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LAistory: All That's Left is the Story

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LAistory is our new series that will take us on a journey to what came before to help us understand where we are today. We began with Val Verde, the "Black Palm Springs", then journeyed to Thelma Todd's Roadside Cafe, and now we're looking at where a house once stood in Beverly Hills...


The piece of property at 9755 Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills sat empty for a good twenty years. I have some vague memory of a pale green house boarded up for years before it was condemned and destroyed.

At one time, the house was a massive Italian villa, sitting on a fairly sizable piece of property, as is common on the north side of Sunset Boulevard before Beverly Hills turns into West Hollywood just after North Sierra Drive (you can tell when the buttery smooth pavement of BH hits the ruts and potholes of West Hollywood -- the sound of money vanishing.)

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At some point, it was bought by a newly married Arabian couple. They commissioned a number of area artisans to do a huge amount of elaborate and costly work -- gold plated fixtures were to be put into the bathrooms, along with a huge amount of tile work, expensive marbles and an outer wall made of river stone.

There were a number of statues on the property -- nudes -- which were painted in true to life hues, causing quite a scandal. The city insisted that the paint be removed.

Near the end of the construction, they threw a huge party and everyone in Beverly Hills was invited, including everyone who had worked on the house. Afterward, one of the dads of the couple came and whisked them back to Saudi Arabia. The debts for the work that the had done on the house were never paid.