“Castillo del Mar” is more than just a beautiful estate in the Pacific Palisades with unobstructed, white water views. It’s also the site where famed Hollywood starlet Thelma Todd was found in 1935, unconscious behind the wheel of her Lincoln in one of the lower garages, her death officially ruled a suicide.
Todd was a hugely popular comedienne who often appeared alongside the Marx Brothers and Zasu Pitts. She was also a successful restaurateur and mistress to Roland West, who owned the property. Carbon monoxide poisoning was the named culprit in Todd’s death, though she had two cracked ribs, a broken nose, and bruises around her throat. Adding to the mystery is the fact that the list of suspects is anything but short, plus she had romantic ties to Lucky Luciano.
“The story behind this property is as rich and unique as the interior finishes and materials,” said Listing Agent Dan Urbach of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties. “This is a piece of history that is also set on over a half acre of land overlooking the Pacific. It would be an understatement to say it is a rare and unprecedented opportunity.”
The estate stretches across a hillside in the Castellammare neighborhood, on six separate parcels of land. Designed and constructed in 1927 by renowned architect Nathaniel Coleman, the property includes a two-bedroom main house with a breathtaking ocean-view Great Room, a library, two attached guest suites and a studio/chauffeur’s quarters with separate street access.
The original fixtures and finishes are one-of-a-kind and simply not available with new construction. Leaded and stained glass windows, hand-carved wood doors, and original art deco tiles can be found throughout the property. The ocean-view great room/formal dining area is indicative of the focus on quality materials and craftsmanship. It features 25’ ceilings with solid redwood beams, peg and groove oak floors, hand carved wood banisters, Spanish tile, and a massive wood burning fireplace as the centerpiece.
“The entire property is terraced such that panoramic ocean views can be enjoyed from most of the rooms, multiple patios, balconies and outdoor living spaces,” adds Urbach, a Luxury Properties Specialist whose name is synonymous with the marketing and sale of coastal estates and fine homes in the Pacific Palisades.