Howard Hughes’ former estate in Hancock Park lists for $23M

Landmark Spanish Revival mansion was featured in Martin Scorsese’s “Aviator”

Howard Hughes and 211 South Muirfield Road in Los Angeles
Howard Hughes and 211 South Muirfield Road in Los Angeles (Google Maps, Getty)

“Howard Hughes lived here.”

That’s the larger-than-life selling point for a Spanish Revival landmark estate once owned by the eccentric movie mogul and aviation pioneer, now listed at 211 South Muirfield Road in Hancock Park, the Wall Street Journal reported. The price: $23 million.

The sellers of the 10,200-square-foot home on the eighth hole at Wilshire Country Club are Ash Shah, a former movie producer turned restaurateur, and his wife Niroupa. They bought the house in 2012 for $6.3 million.

The eight-bedroom, 12-bathroom home, built in 1926, was designed by Roland Coate for wealthy socialite Eva Fudger.

Hughes rented the two-story home in 1929, before buying it for $135,000. He lived there for more than a decade while he produced such films as “Hell’s Angels” and “Scarface,” set a transcontinental airspeed record and romanced Katharine Hepburn.

Hepburn lived with Hughes in the Hancock Park home. He also had several phone lines added for his various love interests, according to “Hughes: The Private Diaries, Memos and Letters.” He lived there until the 1940s, when he moved out and claimed to be a resident of Texas to skirt California income taxes. He died in 1976.

His former estate was featured in Martin Scorsese’s 2004 film “The Aviator,” about Hughes’ time in Hollywood. 

When the Shahs bought the mansion, only one room had air conditioning and the house was “chopped up” into smaller rooms, with servants’ quarters. They launched an 18-month renovation. 

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The Shahs built a family room off the kitchen, added an outdoor kitchen and pizza oven and replaced the pool, according to the Journal. They preserved original details such as the hardwood floors, beamed ceilings and tiles. They rebuilt the front door based on original plans.

The estate includes Hughes’ basement vault, turned into a 2,500-bottle wine cellar, which has the original vault door set off to the side. The wooden gates to the property have the original hydraulic system created by Hughes engineers. Because the hydraulics no longer work, the gates must be opened by hand.

Wood paneling in Hughes’ former library has been painted with black lacquer and turned into a media room. Gold ceramic tiles and a brass countertop were added to the kitchen.

The white mansion topped by a red-tiled roof comes with a cobblestone courtyard and a guest apartment above a three-car garage. The Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

F. Ron Smith and David Berg of the Smith & Berg Partners team at Compass hold the listing.

    “Owning an architectural gem by Roland E. Coate is a rare privilege, but to possess one perfectly situated on the eighth green of Wilshire Country Club, thoughtfully restored, reimagined and modernized for the next century, was once non-existent until now,” Smith told Robb Report.

    — Dana Bartholomew

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