Urgent note: It’s almost time for Descanso Gardens to transform into a leafy world of dazzling nighttime lights again. “Enchanted: Forest of Light” opens November 19, but tickets tend to vanish in a twinkling. Better reserve your visit soon.
The Caldwell Residence by Beverly Hills architect to the stars Wallace Neff has been listed by Aaroe Estates, the luxury property division of John Aaroe Group, at $14,450,000.
When Neff designed the elegant Spanish Colonial Revival home for an engineering tycoon in 1926, he never dreamed that twenty years later, it would be famous around the world. Or why.
In 1946, during tycoon Howard Hughes’ first test flight of the XF-11, a prototype reconnaissance aircraft, mechanical problems forced Hughes to attempt an emergency landing on the Los Angeles Country Club golf course. Seconds short of the greens, the aircraft plummeted into three houses in residential Beverly Hills. The second was the Caldwell Residence, where the plane’s wing clipped the bedroom and took out the garage. The scene is grippingly recreated in the Martin Scorsese film The Aviator with Leonardo DiCaprio.
Today, in superb shape and recently impeccably restored, the Caldwell Residence still reflects the vision that makes many consider Wallace Neff the father of the iconic architectural style of golden age Southern California. His countless celebrity clients included Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, who commissioned him to design the Pickfair Estate. Other credits included the Singer and Gillette Mansions, the Gates Residence, and Libby Ranch. Current passionate Neff collectors have included Brad Pitt, Diane Keaton and Madonna among many others.
The five-bedroom, five-bath Caldwell Residence, set in one of the most coveted locations in the city, reflects Neff’s finesse for detail and quality, from materials and craftsmanship to design, composition and style. Atop a circular drive, lavish wrought iron double doors open to a spectacular white marble-floored entry punctuated by an intricate wrought iron stairway rail.
Beyond, a dramatic two-story formal living room features hand-painted beam-and-truss ceilings and a chimney-style fireplace. Three sets of broad, arched French doors frame the beautifully landscaped patios, twenty-fountain pool and gardens beyond.
Near the formal dining room, a sleek gourmet kitchen gleams with top-of-the-line stainless steel appliances. The flexible 5,678 square foot floor plan includes a huge family entertainment/guest room overlooking the large al fresco dining area with barbecue, fire pit, spa and pool.
On the second level, the luxurious master suite includes two walk-in closets and opens to a romantic loggia. The office/den is highlighted by a charming corner fireplace with lovely original details, including decorative grill and ironwork.
More than seventy years after its date with destiny, the Caldwell Residence is more radiant than ever — and ready to welcome a new family to one of Beverly Hills’ most desirable neighborhoods.
See the scene from The Aviator in Curbed's coverage of the property.
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