Last week we found out that Bel Air's historic Casa Encantada, which currently belongs to multi-purpose rich person Gary Winnick, may be quietly on the market for a mindblowing $225 million. The estate was built in the late 1930s by society aspirant Hilda Boldt Weber (the nurse-turned-wife-turned-widow of a wealthy midwestern bottle manufacturer); the Bel Air matrons never accepted her, sadly, and eventually the Casa Encantada upkeep became too much to shoulder. She ended up gambling away most of her money and committed suicide sometime later in Santa Barbara (the whole juicy tale is told in Michael Gross's delightful book Unreal Estate). Casa Encantada was designed by James Dolena with interiors by TH Robsjohn-Gibbins "who created hundreds of custom pieces of furniture for the nearly 30,000 square foot main house and its various outbuildings," according to the always-on-top-of-it Real Estalker. RE now brings word of these photos of the estate (from the Huntington Library's collection), taken in 1939 by the famous architectural photographer Maynard L. Parker (many more here).
In 1950, hotelier Conrad Hilton bought the Casa for $225,000 and he lived there until 1979, after which it sold to Dole mogul David Murdock before ending up with the Winnicks in 2000 (they are said to have paid around $94 million). Apparently Murdock "retained much of the mansion's architectural detailing but sold off most of the custom Robsjohn-Gibbings pieces to make way for his own collection of 18th century English furniture." The Winnicks have done some kind of huge reno, meanwhile, but until this baby hits the open market or shows up in Architectural Digest, we can't know exactly what that means.
· UPDATE: Casa Encantada [Real Estalker]
· Conrad Hilton's Long-Time Estate Maybe Asking $225 Million [Curbed LA]