Celebrity Homes: Shelton Wilder Beverly Hills Mansion – Nestled amongst the prestigious estates north of Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills and hidden behind centuries-old trees, the Warner Brothers estate represents a legendary chapter in Hollywood history. As the former home of Harry Warner, the original head and founder of Warner Bros Studios, this fabled address served as a backdrop for opulent parties and a retreat for many stars of the golden age, including Marilyn Monroe. The 1923 landmark estate was painstakingly and lovingly restored in 1996 by the current owner as an homage to the magnitude and glamour of Hollywood’s greatest period.
As the Woodland gate opens to a long, tree-studded driveway, you enter into another world and time. The main residence beckons you inside, across the cobblestone drive. You immediately take in the artistic vision of the great architect Paul Williams — who skillfully married French Country architecture with Tudor elements.
An exterior lined with brick, distressed wood plank floors and diamond-shaped pane windows, reveal Williams’ elegant mastery of texture and material. Great attention was paid to preserving the architectural integrity of Williams’ original design, while bringing the residence into the present with state-of-the art, digital audio-visual systems, cameras and security. A spirit of authenticity emanates from each room, adorned with antiques and architectural details, all chosen to reflect the glamour of the era.
To the right of the entry, a stately dining room seats 12. Enter through the original hand-carved doors on your left, and you’ll discover the light-filled formal living room, touched with original wood paneling and hand-carved antique fireplace. The entertainment room — a Hollywood necessity — was thoughtfully added to fuse with the existing architecture, and includes a concealed drop-down theater screen and projection system (cleverly hidden behind paintings), custom leather seating inspired by the same chairs found in the Warner Bros Studios, custom-made silk velvet blackout shades and an indoor/outdoor bar made of Jerusalem stone and guarded by stunning etched glass windows depicting the “Swan Lady.”
This motif is carried through to the outdoor fireplace in the courtyard, where more intimate gatherings can congregate. Follow the fresco walls downstairs, and you’ll also find a game room with a bar for more entertaining. Open the French doors from the entertaining room, and you’ll find yourself on the stone terrace, fully embraced by the beauty of a European garden, a rock-lagoon-like pool and Jacuzzi, waterfalls and a bridge that crosses over the most exquisite koi pond. Across the flat lawn and near the tennis court, the two-story guesthouse — the once-upon-a-time home of Marilyn Monroe and many other stars — reveals the ultimate private sanctuary with a living room, bar and kitchenette, bedroom and two baths. Many of Hollywood’s major high society events have taken place right on this very land, made possible by the private and lush grounds, three-car garages, a carport and parking for 20 cars.
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