In this month’s edition of Great Spaces, we travel back to the 1920s to take a closer look at an English-style manor rich in history.
Where: Los Angeles, California
Listing Price: $7.7 million
Features: 5,575 square feet complete with four bedrooms and seven bathrooms.
Added Appeal: Enchanting, park-like gardens, saltwater pool and a speakeasy-style wet bar.
LA’s prestigious Hancock Park—a once-favored enclave for 1920s stars like Clark Gable and Ava Gardner—is known for its tree-lined streets, wide variety of architectural styles and old Hollywood charm. Embodying the nostalgic attributes of a bygone era is a newly listed English-style manor with as rich a history as the neighborhood itself.
Built in 1923 by architect Henry F. Withey, this two-level home blends period details and contemporary design elements to recreate the dignified serenity of a quaint Surrey cottage. Previously owned by Katherine MacDonald, a 1920s American actress known as “American Beauty,” the Rossmore House also served as a short-term residence for Vivian Vance while she starred as Ethel Mertz in “I Love Lucy.” The home was last sold in 2001 to actor David Cooley, founder/owner of The Abbey Food & Bar, a longtime LGBTQ+ landmark in West Hollywood.
With its brick facade, wrought-iron staircase, gourmet kitchen and recreational amenities, this property presents the perfect opportunity for show and tell. Adding to its allure, the separate guest house has a bedroom and bathroom on the upper floor as well as a wet bar-equipped speakeasy on the lower level that flows out to an al fresco sitting area.
RISMedia spoke to Rochelle Maize of Nourmand & Associates who is co-listing the property with Alexis Valentin Ramos of Sotheby’s International Realty. Here, Maize discusses the home’s rich history and unique features.
Joey Macari: What makes this a Great Space?
Rochelle Maize: The “Great Space” of this Hancock Park home is a combination of its original 1920s charm and the updates that have been added in recent years. The home’s original details, such as hardwood floors, archways and an iron staircase with butterfly details, have been carefully preserved, adding to the character and charm of the home. The landscape design by Chad Waterhouse has elevated the English garden landscaping, pool and spa, creating a peaceful paradise perfect for outdoor entertaining. The combination of the original details and the modern updates, in addition to the well-designed outdoor living spaces, make this home a truly great space.
JM: In what ways do the home’s ‘timeless’ aspects contribute to its mass appeal?
RM: The home’s timeless aspects, which include original 1920s architecture and interior design, contribute to its mass appeal because they offer a sense of history and charm that many luxury homebuyers are seeking. The added ambiance created by the current owner, blending the Hollywood Regency vibe with the old English cottage architecture, has created the perfect blend.
JM: What type of social media strategies are most effective for properties like this?
RM: Since the property has a rich history and a unique charm, social media strategies that highlight its distinctive features and showcase its timeless appeal are most effective. Using high-quality photos and videos to showcase the property’s original 1920s architecture and interior design, as well as its modern amenities and luxurious features. Additionally, leveraging social media platforms that cater to luxury homebuyers, such as Instagram and TikTok, is an effective way to reach potential buyers and generate interest.
JM: Tell us how representing this property has been a rewarding career challenge for you.
RM: Representing this property has been a rewarding career challenge for me because it has allowed me to showcase my skills in marketing and promoting high-end luxury properties with a rich history and unique features. Additionally, I have had the pleasure of working with the owner, David, who is a prominent figure in the LGBTQ+ community and has made significant contributions to various philanthropic causes.
JM: What indicators do you use to arrive at a listing price?
RM: I use a variety of indicators such as comparable properties in the area, market trends and the unique features of the property itself. However, it’s important to note that this is always a conversation and a balance with my clients. I work closely with the seller to ensure that we are both comfortable with the price point based on their individual needs and goals. At the end of the day, I value my relationships with my clients beyond just the transaction, and I want them to feel confident and satisfied with the final listing price.
JM: What innovation stands to be the next big thing to disrupt the real estate industry?
RM: As an innovator in the luxury real estate sector, I believe that the next big thing to disrupt the market will be the increasing use of technology to enhance the buying and selling experience. For example, the use of virtual reality and 3D home tours will become increasingly common, allowing buyers to experience a property from anywhere in the world.