A Star Is Shorn - Page 2

Late actor's 'dream home' back on market after being gutted in incomplete renovation
Fridays on the Homefront
Heston House interior: before the remodel.

The lavish '70s-style décor was still mostly intact until the Bessons embarked on, what Lawyer considered, a much-needed update of the property.

"It was well-maintained, but it was time for the systems to get a complete overhaul," Lawyer says of the owners' renovation plan, approved by the Mulholland Scenic Highway Design Review Board for up to seven beds, six baths on 14,632 square feet. Right now, Lawyer said the main house is about 5,000 and the guesthouse is another 2,000-plus.

"The current owner was going to go in a different direction as far as the décor, but they were leaving the house itself pretty much as it is," said the realtor, who has sold numerous noteworthy architectural properties, including the enormous Barbara Hutton estate in Beverly Hills, also designed by Beckett. "It's ripe and ready to go for the next person."

Fridays on the Homefront
The Heston House juts out over the southern precipice of Mulholland Drive.

Still, some architecture fans are displeased with the Bessons' gutting of the Heston House.

"I saw some pictures that they had ripped out all the interior surfaces, including the stone walls in the dining area," commented architect and historian Alan Hess in a social media exchange.

"That was a classic Southern California mid-century modern material, so it made me wonder about the direction they were taking, and if it would complement the mid-century exterior…For modern houses with so much glass, the exterior and interior were meant to blend seamlessly, so the loss of some of that interior fabric presents a huge challenge."

"It has to be a buyer who is not intimidated by the process," agrees Lawyer, offering that potential buyers were showing "great interest right before the pandemic hit."

Fridays on the Homefront
Aerial view of the expansive property.

While some would have preferred a less drastic approach, the realtor suggests, "That's also an advantage for the next buyer: They've already done all the heavy lifting."

"It's going to take some deep pockets," he allowed, concluding with confidence, "The right person will seize the opportunity and be lucky to get it."

For more information and photos for the Heston House, click here.