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Mysteriously Revamped Midcentury in Beverly Hills

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Designed by William S. Beckett, this home asking $29.9 million has a new look and a mysterious old Hollywood past

Here’s an intriguing item. Per the listing, this seven-bedroom home in Beverly Hills was designed by notable midcentury architect William S. Beckett. Once an assistant of Case Study architect Sumner Spaulding, Beckett later branched out on his own and designed numerous significant works, including his own office on Melrose and the longtime home of Charlton Heston.

But it’s hard to tell how much of Beckett’s work is left in the seven-bedroom Beverly Hills home. Most of the interior has a decidedly contemporary look, and there’s not much here that dates the house prior to 1977—the year that Beckett died. A prior listing from when the house last sold shows the shell of the original house pretty much intact, but the interior has been rendered nearly unrecognizable.

Adding a bit of mystery: property records state the house was constructed in 1924 and rebuilt in 1950. A wall safe in one of the listing photos lists the names of five individuals, including Beckett, silent film star Tom Mix, and Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton. The Beverly Hills mansion where Mix lived in the 1920s was right next door to this property, and for a time Hutton lived on the adjacent Buster Keaton estate with then-husband Cary Grant. Could it be that this home was once the site of a secretive neighborhood vault?

The answer to that question isn’t clear, but the listing assures potential buyers that the house provides a chance "to not only own a true trophy estate but also a piece of history." Buyers just might have to do a little digging to figure out what exactly that history is. Asking price is a lofty $29.9 million. It's been redone inside and out since it last sold for $10.6 million.