Director Luc Besson seeks $14.9 million for Charlton Heston’s longtime California estate

For only the second time since it was commissioned in 1959, the
former Los Angeles compound of the late Hollywood icon Charlton
Heston has popped up for sale. Designed by modernist architect
William S. Beckett, the Oscar-winning “Ben-Hur” star lived in
the strikingly angular house for nearly a half-century, until his
2008 death.

Tucked high into the mountains above Beverly Hills and situated
on a knoll atop the area’s Coldwater and Franklin Canyons, the
Beverly Hills Post Office property remained owned by the Heston
family until early 2016. In January of that year, it was sold for
$12.2 million to prolific French film director/screenwriter Luc
Besson, perhaps best-known to American audiences for the 2014
Scarlett Johansson smash hit “Lucy,” which grossed nearly $500
million worldwide.

Almost exactly four years since that last transfer, the compound
has returned to the open market with a $14.9 million pricetag.
Current listing images suggest Besson never actually moved into the
multi-structure property — the entire place is currently midway
through an extensive renovation, with much of the main house gutted
and exposed to the elements. City-approved plans included with the
listing show that Besson intended to radically overhaul and expand
the existing compound into a major estate with 14,600 square feet
of living space; for unknown reasons, however, he’s opted to
apply the brakes on construction and divest himself of the

The prime 2.9-acre lot sits off a busy road but remains
admirably private, secluded down an exceptionally long driveway and
behind electronic gates, with a motorcourt that can easily
accommodate ten vehicles. There are views directly over Franklin
Canyon and private trails from the backyard down into that scenic
hiking sanctuary.

During Heston’s lifetime, the main house sported vast walls of
glass, an irregularly shaped living room with a massive fieldstone
fireplace, and a double-height library with a floating staircase
clinging to a curved wall of towering bookshelves. There also was
(and still is) a relatively small, trapezoid-shaped infinity pool
with an old-fashioned diving board. A separate accessory building
wraps itself around the property’s tennis court and includes a
staff bedroom suite, plus a screening room and a three-story,
elevator-equipped photography studio.

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The estate’s next owner could certainly opt to continue
Besson’s pricey renovation of the premises, and all of those
plans will be transferred in the sale. But at this price point, it
seems more likely that a deep-pocketed buyer will want to put their
own custom stamp on the site. And given that the house is being
marketed as a “development opportunity” — typically also
known as a teardown in realtor-speak — it seems a distinct
possibility that the former Heston estate will soon be little more
than a bygone memory of the past.

Brett Lawyer of Hilton & Hyland holds the listing.

Source: FS – All – Real Estate News 1
Director Luc Besson seeks .9 million for Charlton Heston’s longtime California estate