Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

Arts and Entertainment

Photos: Gorgeous, Massive Craftsman Hidden In The Hills Comes With A Built-In Organ

Before you read more...
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

There's a beautiful Craftsman house—the largest in the country—hidden in the Hollywood Hills. It's on the market for nearly $10 million and among other amenities, it contains a huge, built-in pipe organ.

The house is known as Artemisia. The 13,290-square-foot Craftsman includes eight bedrooms, seven bathrooms and six fireplaces. The property contains a carriage house and a gate house, plus ponds, waterfalls and new landscaping. According to the property's website, this place's ballroom is the size of an average single-family home, and the dining room can accommodate 40. There's also an outdoor sleeping porch that contains five murphy beds. Perhaps the most unique selling point is the giant, Phantom of the Opera-worthy, built-in pipe organ. According to its listing, it's "art you can live in."

Artemesia is also very secluded. It's on a private road with a double-gate, and it sits on two acres of wooded property. It's apparently so quiet that "instead of car horns and traffic, the only sound you hear is a stone dislodged by a buck started by your presence."

The home was built in 1913 by Frederick Engstrum, the developer who built the Rosslyn Hotel downtown. Engstrum called on architect Frank A. Brown to design it, and Brown helped to install all of the most advanced technologies of the period—an electric intercom, central vacuuming and a rainwater collection system.

Support for LAist comes from

The house was purchased in 1987 by Leonard Fenton, who was then 27, and ran a lucrative advertising business, L.A. Magazine reports. Fenton said that this was before people coveted Craftsman houses and thought of them more as projects, so the sellers hadn't had much luck before Fenton showed interest. Fenton would spend the next several years making renovations, many of them designed to restore the home to its original glory, such as matching tile colors when fixing up a bedroom fireplace. There's also a recently-remodeled kitchen and new landscaping, plus modern renovations to the pool infrastructure. There's currently no pool, but definitely space to place one.

At one point, Artemesia's carriage house was for rent for $1,995, according to Curbed LA.

According to Fenton's blog, Mary M. Costello took possession of the house in 1917. Costello was the window of Martin Costello, a wealthy businessman who had killed himself in 1911 after struggling with an illness. The property stayed with Costello and her children until 1943, when Myrtle Caroline Ubsdell became the owner. Very little is known about Ubsdell. In 1964, George Herbert Krauth and his wife Johanna Nielson Krauth, who may have been Ubsdell's caretakers, moved into the home. Krauth died in 1981 and his wife—whose siblings included actresses Marian Marsh and Jeanne Fenwick—remained there alone. Fenton then purchased the house in 1987.

Apparently, the Counting Crows briefly rented the home in the '90s while recording the album Recovering the Satellites, according to Today.