This autumn, the murmurs of Casa Encantada—an estate of prewar providence nestled in the bosom of Bel-Air—whisper through the annals of the affluent, unfurling its splendor to the echelons of the marketplace for a sum of $195 million. The home belonged to late communications tycoon Gary Winnick, who passed away earlier this month. The beacon of opulence, once poised at $250 million, and even at $225 million in years past, persists in its stature as a paragon of luxury real estate.
From rich local lore emerges Casa Encantada, conceived by a widow’s ambition and blossoming into fruition in the waning years of the 1930s. It was a harbinger among the region’s trophy estates, later cradled by the likes of hotel magnate Conrad Hilton and thereafter by Dole Foods impresario David Murdock, until Gary Winnick clasped it for $94 million as the millennium dawned.
The estate, a conjuration of contemporary and Georgian architectural alchemy spanning 40,000 square feet, has since been delicately reinvigorated in a masterstroke of preservation. Surrounded by an expanse of verdant eight acres that courts the links of Bel-Air Country Club, the demesne boasts a pantheon of al fresco splendors: a regal tennis court, a stately swimming pool, and an edifice of leisure—its pool house.
Within the mansion’s embrace, artistry meets heritage—an elegant foyer, a stately dining hall of magnanimous heights, a library swathed in walnut, and numerous chambers, each awash with the opulence of a bygone era, harmonizing with the sylvan allure of its gardens, pavilions, and courts. Casa Encantada stands not only as a touchstone of Los Angeles architecture but as a testament to grandeur that pulses with life beneath the Californian sun.
Should the estate find a suitor willing to match its lofty proposition, it may eclipse previous records, nigh on the heels—or perhaps even soaring beyond—the stratospheric purchase by hedge fund virtuoso Ken Griffin, whose acquisition of a vertical dwelling in Manhattan set the deliberate stone at $238 million. In the annals of singular domestic transactions, Casa Encantada may yet unfurl its flag as the zenith of American homestead acquisitions.