By Ruth Doherty published
In a time when some of the biggest old-school Hollywood stars competed for the ritziest homes, the Paramour Estate was said to be the most exquisite - and it’s now on the market for the first time, priced at $39.995 million.
Back in the early 1900s, Southern California was arguably the glamour capital of the world, and stars and directors showcased their wealth in opulent properties. There was a number of mansions by Wallace Neff, for huge stars including Charlie Chaplain, Fredric March and Harpo Marx, and one of the most famous was Pickfair for Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks.
However, some believed the most beautiful home was the Canfield-Moreno Estate, now known as Paramour Estate. It was created by Robert D. Farquhar, the architect to the stars who also did the Owlwood Estate, once owned by both Tony Curtis and Cher.
The opulent home sits on 4.3 acres and boasts an enormous 22,000sqft of space, with 15 bedrooms and 15 bathrooms.
The magnificent mansion was designed for socialite Daisy Canfield, who just happened to be the heiress to the Pan American Petroleum fortune. Daisy wanted the grandest home in LA, and so hired the most sought-after architect of the time to design and build a monument-mansion where she could overlook Hollywood from the highest ridge in the Los Angeles basin.
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Daisy built the Silver Lake home with her second husband, silent movie star Antonio Moreno, in 1923. It went through various names and guises over the years, from Crestmount, to the Danziger Mansion, to the Canfield-Moreno Mansion, and finally the Paramour Estate. She used the property as a home but also as a boarding school for young orphaned girls. Daisy tragically died in a car crash after plummeting off a 300ft cliff along Mulholland Drive, and Moreno stayed there until 1948.
In 1953, it was deeded to the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception Order, who also used it as a school. In 1998, designer Dana Hollister purchased the home, renamed it Paramour, and funded a restoration from onsite film shoots, weddings and social events.
Paramour played host to lavish celebrity parties and was ultimately dubbed by the tabloids as ‘The Most Beautiful Home in Hollywood’.
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Standout features include ceiling beams painted to match the colors in the home’s fabrics, a bar front covered in zebra skin, a grand ballroom with a 25-foot-high ceiling, gilded mirrors, bold colors, crystal chandeliers, a myriad of places to dine, a marble hand-tiled pool, sunroom, lower-level staff quarters, and 360-degree views that stretch from the Pacific Ocean to the San Gabriel Mountains.
There are four guest cottages, two guest suites, lush landscaping with rose gardens, and parking for 50 cars.
What’s more, the neighborhood of Silver Lake is a celebrity-packed enclave close to the upscale area of Sunset Boulevard, also home to big names like Chris Pine and Rachel McAdams.
Pictures courtesy of Top Ten Real Estate Deals
Ruth Doherty is an interiors writer who has worked for Homes & Gardens and Ideal Home magazines among many others.
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