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From a notorious con man to Catholic missionaries, this grand home -- nay, this grand compound -- in the heart of the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles has housed quite a cast of characters over the years. With 14 bedrooms and eight bathrooms, it's rich with history and brimming with possibilities.
Built in 1929 by architect Harley S. Bradley for a man named Rudolph Rosenberg, it was sold the same year to music store magnate Ben Platt. Over the years, Platt hired architects Paul R. Williams and Albert E. Hansen, to expand it, adding a pool, tennis courts, and another story to bring it to its current 10,000-square-foot measurement.
The next owner was a notorious con man named C.C. Julian, whom listing agent David Solomon describes as the Bernie Madoff of his day. After his company, the Julian Petroleum Corp., was found to have swindled more than 40,000 people out of $150 million, Julian committed suicide (not in this home) in 1934.
In the late 1950s an entirely different owner took over: the Saint Columban's Foreign Missionary Society, a group of Catholic missionary priests who still live there today.
While there have been changes made to the home over the years (spaces were divided to create additional rooms to house priests), Solomon says the home retains many of its original features, including carved fireplaces and detailed woodwork. The most noteworthy historic feature is a cave that leads to a hidden wine cellar to a full speak-easy used during Prohibition. There are also quarters for live-in staff.
Solomon says it will take the right buyer to bring the home to present-day standards, but the return could be huge. Currently listed for $5,499,000, the property could be valued at over $12 million postrenovation based on its size, history, and location.
"When it's redone, it will be one of the most significant properties in Los Angeles," he says.
Although the home is set back from the road, it features amazing city views and is within walking distance of Hollywood's Greek Theatre and Griffith Park. As for the neighbors, think Hollywood stars. For example, the home behind this property used to be Robert Pattinson's love nest with then-girlfriend Kristen Stewart. The "Twilight" star sold the home in 2014, and now Jim Parsons of "The Big Bang Theory" lives there.
So who'll be next to make their mark on this historic home? Solomon says while it could be anyone from a single family to a production company, the lucky owner will definitely possess one quality.
"The right buyer will be someone who has an appreciation for the type of home they just don't build anymore," he said. "The possibilities are endless."