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Step Back in Time in Howard Hughes’ Former Beverly Hills Residence

Step Back in Time in Howard Hughes’ Former Beverly Hills Residence

Living room

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Cruising down the serpentine driveway of this Mid-Century Modern home in Beverly Hills, it’s easy to imagine going back in time to the glory days of old Hollywood. Pull into the carport, and it could be 1960 again, with then owner Howard Hughes greeting you at the door.

A filmmaker from the late 1920s to the 1940s, Hughes was primarily known for his far-ranging business interests, from Hughes Aircraft to Las Vegas casinos. There’s no doubt that this five-bathroom stunner was his California party pad in the days before he became a recluse. Perched on a half-acre lot on a promontory, its views of the Pacific Ocean and Century City scream West Coast glamour.

The home’s combination of steel and glass shows Hughes “was very ahead of his time,” says listing agent Ben Bacal. But the house, which is listed for $ 11.5 million, hasn’t been stuck in a time capsule from the days Hughes and his friends lounged by the 9-foot-deep pool.

The pool

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The pool

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The pool

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Bacal notes that the current owner updated the kitchen and added a roof deck. The deck features a wet bar and fireplace while the master bedroom has the last wood-burning fireplace that was permitted in Beverly Hills.

The owner also added the 500-square-foot master suite, along with a gym, as part of renovations done in 2007. Another update is an audiovisual security system that is controllable from an iPad.

The interior harkens back to the “Mad Men” era of the late 1950s–early 1960s, with a built-in conversation pit in the living room adjoining a travertine-covered floor-to-ceiling fireplace. A TV pops up out of the floor in the bedroom.

The conversation pit

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Conversation pit

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The conversation pit

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The 4,300-square-foot home is located in the desirable Trousdale Estates area of Beverly Hills and last sold in 1999 for $ 1.34 million.

Hughes came to Hollywood as an outsider and became known as a maverick filmmaker who tried new techniques and pushed the filmmaking envelope. His World War I flying epic, “Hell’s Angels,” cost a then-astonishing $ 3.8 million to make in 1930, but it earned $ 8.2 million, proving his vision was popular with filmgoers.

His vision is also obvious in this home, where floor-to-ceiling windows bring the outside in, a concept that’s popular today but was cutting-edge in his time.

“A creative type would love it, a designer type, a producer, an art connoisseur,” says Bacal. Anyone who wants a combination of old-time elegance and modern amenities will feel at home here.

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