AKA: Powell, William, House, Beverly Hills, CA; Broccoli, Albert R. and Dana, House, Beverly Hills, CA

Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: Dolena, James E., Architect (firm); Haines, William, Interior Designer (firm); Kelly Wearstler, Interior Design, (kwid) (firm); Purdy, Benjamin Morton, Landscape Architect (firm); James E. Dolena (architect); William Haines (interior designer); Benjamin Morton Purdy (landscape architect); Kelly Wearstler (interior designer)

Dates: constructed 1926

2 stories, total floor area: 11,371 sq. ft.

809 North Hillcrest Road
Beverly Hills, CA 90210-2608

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Hobart Van Zandt Bosworth, an actor and author, resided here between 1926-1933 with his wife Cecile; the Bosworths subsequently moved to less grandiose surroundings in the La Canada Hills.

The William Powell house was set on more than 3.2 lavishly landscaped acres; the grounds had an artificial pond, lawn, formal garden, rose garden, motor court, putting green, croquet court, stables, barbecue, tennis court and swimming pool. Benjamin Martin Purdy supervised the landscape design for Powell. The 60-foot-long pool had its own bath house, which also contained a private theatre with seating for 35. The theatre could be converted into a recreation room with hardwood floors suitable for dancing. The garage accommodated 8 cars and had a gardener's cottage adjacent to it. The house possessed 8 bedrooms (2 for servants) and 9,000 square feet; the first floor had a very formal entry, glazed gallery looking out onto the patio, 45-foot-long living room (with its own terrace), formal dining room, rear hall, recreation room with bar, office, and 2 guest suites. The second floor featured a formal back hall, enclosed solarium and 2 master bedroom suites with 2 extensive baths, 2 sitting rooms, a sleeping porch, and 2 dressing areas. Maid's quarters, as was typical of the period, were isolated above the kitchen. The interior had elegantly proportioned Classical details, typical of the English Regency Period; William Haines, the silent actor turned interior designer, has been credited with the decor. The exterior was covered in plaster and all walls, millwork details, ironwork and shutters were painted white.

Actor William Powell--known for his "Thin Man" movie appearances--acquired the house from silent film actor, Hobart Bosworth (d. 1943), in 1933 or 1934; he commissioned Los Angeles architect James E. Dolena to remodel the Spanish Colonial Revival Style house into a "Hollywood Regency" Style dwelling; the Los Angeles County Assessor indicates that the current house was built in 1934. Dolena's renovation for Powell was highly publicized and spread the taste for Hollywood Regency styling within the film community. Dolena utilized the U-shaped patio plan, usually an informal organizational scheme, and made it quite formal. The original property has been sub-divided; Los Angeles Times real estate reporter, Ruth Ryon, noted in 1981: "At some point, after Powell bought the property, it was subdivided and either the guest house was sold or another home, about 4,000 square feet in size, was built on just about three-fourths of an acre." (See Ruth Ryon, "Early Actor's Estate Among Great Ones," Los Angeles Times, 12/13/1981, p. K1) Albert R. Broccoli and his wife, Dana, bought the Powell House in 1969, and lived here until her death in 03/2004. In 06/2005, the interior designer, Kelly Wearstler and her husband, hotelier Brad Korzen, purchased the mansion. In 2009, the Los Angeles County Assessor valued the dwelling and its property for $26,946,360.

Los Angeles County Assessor Number: 4350-003-020801

PCAD id: 3888