If walls could talk, the house at 9361 Farralone Avenue in Chatsworth, California, would have plenty to say. As the long-term home of Frank Sinatra during his Rat Pack years, the property has hosted its fair share of Hollywood A-listers.
The key details
Known simply as Farralone, the estate was built in the early 1950s by socialite Dora Hutchinson, heir to the Chase Manhattan Bank fortune. She wanted a home that would be modern, dramatic and ideal for entertaining her celebrity friends, so she enlisted architect William Pereira to work his magic.
Pereira was one of the most famous architects of the era, but he had also been a film set designer, director and producer, and won an Oscar for his special effects photography work on Cecil B DeMille's Reap the Wild Wind in 1942. So he was well placed to create the dramatic abode that Hutchinson had in mind. Once she was settled in, she would famously set off fireworks to let her neighbours know that happy hour had begun.
When Hutchinson eventually moved back home to New York City, she rented Farralone to Frank Sinatra, who stayed there for 10 years. He, in turn, used to sublet the guesthouse to a certain Ms Marilyn Monroe, who is said to have conducted her clandestine affair with John F Kennedy on those very grounds.
Farralone has since been the site of numerous films and television shows, including Swordfish, Dreamgirls, Transformers, Bewitched, Mad Men and Californication, and has featured in music videos by Mariah Carey, Usher and Rihanna – presenting a significant potential revenue stream for its new owners.
What's the story?
Sitting on a hill at the end of a one-kilometre driveway, the secluded, gated property is currently on the market with Sotheby’s International Realty for $21.5 million. It has been completely restored and features a 6,661-square-foot, four-bedroom, six-bathroom main house that is flooded with natural light, thanks to the fact that 60 per cent of its walls are made from 5-metre-tall panes of glass. This also affords dramatic views of the 536-hectare Chatsworth Nature Preserve and its adjacent mountain range.
A 50-metre swimming pool is complemented by a 186-square-metre pergola lounge area, a separate gym, massage room and recording studio, as well as a vineyard and helipad, while the famous guest house also has its own pool and garden.
What the brokers say…
"This iconic property in LA’s Byrdview Estate was designed by renowned architect William Pereira AIA. As one of only four homes designed by the famous architect, this home reflects impeccable craftsmanship and attention to detail," says the listing by Sotheby's International Realty.