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Neighbors Say Windsor Square's Historic Chandler House Is Getting Tacky, Illegal Changes

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Though it was built for a prominent doctor Peter Janss, whose Janss Investment Company developed Canoga Park and Westwood, the house at 455 S. Lorraine in Windsor Square is commonly referred to as the Chandler House, a nod to former owners Norman and Dorothy Buffum Chandler of the famously powerful LA Times family, who lived and entertained luminaries and former presidents at the property for 40 years, earning it the additional nickname of Western White House. The house also has serious architectural chops and historic-cultural monument status with the city, which is supposed to protect it from insensitive alterations, but it sold a few months back and now neighbors say the new owners are messing with all that history, according to the Larchmont Chronicle.

Besides being owned and inhabited by influential Angelenos, the 1912 Chandler House, formally called yet another name else—Los Tiempos— was designed by J. Martyn Haenke, William Dodd, and Hearst Castle architect Julia Morgan, and is considered a superb example of Beaux-Arts architecture. That's why neighbors and preservationists are upset to see that the house's natural stone exterior has been "painted beige and white," and that a few other non-compliant additions have recently popped up on the property, including a white iron perimeter fence and "statuary" that we can only hope is not one of those fountains that looks like a little boy peeing.

"Clearly, the owners have not been responding to requests from the city to submit any proposed changes for review—every week some new 'project' appears in the front yard," says a member of the Windsor Square Historic Preservation Overlay Zone design review board, which doesn't have control over the house because of its city landmark status. (Updates like this are the purview of LA's Cultural Heritage Commission.)

This is far from the first time that there's been a fog of drama hovering over this house. The previous owners were embroiled for some time in a legal feud with the people they bought the house from, and claimed they'd been misled about just how much work the house needed. Regardless, they performed a very thorough restoration on the 9,329-square-foot, eight-bedroom estate and listed it in 2012 for $11.25 million. Despite all its pedigree, the house languished on the market for two years, finally selling in August 2014 for $9.5 million.
· Renovations on estate not adhering to landmark status [LC]
· Mindbogglingly Pedigreed Chandler House Hits the Market [Curbed LA]
· Ridiculously Pedigreed Home of the Chandlers Sells for $9.5MM [Curbed LA]