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The father of Hollywood... and his Studio City gem

As early as 1911, when the first million dollars’ worth of new homes were going up in Hollywood, Toberman had already found success acquiring failed residential subdivisions and reviving them, showing his homes in a new Cadillac touring car. He predicted Hollywood Boulevard would soon be an entertainment center and sold vacant land there, advertising, “Hollywood is at the threshold of the new era of development.”


In 1914, Toberman bought the south east corner of Hollywood and Highland and financed the area’s first four story building, with street-level stores, offices above them, and apartments on the top two floors. He quickly became one of the most acclaimed commercial and residential builders in the state of California, driving the residential boom in the Hollywood Hills. He placed 53 subdivisions on the market, including Outpost Estates. The façade of his company’s building on Hollywood Boulevard was inspired by the Palace at Versailles. His show-stopping Mission Revival mansion, now called Villa Las Colinas, was featured in the first issue of Architectural Digest, with a young Bette Davis at the front door.


But Toberman’s vision wasn’t limited to Hollywood; he soon headed west toward the bean fields at Beverly and Fairfax. Later, the company town of Studio City was a natural connection. In 1937, he designed a Traditional English Cottage at 4444 Lemp Avenue, filled with Old World charm and detailed period craftsmanship. It’s recently undergone a six-year restoration by its current owner, a licensed contractor, who carefully kept the classic character of its initial design.


The gated driveway curves around the expansive front yard to the entry, where twin chimney pots stand as sentries. Beyond the foyer, the large formal living room is crowned by a soaring eighteen-foot wood-beamed truss ceiling. The formal dining room still retains its authentic wood planked walls and high coved ceiling. The Christopher Peacock inspired chef's kitchen is highlighted with a beamed ceiling, brick stovetop surround, Old World latch hardware and Carrera marble counters. Bedroom ceilings are lined with tongue-and-groove planks. Each bathroom has been remodeled with top of the line materials and fixtures. Chandeliers dazzle throughout.


In the sunny family room, French doors open to a vast, grassy and private backyard. Near the gracefully curved pool and spa are an outdoor shower, outdoor living room with freestanding stone wall fireplace and fountain, and separate grill area for entertaining. This timeless piece of Hollywood history, sensitively enhanced for today, is ready to welcome its next delighted owners. Mr. Toberman would have been proud.


4444 Lemp Avenue, Studio City is listed by Donovan Healey at $2,695,000.

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