Starchitect Paul Williams’ picture-perfect Spanish villa
Set on a quiet cul-de-sac, lavished in flowering vines, 1711 Tropical Avenue is an ideal vision of the romantic Mediterranean villa. The 1929 residence owes every inch of its dreamlike beauty to architect Paul Williams, a master of interpreting period styles for a new era. The beautifully preserved and enhanced home has just been listed by Lisa Arden for $6,250,000. Williams pioneered the patio as an extension of the house, so it’s not surprising that the heart of this home is a long, shady rear loggia overlooking a lush Mediterranean garden. With its softly splashing fountain and vast swimmer's pool, it’s a place to live by day and linger into evening. Silent film composer and lyricist John Stepenson commissioned this home just as Williams’ celebrity career was heating up. In the next five years, he would complete over 36 residential estates, many for noted movie industry figures — directors, stars, producers and more. They all loved these sophisticated yet understated showplaces for their lavish yet cozy feel and the now-iconic Southern California room-to-room flow that he pioneered. The villa’s grand but easy effect starts in the living room with its coffered ceiling and opulent fireplace, and luxuriant view of the patio. The ambience continues through the dining room, sunny kitchen, breakfast room, cozy den with fireplace, and library/reading room. A graceful tiled staircase with wrought iron rail ascends to the master suite overlooking the pool and garden. Among its amenities are a generous walk-in closet and European-style bath. There are four more bedrooms and six baths, including a housekeeper's quarters with en suite bath. A spacious detached office/guest house with fireplace opens to the garden and pool. Mary Pickford wasn’t the only star who fell in love with this gem. Balanchine wife, dancer, actress and choreographer Vera Zorina later owned it, and game show producer Bob Quigley (The Hollywood Squares) raised his family there. A rare find if you happen to be a star. Or just someone who dreams of living like one.
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