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Hollywood Gilded era Mansions. A story in American Individualism

March 30, 2017

Hollywood individualism pervades every aspect of life in Los Angeles including interior design, where it manifests as highly original spaces from Malibu to Silver Lake in a dizzying assortment of styles—from 1920s and 1930s Spanish Revival houses in the Hollywood hills, to highly adorned Storybook houses, and airy and transparent midcentury modern forms.img_7708img_5078v825bo1zrrtraditional-garden-j-jonathan-joseph-and-peter-schifando-beverly-hills-ca-200705-3_1000untitled-2

The Greystone Mansion is probably the best example of such homes from that era build perhaps by one of the most eccentric and mysterious figures of that era.InnerCourtyardimg_08001Patio1Photospread1IMG_3797 sweba logoIMG_1816crop2

Since its dawn, status in Los Angeles was everything. Like success in the ever-fascinating movie industry that sets it apart, custom home building and design was equally based on the creation of truly unique moments and encapsulating them for generations.img_1644greystone-mansion-losangeles-4812298-oc1f0fe77f442edb7bc07b39f767d6a8a46751ebb55203e4c51aa05c08ce3354a

Those palatial mansions went from paper to brick and mortar and doing so framed the illusion of the bigger than life characters that lived behind their forged metallic gates.8690514565_965a9e3f43_o3409084647_989ab73391_b

A relentless celebration of personality fuels the city, creating a cult of the individual and driving the city’s collective exaltation of talents and quirks. The Greystone Mansion was and still is a truly incredible estate.Greystone-Mansion-Beverly-Hills-21greystone3grey2

It has become over the years the epicenter of old Hollywood Golden era Mansions designed by the best and brightest Los Angeles-based architects of the time. The homes showcased here in this blog illustrate exuberance and diversity evident in the impressive architectural limestone that adorns their floors, walls, fountains and fireplaces. Victor-Vasu-Coldwell-Banker-Real-Estate-Laguna-Beach-Three-Arch-Bay-27-N-Portola-19-bIMG_0598-bBest-IMG_0595-b154901_CHROME_3AZvATzD10921110356_1352a6e2a8-3

Ancient Surfaces was truly blessed in contributing to the restoration efforts of many of such estates all over America with a focus on California .8690514669_c2510fa410_o5569593459_542a7f9827-b

Those old stone elements evoke Old Europe full of antique and hand-crafted finishes, keeping guests riveted every moment with intensely rich details and craftsmanship, with restrained palettes and grand proportions while overseeing a stunning scenery of the Pacific Ocean.2371.doheny-2203cae69b2716e7be323788f9f78ba9ae04_10_37ZEtdl327 Portola-04

The modern archeology goes one as new construction by iconic figures such as Richard Meier & Partners, continue with the same DNA as their predecessors. Several have been lost to our chagrin but few have been fully restored as in the case of beloved local classics such as Spanish Revival homes built by George H. Freuhling, a fanciful Storybook streamlined for contemporary life, others are impressive restored midcentury homes by Harwell Hamilton Harris and John Lautner.15877075166_58b8a2610e-28690511665_d06d92d490_o

The California Dream relies first and foremost on a willingness to be seduced by the place itself, and these architects and designers actively participate in a love affair with the place that makes their work possible, and which is tangible in this stunning presentation of residential spaces.Greystone-Mansion-and-Park-fountainGreystone-Mansion-Beverly-Hills-1

It is shocking how incredible some of those 1900’s-1920’s homes still are. I’ve been pleasantly surprised on far too many occasions when I find myself involved in the remodeling of architectural features like adding an authentic period fountain or fireplace in a true Spanish revival home built during the roaring 20’s in the most unexpected places in Southern California like Santa Ana Heights, Pasadena, San Marino, Yorba Linda or Anaheim Hills.Cladding-By Ancient Surfaces

We’ve been spoiled long enough and for years on end as we cater to the usual suspects in Newport Coast, Laguna Beach, Beverly Hills, Malibu, Santa Barbara, San Fran, Atherton, Tiberon and so one, that a phone call from a home owner living with her husband on a 2 acer home in Sana Anna Heights can only give us pause and fill us with excitement and intrigue!


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