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Celebrity Real Estate: Former Frank Sinatra Mid Century Modern Home in Chatsworth Available for $12 Million

Hot off the presses from the fine folks at LA Curbed via a Forbes article titled "The $12 Million Frank Sinatra Estate Where Marilyn Monroe Rendezvoused With Jack Kennedy" by Morgan Brennan (recommended reading) comes word of an exclusive listing in Chatsworth. This home is currently not listed in the MLS but I guess is some sort of pocket listing available through Coldwell Banker Previews International. This property has so much history its not even fair. Just read the description  from the property listing website below which is known as the Farralone Estate (since its located on Farralone Avenue) currently offered for $12 million: 
It has been referred to as “The great glass mansion that perches like a lighted jewel on its own hilltop”. No wonder, with its 16 ft. ceilings the interior is surrounded by glass walls that open seamlessly to the outdoor spaces. Today the property has been painstakingly restored to its pristine original condition and continues to sparkle and amaze. 
The estate known as “Farralone” was commissioned by Dora Hutchison, the heiress to the Chase Manhattan Bank fortune. It was completed in 1951 by Pereira & Luckman, the architects most famous for building this “trophy” residence, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Kennedy Center, The Transamerica Pyramid building in San Francisco and the master plan for the City of Beverly Hills. 
The parties hosted there between 1951-1954 were legendary and included such guests as Lucille Ball and Ava Gardner. Judy Garland and Vicente Minnelli were married there. Frank Sinatra leased the house for several years. During that time Marilyn Monroe resided in the guesthouse and had her last photo shoot there as well as the infamous rendezvous with Jack Kennedy. The estate NETS between $500,000-$2M per year from movie location filming.
The 10,000 sq. ft. main estate, surrounded by two acres of rolling lawn, is up a long, winding private road on 5.5 acres. It includes 4 bedrooms/5.5 baths, a grand gallery and three lower level private offices complete with a conference room. The one bedroom/1.5 bath guest house is 1,000 sq. ft. with its own pool. A detached gym is located adjacent to the stunning 50 ft. pool. 
A 9.5 acre section, out of site from the residence, has a tentative tract map divided into 13 lots and is currently used as a vineyard with horse riding trails. In addition to the large motor court there is parking for 200 cars. This fine example of mid-century magnificence could not be replicated today. It is beyond a doubt one of the most private, dazzling and important estates in all of southern California. 
Also to quote from the Forbes article:
"If walls could talk, this house has had more celebrities in it than just about any other house in Los Angeles,” says Lynn Teschner, a Coldwell Banker Previews International Realtor and Farralone’s listing agent. Indeed the estate’s ties to glitterati span decades, from Judy Garland and Vincent Minelli’s wedding to Paul McCartney‘s experience being shooed off the home’s piano.
“One of the big draws of this house is if someone wanted to use it as an income producing vehicle that generates several hundred thousand a year in location shoots,” says Teschner.  She notes that the house has pulled in as much as $2 million annually in previous years from location shoots.  If  the future buyer chooses to contiue renting the estate out to production studios, they would have little to do except plan a vacation around shoot dates: Farralone comes with a property manager who acts as a liaison with the studios, paid for by the studios. The main house also boasts a lower level production studio equipped with conference room, edit bays, private office and a separate entrance, all paid for and maintained by the studios.
“If this property was in Bel Air it would be a $100 million listing,” asserts Teschner.  She expects that either an architecture-loving celebrity or international trophy home collector will snap it up. Whomever does will likely be someone who enjoys throwing lavish parties since it was, afterall, built for that very purpose.
Truly amazing and I am embarrassed to admit that I never knew of its existence. And on top of that, this home has been used extensively for filming as the listing description suggests. According to an HGTV blog:
You may also recognize the estate from films, such as Swordfish, Dream Girls and Bewitched. It has also be featured on television shows, CSI, Mad Men, Six Feet Under and the Barbara Walters Academy Awards Special.
Recently, this property was prominently featured in the AMC TV show, Mad Men, for an episode titled "The Jet Set" to depict Palm Springs which the art directors did an amazing job of making this home look like it was in Palm Springs although it truly was in the Porn Capital of the World. The website, Design Public, discussed this episode in a blog post called Palm Springs Modern: Mad Men Heads West which provides numerous screen shots shown below from that episode.  

You can also see this home and the pool in the music video "Burn" by Usher. It starts at about 35 seconds into the clip.

This location was also used for Transformers which can be viewed here.

So now that we have talked about the history of the estate, lets discuss some facts. Although not listed on the MLS, this site is situated at 9361 and 9363 Farralone Avenue which divides the property in two shown below:

According to the property records from Zillow, 9361 contains the following: 
  • 4 Beds
  • 6 Baths
  • 6,661 sqft
  • Built in 1951
  • Total lot size of 4.03 acres
Also from Zillow, 9363 contains the following:
  • 4 Beds
  • 1 Baths
  • 1,019 sqft
  • Built in 1951
  • Total lot size of 9.56 acres

According to Redfin, the sellers tried to sell before: 

Property History

Apr 07, 2004- Delisted----Inactive TheMLS #2
Oct 25, 2003- Listed*--Inactive TheMLS #2
Aug 31, 1998- Delisted----Inactive TheMLS #1
Jan 16, 1998- Listed*--Inactive TheMLS #1

I was not able to determine who currently owns it, how much they paid for it, and what changes have been made to the property although it looks very much original except for the addition of the production studio. 

This is truly an amazing gem in the heart of Chatsworth with breathtaking views. I only wish I had $12 million to spare. However, this site should be designated as an HCM site to prevent it from ever being demolished. 

One thing I forgot to mention is that this home's backyard is the empty Chatsworth Reservoir and not too far from Roy Roger's estate which I discussed here. It used to look like this and then the Sylmar Earthquake damaged it and needed to be drained. But thats a story for another day. 

Courtesy Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection: Hollywood Citizen News/Valley Times Collection by Jon Woods

Courtesy Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection: Industries-Water and Power Reservoirs 
Courtesy Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection: Spence Air Photos

Courtesy Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection: Hollywood Citizen News/Valley Times Collection

Courtesy Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection: Hollywood Citizen News/Valley Times Collection 
Courtesy Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection: Keystone Photo Service

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Marty Mcfly

Anything and everything about the San Fernando Valley. This blog will take you back in time when the valley was covered with dirt and orange groves to a leader in the space race to its current status as America's suburb. Come along and join me on this adventure, I guarantee you have been influenced/impacted by the San Fernando Valley in one form or another even if you have never visited or heard of the SFV.

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