Peek Into The Past Of Hollywood’s Intriguing Homes


The Insider: David Silverman of L.A. House Histories

After spending nearly two decades practicing entertainment law, attorney David Silverman followed his passion for architecture. Now, he creates custom books on some of L.A.’s most intriguing homes. Commissions have come from realtors and residents, all wanting to dig into the background of their living spaces. To date, he’s explored Frank Sinatra’s Holmby Hills property (above) and Shirley Temple’s Brentwood estate, among others; he’s currently researching movie mogul David O. Selznick’s 1933 Beverly Hills abode and architect John Lautner’s Chemosphere house. Here, he shares insights gleaned along the way.

Design must-sees: Some terrific buildings also offer striking views: the Stahl House (Case Study House No. 22) in the Hollywood Hills, Adamson House in Malibu and the observation deck at Los Angeles City Hall.

Your favorite historic neighborhoods: Los Feliz and Whitley Heights–such Old Hollywood character.

Off the beaten path: Old Ranch Road in Mandeville Canyon has 1940s Cliff May houses with stables facing the road. At the end of the street, walk up a narrow trail to Sullivan Canyon for great hiking.

Handy resources: Sam Watters’ two-volume set, Houses of Los Angeles, and Richard Alleman’s Hollywood: The Movie Lover’s Guide: The Ultimate Insider Tour of Movie L.A., which revealed historic architecture as well as the stories behind the buildings.