2650 Carman Crest Drive – Outpost Estates in the Hollywood Hills

This striking mid-century home sits tucked away in the prestigious and highly desirable Hollywood Hills neighborhood of Outpost Estates. This well known neighborhood is a celebrity enclave located near the famous Hollywood Bowl.back of house lo resThe home was built by Jack E. Cofer in 1949. The Architectural style is demonstrated through the sleek, clean lines, great energy and breathtaking views. It possess all of the unspoiled charms from a classic era. The house is incredibly well maintained and was in remarkable original condition. Property went into multiple offers and sold above-asking.

living rm 1 lo resFeaturing 2,368 square feet of living space with 3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms and lower maids quarters.

living rm 2 lo resThe large living room is anchored with a brick fireplace opening up to the dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto a well shaded patio. The exposure to natural light throughout the home is an absolute dream.

living+rm+deck-2156103437-OThere is access to outside seating areas off of every room in the house. A genuine oasis.

master+bedroom-2156105438-OThe master bedroom complete with Eames chairs and very simple decor.

office-2156106656-OThe 2nd bedroom had been used as an office

den lo resand the 3rd bedroom as a den. The flow of the house was well suited for entertaining with a large open kitchen with skylights.

kitchen+1-2156093427-OThe kitchen, with its avocado green counter tops, were a huge hit during the open house as well as the odd placement of the stove. While many talked about remodeling the house, the new owners eventully decided to keep most of these original details.

pool from above lo resThe classic California kidney shaped pool and original pool decking was a big attraction for everyone who came through the house. The California dream alive and well.

deck 2 lo resJust outside the den and home office there is a large open balcony that overlooks the backyard and pool.1991_001The back of the house faces south and benefits from great Southern Exposure. The surrounding mature ficus trees create a tranquil setting and privacy. A hidden gem of the Hollywood Hills.

This is one of those truly special homes that has an abundance of great magical ‘moments’ taking place all around the property. But even more remarkable are the very people who called this place “home” for over 60 years. I’d like to tell you a little bit about Joseph & Mary Aidlin.

The Heart:

I never had the opportunity to meet Joe Aidlin or his wife Mary in person. I was contacted shortly after Joe’s passing by Tracy Woodford, the trustee of the Aidlin General Trust. Tracy needed someone to assist in the selling of the Aidlin family home. I’ve always believed every home tells a story. There’s more to a property than just brick and mortar. It’s a vessel of memories. As I embarked on my journey to discover the unique history and essence of the home on Carman Crest Drive, I wanted to better understand the lives of the people who lived there.

1985_001Joe and Mary purchased the house shortly after it was built in 1949. They lived there happily for the rest of their lives. They made this house a true home.

“Joe loved this house because it was who he was, it’s where he lived his life, it was where he and his wife spent their lives. They grew old together there.”   –  Tracy Woodford, Trustee of the Aidlin General Trust

It was in my time working with the Tracy, that I came to understand just what an extraordinary man Joe Aidlin was.

I have no idols and I don’t envy anyone, I know I can get along with anyone if we can just talk to each other.”   –  Joseph Aidlin

Aidlin-Joseph-bJoseph W. Aidlin lived to be 100 years old. At the time of his passing in September of 2010, Joe was the oldest practicing attorney in the state of California. Simply put, he lived an incredible life. His contributions to the city of Los Angeles, to State of California and to the entire Country are astonishing. Joe moved to Los Angeles from Illinois in 1920. In a 1998 interview with the GRC Bulletin, Joe elaborated on his family’s journey west and what is was like to grow up in Los Angeles just after WWI.

“I came from Waukegan, Illinois, to California in 1920 with my parents and three sisters when I was ten….My family landed on the east side of Los Angels and I did creditably well on the city track team and became second to the concertmaster playing violin. At age 16, I gave up the violin because I knew my skills were not as a violinist.”  While Joe never obtained the status of a world renown violinist, he would later become one of the most influential voices in the creation of Geothermal Energy laws in the United States. But more on that a little later…

1995_001The Aidlins preferred an elegant yet simple style in the home’s decor. They bought the majority of their furniture from the Herman Miller Company. Mary described her style best in a 1977 New West magazine article covering the California lifestyle. Mary told the magazine, “We’ve always been pleased with the furniture.  It’s comfortable to sit in. I’m short and I don’t like the soft, cushiony stuff you fall into and then can’t get out of.” Joe added, “We have a simple, casual lifestyle and this furniture has always suited us.” Joe and his wife were avid art collectors and the home was filled with work by Ynez Johnston, Shiko Munakata, Jack Zajec, Rufino Tamayo and Dimitri Hadzi. Many of the pieces of furniture are originals by the likes of Eames, George Nelson, and Herman Miller. After their passing, most of these treasures were sold off at auction by Bonham’s Los Angeles.

dining rm lo resPictured above was an original George Nelson thin edge rosewood credenza and walnut enameled metal pedestal dining table with wood and leather chairs under an Angelo Mangiarotti Italian glass link chandelier.

