The name Francis X. Bushman may not ring many bells among today’s moviegoing public, but during the 1910s and ’20s, Bushman was one of the silver screen’s top matinee idols. Billed as “The Handsomest Man in the World” at the peak of his career, the co-star of the original Ben Hur is believed to have built Hollywood’s first private swimming pool.
In addition to a lavish mansion in Whitley Heights, Bushman owned a Craftsman-style hunting lodge at the base of the Hollywood Hills, in what’s now known as the Oaks.
On a .67-acre lot, the 1911 shingled bungalow is positioned well back from the street and protected from the prying eyes of passers-by with tall hedges. Within its 2,530 square feet there are three bedrooms, three baths, a modernized eat-in kitchen with professional-grade equipment, an enclosed breezeway, living room, family room, library/office, and separate kitchenette.
Notable architectural features include hardwood floors, coffered and open truss ceilings, built-in shelving and seating, and, in the words of the listing, “dramatic expanses of fenestration that frame views of towering pine and palm trees.” While alas, there’s no swimming pool to be found on the grounds, there appears to be plenty of room to add one.
According to public records, the rustic residence last traded hands for $400,000 in 1987. It’s now asking $2.995 million.
Open house is scheduled for 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday.