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Westside Stories by Michael Harris

By |December 9th, 2019|Ben Lee Properties' News|

The Casa De Cadillac building at 14401 Van Nuys Blvd. is still selling cars. It was designed in 1948 by Randall Duell in a glass box modernist look that has the wonderful script name still intact. It has been an example of Googie architecture. Movies filmed here include“Transformers” and “Commando.”Further east at 4211 Riverside Dr is the original Bob’s Big Boy. Wayne McAllister who designed Las Vegas strip hotels, was responsible for the Bob’s design called Late Moderne but again an example of Googie design. It has the neon and the same car centric vibe that it was originally designed for, that is shakes and car hops. It was featured in the 1995 heist film, “Heat.”

If you enjoy reading these vignettes each month, you may want to check out my father-in-law’s book, Westside Stories. It’s a memoir/history of growing up on the Westside of Los Angeles in the 1940s and 1950s with great photos, anecdotes and stories. Perfect for the history buff/enthusiast in your family! It’s available for purchase at

High Dollar Homes for Sale in LA

By |December 4th, 2019|Buyers|

While Los Angeles definitely does not have a shortage of beautiful residences, there are some that stand out above the rest – starting with their price tag. So, what exactly can you get here in Southern California in the eight – or even nine-figure range?

Here are just a couple of the available offerings:

875 Nimes Road (in Bel Air)

One option is the stately 11-bedroom, 18 bath Bel Air property that provides plenty of space – including enough room for vehicles in its 40-car garage. Visitors can also spread out and relax in the 5-bedroom guest house. 

Sitting on more than 10 acres, the home was originally built in 1930, and has undergone some extensive renovations over the years. Just some of the amenities found here include a 75-foot swimming pool, several fountains, breathtaking gardens, and panoramic views of downtown LA and the Pacific Ocean. Asking price: $195 million.


67 Beverly Park

If you’re big on entertaining, 30 of your friends and family members can easily park in the 30-car courtyard of this Beverly Park estate. The main home measures approximately 20,000 feet, and it sits beautifully on 7 private acres. 

Here you will find a pool (and accompanying pool house), a two-story guest residence, a tennis court, and even a jogging / walking trail that leads you around the perimeter of the property. Asking price for this one-of-a-kind Beverly Park home is $165 million.

To view these and other similar offerings, private tours can be scheduled for interested purchasers.


Enjoy Indoor-Outdoor Resort-Style Living in this Los Feliz Pool Home

By |December 2nd, 2019|Buyers|

If you’ve been looking for a home where the crystal blue sky meshes seamlessly with your own private pool, then look no further than this Los Feliz 4-bedroom, 5 1/2 -bath residence that literally wraps around the central swimming area and offers you indoor-outdoor living at its finest. Nearly every room in this home offers a fantastic pool view. 

With over 3,400 square feet inside, there is plenty of privacy for everyone. The one-story home, originally built in 1951, has undergone a thorough modernization, and now includes two master suites, large walk-in closets, an office, designer bathrooms, and a kitchen that would make any chef jealous with its PRO appliances, bread warmer, and wine cooler. Plus, the 3-car garage offers you ample space for keeping vehicles out of the sun and rain. 

Just some of the other features of note here are the skylights and clerestory windows – which give the home even more of a light, bright feel – as well as the deluxe dining patio, which provides an ideal pool-side space for entertaining all year long.

Located at 3019 Surry Street, near the Rowena Reservoir, this unique, one-of-a-kind residence is currently listed for sale at $2.398 million. Private showings can be scheduled for interested purchasers. 

Bel Air Case Study Home Offers Glass Walls and Brings the “Inside Out”

By |November 29th, 2019|Buyers|

Looking for a way to own a sliver of history, while at the same time enjoying all that Bel Air living has to offer? If so, this home – also known as Case Study House No. 16 – could be just what you’re looking for.

Sponsored by Arts & Architecture, the Case Study House program aimed to create affordable homes for post-World War ll families during the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. This particular residence – nominated for the National Register of Historic Places – was the first of three homes designed by the renown Craig Ellwood (and it is the only surviving, in-tact example of his work for the Case Study program).  

The largely original 2-bedroom, 2-bath modular steel residence is surrounded by mature trees and provides some of the most fantastic views of LA. Inside you will find a natural rock fireplace, tile flooring, and grooved fir siding. The outdoor covered patio is perfectly placed in the flat backyard, and provides you with the ideal spot for entertaining. 

Located at 1811 Bel Air Road, this piece of architectural history is on the market for only the second time ever and is listed for sale at $3 million. Private tours can be arranged for interested purchasers.

Stunning Pasadena Spanish Style Boasts Numerous Updates

By |November 25th, 2019|Buyers|

Originally built in the 1930s, this fantastic Pasadena home is sure to impress – starting in the foyer, where the high beamed ceilings accent a curved and decorative restored magnesite staircase that leads to the second floor.

With just under 2,000 square feet of interior space, there is plenty of privacy for everyone in the home’s three bedrooms and two full baths. In the kitchen you will find newer chef-grade stainless steel appliances, a copper sink, and eye-catching blue cabinetry. The large garage offers lots of storage space, with enough additional off-street parking for two more vehicles. 

Light, bright, and private, just some of the other amenities here include arched doorways, a brick fireplace, and French doors that lead out to the professionally landscaped backyard where there are succulents and cacti among the multiple terraces. There is also a hot tub and grilling area, as well enough room to add an in-ground swimming pool or a whole host of items that can make the home complete to the new owner’s personal tastes.  

Located at 450 Cherry Drive – close to Eagle Rock, Highland Park, and Pasadena – this one-of-a-kind residence is listed for sale at $1.349 million. Private tours can be scheduled for interested purchasers.


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