In 2007, producer Sidney Kimmel picked up Johnny Carson’s famed Malibu retreat for around $45 million. He initially listed it for sale in late 2017, for $81.5 million; last summer found it asking $65.2 million.
This month, the property sold, but for considerably less than its ask: $40 million. And that, dear friends, sums up the current status of the high-dollar residential real estate market in the Los Angeles area.
But the home is too stylized to appeal broadly, and that may have been part of the problem. It’s liltingly lovely and expressive, with an astonishingly vibrant, lush and optimistic living style, but for contemporary tastes—which favor a distillation of emotion, and chilly, muted expression—it may be considered effusive.
A parklike seaside estate commanding superb views of Point Dume, the property meanders through knee-bucklingly romantic interior and exterior living spaces; taken together, the house and its grounds are a remarkably cohesive and revealing window into a bygone era. It’s absolutely a 1970s ideal, combining ruthless modern geometry with the wild abandon of a Miltonian Eden.
Sleeping accommodations are limited; the design only called for a master suite. The remainder of the 7,100 square feet are given over to reinforcing the estate’s living style, with an arboretum, water features, and a magnificent staircase all featuring heavily. Glass walls constantly reference the intense beauty of the landscaping.
The property comes with deeded beach access, of course, making the four acres of grounds an embarkation point, too. Spectacular.
Kimmel is well on his way to achieving his goal of donating $1 billion, having donated hundreds of millions so far.