1989_001While we were unable to find authentication signatures or stamps on any of these black and white photos, famed photographer Julius Shulman was known to spend time at the house with the Aidlins and it is believed some of these black and whites may very well be from his lens.

1986_001“Our furniture is mostly background and doesn’t intrude,” Mary explained. “It’s just like wearing a black dress. You can put jewelry on it and completely change its appearance.”

The History:

As a teenager, Joe’s family lived in the Hollywood neighborhood just under the world famous advertising sign originally built in 1923.

Hollywoodland_sign3The “LAND” was officially removed in 1949 and the sign has become one of, if not the most iconic symbols in Los Angeles.  Not to be outdone by the Hollywood sign’s grandeur, developer Charles E. Toberman commissioned his own iconic sign in the late 1920’s.

The Outpost Sign-thumb-600x493-44082Outpost Estates, a compact community of roughly 450 homes located directly east of Runyon Canyon Park and centered around Outpost Drive, would later become home for Joseph and his wife Mary.

outpostmen2-thumb-600x422-44063Outpost Estates was developed by Toberman in the 1920’s to be “one of the most exclusive and beautiful residential parks in the world”.  His homes of luxury were intended to appeal to the emerging elite of L.A. in the roaring twenties.  Most of the original houses have been preserved, and Lower Outpost looks much like it did in the 1920s.

unnamedWhile the Hollywood sign survived throughout the years, the Outpost sign didn’t fare as well. It was destroyed in the 1940’s and remained hidden for many years.

outpost07-thumb-630x420-43998In 2002, hikers discovered the twisted metal wreckage from of this little-known sign. To this day it still rests on the hillside.

hollywoodhighlibartsJoe went on to graduate from Hollywood High School in 1926 at the age of sixteen. While attending Hollywood High, Joe was classmates with the likes of Carole Lombard

Carole_Lombard_in_Nothing_SacredEdward Dmytryk, who would become a member of the blacklisted Hollywood Ten

Edward_Dmytrykand Lon Chaney Jr.

Lon Chaney Jr.who would later became famous for portraying classic Universal Studios monsters such as The Wolf Man, The Mummy, Frankenstein’s Monster and the Son of Dracula. 

“I learned early that it was possible to be friendly and considerate but also tough.” – Joseph Aidlin

Throughout his education, Joe always possessed a keen love and understanding of chemistry. But it was during his senior year at Hollywood High that Joe became truly fascinated with the exploration of oil and natural gas.

11-discovery-b copyNot your average driving passion for a teenager circa 1926. Then again, Joe was never considered by anyone to be average. His second place finish in a citywide chemistry contest earned Joe a full-ride scholarship to the California Institute of Technology. But the always unpredictable Joe had other ideas about his next step. Instead of focusing on science, Joe chose to attend UCLA (then known as the Southern Branch of the University of California) majoring in economics.

UCLA_6Joe was known to ride his bicycle to and from campus every day. After graduating from UCLA, Joe wasted little time and quickly went on to receive his law degree from Berkeley in 1933.

“I was a young, curious, talkative nuisance. My father said, ‘Look, you’ll make a good lawyer. Go to law school’”  – Joseph Aidlin

Electing to forge his own path, Joe opened shop and established an independent law practice specializing in land and mineral rights relating to oil and natural gas. 

“I realized that I wouldn’t be attractive to the established big firms. The only places where an intelligent promising Jewish lawyer could go were Hollywood or the merchandising industry. I didn’t like either.”  – Joseph Aidlin

geysersIn 1954, Joe and his partners, B.C. McCabe and Robert Bering, co-founded Magma Power Company which created modern geothermal development at the Geysers Geothermal Field, which is to say geothermal development in California, the United States and the Americas. The Geysers is the world’s largest geothermal field, containing a complex of 22 geothermal power plants, drawing steam from more than 350 wells, located in the Mayacamas Mountains approximately 72 miles (116 km) north of San Francisco, California. What is Geothermal?

