Howard Hughes crashed here. Literally.

Today, 805 Linden Drive, Beverly Hills, is on the market for $14,450,000. In truth, it’s a miracle that it’s here at all. 71 years ago this month, this was the second of three houses hit by a plummeting prototype reconnaissance aircraft with tycoon Howard Hughes at the controls. The third house was destroyed.

On Hughes’ test flight of the experimental XF-11, mechanical problems forced him to attempt an emergency landing on the Los Angeles Country Club golf course. Seconds short of the green, the aircraft plummeted into residential Beverly Hills. Its wing clipped the bedroom roof of 805 Linden Drive and took out the garage.

There are only a few blurry black-and-white photos of the crash, but the entire disaster was harrowingly recreated in Martin Scorsese’sThe Aviator. Miraculously, Hughes survived severe injuries.

More than seventy years after its date with destiny, the 1926 Spanish Colonial Revival Caldwell Residence designed by celebrity architect Wallace Neff is as lavishly elegant as ever. Recently impeccably restored, it reflects the vision that makes many consider Neff the father of the iconic architectural style that defines Golden Age Southern California. Neff’s countless celebrity clients included Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, who commissioned him to design their world-famous Pickfair Estate. Other projects included the Singer and Gillette Mansions, the Gates Residence, and Libby Ranch. Today’s passionate Neff collectors have included Brad Pitt, Diane Keaton and Madonna, among many others.

The five-bedroom, five-bath estate, set in one of the most coveted locations in the city, reflects Neff’s finesse for detail and quality, from materials and craftsmanship to design, composition and style.

Beyond its lavish wrought iron double doors, a dramatic two-story formal living room features hand-painted beam-and-truss ceilings and a chimney-style fireplace.

Three sets of broad, arched French doors frame the beautifully landscaped patios, a twenty-fountain pool and the gardens beyond.

The flexible 5,678 square foot floor plan includes a huge family entertainment/guest room overlooking the large al fresco dining area with barbecue, fire pit, spa and pool.

On the second level, the luxurious master suite opens to a romantic loggia. The office/den is highlighted by a charming corner fireplace with lovely original details, including decorative grill and ironwork.

Now listed by Aaron Kirman, President of Aaroe Estates, the luxury property division of John Aaroe Group, and Louis Evans, Caldwell Residence is more luxuriously radiant than ever — ready to welcome its next owners to one of Beverly Hills’ most desirable neighborhoods.

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