LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 3,700 square feet,
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: While Your Mama has it on good authority—that would be the dishy, well-connected Yolanda Yakketyyak—that it's actually Henry Gummer—that would be Meryl Streep's singer/songwriter son—who currently occupies the premises, property records show a clean-lined contemporary crib just a few blocks off the Sunset Strip was quietly acquired in early February (2013) for exactly $4.5 million through the very same trust associated with both the New York City penthouse condo and the Connecticut country spread owned by Miz Streep and her sculptor husband Don Gummer.
So, puppies, was it the younger Mister Gummer—also known as Henry Wolfe—or was it Mama and Daddy Gummer—that would be Miz Streep and the older Mister Gummer—would paid for the posh, organically modern pad with it's front-loaded swimming pool? Well, it probably doesn't really matter that much and it certainly isn't any of our silly beeswax so, for the sake of acknowledging the not known, let's just say it was likely acquired by the Gummer family for use by one or more member of the Gummer family. Okay?
Listing details and other digitized resources Your Mama managed to scrounge up show the multi-level wood, concrete and glass residence strikes a distinct and private, bunker-ish vibe from the street. There's about 3,700 square feet of airy interior space intimately connected to various outdoor living spaces through wide expanses of wall-to-wall windows and floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors. There are four bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms, according to listing details.
Heavily striated marble tile floors run throughout the interconnected, open concept main living spaces that include a secured access foyer anchored and elevated by a muscular, open tread staircase crafted from solid walnut.
A formal dining area hides from the foyer behind a floating wall (with magnificent flush floor boards) and adjoins a large living room divided into two separate but equal spaces. To one side, a t.v. watching lounge has direct access to the swimming pool and, on the other, a slightly more buttoned up conversation lounge with a monolithic textured stone fireplace, a dramatic double height ceiling, and an even more dramatic two-story wall of glass that looks out onto a small, courtyard type garden with boxy, concrete and stone water feature.
The dining area and the entrance hall connect through to a combination kitchen, informal dining area, and family room. The sleek, center island kitchen has flat-fronted cabinets crafted of some sort of linear-grained wood that may or may not be walnut, minimalist hardware, and chunky slab stone or solid surface counter tops. Top quality Euro-style appliances include double wall ovens, a pair of integrated side by side fridge/freezers, and a full-height wine fridge. A banister-free half flight of steps in the family room climbs up to an office perched above the garage with an entire wall of floor-to-ceiling glass that looks over the swimming pool and beyond.
At least one of the three guest/family bedrooms opens through a wide glass slider to a small private deck and the master suite has a long wall of glass that overlooks the double-height sitting area below. Over sized windows on two other walls provide a through-the-tree-tops city and horizon views.
Although there are a couple of wee outdoor areas located around the house but the bulk of outdoor living spaces is accommodated in an elevated, gated and high-walled front yard that listing photos show has lush and well-lit landscaping, a plunge-sized swimming pool and spa and plenty of sunbathing space on the stone tile terrace. At the opposite end of the yard from the house a palm-tree ringed patio has a fire pit encircled by clean-lined, low-profile and probably very expensive sofas.
Other notable amenities and luxuries include a specially ventilated direct entry two-car garage and extensive security and home automation systems that can be remotely controlled from a computer or smart phone.
Property records and previous reports reveal the magnificent Miz Streep—no one does faux humility more genuinely than Miz Streep—and Mister Gummer paid $10,131,587 in early 2006 for a 6,174 square foot penthouse at the River Lofts complex in lower Manhattan, the same full-service building where the loved and loathed Gwyneth Paltrow also owns a substantial pied-a-terre she had done up in marble and pastels by the people at Roman and Williams. Since at least the mid-1980s Mister and Missus Gummer have owned an 89-plus acre multi-residence compound in Connecticut's historic and scenic Litchfield County that encompasses a small lake—or maybe it's a large pond—in its entirety.
listing photos: John Aaroe Group via Angelino Living
LOCATION: Los Angeles
SIZE: 1,280 square feet, 1-2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Go-Go's guitarist Jane Wiedlin was squarely on the pioneering real estate vanguard when, in 2007, she sold her historic Streamline Moderne residence in the heart of L.A.'s hipster-choked Silver Lake community and decamped to a sun-flooded loft condo in an even hipper, industrial, and still somewhat gritty if not exactly seedy section of downtown Los Angeles known as Little Tokyo.
