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OPULENCE & SPLENDOUR

Luxury and the artsFrom houses to cars and from Hockney to van Dyck, a profile of the best and the worst

Tarred by Paparazzi

The bonfire sale of a monster of a mansion that has had a $15 million price reduction

 

A property was first built at 10425 West Sunset Boulevard in Lower Bel Air, Los Angeles in 1936. Here, in this most exclusive of districts, the homes of the prosperous residents are hidden from view and this address, this day, is no exception.

 

One of the original owners of a house on this site, which has a main access from the cul-de-sac Revuelta Way, was William R. Wilkerson (1890 – 1962), a nightclub owner and founder of The Hollywood Reporter. A compulsive gambler, he is also credited with contributing to Hollywood’s “Golden Era” through the venues he opened. These included Vendome, Café Tocadero, Sunset House, Ciro’s, LaRue, L’Aiglon and most famously The Flamingo Hotel. An involvement here with the ruthless gangster Ben “Bugsy” Siegel (1906 – 1947) turned sour in 1946 and resulted in him having to flee to Paris in fear of his life. Siegel’s death allowed him to return to Los Angeles in 1947 and having “quit gambling cold turkey” following the birth of a son in 1951, he led a much quieter life. He is remembered as being a man who preferred his “beloved French poodles to any wife or friend.”

 

Media mogul William R. Wilkerson (1890 – 1962) pictured with Marilyn Monroe (1926 – 1962)
American film personality and the publisher of “The Hollywood Reporter” Beatrice “Tichi” Wilkerson Kassel (1926 – 2004)

Wilkerson is first recorded as living at 10425 West Sunset Boulevard in the 1940 California Census with his fourth wife, Estelle Jackson Brown. He subsequently remained there with his fifth wife, Vivian DuBois, and sixth wife Beatrice “Tichi” Noble. After his death, Tichi Wilkerson (1926 – 2004) sold first 10425 West Sunset Boulevard and then, in 1988, The Hollywood Reporter for $26,700,000.

 

Greg Bautzer (1911 – 1987) with Ginger Rogers (1911 – 1995)

Another famous owner of 10425 West Sunset Boulevard was a “celebrity attorney” named Greg Bautzer (1911 – 1987). Bautzer is best known for having represented not only William R. Wilkerson but also Ginger Rogers, Ingrid Bergman, Joan Crawford, Kirk Kerkorian and Howard Hughes. He is described as having been “as dashing and popular as any successful Hollywood movie star” and was engaged to but did not marry the actresses Barbara Payton, Lana Turner and Dorothy Lamour. He did, however, make the actress Dana Wynter his second wife in 1956, then Buffy Cobb Chapman and finally Nicola Dantine. This “man-about-Beverly Hills,” it seems, was indeed plainly a magnet for anything dramatic.

 

Philanthropist and Bernini owner Yousuf Tar

The current owner of the house, which is now somewhat ludicrously named Chateau d’Or or The House of Gold, is a man named Yousuf Tar. The president of the “faux-Italian mall fixture Bernini men’s clothing [company],” bought 10425 West Sunset Boulevard in 1992 for $6,000,000 and set about creating what his realtor, Sally Forster Jones, calls a “cross between The White House and Versailles.” The resulting remodeled residence isn’t quite either but frankly combines a mixture of one of the palaces of the deceased tyrant Colonel Gadaffi and the set of Dynasty.

 

The gaudy gates to Chateau d’Or, 10425 West Sunset Boulevard, Bel Air, Los Angeles, California, CA 90077, USA are an indication of the “tackiness” that lies behind
A 600ft main driveway leads to the front of the house from Revuelta Way. Secondary access comes from West Sunset Boulevard.
The garden elevation of the Chateau d’Or
The exterior of Chateau d’Or is anything but understated

Decorated throughout in a white and gold, the aim of the redesign was to create the look of an 18th century palace complete with acres of marble, columns, cupolas, gold leaft and mouldings. Instead, the interpretation looks more Chigwell-esque than Parisian and has simply attracted criticism and mockery. An example, such as this from Curbed.com, gives a guide to the opinion of the majority about this ugly monstrosity:

 

“[The mansion] houses some of the cheapest-looking French-inspired interiors ever made, highlighted (or, rather, lowlighted) by a towering, clunky fireplace and a cartoon-worthy master suite, with gilded everything. Even San Simeon’s William Randolph Hearst would object to this level of pointless expenditure.”

