There’s a 100-year-old mansion at the corner of Lorraine Boulevard and West 5th Street in central Los Angeles famous for many things—understatement is not one of them.
The massive “Los Tiempos” estate, the former home of Los Angeles Times publisher Norman Chandler and his philanthropic wife, Dorothy Chandler, is back on the market after years of drama and reported disrepair for a price so astronomical it makes one wonder if there was a typo.
The home was listed for $50 million on Sunday, more than five times what property records show the current owner, furniture manufacturer Robert Oshodin, paid for it just two-and-a-half years ago.
The listing looks nearly identical to one used to sell the house to the Oshodins in 2014. It claims the home underwent a “major multi-year restoration and upgrade,” which included installing a high-tech Crestron home automation system, usually used to digitally program things like home sound systems, heating, security and lighting, into the Beaux-Arts mansion.
Updates also include less sexy but essential infrastructure like new plumbing, a new sewer line, electrical rewiring, copper gutters and a new roof, the listing says.
But nosey neighbors will have to wait to get a peek at the 400-year-old French limestone floors and the new kitchen cabinetry, as the current listing advertises. The sellers are still in the process of having the property photographed, co-listing agent Maurice Hampton told Mansion Global.
“We’ll have a drone out there this week,” said Mr. Hampton, who is listing the property with Joseph Soaris, both of whom are with Keller Williams Realty.
Some visible updates ruffled the feathers of preservationist nitpickers last year when the Oshodins painted the home bright white and added some unauthentic sconces to the historically landmarked property. The changes prompted neighbors and the city to intervene and have the house repainted a more historically accurate buff color.
The property had its golden age in the middle of the last century, under the ownership of the Chandlers, whose place in L.A. society made the mansion a hub of political power. The home became known as the “Western White House,” and hosted a series of U.S. presidents including Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon.
But the old home slipped into disrepair by the 1990s, when a couple of interior designers bought it for $2 million.
In 2006, they resold the property for $8 million to Courtney Callahan and Joseph Handleman, the heir of a music-distribution firm, whose fortunes began to sink under the cost of upkeep.
The recent history of the property is a downslide from there.
In 2012, the couple launched litigation claiming the previous owners had misrepresented the condition of the property. In court documents, they claimed to have drained their assets to pay for repairs, selling off their valuables and spending their son’s trust fund.
The couple eventually lost the legal dispute. Handleman died a day after learning the outcome.
A few months before the home finally sold to the Oshodins, Ms. Callahan owed nearly $127,000 in unpaid mortgage and the mansion was headed to foreclosure, county property records show.
The listing this week has stoked hope that the current owners will reveal a grand estate restored to its former glory.
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