In 1959, they paved the twenties-era celebrity estate-turned-bungalow court Garden of Allah and put up a strip mall (Joni Mitchell may or may not have written a song about it), and only in LA would they display a model of the demolished paradise at the bank that replaced it. The Garden, built by actress Alla Nazimova, was one big Hollywood party through the twenties and thirties, and everyone, from Orson Wellses to Ernest Hemingway, lived there at one time or another. A model of the property was on display for years after its demolition at what is now a Chase Bank at Sunset and Crescent Heights, but at some point the model went missing. Recently, it showed up on eBay, where a second auction ended yesterday with a high bid of $1,225 and the reserve still unmet (the first auction was pulled early).
Jo Michaels, who has been handling the sale, tells Curbed that the model is owned by hairdresser and My Haircut Place owner David Meyers. They're selling for $500,000, but according to Michaels, have already turned down a $2.5 million offer because they prefer to sell to someone who will make the model available to the public. He says that while "it doesn't have to go to someone who's not willing to put it on display...we would love [that]." He adds: "We just want to get rid of it."
Michaels says Meyers used to own a shop in the Sunset/Crescent Heights strip mall and found the model over a decade ago when he was cleaning the place out. The property manager told him he could keep it. The pair re-found the model recently while cleaning out Meyers' attic.
· The Garden of Allah [Jo Michaels]
· Famous Sunset Blvd. Garden of Allah Model Up For Auction [Curbed LA]