Word has recently come down the wire that the former estate of Martin Bekins, co-founder of the venerable Bekins Van & Storage Co., has hit the market for the first time since 1965. What is surprising to many is that this estate is not located in Beverly Hills, Pasadena or Bel-Air, but rather in the charming but not exactly tony district of Eagle Rock, an area not known as a home for captains of industry. But what is really raising real estate eyebrows is its asking price: just under $6,000,000. No home in Eagle Rock has ever even come close to garnering such a price and the wags have been out in force laying odds over what they think the estate will actually go for.
If one were to pay such a price for an Eagle Rock house, surely this would be the one. Known in recent years as Chateau Emanuel, the impressive home, said to be Eagle Rock’s largest, is sited on a 3.5 acre hilltop at the end of Hill Drive and is surrounded by manicured gardens, waterfalls, fountains, an enormous swimming pool, three guest houses, koi pond, croquet court, wine tasting room, performance center, billiards and fitness room, and, yes, something no home should be with out – its own bistro and parking for 40+ cars. It is an unusual house, to say the least, and it will take a special buyer, a special buyer with $6,000,000 of course.
If you’d like more information, Eastsider L.A. has done a bang up job on the home’s full history and all the pictures you could ever want are on current owner Robert Kvassay’s Flickr photostream. Take a look. It’s worth it. And if that’s still not enough, here’s the Redfin listing. Like what you see? Better get out the checkbook and call a mover, Bekins perhaps?
Martin Bekins and his brother John founded the famous company back in 1891 in Sioux City, Iowa. In 1894, Martin brought Bekins to Los Angeles. In 1927, after turning the business over to his children, Bekins built his Eagle Rock estate and divided his time between the house @ 1550 (1554) Hill Drive and a summer house up in Belmont. It was while visiting up north that Bekins died, at age 71, in 1933.
Before Bekins moved to Eagle Rock, the long time family homestead was located down at 1341 South Figueroa Street in West Adams. In the late 1800’s Figueroa Street was one of, if not the, most fashionable street in Los Angeles lined with some of the city’s finest homes. Today, most of these homes are gone and the Bekins house is no exception, but here’s a photo taken of it showing the three Bekins girls in their smart matching outfits that appeared in Pictorial California in 1931. It is interesting to note the similarities in style between the old and new Bekins houses (at least to me).
Lastly, take a gander at another Bekins residence, the Bel-Air home of Floyd R. Bekins @ 301 Copa De Oro Road, designed by San Francisco architect F. Eugene Barton in 1934. Clearly, there is money in moving.