Printed for personal use only

Trousdale Estates

When Paul Trousdale envisioned his place of privilege, it was the midcentury titans of industry he had in mind. Trousdale took over the trails once traversed by the Doheny family, and there on the ridges over Beverly Hills rose homes designed by the top architects of the postwar period—as modern as the people who acquired them.

 

 

Film producer Randy Simon (Pi, Requiem for a Dream) was looking for a party house, maybe something in the Hollywood Hills, until über-realtor Cynthia Marin set him straight. No parking, for one thing. So he rented near the Beverly Hills Hotel, then migrated a few streets over to Trousdale Estates. The price of the midcentury rental, built by lumber magnate Leon Dichter and managed by his son, Misha, was right. The garden was a wilderness and the house barely functioning, which might have explained the low cost. Simon threw great bashes until the property went up for sale. As the new owner, he attended to the house’s woes, bulldozing the backyard and uncovering a verdant spring along with a sweeping vista. He put in a modern pool, covered the white-brick fireplace with a concrete skin, and created a screening area by knocking down the coat closets. Otherwise the house looks much as it did in 1956, when Paul Williams’s favorite draftsman, Howard Frank, designed it. The new polo field-size lawn is a big draw for Simon’s son, William, 11, who loves racing across it with their greyhound-Lab mix, Lucky. Then William might cannonball into the pool. 

Photographs by Dave Lauridsen