Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Witch’s House

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Fairytales are real, you know…evidence exists…if you know where to look…

On a quiet, little corner in Beverly Hills…

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…just inches away from this…

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…and this…

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…lies this…

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…the Spadena House, also known as the Witch’s House…a whimsical bit of old Hollywood yet standing…

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image  Designed by Harry Oliver—a Hollywood art director--in 1921, it originally stood in Culver City, and was used for dressing rooms and offices for a movie studio…also as scenery in  an early film or two…

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Here it’s shown while still on the Willat Studio lot, surrounded by crew members for the film “Face of the World”, in 1921.

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It was moved to it’s little corner in Beverly Hills in the 1930’s, became a private residence, and has been restored to it’s former glory by it’s current owner…and it IS quite glorious!

This has long been one of my favorite of the “Storybook Houses”…and I finally got to see it in person…

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Usually one to shy away from lurking around famous places, I lost all reservation (on our recent visit to Los Angeles), when my Dad suggested we drive by—knowing I loved this kind of thing…

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It was starting to get dark when we arrived, so my photos aren’t the best, but it was all so magical, I promise you…

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The charming little side gate that first greeted me upon leaving the car…looks like something you’d find at Disneyland, doesn’t it?  In fact, it’s said that this house might have been an inspiration for Disney’s concept of  “imagineering”…

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…a close-up of the medieval-looking lantern hanging next to the gate…perfect…

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Just look at the beautifully crafted front door…don’t you just love the door bell!

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And oh! the shutters!  If you look closely, you’ll also see that the chimney and stovepipe are a bit wonky…done purposefully, of course!

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…a closer peek at one of the upper dormer window…look how that chimney seems to be “melting” into those fabulous ramshackly shingles!

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…the landscaping was incredible, and so well thought out…fantasy mixed with just a bit of eery…here we see the bridged lily pond in front of the house…

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There were cleverly made signs here & there… “no trespassing”…in creepy red letters…can you just imagine how much fun this place is for trick-or-treaters on Halloween?!

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My daughter Annie was enjoying “lurking” with me…

I kept trying, despite the lack of sunlight, to get some pictures beyond the fence…wonderful inner gates…leading to a dreamy courtyard, perhaps?

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Little fairy lights here & there on the walls…each with a different colored light…gold, green, red…oooooh!

Here’s one more shot taken in my attempt to visually “trespass” the beautiful grounds…

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The sun was setting quickly…the family was waiting patiently in the car to go to dinner…reluctantly, time to leave…

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If you ever get the chance to stop by the Witch’s House, please do so as the sun is going down, the full moon is on the rise…

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…do your share of peeking, lurking, imagining over the cobblestone walls…

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…thoughts of the fairytales of your childhood will flit through your mind…Snow White, Hansel and Gretel…the Wicked Witch…

magic

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See you soon with something new…

Julie

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{My own photos of the house and grounds are watermarked; all others were either taken from my copy of the book “Storybook Style”, by Gellner & Keister, or found online}