A Quintessential Silent Movie Star Home

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April 7, 2015
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May 12, 2015

A Quintessential Silent Movie Star Home

Thanks to Decaying Hollywood Mansions, I discovered an intriguing star from the silent movie era and a wonderful representation of old Hollywood glamour. This great old mansion, in Bel-Air, of course, was designed and built for Colleen Moore, a huge movie star of her time.

Sadly, Colleen Moore is all but forgotten now, but she was one of the biggest movie stars of the 1920’s and retired a very wealthy woman.

From Paradise Leased:

“Finally, in January 1929, she decided it was time to “go Hollywood,” and she and her husband, John McCormick, First National’s VP in charge of production, purchased a grand three-acre estate in the most exclusive section of the most exclusive district of Bel-Air at 345 St. Pierre Road. The Hollywood version of the story is that Moore and her husband saw the mansion while it was still under construction and simply had to have it with a reported $250,000 involved to get the current owner, Chicago businessman C. Fred Stewart,  to find his dream home elsewhere. While this sounds a bit press agenty (after all, McCormick had been a press agent before rising up the studio ladder) this was in fact how the scene played out. (Imagine a Hollywood legend that’s true!)

The not-yet-completed estate had been designed by the busiest L.A. architect you’ve probably never heard of – Theodore J. Scott. Sometimes referred to as T.J. Scott orTheo Scott, the prolific architect designed hundreds, possibly thousands, of homes throughout Southern California during the 1920’s, sometimes entire neighborhoods at a time as with Walter G. McCarty’s subdivision of the old Beverly Speedway property orH.L. Miller’s development of a large tract off Kenneth Road in Glendale that called for 1,500 Scott-designed houses. Scott was adept at all the popular “revival” styles of the period, particularly the Spanish, often employing Missionesque arched arcades/loggias running along the length of at least one section of a house. For the Stewart commission, Scott created a large two-story U-shaped residence that evoked the haciendas of the old Spanish Dons.

In 1978, the estate was purchased by Steven J. Fogel, founder of Westwood Financial who paid $1.3 million for the property. Fogel had originally purchased the grand mansion for the exact reason Colleen Moore had – to show that he had “arrived.” Now, after more than three decades in the home, Fogel told the WSJ he is ready to move on saying he will miss the memories, but not the upkeep.

Here are some photos of the estate, I am not posting recent photos because we all know that money doesn’t buy taste, and although most of the home is still intact, the “updates” are tacky tacky tacky. and tacky. Please visit the terrific post on this fabulous estate and the Hollywood Movie Star who owned it on Paradise Leased.

Colleen Moore at her 3 acre Spanish Style Estate  (via hollywoodheyday.blogspot.com)

Colleen Moore at her 3 acre Spanish Style Estate
(via hollywoodheyday.blogspot.com)

The house as completed in summer of 1929. In her autobiography Moore joked  “That house had so many rooms I’m not sure I ever saw them all.” She recalled it had 16 rooms. The building records say 20 so maybe she wasn’t kidding. She didn’t see them all! (Photo by Milligan)

The house as completed in summer of 1929. In her autobiography Moore joked “That house had so many rooms I’m not sure I ever saw them all.” She recalled it had 16 rooms. The building records say 20 so maybe she wasn’t kidding. She didn’t see them all! (Photo by Milligan)

The Loggia. Decorative tile was provided by Claycraft Potteries. Faience, floor and other decorative tiles throughout were by Gladding, McBean & Company. (Milligan)

The Loggia. Decorative tile was provided by Claycraft Potteries. Faience, floor and other decorative tiles throughout were by Gladding, McBean & Company. (Milligan)

The Solarium. (Milligan)

The Solarium. (Milligan)

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