AKA: Hilton, Barron, House, Bel-Air, Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, CA
Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses
Designers: Huntsman-Trout, Edward, Landscape Architect (firm); O'Neal and Sons, Building Contractors (firm); Shellenberger, Harriet R., Interior Designer (firm); Williams, Paul R., FAIA (firm); Edward Huntsman-Trout (landscape architect); Harriet Robings Shellenberger (interior designer); Paul Revere Williams (architect)
Dates: constructed 1935-1936
Architect Williams designed this costly $100,000 residence for the businessman Jacob "Jay" Paley (1885-1960) and his wife, Lilian, (1893-1954). Jay Paley, was a founding partner with his brother, Samuel L. (b. 12/15/1874), in the Congress Cigar Company, makers of the popular La Palina cigar brand. Jay was the uncle of William S. Paley (1901-1990), founder and chairman of the Columbia Broadcasting Company (CBS). Born in Brovary, Ukraine, Samuel, who migrated to the Chicago, IL, via Liverpool in 1888, and Jay Paley were Jewish immigrants who began the Congress Cigar Company in 1896. In 1919, they moved its headquarters to 3rd and Spruce Streets in Philadelphia where they built the La Palina brand into a tobacco giant. In 1926, Samuel retired and the company was sold. Jay received a great deal of money from stock and embarked on an extended period of travel. He ended up in Los Angeles, CA, where he commissioned this Holmby Hills residence from Williams. It was a highly publicized commission for Williams, and one of the architect's most celebrated. The house was sold after Paley's death to the hotel mogul, Barron Hilton (b. 1927), who has lived there ever since.
An elaborate pool and pool house were designed first for Jay Paley by landscape architect Edward Huntsman-Trout (1889-1974) and architect Paul Revere Williams (1894-1980) for the estate, c. 1932. The pool house, erected by the Paddock Pool Company, and pool were featured on the cover the Los Angeles-based periodical, Architectural Digest (vol. 9, no. 4), in 1933. The pool house was a symmetrical, stripped down Classical design, which contained more than just dressing rooms. It also featured a bar, grill and games room. With the success of the pool house, Williams received the commission to design the main residence for Paley in 1934. Construction occurred on the house between 1935 and 1936. The Hollywood Regency Paley House had an H-plan, with the rear facade having long terraces on the first and second floors. The grounds had both lawn and a more formal garden on one side of the residence. The master bedroom was two stories in height and was articulated by its own conic roof supported by columns.
Interiors were designed by Harriet R. Shellenberger (1892-1981), c. 1930; the building contractors were O'Neal and Sons. Shellenberger's interiors were removed in 1961, the year after Jay Paley died.
PCAD id: 2955