Now on the market for the first time in over 25 years is one of the few surviving grand estates from the golden age of Old Hollywood. Hidden behind gates on a sprawling lot in Holmby Hills, the Georgian Revival-style residence was designed in the 1930s by Greystone Mansion architect Gordon B. Kaufmann for Edie Goetz, the daughter of movie mogul Louis B. Mayer, and her husband, producer William Goetz. A decade later, decorator-to-the-stars Billy Haines was brought in to revamp the interiors.
Married in 1930, the Goetzes became renowned for two things: their Met Museum-quality art collection and their lavish dinner parties. Here’s a tiny glimpse of one of these affairs from Eliot Elisofon’s book Hollywood Life:
"After dinner at a long, candelabra-lit table glistening with silver, overlooked by a Bonnard on one wall and a Degas on another; a Renoir on one of the living room walls disappeared as a movie screen was lowered in front of it."
Frequent guests to the Delfern Drive residence included Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, Rosalind Russell, Billy Wilder, and Frank Sinatra, whose wedding reception was hosted at the Goetz home when he married Mia Farrow in 1966.
The couple retained their exalted position among the Hollywood establishment’s social set for several decades, but the 1969 death of Bill Goetz brought the era of legendary soirées to a close. After Edie Goetz passed away in 1988, the estate was put up for sale with an asking price of $12 million. It was eventually purchased for $7.4 million in 1990 by Gary L. Wilson, former chairman of Northwest Airlines and ex-Disney CFO.
According to the Wall Street Journal, at some point during the merger-happy go-go 90s, Wilson also acquired the property next door and merged it with the Goetz estate. Along with the 11-bedroom main residence built by Kaufmann, the expanded estate contains three guesthouses, two greenhouses, two swimming pools, a tennis court, and last but not least, a funicular—all of which can be yours for the low, low price of $79 million.
- 300 Delfern Drive [Hilton & Hyland]
- 300 Delfern Drive [John Aaroe Group]
- Investor Gary L. Wilson Lists Los Angeles Estate For $79 Million [WSJ]