The classic midcentury modern home known as “Byrdview” has been the home of many a celebrity over the years.
Sitting high on a hilltop in the San Fernando Valley, it’s a star in its own right. The mansion has served as a set for essential scenes in movies like “Ali” and “Dreamgirls,” such award-winning TV series as “Mad Men” and “Californication,” and as the site of performances and parties for musicians like Beyoncé, Rihanna, Paul McCartney, and Lady Gaga.
Now’s your chance to live among the stars—the home has just been put on the market for the A-list price of $12.5 million.
The home was built in 1949, and owned by Frank Sinatra during the 1950’s and ’60’s. Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli were married on the premises, and Marilyn Monroe stayed in the guesthouse for a while, reportedly having some very famous tête-à-têtes.
Lucile Ball stayed in the home after her breakup with Desi Arnaz. It’s rumored that the home was so private and remote at the time that Ball and other guests got a kick out of sending smoke signals to nearby properties during the cocktail hour.
“Back in those days, it was the thing for all the big stars to have four homes: one in Beverly Hills, one in Palm Springs, a beach house in Malibu, and a ranch in the Valley,” says co-listing agent Barrie Livingstone of The Agency.
While not exactly a ranch, this 7-acre spread was Sinatra’s Valley pied-à-terre.
Sinatra moved out decades ago, but the stars continue to flow in and out.
“It’s a working home,” says Livingstone.
He told us the next owner could choose to live there in seclusion and only allow a select few productions and events per year to take place, or alternatively, have it booked consistently as a serious income-generator. For example, two of last year’s Super Bowl commercials were shot on the premises.
So what continues to bring the bright lights of Hollywood all the way out to Chatsworth? Well, for one, this place is private. At the end of a nearly a mile-long driveway, the home sits alone, nearly 400 feet above the valley floor. It overlooks the Chatsworth Reservoir nature preserve and offers views in every direction.
Another plus is the unblemished midcentury modern architecture and design. The home is one of only four private residences designed by the celebrated architect William Pereira.
Pereira is known for his futuristic designs as displayed in landmark commercial buildings including the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco, Pepperdine University, and the Disneyland Hotel.
On this project, the architect designed rooms with soaring 16-foot ceilings and walls of glass that open seamlessly to outdoor spaces and spectacular views. He made a point of using clean, sharp lines. He also built the floor from a massive cement slab atop rubber caissons, to withstand earthquakes without a single crack.
“This house cost $600,000 to build, back in 1948,” says Livingstone. “It was the most expensive residential project in the area at the time.”
There are a total of seven bedrooms and nine baths spread over 8,161 square feet of living space. The property also includes a sweet and private guesthouse with its own round swimming pool.
And there’s plenty of room to build even more on the property, should a new owner desire. There are 4 flat acres, parking for over 100 cars, and agricultural zoning for a vineyard, believe it or not. The new owner could easily add a studio, another residence, or equestrian facilities.
Livingstone reports that the current owners hope that whoever buys it will continue the prestigious Hollywood tradition. They’ve enjoyed it immensely over the decades they’ve been there, but they own a number of other homes and feel it’s high time to pass their legacy on. “It might even go to a production company that uses it exclusively for shooting,” he suggests.
Now that we all know what Byrdview looks like, keep your eyes peeled for it on a screen near you.
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