Finally confirmed: 27 year old Greek shipping heir and Paris Hilton ex Stavros Niarchos III bought the Richard Neutra-designed Kronish House in Beverly Hills following its scary brush with the wrecking ball. It was last year's preservation story of the year: the house, which is particularly large and sits on a two acre flag lot next to Madonna's house on Sunset, came on the market a year ago, listed as a teardown at $13.995 million. The owners started the process to get demolition permits, hoping a cleared lot might sell better. We got a look around in August--the house was in bad shape, but didn't seem unsalvageable. Preservationists rallied and Beverly Hills, which had never before had a preservation program, finally got its ass in gear and put a hold on the demo and started work on a preservation ordinance. A few days after the hold ran out, an anonymous foreign buyer stepped in to buy the house for $12.8 million and restore it. We'd long heard rumors that Niarchos was the buyer (we believe the ever-on-top-of-it Your Mama at Real Estalker first floated the notion), but had never been able to confirm that. (And meanwhile we had some fun making other wild guesses.) Today the New York Times writes about local preservation efforts and slips this in: "Stavros Niarchos III, grandson of the Greek shipping tycoon — stepped in to buy the home?according to two people familiar with the matter, who declined to be named citing confidentiality agreements."
(The rest of the article deals with the recent demolition of the Lloyd Wright-designed Moore House in "nearby Palos Verdes Estates," cough cough.) And now, just because we can't let a New York Times story on LA land use go by without noting the inevitable dig: "Preservationists are hoping the move will inspire others to follow suit in Los Angeles, where the instinct to tear down and build anew has long stood in stark contrast to the obsessive (and sometimes onerous) efforts of New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission to preserve the works of great architects."
· Kronish House Archives [Curbed LA]
· In Beverly Hills, Preservation Gains a Toehold [NYT]