4-1-5-geopowerGeothermal literally means “earth heat.” Areas where energy can be tapped due to high heat flow in the top 5 km of the Earth’s crust are considered geothermal. Geothermal is one of the least recognized renewable energy resources, and as such, is significantly underutilized in the US despite being the only base load renewable power source, exclusive of hydroelectric, available 24 hours per day. Geothermal energy constitutes an indigenous, sustainable, continuous, base load renewable resource available to power developers on most continents. To learn more about the GRC, please visit their website: www.geothermal.org.

Joe always preferred doing things his own way. His dedication and focus led to him co-founding the Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) in 1970.

GRCLogo2011_0300_CMYKThe GRC is a tax-exempt, non-profit, educational association 501(c)(3). Formed in 1970, the GRC was incorporated in the state of Washington in 1972 and in California in 1981. With more than 1,300 members in over 40 countries, the GRC actively seeks to expand its role as a primary professional educational association for the international geothermal community. The GRC serves as a focal point for continuing professional development for its members through its outreach, information transfer and education services.

“This is my geothermal story. I hope geothermal energy, wherever it may be found, will be used to make life better for us all.”   –  Joseph Aidlin

One of Joe’s crowning achievements was helping to draft and legislate what would become known as the Aidlin bill. Passed by congress in 1968, this bill basically defines how Geothermal Energy is interpreted by the law. His love and passion for both science and the law brought together to help provide lasting energy to this country. Joe lived by the very idea that his work structuring and defining geothermal energy would help make the world a much better place for everyone. Joe was known within his community as something of an independent thinker. Throughout the years, Joe never shied away from sharing his opinions and viewpoints with anyone who asked. He was well into his 90’s when he sent then presidential candidate Barack Obama his ideas and outline for a much needed jobs plan. 

When I became a lawyer, I was respected… When they went on this time billing, lawyers lost their status”  – Joseph Aidlin

Joe absolutely loved the practice of law and considered it an honor to share his years of experience and wisdom with young lawyers. “Don’t think of yourself as important. Just think of yourself as a skilled craftsman who can guide people through the maze of the law.”   – Joseph Aidlin

Joe’s teenage passion for land and mineral rights never wavered. At the end of his career, which was just two weeks before his death, Joe was already considered the Grandfather of the Geothermal Movement. This is an honor Joe will forever hold. “I always look for basic concepts, basic causes, and basic objectives. Once they are ascertained or agreed to, solutions to the problems or differences become less complicated and easier to resolve.”   – Joseph AidlinScreen Shot 2014-11-30 at 8.57.33 AMCalpine Corporation and friends of Joseph Aidlin dedicated a small park at The Geysers in his honor, for his dedication and commitment to geothermal energy at The Geysers. To pay tribute to Joe’s 100th birthday, Curt Robinson, the Executive Director of the Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) wrote “Joe Aidlin has influenced geothermal activities fundamentally, in many ways, for many years. He, along with his partners created modern geothermal development in California and the United States.” After his death, Joe’s legacy was honored in a memorial tribute on the floor of the United States House of Representatives.

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 2.39.46 PM“I never had the ambition to be rich or famous. I’ve seen that it doesn’t mean anything real. I have had the ambition to do things of value. If you want to have an interesting life, you try to do things that are really creative and worthwhile.”  – Joseph Aidlin

Creative and worthwhile. Two words that would certainly describe the life of Joe Aidlin. Yet as Tracy Woodford pointed out to me in our first meeting, with all of Joe’s career successes, at the end of each workday, Joe would leave his work behind at the office and return home to his wife and the place he loved most, 2650 Carmen Crest Drive.

“Mr Aidlin was the most interesting man I’ve ever met in my life”   – Tracy Woodford, Trustee of the Aidlin General Trust

For anyone to call one place home for over 60 years speaks volumes about its history. This home was loved. It was cared for. I felt a tremendous responsibility to serve this home in the manner for which it deserved. With elegance, style and grace. As I look back on my experience getting to know the life of Joe Aidin and the place he and his wife Mary called home, I’m reminded of why I love being a realtor. The people, the homes, the stories. The human existence. It’s an amazing thing. I will never tire of learning about new people and the stories of their lives. It’s the best part of my job. – Brian Ades.

“Don’t try to have everything. Don’t beat yourself up for mistakes. Be helpful. Be kind.”   –  Joseph Aidlin

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