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Hearst Gossip Princess Conchita Sepulveda Chapman Pignatelli's Old House in Lafayette Square

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Inset via USC Librariesf

These handsome digs in Lafayette Square were once fit for Princess Conchita Sepulveda Chapman Pignatelli, who was born into two very old and notable California families--her father was a Sepulveda (of the Boulevard) and her mother was a De La Guerra (of the Casa de la Guerra at the Presidio de Santa Barbara)--and she was a long-time society columnist for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. According to an old post on the West Adams Heritage Association's website, Pignatelli "was a contemporary of and friendly competitor to gossip columnists Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper. As a reporter for nearly three decades, from the early 1930s until the Examiner closed its own doors and merged with the Herald-Express in 1962, Princess Pignatelli profiled the royal families of Europe, General MacArthur's return to the U.S. and Hollywood stars such as Sophia Loren. During much of this period, Princess Pignatelli held home court at a 1926 Spanish Revival villa in Lafayette Square."

We dug up this fun letter from Pignatelli's boss William Randolph Hearst to his European correspondent William Hillman, regarding Pignatelli's estranged husband:

Princess Conchita Pignatelli is married to a person named Prince Valerio Pignatelli, of Rome. He is now in Spain, in the hospital...He was written a letter to the Princess asking her to consider a divorce. They have been separated for ten years. The separation was quite simple. He took everything that she had and then abandoned her and the child. The Princess would like to find out what is affecting Pignatelli's attitude. He was always been averse to a divorce, hoping apparently that the Princess would die and leave him some money. He certainly has never sent the child anything...I have decided to find out whether he has anything to provide alimony with - any money, any estates...I would also like to find out if he is in love with any one else... But enough gossip, onto the house. It has four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a wood burning fireplace, a bar alcove, a "banquet-sized dining room," a guesthouse, and a saltwater pool. The house lies in the Lafayette Square historic preservation overlay zone and is Mills Act approved, meaning it's eligible for preservation-related tax breaks. Asking price is $1.249 million.
· 1757 BUCKINGHAM Rd [Redfin]
· Saturday, May 15: Book Signing and House Tour [WAHA]

Herald-Examiner Building

1111 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA