Modern together under one roof.  This modern masterpiece has been rented for the past decade, so now is the time to jump on this if there is a desire.  The spacious 2 bedroom and 2 bathroom within 2,148 square feet is a private retreat resting above Woodrow Wilson in the Hollywood Hills on over a half acre of land. The home was originally design for film editor, Robert Seiter who is best known for his work on "Green Acres" and "Leave It To Beaver".  The listing mentions the home being built in 1939, but the owner has indicated it was built in 1953.  The Hollywood Reporter mentions the current owner is hotelier, Sean MacPherson.  He and his then wife, Janet, purchased the home in 1995 for a measly $415,000.  Now, the home is being offered for $2,950,000.
Born in Atlanta, GA in 1908, Woolf got his degree in architecture from Georgia Tech before heading west in the 1930s and designing a small English Georgian-style guest house for singer Fanny Brice, which registered his place on the star meter.  Having Brice's introduction to celebrities enabled Woolf to open his architecture practice on Melrose Place, decorator row, where he and his partner, Robert Koch Woolf built an almost exclusive residential practice with John as architect and Robert as decorator.  The interesting thing is that John adopted Robert when Robert was an adult...  There may have been more business going on between them than just architecture and design?
Woolf is known as the architect that introduced the mansard roof, most associated with Regency.  With parquet flooring, painted brick, signature marble fireplace, soaring ceilings and doors, along with columns, there is a sense of drama when approaching his work.  Extreme heights.  Extreme detail.  Extreme luxury with a purpose.  Every detail in a Woolf design was a thoughtful process, nothing frivolous.  The beauty lies in the feeling of elegance and simplicity, even though the details are all on point.  With the curvilinear glass walls surrounding the pool, allowing natural light, this home includes the mid-century aesthetic of inviting the outdoors in through glass. 
Due to the lack of exposure this home has had, photos of the design are from years past.  What we see here are photos that have been taken years ago.  What we do not see is the spacious master bedroom with its marble-clad oval bathroom and spacious counter-tops with a sand-blasted rear-lighted mirror accompanied by a dressing area with closets that allow one to see their shoes as the mirrors are slightly tilted.  It was these types of details that wooed celebrities.  Not only were the details fun, but they were thoughtful and smart.  
The kitchen is described as "A stylistic green and black kitchen" with a vintage 1950s stove. Off of the kitchen is a breakfast area, dining room and cozy den.  Of course, there is a pool house / cabana which allows this spacious home a perfect setting for entertaining, especially due to the 8 underground parking spaces, located on a quiet cul-de-sac at 2924 Montcalm Avenue, Hollywood Hills 90046.

Celebrity homes built by Woolf:
• Robert Seiter, 2924 Montcalm Avenue, Los Angeles.
• Cary Grant, 9966 Beverly Grove Drive, Los Angeles.
• Errol Flynn, 7740 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles.
• Vincente Minnelli and Judy Garland, 8850 Evanview Drive, Los Angeles.
• Barbara Stanwyck, 273 South Glen Boulevard, Los Angeles.
• Ira and Leonore Gershwin, 1021 North Roxbury Drive, Beverly Hills.
• Fanny Brice, 312 North Faring Road, Los Angeles.
• Bob Hope, 10346 Moorpark Street, North Hollywood.
• Agnes Moorehead, 1023 North Roxbury Drive, Beverly Hills.
• Ronald Colman, 1003 Summit Drive, Beverly Hills.
• Charles Feldman and Jean Howard, 2000 Coldwater Canyon, Los Angeles.
• Lillian Gish, Trancas Beach, Malibu.
• Mervyn LeRoy, 332 St. Cloud Road, Bel Air.
• Paul Lynde, 9250 Cordell Drive, Los Angeles.
• Ray Milland, 10664 Bellagio Road, Los Angeles.
• Ricardo and Georgiana Montalban, 9256 Robin Drive, Los Angeles.
• Loretta Young, 8313 Fountain Avenue, Los Angeles.
• Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, 9191 St. Ives Drive, Beverly Hills.
• George Cukor, 9190 Cordell Drive, Los Angeles.
• Alphonzo Bell, Jr., 1207 Lexington Road, Beverly Hills.
• Micheline Lerner, 8555 Hedges Place, Los Angeles.

Here is an interactive map of homes built by John Elgin Woolf, architect:

One last photo of a house designed for director George Cukor.  You can see the similarities between this home and the Montcalm home listed.
George Cukor House, 1 of 3 homes built on a parcel

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