Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Mansion: For Sale - Nice Place, Not For Me

"Take a tour: Candy Spelling's $150 million dollar 'haven' "
On The Block, San Francisco Chronicle (May 4, 2010)

"Could your home finally be a haven if you had endless funds to make it so? Maybe you're a buyer for this mansion, which offers a flower cutting room and a gift wrapping room along with the more predictable theater and bowling alley. In fact, the Spelling mansion is the largest house in Los Angeles-- which surely is an accomplishment-- and is on the market now for $150 million. That price tag makes it also the most expensive home in America....

"...Candy Spelling turns blogger, doling out advice we'd love to follow-- if only we had an obscenely rich dead husband-- on how to make your home a haven. (Hint: cash and way too much of it!)

"Oh, but sour grapes aside...."

Kudos, sort of, to the reporter for recognizing the "sour grapes;" and moving on. The article/post ends with "...Important questions have to be asked: Who gets the doll collection? Who will work in the beauty parlor? And are the candy and roses that match the bedrooms included with the sale?"

There's less - resentment? - in this Forbes video, which was embedded in the San Francisco Chronicle piece:

"America's Most Expensive Home"

forbes, YouTube (November 17, 2009)
video, 3:04
[I've reduced the size of this video, to fit this blog's format. I recommend viewing it on YouTube: "America's Most Expensive Home." The image quality there is quite good.]

"Legendary TV producers Los Angeles property prices at $150 million."

Let's face it: not all that many people have $150,000,000 dollars available for buying a place like this. Property worth that much, period. But some folks do.

This mansion is - remarkable, to put it mildly. The Forbes video has quite a bit of information about the place. And, mercifully, devotes most of the three minutes and four seconds on showing us features of the place: not someone talking into a microphone in front of something we'd like to see.

The estate, according to the video, was owned by Bing Cosby at one time. The Spellings lived there since 1991. And, apparently, did quite a lot to the place.

The estate is called "The Manor" now. The house has a more-or-less "W" shaped floor plan: There's an areal shot that gives you a quick look at the layout of the house and grounds. Part of the grounds, anyway.

Because of its shape, the house is called l'oiseau - which the video's narrator says means "wing of the bird." My French is shaky at best, but I think it's "the bird" - but what the hey, it's French, and it sounds cool.

The Manor is designed for entertaining. Lots and lots of entertaining. It's got:
  • A movie screen rises from floor in one room
  • 5 kitchens
  • 5 bars
  • 27 bathrooms
  • And parking for over 100 cars
In case the house gets too crowded, there's lots of mingling space in gardens. Plural. Looks like there's a lot of variety in those gardens: one has a koi pond, another is a rooftop rose garden.

Right: and 30 foot ceilings in the entry.

I've seen a few seriously upscale homes - and viewed photos and videos of quite a few more. Some of them - were not designed with my aesthetic sense in mind.

The Manor is, I think, a very attractive house. It's got a sort of 'corporate' look to it that I wouldn't be particularly comfortable with: but then, the house I live in doesn't cost upwards of an eighth of 1x10^9 USD: and I don't invited more than a hundred people at a time over to watch movies.

Some of the family get-togethers have involved a fair fraction of that number - but that's another topic.

The Forbes video says that there are folks interested in the place, from Europe, Russia, Middle East, Asia, as well as locals. I'm not clear on why someone from Asia would want a pile like The Mansion: But I suppose there could be advantages to being able to entertain guests and clients in a place you own, rather than renting a facility. Los Angeles, California is, after all, a major American city: There's quite a bit of business done there, besides making movies and television shows.

Bottom line? That's one fantastic house. The video is a decent 'sampler' for what the next owner of The Manor will be getting.

And I'm content to enjoy looking a photos and videos of places like that: let someone else be concerned about maintaining them, and paying the utility bills.

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