The Los Angeles home of acerbic American intellectual Gore Vidal has sold for $3.75 million, according to property records.
Vidal, who died in 2012 at age 86 from complications of pneumonia, spent the last decade of his life in the nearly 4,800-square-foot mansion in the posh Outpost Estates neighborhood of Los Angeles. He bought the home for just under $150,000 in 1977, according to property records.
That’s about $620,000 in 2017 dollars, still a shockingly small figure compared to today’s typical seven-figure luxury home prices in the neighborhood, pointed out Variety, which first reported the sale.
In 2003, Vidal transferred ownership of the home to a trust under his name and that of his long-time partner, Howard Austen, records show, just a few months before Austen died of brain cancer.
Vidal, who authored more than 80 books, movie scripts and plays, fancied himself the last of a breed of celebrity literary figures. His home first went up for sale in 2015. The listing for the 1929 Hollywood house invoked a haughty nostalgia for a bygone era reminiscent of its last resident.
“Legendary Hollywood estate filled with romance and charm,” is how the listing from Kurt Rappaport of Westside Estate Agency described it. “Rarely do homes with this architecture, land, location and history ever become available.”
The property underwent a number of price cuts since its first listing price of $5.695 million, despite its pedigree. It was reduced to $4.15 million in September 2016 before selling earlier this month for $400,000 less. Publicly available property records don’t currently list the name of the new owner.
The five-bedroom, five-bathroom Mediterranean-style home opens with a dramatic two-story entry with ironwork railings running up a sweeping staircase. The foyer leads into a living room with coffered ceilings and French doors that open onto the backyard, with a guest house, gardens and a pool, according to the listing.
Befitting Vidal, the home has a bookcase-lined, wood-paneled library on the first floor, along with a separate office upstairs. The house also sold with original tilework and hand-carved fireplaces.