Monday, August 25, 2014

Support the Valley Times Project

A majority of those great historical SFV pics you see on Facebook, Twitter, and throughout the net (including this blog) probably came from the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection (some examples below). They have thousands of images in their archives from various collections that have yet to be scanned. Consequently, a new project titled, Valley Time Collection, has been started to raise funds to help with scanning and documenting all those pictures. So if you enjoy seeing historical pics of the SFV, please donate to the fund which can be found here. I just donated $100. 

Reseda Blvd and Nordhoff St. Courtesy Los Angeles Public Library/Valley Times Collection
Owensmouth and Sherman Way. Courtesy Los Angeles Public Library/Security Pacific National Bank Collection
Country Squire Motel and Pappy's Resaturant Grand Opening on March 12, 1965 at 7625 Topanga Canyon Blvd Canoga Park. Image courtesy Los Angeles Public Library/Valley Times Collection
Queens Arms at 16325 Ventura Blvd Encino. Image courtesy Los Angeles Public Library/Valley Times Collection
Los Encinos State Historical Monument on September 14, 1960. Image courtesy Los Angeles Public Library/Valley Times Collection
Valley Music Theater on June 14, 1965 with rock 'n' roll singers Desi Arnaz, Billy Hinche, and Dino Martin. Image courtesy Los Angeles Public Library/Valley Times Collection
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Celeb R.E. Chris Brown Rents Agoura Hills Mansion

Back on July 29, 2014, TMZ, revealed that dancer/actor/singer, Chris Brown, began renting an Agoura Hills mansion for $15,500 per month. Although Agoura Hills is not part of the SFV, this home is considered to be on the edges of the SFV and not too far from Malibu. Brown previously owned a Hollywood Hills where he upset the neighbors with his artistic abilities

The home measures 6 Beds/6 Baths on 7,450 sqft on a total lot size of 2.26 acres built in 1987. The listing description states:
Hollywood in the Malibu Hills! Celebrity retreat on private 360-view knoll with architectural mansion full of neon accents, skylights, white marble, and black granite. The curvaceous contemporary home features a commercial ice-cream bar, billiard room, dance studio with sauna, flowing floor plan, and master retreat wing with wraparound balcony. Enjoy the spacious grounds with a large salt-water pool, spa, lighted N/S tennis court, off-street parking for 75+ cars, and a gatehouse leading to the driveway and circular motor court. Nothing in the area compares in privacy, size, style, and amenities at this price. Detached pool cabana & tennis clubhouse. Ten minutes to beach, 5 min to freeway. Very peaceful. Lease option or sale.
Chris Brown has already been welcomed by his new neighbors who have threatened to shoot him if dares cross property lines. 

You can view more SFV Celeb R.E. here
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CicLAvia Route and Date Announced For the Moment

The website of 3rd District LA County Supervisor, Zev Yaroslavsky, announced that CicLAvia will be coming to the SFV on March 8, 2015. Let me repeat that, March 8, 2015 which will run in a V shape format from Ventura Blvd and Coldwater Canyon to Lankershim Blvd and Chandler. The goal of this years CicLAvia is to highlight the improvements made to the LA River as well as the public transportation options of the Red and Orange lines. Please note that the date and route are not finalized with changes possibly coming. You can read more at Zev's website
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Celeb R.E.: SFV is Better Than NYC, Katie Holmes Moves to Calabasas

Images courtesy Ewing & Associates/Sotheby's International Realty
On August 22, 2014, TMZ broke the news that Dawson's Creek star, Katie Holmes, purchased a Calabasas mansion in the Estates at the Oaks gated community, home to many celebrities on August 14, 2014 for $3,795,000. 

Katie Holmes was previously living in NYC and married to Tom Cruise who divorced in July 2012. The terms of the divorce are secret but I am guessing Holmes gets a hefty child support check from Cruise to raise their daughter Suri. Not that Holmes needs the money but I am wondering if "Cruise money" is financing a portion of this purchase. On another note, Holmes is a devout Roman Catholic who attends mass so I wonder if she will be popping up at the local church like St. Mels in Woodland Hills. St. Bernardine of Siena in West Hills, or possibly Our Lady of the Valley in Canoga Park (shout out to my childhood school and church). And the timing of this purchase about a few weeks before the school year begins suggests that Holmes possibly moved to get Suri enrolled in a school just in time probably at a local Catholic school. Its also been said that Holmes moved back to the west coast to revive her Hollywood career. We wish her the best of luck and she picked a great spot to get started. 

The home measures 5 Bed/6 Baths on 5,968 sqft on a total lot size of 20,760 sqft built in 2007. The listing description states:
Grand European Manor with contemporary flair situated on an expansive lot!!! Located atop one of The Oaks most desirable cup-de-sacs and bordering pristine conservancy land, this home features 6BD, 6.5 BA, one of which is a separate Guest Casita. Extensively customized with the finest finishes the residence offers a gourmet center island kitchen with professional style appliances, dark distressed wood floors, and use of rare stones and marble accents. The open floor plan offers several entertaining courtyards, including one adjacent to the dramatic formal living and dining rooms. A grand foyer is accentuated by an open library/loft. Spacious master suite with sitting area affords a large sun deck. The stunning resort like rear grounds feature an oversized pool with sunken fire pit lounge area, several seating enclaves, covered loggia, large grassy area, kitchenette, and sports court. 
The previous owners purchased for $1,850,000 on February 12, 2010 which translated into a gain of $1,945,000, not bad for 4 years of living. 

You can view more SFV Celeb R.E. here
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Friday, August 22, 2014

Mid Century Modern Home in Encino by Donald Park, AIA Hits the Market For the First Time Ever

18128 Chardon Circle
5 Beds/4 Baths on 3,422 sqft on 0.4 acres built in 1964 in Encino which hit the market on August 13, 2014 for $1,495,000 for the first time ever. The home was built by Donald Park, AIA who was a student and later worked for A. Quincy Jones. Park later established a firm with Benton in 1956 and designed architectural significant homes including I believe the 70's disco/Las Vegas circular home in Encino, another MCM property in Encino formerly owned by Ken Jordan of the electronic DJ group, The Crystal Method and also featured in the hit TV show, Mad Men, and another MCM property in Sherman Oaks.  Melvin Brown was the founder of Mel Brown Furniture and Mel Brown International which imported high end international modern furniture and lighting. Brown passed at the age of 91 on December 10, 2013. You can read his obituary here. The listing description states:
In the early 1960s, one of the city's original and most well known contemporary modern furniture dealers discovered a home built by Donald Park, AIA. Today, nearly 50 years later, the residence of Mel Brown hits the market for the first time ever, creating an amazing opportunity for a fortunate buyer to continue the story of this special property. Sited on nearly half an acre of flat land and mature gardens on a prime Lake Encino lot, this well loved 3,400 sq ft classic mid-century modern home features 5 bedrooms, 4 baths, and family room, all with amazing indoor/outdoor views that open up to a spacious garden with oversized pool. Mel Brown himself lovingly designed and built the landscape and created the outdoor spaces encircling the garden home. After entering through a private courtyard, a large living room and dining room with double-high ceilings and wooden beams await. Well-designed period kitchen w/ eat-in area with convenient door into triple car garage. AGENTS SEE PVT REMARKS
You can view more SFV Architecture and Real Estate here.

Images courtesy Sotheby's International Realty
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