Although not exactly wildly popular, living in downtown L.A. is trés chic and even trendy amongst arty-farty Angelinos in search of a more urban, pedestrian friendly existence than is customarily available in the sprawling, auto-oriented mega-city that—let's be honest, butter beans—functions more like an interconnected amalgamation of suburbs than a proper city. Simmer down, children, we ain't hatin'. Just like Randy Newman, we love L.A. But, you know, it is what it is. Anyways...
Miz Wiedlin is, of course, best known as the perky, pixie haired and squeaky-voiced rhythm guitarist for the iconic late-70s and early 80s all-women pop-punk band The Go-Go's. It was she, in fact, who co-wrote the hard charging yet infectiously bubbly music for the band's hit song Our Lips Are Sealed. Miz Wiedlin left the group in 1984 to pursue a (less successful) solo career but occasionally re-groups, records and tours with her Go-Go's gal pals. Indeed, the Go-Go's sold out the Hollywood Bowl last summer (2012), thirty years after the first time they sold out the legendary L.A. venue.*
In addition to whatever personal musical pursuits Miz Wiedlin still pursues she's also a tireless advocate for animal rights, dabbled in acting, and co-created the Lady Robotika comic book. Some years ago she became an ordained, mail-order minister who offers her marriage and commitment ceremony services as Reverend Sister Go-Go for between $1,500 and $4,000 (plus travel, accommodation and food expenses), depending on the package.
Property records and other online resources show Miz Wiedlin purchased her approximately 1,280 square foot loft at the Little Tokyo Lofts building as a bare shell in March 2007 for $695,000. In 2010 the diminutive rocker—who looks almost disturbingly like Joyce DeWitt from the 1970s and '80s sitcom Three's Company—had the top floor loft listed for lease with an asking price of $4,250. It's now listed for lease at a much lower $2,350 per month. It's also for sale with—as of today—a $596,000 price tag. Miz Wiedlin pushed her downtown digs on the sales market in late-April (2013) with an asking price of $850,000. Since then, the price tag has repeatedly been slivered—a dozen times as of this morning—to its current $596,000. By Your Mama's quick and rudimentary calculations, even if Miz Wiedlin manages to secure of a full price buyer at today's asking price of $596,000, she's still faced with a $99,000 financial gut punch, not counting carrying costs, customization, and real estate fees.
Current listing information shows the "Rockstar-owned penthouse loft" has "million-dollar views," two deeded parking spaces, "fantastical original decor"—which is putting it mildly, and $459 monthly home owner's association fees. Current listing details also show the sixth floor corner unit has magnificent steel casement warehouse windows, yellow blond maple hardwood floors, coveted 12-foot ceilings, and at least one exposed structural column around which Miz Wieldin had a Saturn-inspired steel bar and shelving system installed where she stores and displays her collection of burlesque oriented bar ware.
The loft's front door opens into a multi-functional foyer/dining/kitchen space where Miz Wiedlin's decidedly peculiar but refreshingly personal decorative style immediately smacks a person across the face with its remarkable, well, weirdness. Those children with less fantastical and more traditional taste might categorize the day-core as Unrestrained Hot Mess but in a low- to no-budget marketing video that popped up on the YouTube in late 2009 Miz Wiedlin describes her decorative phantasmagoria, a kooky and deeply personal blend of "Asian, mid-century and Future-y stuff," as "Bladerunner-esque." Frankly, as nuttily done as Miz Wiedlin's loft may be—and it is unquestionably wacky, Your Mama would most certainly rather look at this odd and deeply personal decorative extravaganza than look at another one of those awful, cookie cutter Bacchanalia of beige that's way too often lauded as tasteful.
At least one wall in the combo foyer/dining area is papered with vintage 1970s Mylar that's been seamed and riveted to look like the side of a space ship, she proudly declares in the marketing video. At least one more wall has cinematically pedigreed, vintage orange and silver abstract pattern wall paper that was used in the cult-classic film Barbarella. Miz Wiedlin says in the video that the film's the late movie producer Dino De Laurentiis retained several rolls of the stuff that she bought on Ebay. We.re not wallpaper people but, kitty cats, of all the kooky stuff Miz Wiedlin's got stuffed like sardines up in that loft, this wallpaper is a goddamn treasure. The compact but perfectly serviceable open concept kitchen area has black granite counter tops, a butcher block topped work island, rental-grade stainless steel appliances and maple cabinetry painted a lustrous Chinese lacquer red.
The dining foyer and kitchen space opens up into a roomy corner living room where Miz Wiedlin tiled the front of the (gas) fireplace with ebony river stones and sparkly grout. An open back entertainment unit strikes a cacophonous pose in front of graphic black and white vintage wall paper. Godawful vertical blinds, the very kind penny-pinching landlords install in rental apartments both far and wide, twist and pull back to reveal giant, multi-pane warehouse windows filled with urban city and skyscraper views.
