L.A.’s #1 Celebrity Home: Sinatra to Monroe & Mad Men!

Southern California’s star-studded home, Farralone, was built for Chase Bank heiress-and-socialite Dora Hutchinson.  It was a longtime home for Frank Sinatra and, according to legend, was the site of JFK's affair with Marilyn Monroe.  It has been a film site for many films and television shows including Mad Men, Californication and Dreamgirls.  Recently restored, updated and renamed “Byrdview,” it is for sale at $21.5 million.

In 1949, Dora hired futuristic-architect William Pereira to design Farralone. He was one of the most famous and prolific architects of the time, who had also been a film-set designer, director and producer for several 1940's movies, winning an Oscar for his special effects photography work on Cecille B. De Mille's Reap the Wild Wind in 1942.  He later became a professor of architecture at the University of Southern California, where one of his students was Frank Gehry.  In his career, Pereira worked on over 400 projects including the 1933 Chicago World's Fair, Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and his most famous, the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco.  In 1963, Pereira made the cover of Time magazine for his work on the city master plan for Irvine, California.

Located on 4.3 acres in the Chatsworth neighborhood, Farralone is perched on a hilltop with 360-degree views over Los Angeles, mountains and the surrounding 3,000 acres of nature preserve.  Gated and unable to be seen from the road, C, flooding it with light and capturing the views in all directions. Also included is a bar, formal dining area, a den-office, large chef’s kitchen with island, breakfast nook with view and top-of-the-line appliances, a number of fireplaces, and endless entertainment areas both inside and out.  Its private location away from prying eyes and long-gated access at the bottom of the pinnacle make the house extremely attractive to celebrities hoping for a true getaway.

Hutchinson’s guest lists contained the Who’s Who of Hollywood, including Lucille Ball, Ava Gardner, Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack.  When the excitement of the celebrity party scene started to wear thin, Dora moved back to her native New York City and rented the home to Sinatra, who stayed for almost ten years.  Sinatra started a whole new era of entertaining for Farralone, taking it from elegant to a slightly rowdy boy’s club vibe with his Rat Pack and political buddies.  Everyone who was anyone passed through Farralone’s doors, grounds and pool throughout Sinatra’s tenure.  Marilyn Monroe was one of the regular guests, and as legend goes, the property’s guest house with its private pool was the venue for her scandalous affair with John F. Kennedy.

In more recent times, the property has been a filming backdrop for films, music videos, television sitcoms and fashion advertising.  The house and grounds have been seen in  films such as Swordfish, Dreamgirls, Transformers and Bewitched. It has also starred in television series Mad Men and Californication and in music videos by Mariah Carey, Usher and Rihanna.

Now priced at $21.5 million, the listing agent is Craig Knizek of The Agency, Beverly Hills.

Photo credit:  Scott Everts/Fox/Agency

Source:  TopTenRealEstateDeals.com  

Video Credit:  Sean Evans, @evvo1991backtothemovies.com/

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