4513 Morse Avenue, Studio City: Hub to Studios with Small-Town Allure

4513MorseAve-00014513 Morse Avenue, built in 1938, is the picture perfect location for California living. This is Studio City. Deemed an exceptionally livable neighborhood, it may very well be one of Los Angeles’s best kept secrets. Offered at $1,235,000

San Fernando Mission, circa 1885 courtesy of USC Digital Library/California Historical Society

San Fernando Mission, circa 1885 courtesy of USC Digital Library/California Historical Society

Studio City occupies land that had once been part of Rancho Ex-Mission San Fernando. Lankershim, Chandler, Mulholland and Van Nuys, now vital thoroughfares connecting the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles, are actually named after LA’s movers and shakers from the early part of the 20th century who saw great potential in the southern half of the former mission lands.

View of looking North of what is now San Fernando Valley. What would become Studio is approximately center left in the photo. Courtesy waterandpower.org

View looking North of what is now San Fernando Valley. What would become Studio City is approximately center left in the photo. Courtesy waterandpower.org

This parcel north of the Santa Monica Mountains changed hands several times during the late 19th century before eventually being owned by James Boon Lankershim and eight other developers who organized the Lankershim Ranch Land and Water Company. A struggle for water rights in 1899 made subdividing and selling the land untenable for decades.

The Los Angeles Aqueduct system changed all that. Built under the supervision of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Chief Engineer, William Mulholland, 280 miles of pipeline consisting of 1 million barrels of cement was constructed to carry water to the San Fernando Valley.

People watch in amazement as the Los Angeles Aqueduct water starts flowing down the cascades into the San Fernando Valley. The smoke in the background is from canon fire upon the gates opening. Courtesy: waterandpower.org

People watch in amazement as the Los Angeles Aqueduct water starts flowing down the cascades into the San Fernando Valley. The smoke in the background is from canon fire upon the gates opening. Courtesy: waterandpower.org

“There it is. Take it.” – William Mulholland, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

Nov. 5, 1913: William Mulholland, head of the Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power, speaks to crowd at opening ceremonies of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. Courtesy: waterandpower.org

On November 5, 1913, William Mulholland, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power chief water engineer, gave the signal to open the gates of the San Fernando Reservoir creating a real estate boom in the area.

“A syndicate led by Harry Chandler business manager of the Los Angeles Times, with Hobart Johnstone Whitley, Isaac Van Nuys, and James Boon Lankershim acquired the remaining 47,500 acres of the southern half of the former San Fernando Mission lands. Whitley platted the area of present-day Studio City from portions of the existing town of Lankershim as well as the eastern part of the new acquisition.” – Wikipedia

In 1927, film producer and director Mack Sennett began building a new studio on 20 acres donated by the land developers. The area around the studio was named Studio City.

Courtesy: looking-for-mabel.webs.com

Courtesy: looking-for-mabel.webs.com

“Once dubbed “The King of Comedy,” producer and director Mack Sennett was a ringmaster for a motley crew of comedic talent that included Charlie Chaplin, Fatty Arbuckle, Mabel Normand and the Keystone Kops, who slid, slipped and slapped their way across American movie screens of the 1910s. His anarchic world of cross-eyed rubes, nightmare-bearded villains, comely bathing beauties and bumbling cops falling off cliffs, out of buildings, and throwing custard pies was an unexpected creation of a man who grew up wanting to be an opera star. Sennett’s brand of crude slapstick humor proved to be highly popular with audiences and helped him become one of the most powerful men of early Hollywood.Courtesy: tcm.com

The Van Nuys News September 30. 1927

The Van Nuys News September 30, 1927

Courtesy: www.thestudiotour.com

Courtesy: www.thestudiotour.com

“In 1928 Mack Sennett Studios opened and the surrounding area became known as Studio City. At this time the Studio consisted of one office building, a projection room/film editing building, a film library, a two-story dressing room building attached to a large sound stage, a wardrobe building, garage, and a stage with an inground swimming pool. With the advent of sound in 1929, Sennett was the first producer to use RCA equipment, with which he produced a bunch of singing short subject films with a young unknown named Bing Crosby. “- www.cbssc.com

Courtesy: patch.com

Courtesy: patch.com

4513_CBS Studio CenterToday, Sennett’s former studio continues to flourish and grow as you can see from the many television shows originating from its stages. CBS Studio Center is now home to a brand new Broadcast Center which houses CBS2 and KCAL9.

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Walkable to the best of Ventura Boulevard’s great shops and pubs, Studio City is no cookie cutter neighborhood attracting many entertainment industry elite.

In fact, there is a strong lineage of industry professionals who have owned 4513 Morse.

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Old Hollywood is quite present at 4513 Morse. Towering hedges guard the entrance to the pleasure of its occupants. The gentle curve of the brick pathway leads into the quiet retreat.

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4513 Morse has been home to its share of Hollywood professionals from producers to animators. The home’s current owner is an industry professional herself. She and her husband have relished in living close to studios and minutes away from the creative community.

Dolores Costello with husband John Barrymore and children John Drew Barrymore and Dolores Barrymore (1934).

Dolores Costello with husband John Barrymore and children John Drew Barrymore and Dolores Barrymore (1934)

Topping the home’s pedrigree: the present owner is the granddaughter to none other than Hollywood’s leading man, John Barrymore, and his starlet wife, Dorothy Costello, who was nicknamed the “Goddess of Silent Film.”

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Light and inspiration awaits you within 4513 Morse. This gorgeous single-story home features a formal living room and dining room. 4513MorseAve-0007Vaulted ceilings and hardwood floors, of course. When you first enter the living room, your eye is drawn through the music salon and is visually connected to the private outdoor space. Welcome home.

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The dining room off the kitchen is a comfortable gathering place for family meals.

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Step-down family room is the perfect setting to cozy up with loved ones near one of the home’s two wood-burning fireplaces.

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The gourmet kitchen is spacious, with great counter space and tons of storage — perfect for entertaining.

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Two bedrooms with one and a half baths. Natural light + fresh air can only add up to peace and tranquility.

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French doors from the Master bedroom open to the outdoor living room and the expansive space to recline, relax and recreate.

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Romantic setting, especially as the chandeliers glimmer more prominently post magic hour.

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Shall we go on?

According to The Hollywood Reporter:

“In the last year, A-listers and industry insiders ranging from Bruno Mars to Smokehouse Pictures’ Grant Heslov have been buying homes in Studio City’s exclusive Fryman Canyon — a small community of about 250 homes west of Laurel Canyon Boulevard and south of Ventura Boulevard that George Clooney, Miley Cyrus, Julie Bowen and NBCU Cable president Jeff Wachtel already call home.” – Hollywood Reporter, March 22, 2015

Despite its status as the new celebrity enclave, Studio City holds true to its simpler, if coveted lifestyle.

Courtesy: yelp.com

Courtesy: yelp.com

Studio City Farmers Market is a weekly visit for fresh groceries, flowers, handmade goods, and food stands from musubi/rice balls, to tamales, and beef jerky. There is also a children’s area, so it is a natural for families, and to enjoy genuine face time with neighbors.

It’s no wonder that Studio City—or Hollywood Hills North, as it is affectionately regarded by those lucky enough to live here—has an allure that will call you back home in good time.

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