Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: Woolf, John Elgin, Architect (firm); John Elgin Woolf (architect)

Dates: constructed 1925

2 stories, total floor area: 5,800 sq. ft.

North Crescent Drive
Beverly Hills, CA

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North Crescent Drive near Sunset Boulevard.

Director Vincente Minnelli (1903-1986) owned this residence until his death, leaving it to his widow, Lee. Daughter Liza Minnelli was made caretaker of the estate. In 2000, Liza decided to put the house on the market, but her step-mother refused to leave. This triggered a struggle over control of the place. New owners purchased the house in 2006 for $2.33 million, but have failed to move in, with the end result that it has been left, without utilities service, to decay. By 2014, squatters had begun to use the place. Los Angeles architect John Elgin Woolf (1908-1980) designed the North Crescent Drive house in 1925 in the then-prevalent Spanish Colonial Revival Style.

Seen from the air, the Minnelli House has a U-shaped plan, with the bottom portion of the U facing northwest toward Sunset Boulevard. One side of the U was a one-story garage to the southeast, the other on the northeast a square, two-story wing. The house had a gated and walled forecourt, paved for autos. It also had a long, walled yard extending to the northeast. Immediately off the house's northeast side was a paved patio, which then faced a large swimming pool. Despite the warm conditions in Southern CA, two chimneys projected from the main house roof. The compound gable roof was surrounded by a parapet. The front door was located in the center of a slightly projecting, gabled bay; shutters trimmed either side of the main entrance. On the second floor above the entry, was a balcony trimmed with a wrought iron railing, off of which two segmentally-arched, French doors opened. A sculpture niche was placed in between the French doors, above the front door.

The foyer had a skylight that appears to have been put in later.

PCAD id: 19133