1320 Beverly Grove Place in Beverly Hills — A European Farmhouse Retreat in Beverly Crest
Sure, Beverly Hills may inspire images of sportscars and celebs strolling along Robertson stopping for a bite at the Ivy before returning to their favorite spendy boutique, but that’s not the only version of this iconic neighborhood. Just north of the trendy shopping areas most are familiar with, right up Benedict Canyon Drive, sits lush, tranquil estates like this one at 1320 Beverly Grove Place.
With 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, this 5911 sq. ft. rustic home features an expansive 32,261 sq. ft. lot, sweeping canyon views, and too many amenities to list in just one paragraph. This Beverly Crest beauty is the perfect home for entertaining, creating, or simply relaxing.
Beverly Crest is defined as the area typically north of Sunset and includes the Bel Air, Laurel Canyon, and Benedict Canyon areas, and is still within the coveted 90210 postal code. Like so many stories about Los Angeles, the history of Beverly Hills and its environs is largely connected to water. The region’s three canyons—Franklin, Benedict, and Coldwater—created streams of water that kept the hilly region lush and green. The Tongva people, also known as the Gabrielinos, considered the area a sacred place, calling it El Rodeo de las Aguas, or “The Gathering of the Waters,” and made the area home until Spanish explorers came and claimed the land as their own.
The area was split into land grants, or “ranchos,” and in 1838, the Mexican governor of California Juan Alvardo gave the grant to a widow named Maria Rita Valdez Villa. The wife of a Spanish soldier who died in battle, she was known as a feminist icon, largely in part because of her financial success. She kept the rancho until 1854, selling it when she narrowly escaped death during an ambush by Native Americans on her property. The Beverly Hills Hotel is currently located where her old adobe house once was.
Beverly Crest was developed around 1925 by George Read, one of the original subdividers of Beverly Hills. He marketed the area as “the balcony of Beverly Hills,” selling the proximity to the City of Beverly Hills and often referencing movie stars in his advertisements. Read also built and lived in the Falcon Lair property at 1436 Bella Drive, which he later sold to Rudolph Valentino.
The area has surprisingly maintained much of the lush flora and tranquility that no doubt characterized it in the 1920s when Read first developed it, though the architecture spans a wide range of styles. 1320 Beverly Grove Place, built in the 1970s during a time when architects were moving away from Modernism and beginning to absorb the counterculture of the time, is a bit of a departure. Built like a European farmhouse, it stands out from the A. Quincy Jones, John Lautner, and Craig Ellwood-designed properties in the area. Wooden window frames and garage doors maintain the farmhouse facade and a bricked, gated motor court provides ample space here for multiple cars or parked partygoers. 2 car garage outfitted by GarageTek, abundant flora and quality landscaping greet a work-weary owner at the end of the day or a visiting friend.
Wooden double doors lead into a gorgeous bricked entryway for the ultimate in charm. One can almost taste the fresh-churned butter, the warm loaves of bread, and a glass of something French just beyond the doors…
Sunlight streams through small horizontal windows across the length of the dining area, while lodge pole lumber, wide plank wood floors, and epic vaulted ceilings create a sense of warmth and comfort in the space. This is a home that truly captivates.
Adjacent to the living area is the gourmet cook’s kitchen. Wooden cabinets and shelving combine with black granite for a refined take on the rustic style. Tons of natural light streams through the casement windows.
The living room built-ins continue along the back wall, guided by the gorgeous wooden staircase.
A view from the stairs gives us the entire picture–this is luxury lodge living, Cali style. Expansive patios opening onto a verdant, grassy yard, a bar area, and of course, a pool make this an idyllic getaway from the bustle of Westside life.
The Master does not disappoint, either. The master bedroom is one of the largest we’ve seen on the market in recent times, occupying the entire floor. It includes a fireplace, two large bathrooms (you know, one for the weekends oh and did we mention they each have a walk-in closet fully outfitted by The Container Store?), and a private balcony.
A private guesthouse with 2 bedrooms and a bath provides additional living quarters for guests or staff and can be easily connected to the main living area if so desired.
Unbeatable views of Beverly Crest and the canyons mark 1320 Beverly Grove Place as an exquisite retreat for those who appreciate privacy, good taste, and nature. This home is, after all, in the Beverly Hills Post Office (BHPO). That’s not a typo. The zip code is so coveted that the BHPO refers not only to a specific, physical building where mail is sorted and delivered, but to an actual section of Beverly Hills. It allows those who don’t want to shell out the, er, bigger megabucks for Beverly Hills proper to live in the more affordable hills (it’s all relative) yet still retain the beloved zip code. The designation was assigned in the early 1960s and BHPO has since been home to a variety of well-known celebs like Marlon Brando, Jack Nicholson, Eddie Murphy, Britney Spears, and more recently, Mila Kunis/Ashton Kutcher and Jessica Alba.
The home is truly ideal for entertaining–with multiple patios and seating areas and a wonderful indoor-outdoor vibe, the home transcends the concept of a typical lodge or farmhouse and elevates it to luxury levels.
1320 Beverly Grove Place is close enough to be convenient to it all, but far enough to be supremely comfortable. About two miles south on Sunset is the legendary Beverly Hills Hotel, where for years celebrities (and tourists) have flocked to see and be seen. The Virginia Robinson Gardens, named after a woman who was part of the Robinson, Co. department store family, is just about a mile away from the property.
Who gets to live in this kind of sublime bliss? Stan Herman, real estate agent to superstars, was the first owner of 1320 Beverly Grove Place. (In fact, he’d owned hundreds of homes throughout his lifetime.) His clients included the likes of Kenny Rogers, Joan Collins, and Burt Reynolds, and his firm brought over $100 million a year.
As a child, Herman had an entrepreneur’s mind. According to People magazine, at the age of 13, he’d bought a car, fixed it up, and sold it for a hefty profit. He once said, “It was just a natural evolution. I reasoned that if I could sell used cars, I could sell real estate.”
Besides his real estate prowess, Herman had a business sense. Together with Hugh Hefner, he founded the extremely popular Pips Nightclub, featuring their beloved game of backgammon. Celebs like Lucille Ball would indulge their love of the game, playing in charity tournaments and hobnobbing with fellow A-listers.
From 1976-1982, Herman was married to Dynasty actress Linda Evans. Even after their divorce, they remained good friends, and Stan left Linda the property after he moved out. Linda was known to take care of him as his health declined. In 2002, he died at the age of 67 from leukemia.