This 14,000-square-foot estate in Beverly Hills is probably the best house ever, as you'd expect from one that steals so judiciously from the finest European art and architecture. There's a facade "inspired by famed Quattro Fountains in Rome," "front doors in Louis XV style," "solid bronze dual staircase designed by Raymond La Rose in Baroque style of Art Deco & Art Nouveau" (our favorite!), "Versailles hallways w/ Baroque impediments" that leads to the "oval dining room w/ Empire style element," and a "parlor in St. Petersburg Palace style w/ mirrors & marble columns." Set on two-thirds of an acre, it has eight bedrooms and 12 bathrooms, formal entry with seven allegorical paintings in its 30-foot rotunda, an elevator, tennis court, pool, and a postage stamp-sized lawn. What captain of industry, what Hollywood mogul (or shrimporter) could live in such splendor? You ready for this? A dentist and his wife/assistant. And boy did they have to fight for the right to build this monstrosity.
Our hero-dentist Leonid Glosman and his wife Natalia moved to the US from Russia (where "nobody has a house") in the 1970s, and bought the property on which they would build their dream home in 1988. By the following year the plans had turned into an epic neighbor beef that wound up in the LA Times, and was a test of the city's then-new Hillside Development Ordinance. The Planning Commission reviewed the plans every month, devoting more time to the house than any other project in front of them.
But where some saw a house that was "looming," "dominating," and "wrong," Natalia Glosman saw only a safe place to raise her family, saying she was "a working mother and needs a swimming pool and a tennis court so that her children will not have to play in the street." But when neighbors complained, she declared that "this is worse than Russia. This is a dictatorship of the neighbors." The Times left the story with the Planning Commission rejecting the plans, but in the end liberty prevailed.
This house--this dream of immigrants, this monument to overconsumption built in the face of NIMBY tyranny--this house is what America's all about, and it can be yours for a cool $18.95 million. Happy Fourth of July everybody!
· 1091 LAUREL Way [Redfin]