In our third Labor Day in California, we had no plans. Previous years the long weekend has been climbing in Squamish or visiting Mammoth Lakes. After the guilt of missing an opportunity to spend three days in the Sierra passed, we focussed on being ‘tourists in our own town’.
LA is a big ‘town’ so I narrowed it down. On the Sunday Dikko and I visited a trio of interesting houses, located conveniently (see map at the end of this post) to make a great afternoon of cruisy exploration.
First Stop: The Murder House – 1120 Westchester Place, Los Angeles
We knew about this from the first season of American Horror Story, a television show that ensures you check behind your shower curtain before going to bed! The house has been used in a number of other productions including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Twilight Zone, Dexter, and the more cuddly Seabiscuit movie. There is also a private recording studio inside!
Built in 1902 its real name is Roesenheim Mansion. The house has a huge prescence and sits on land that’s not seen a garden for many years. A chain-link fence is up on the eastern side, however the front view is uninhibited. We saw a few other people taking a look so it’s not uncommon for the public to have a nosey.
If the thought of the tv show doesn’t keep you away, the trespassing signs and huge security cameras will be sure to keep your feet firmly on the footpath. Rumor has it the house has been difficult to sell…
The best way to see what’s inside is via these photos.
Second Stop: Greystone Mansion – 905 Loma Vista Drive, Beverly Hills
Get your bling on and switch off any awareness of California’s drought, this stately residence sits on enough land (16 acres) it’s probably valued the same as Australia. The mansion was completed in 1928 and, after numerous owners, it’s now a public park and film location (including X-Men, The Witches of Eastwick, Austin Powers Goldmember, and The Big Lebowski).
We parked and wandered about the grounds, keeping a distance from the main building which was hosting a theatre event. Quite the tudor and English grandeur, there are numerous buildings and gardens to explore and a gigantic lawn area where we saw people enjoying some shade.
Greystone Mansion is pretty impressive and has views to downtown LA. If you plan on visiting and walking the grounds wear comfortable shoes. There are signs for no photography or filming however these appear to be for professionals requiring a permit. Lastly, it’s possible to see inside the buildings via a pre-booked tour, so like many things in California, I’ll add it to the list.
Third Stop: Mosaic House – Corner of 26th Street and California Avenue, Santa Monica
This private residence in Santa Monica shows the commitment some people make to their home a piece of art. The building, a 1930s bungalow, has been covered in tiles for the past 13 years to make it what it is today. In addition, there are ornaments, picture tiles, depictions of animals, and apple trees. We only stopped for a short time, not wanting to linger around someone’s home, but I’m sure the owners would be used to the attention with the creation they’ve made.
I really enjoyed a change of scene and learning more about Los Angeles through these three houses. To visit the trio, or one that takes your fancy in particular, here’s a map. Enjoy!