Our Latest “House of Mystery” is a Beauty

OK, put your detective hat on because it’s time for another House of Mystery!

This one is a real beauty, a great 1930’s Georgian Colonial that could be a Coate, Dolena or Williams. Here’s what I know of the house – It was the residence of the vivacious blonde Sally Eilers during at least part of her marriage to producer Harry Joe Brown, one of her four husbands. My research indicates the house was in Beverly Hills, but I haven’t found an address. Here’s the clues found on the back: It states that the photo is an RKO Radio Pictures photo taken by Ernest A. Bachrach and copyrighted 1939. There is a stamp on the back that says “Screenland June 1939,” which would indicate to me the issue of that magazine the photo appeared in. But, alas, I don’t have a copy of that issue. Adding to the mystery is that someone has written “Bette Davis Home” as well for reasons I am not clear. And someone else wrote “Sally Eilers?” As you see on the lower lefthand corner of the photo, the reference # is “SE – 146A,” which would indicate Eilers.

So where is it?!!! I’ll just bet one of you know!

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13 Responses to Our Latest “House of Mystery” is a Beauty

  1. Mary Mallory says:

    SE is the still code for Sally Eilers. I will check Eilers photo files and the magazine tomorrow at the Herrick.

  2. Well…you got me on a tear. No answer yet, but Harry & Sally seem to have been all over Beverly Hills in the ’30s and early ’40s… 609 N. Maple, 713 N. Linden, 513 N Sierra… none of which would work for this house. They seem to have split around ’43. There is an online reference to Harry having a house on N. Roxbury… so maybe if the house was on the slightly rising, curving block north of Sunset… but I don’t see any such house there now. Maybe it was replaced by a McMansion. Btw Sally’s parents, Peter & Paula Eilers, lived in a couple of cute Spanish Revival houses in the way down flats, one of which was at 223 S. Hamilton.

  3. srk1941 says:

    I tried, but got nothin’…. They were at 609 N. Maple in 1936, and at 513 Sierra in 1943, and neither of those homes are this one. I can’t find a 1939 address… Phooey.

    It sure is a beautiful house.

  4. srk1941 says:

    I spoke too soon!!!! It IS Paul R. Williams, and was or is on Mountain View Drive. The LA Times reported on July 18, 1937 that “construction of a new residence on Mountain View Drive, Beverly Hills, for Harry Joe Brown, motion picture producer, has been started. The structure, which will cost $40,000, was designed by Architect Paul R. Williams.”

  5. srk1941 says:

    Found it! Doing a flyover using Bing, I see that the house is still there, at 625 Mountain, Beverly Hills…

  6. Marvin Stone says:

    Hi Steve . . . I can’t be of any help on this, but what a classic beauty. It certainly looks like a Paul Williams creation to me. I hope it’s still standing on what looks like a magnificent site.

  7. Mary Mallory says:

    I looked at the magazine. It is a Paul Williams in Beverly HIlls, but it doesn’t give an address. I’m looking at her bio file now.

  8. srk1941 says:

    It looks like Nunnally Johnson lived here in later years, and had an interior by Billy Haines…

  9. Pingback: MYSTERY SOLVED IN RECORD TIME! | Paradise Leased

  10. David Ko says:

    I was recently at the Cherry Blossum festival in Descanso Garden. A house similar to this with angular wings depicting the Regency style was once the Boddy Estate encompassing the entire garden. It was a Dolena masterpiece. Upon studying the eave detail of your photo it is a lot closer to Paul R Williams.

  11. amanda says:

    Hi. Great articles! Where did you find the image of the house? And what journal was it published in?

  12. sharmagne says:

    I posted somewhere before I knew the mystery had been solved that I was friends with their son “Coco” Brown. He lived in the house until he was 4 years old. When I knew him he lived in the flats of Beverly Hills, possibly on Maple. I can ask his former wife. Coco died in 2006.

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