Custom made sliding shoji screens divide the living room from an unexpectedly spacious, bedroom-sized dressing room lined with hardware-free flat-front closets and a built-in storage bench along the window wall. Miz Wiedlin helpfully suggests in the marketing video that the enclosed dressing room, with its magnificently kitchen lighting sconces—multi-colored bunches of glass grapes dangling from the sharp teeth of a dragon—can do double duty as a guest bedroom.
A bent steel floating staircase, designed and fabricated by the set designer for the Indiana Jones movies, ascends to a loft bedroom with a very low ceiling and, at night, a glittering, laying down view of the surrounding city lights. Miz Wiedlin furnished the head-banging bedroom with a custom studded leather headboard and vintage 70s sci-fi themed wall paper on which 60s-era space ships battle on a shimmery silver background. Sorry Miz Wiedlin, Your Mama lives for you but that bizarre, undulating row of bamboo makes for an ass-ugly and piss-poor safety railing.
The decorative bravery—or treachery, depending on one's point of view—reaches its full, blunt force in the loft's lone, double-sized bathroom that's equipped with a stacked laundry and multi-functional shower pod that Miz Wiedlin describes as "the bomb" and "a party in itself." The steam-equipped contraption has multiple shower heads, a jetted tub, a radio, a foot massager and—because every shower needs it—disco lighting. Miz Wiedlin goes on to describe the wacky, self-designed sink and vanity situation as a combination between "a pyramid and an octopus from a different planet." The walls are custom-tiled with what the sci-fi fan calls "an alien cityscape" and overhead there's a lumpy silver ceiling treatment meant to give the room the vibe of an "alien cave or cloud." This is not a bathroom for those who love neutral finishes and travertine tile but it is most certainly an eccentrically customized crapper in which one will never forget shaving their legs, brushing their chompers or doing their dirty bizness.
The Little Tokyo Lofts complex, originally built in 1922 as an industrial structure, offers its urban setting preferring residents a quiet interior garden courtyard, an outdoor swimming pool and spa, and a long and narrow dog run with faux-grass. There's also a small fitness room, 24-hour security with video surveillance, and gated garage parking connected by a private pedestrian catwalk over the swimming pool terrace.
Your Mama seriously and sincerely wishes Miz Wiedlin all the luck in the world unloading her highly customized digs in downtown L.A. However, our brief and unscientific research suggests the lovably goofy and kinda nerdy Miz Wiedlin may have have a difficult time unloading her downtown loft even with its substantially discounted asking price. Although it is still hipper than shit for artists, bohemians and others to live downtown, the 2007-08 real estate bubble burst had a tremendously negative impact on L.A.'s then burgeoning downtown condo and loft market. Once upon a time the lofty apartments at the Little Tokyo Lofts traded for $300-700,000 but, alas, sale prices plummeted and, for the most part, remain a fraction of their peak. A 710 square foot studio style loft that sold in 2007 for $376,000 sold in February (2013) for just $225,000. A higher floor studio style loft that went for $408,000 in September 2007 traded hands in mid-March 9 (2013) for a mere $160,000. And, most troubling of all for Miz Wiedlin might be a lower floor loft of similar size to her own that sold in early 2007 for $647,000 but traded hands in late February (2013) for a measly $218,500.
Miz Wiedlin has previously owned a couple of homes in Los Angele. In 2004 she sold a hill climbing mini- estate tucked up into an out of the way area of the mountains above Burbank for $1,200,000. She later and briefly owned the Skinner House, a delicious, William Kesling-designed Streamline Moderne in the heart of the Silver Lake that she bought in June 2005 for $1,135,000 and sold in late 2007 for $1,495,000 to Atlanta-based decorator William "Bill" Stewart.
Property records show Miz Wiedlin also briefly co-owned a Beaver Cleaver-ish residence in the Madison, WI neighborhood of Maple Bluff that she picked up in December 2007 for $322,000 and sold two years later for $355,000. She moved to Wisconsin, where she was born and lived until she was six, because she fell—ahem—Head Over Heels for then Madison-based musician Travis Kasperbauer.
As far as we know—and we really know so very little—Miz Wiedlin and Mister Kasperbauer—and their canine menagerie—currently live in an area of San Francisco's Castro District that our S.F.-centric b.f.f. Fiona Trambeau tittered to Your Mama is often referred to by local queens as The Swish Alps. Property records and other digital resources show the couple share a two family house with an attached but separate recording studio that was acquired in late 2009 for $1,207,000. Last year the couple spent $300,000 to acquire a small cabin on 10+ fairly remote acres in the mountains near Anchor Bay (CA), in Mendocino County.