 

The dining hall is currently furnished with a $300,000 table capable of seating upto eighty for a formal dinner. With an entirely gold dinner service, realtor Sally Forster Jones comments: “Food tastes so much better off gold.”
The opulent meets gaudy theme continues with a marble hallway and staircase
A sitting room fit for Saddam Hussein
Chateau d’Or’s double height media room is supposedly “styled like an opera house”
The master bedroom suite is as nearly as large as most homes and is some 5,000 square foot in size
No restraint is shown in the choice of bathroom fittings either

Chateau d’Or, according to the listing on Forster Jones’s website, features 25,953 square foot of living space with 15 bedrooms and 16.5 bathrooms. There is a vast dining hall capable of seating upto 80 for a formal dinner which currently features a $300,000 dining table and a 1,600 square foot “oversized gourmet kitchen” complete with 800 square foot of cupboards, an “indoor sunlit gazebo” and a double Viking oven. A double height media room styled as an opera house has also been created and there’s also a cigar and wine tasting room. The Chateau d’Or is nothing other than a “home” on a lavish and ludicrous scale.

 

The pool sits alongside a 6-bedroomed guest house
Chateau d’Or also has it’s own championship tennis court
One of numerous terraces

In addition to a swimming pool, spa and gym, Chateau d’Or also has a championship tennis court, guest accommodation and 1.7 acres of grounds. Accessed by a 600ft driveway and surrounded by privacy walls plainly designed to keep prying eyes out, the house featured in Lady Gaga’s 2009 video for her song Paparazzi. Mr Tar plainly isn’t that private at all.

 

Lady Gaga filmed the video for her 2009 song “Paparazzi” at Chateau d’Or
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (AKA Lady Gaga) in one of the “cheap looking” chairs at Chateau d’Or

Not shy of renting the house out for other purposes, it has also been used for a photoshoot for Versace, a television advert for Foot Locker and Addidas starring Ken Jeong and as a venue for a Dubai themed party for Donald Trump where Christina Aguilera performed.

 

Ken Jeong in a 2010 advert for Foot Locker and Addidas at Chateau d’Or
Donald Trump, Sr. with his daughter Ivanka Trump and son Donald Trump, Jr. at a party at Chateau d’Or

Yousuf Tar put Chateau d’Or on the market in 2009 for just shy of $40,000,000 and though Michael Jackson supposedly wanted to buy it to create a “new Neverland,” his sad demise meant that this fell through. Relisted repeatedly since and despite the best efforts of Sally Forster Jones, Chateau d’Or’s gaudiness plainly hasn’t appealed to the market.

 

You’d had to have been gaga to have paid $40,000,000 for Chateau d’Or

Reduced by nearly $15,000,000 to $25,000,000 this month, Chateau d’Or still doesn’t look like much of a bargain. Somehow, we suspect, it’ll have to be marked down a fair bit more before anyone’s even vaguely tempted.

 

For more information Chateau d’Or, 10425 West Sunset Boulevard, Bel Air, Los Angeles, California, CA 90077, USA contact Sally Forster Jones of the SFJ Group at +1 (310) 281 3999 or email her at: sally@sallyforsterjones.com

 

Visit the official website for the house at: http://www.lechateaudor.com

 

Watch a tour of Chateau d’Or by Sally Forster Jones at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjOAf_cfm0Q

 

Watch Lady Gaga’s Paparazzi video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2smz_1L2_0

 

For more information about William R. Wilkerson, go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Wilkerson

 

Read The Hollywood Reporter at: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com

 

For more details about Bernini, go to: http://www.bernini.com

Comments

12 comments on “Tarred by Paparazzi”

  1. This estate is not ugly nor tacky, this is a beautiful mansion. To some, this estate is like living in paradise! A lot of people wish they lived in a home that is referred to as house of gold! I know I wish that!

    1. It is tackily vulgar beyond belief. If I had money to burn, I’d tear it down and build something tasteful and elegant in its place.

  2. The architecture is great, the inside is over done to say the least, but it could be beautiful if it were toned down, way down. It’s a little pimpish at present. But it could be beautiful if the right decorator redid the inside
    All that cheesy gold is a bit much. I actually think it would be an interesting project. The pool is nice but that thing over the hot tub is WTF ? I don’t get it.
    And the big fountain would be better as a gazebo with a table and chairs. So you could sit and enjoy the gardens.
    The fountain is too large for the property. It needs another 2 acres for an approach and then maybe but for the size of the garden it’s way to big. If it were sitting on five acres the whole thing would seem ok but it’s out of proportion for the property size. It was 2.5 acres until someone got greedy and sold the extra land that was included, but now on just 1.7 acres it’s all too crammed into much to small of a space. And the price is now at $19,999,000.00 But it could be beautiful if it were done properly. I think it’s a great challenge for someone who knows what their doing.

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