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Historic 1920s Mediterranean in Whitley Heights seeks $1.6M

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The former home of tragic silent screen vamp Barbara La Marr

Photos by David Rieck, courtesy of Tim Swan

Before Beverly Hills stole its thunder in the 1930s, the hillside enclave of Whitley Heights reigned supreme as the movie star’s address of choice. Modeled after hillside villages of Italy, the picturesque neighborhood’s notable early residents include Rudolph Valentino, Jean Harlow, Harold Lloyd, Carole Lombard, William Powell, Marion Davies, and silent screen siren Barbara La Marr, whose former residence is now on the market.

Located on Whitley Terrace, the three-bedroom, two-bath Mediterranean Revival was designed in 1921 by Whitley Heights’ chief architect Arthur Barnes.

According to La Marr’s biographer Sherri Snyder, the scandal-prone actress, who died at 29 from a combination of tuberculosis, nephritis, and hard living, occupied the property along with the son she secretly bore and publicly “adopted,” and assorted hangers-on until 1924 or ’25.

While the 1,945-square-foot home has undergone substantial alterations since being built—most notably in its kitchen, baths, living room, and flooring—many original elements, such as stained glass, wrought iron, casement windows, rustic doors, vintage hardware, and a circular breakfast nook, still remain.

Per the listing description, the 5,529-square-foot property also contains a two-story detached studio/office connected to the main residence by a small bridge as well as a two-car garage. Last sold in 2009 for $995,000, it’s now asking $1.595 million.