*We just can't get enough how 50-something year old Miz Wiedlin proudly wore a knee brace for the Hollywood Bowl concert. Useless fun fact: Much to the screaming delight of many, The West Hollywood Water Skiing Team, comprised of a leggy sextet of some of L.A.'s most illustrious drag queens including Willem Belli and Detox of RuPauls Drag Race semi-fame, donned leotards and tutus and danced back up on Vacation.
listing photos: Keller Williams Pasadena Market
LOCATION: Beverly Hills, CA
SIZE: 10,379 square feet, 11 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Middle aged—and still procreating—action flick actor Bruce Willis is in the mood to shuffle his extensive residential real estate holdings in both the Big Apple and the City of Angels.
In New York City the smooth pated and famously smirky Die Hard franchise superstar owns a five bedroom and four bathroom condo crib at the full service Trump Place complex on the west side of Lincoln Center that was listed on the open market in February (2013) for $11,650,000 and is currently in contract with an unknown buyer for an unknown price. In mid-March Mister Willis and his considerably younger second missus, Emma Heming, shelled out, according to property records, $8,850,000 for U2 Bassist Adam Clayton's stunning three bedroom and four bathroom park-facing cooperative apartment at the distinguished Eldorado building on Central Park West.*
Back on the Left Coast, much to this jaded celebrity property gossip's mild surprise, Mister and Missus Willis Number Two have hoisted their large but hardly behemoth Beverly Hills, CA mansion on the open market with a beastly $22,000,000 price tag.
Property records show Mister Willis acquired the property in June 2004 for exactly nine million dead presidents from movie industry bigwig Alan Ladd, Junior.
Current listing information shows the 1928 Spanish style residence sits tightly on a shy acre parcel in a prime section of lower Beverly Hills—it is, after all, less than half a mile to the posh and plummy Beverly Hills Hotel—and has 11 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms in 10,379 square feet of fully renovated, updated and upgraded interior space. The Los Angeles County Tax Man's public records show the 2012 property taxes rang up to a stomach upsetting $114,838.
Listing details are—as of this minute—painfully slim but listing photographs show an airy double-height entry that connects through to a roomy formal living room with wood floors, wood burning fireplace, and exposed wood beam ceiling. There's an unnecessarily large enclosed loggia and the formal dining room broods with wine colored walls above medium brown wood wainscoting, a barrel vaulted ceiling covered in some sort of repetitive pattern texture that could be tin or carved wood or wall paper or any number of other materials. Wide banks of glass doors in both the living and dining rooms open to a central courtyard decked out with little more than a few plants, a couple chairs and a rugged stone fountain.
The spacious kitchen has a long center island with snack counter, Old School honey bee tile flooring, and, behind the top quality commercial style range, a tiled back splash where a green tiled rectangle has the words "Spring Street" spelled out in reversed out white tiles, an homage to the New York City subway system that doesn't make sense to Your Mama in a Beverly Hills kitchen.
Although it appears to Your Mama that most of the public rooms orient themselves to the interior courtyard—in some cases the quickest route from one part of the house to another—the angled back of the house opens through a couple of arched glass doors to back yard. Looking past the nagging notion that the rear facade lacks any convincing architectural authenticity, the backyard includes a small patch of grass and a large deck that encircles a long rectangular swimming pool.
At the butt end of the irregularly shaped lot there's a lighted tennis court that backs up to a service alley that runs behind a handful of other similarly sized mini-estates and mansions. Some of the nearby estates and homses are owned by L.A. luminaries like mega-resort building multi-billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, the inestimable coochie-cooer Charo, Peter Falk's widow Shera, and 3-D technology tycoon Joshua Greer who, in 2011, paid fellow tech tycoon turned big-time philanthropist David Bohnett $23 million for a nearly 10,000 square foot white brick Georgian on a double lot.
Mister Willis's real estate portfolio runs deep and the Hollywood staple won't be without a Tinseltown bedsit once he sells his big Bev Hills residence. He also owns a 2,900 square foot ranch style residence off Mulholland Drive in the 90210 but it's not known—at least to Your Mama—if Mister and second Missus Willis intend to occupy the property.
*Mister Willis's propert portfolio currently also includes (but may not be limited to) a number of residential and commercial holdings in and around itty-bitty Hailey, ID.
listing photos: Hilton & Hyland