The Red House on Rivas
3,823 Sqft - 919 Rivas Canyon, Pacific Palisades, California 90272
Nestled under a canopy of majestic, old oak and sycamore trees on just over an acre of land, rests a vestige of Rivas Canyon’s storied past. Originally built in 1940 by a renowned furniture maker and subsequently owned by notable celebrities, the home has been recently preserved and restored with meticulous attention to its history and inspiration. Its understated elegance and charm is complemented by the private, park like grounds, magical gardens and meandering paths through oak, citrus, and blossoming trees. The sensual experience of this spirited, sylvan setting provides an inviting respite from the pace of the nearby city.
The rooms are distinguished by handcrafted wood detail and paneling, wood floors, and walls of windows overlooking the lush setting. The kitchen has a center island, cathedral ceilings and a custom-made glass and steel door opening to the expansive patio with fire pit and pergola covered dining area. The private spa looks out on the generous lawn area with a privacy hedge of towering poplar trees. A pathway leads you through the wooded landscape with spots for play, respite and reflection to a private, gated access to the street above, only blocks to Caruso’s soon to be completed Village Center.
3 bedrooms, 3.5 Baths
Formal Dining Room overlooking terrace
Workshop/Gym off of carport
2 separate 1 Bedroom, 1 bath suites
Originally part of Will Rogers’ estate, Rivas Canyon once housed a row of simple cabins that were home to his stable hands. It is now an exclusive enclave accessed by a private road with direct access to the hiking trails of Temescal Canyon, Topanga and Will Rogers State Parks. Zoned for horses, Rivas Canyon is one of the few locations enabling horse enthusiasts to locally board and then ride their horses to the equestrian facilities at Will Rogers.
The Rivas Story
One of only sixteen addresses on a private, creek-side lane, the Red House on Rivas offers a sense of seclusion and privacy that is unsurpassed in Pacific Palisades. Once a part of the vast estate belonging to Will Rogers, Rivas Canyon is graced by a canopy of trees, has large lots zoned for horses, and ends at the trail head for the horse and bridle path to Will Rogers Park and also Topanga State Park. The equestrian facilities at Will Rogers are free to the public, but since the stables have been closed, only the homeowners of Rivas Canyon have walking access for their horses to Will Rogers Park and the Will Rogers Trails.
919 Rivas Canyon was the original estate property on the street. It is a replica of a Connecticut Salt Box and is referred to by the locals as “The Red House.” Many of its details were hand crafted by its owner/builder, Avery Rennick, a renowned furniture maker with a devoted clientele that included John Wayne. He reputedly copied the paneled walls in the Living Room from a display in the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The home has a been a refuge and gathering place for some of Hollywood’s elite. Oscar-winner, Myrna Loy purchased the home from Rennick, and then shared it with her husband Gene Markey and his daughter, Melinda.
According to Emily Lieder in her book “Myrna Loy, The Only Good Girl in Hollywood”, Loy enjoyed the garden as it reminded her of the garden her grandmother kept when Loy was a child. As Myrna and her husband traveled the world, the home was rented to more Hollywood luminaries, including George Sanders who voiced the role of Shere Khan in The Jungle Book and his bride, Zsa Zsa Gabor. Loy sold the home in 1963 to Jean Holloway, a principal writer and creator of “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” and her actor husband Dan Tobin. They expanded the home, enhancing the creative spirit that inspired them and their predecessors. Upon Holloway’s passing, the home was purchased in 1991 by another Hollywood screen writer, Gary Goldman and his architect wife, Judith Wyle. They added their own artistic touch to the home while raising a family, writing scripts and enjoying, in Judith’s words, “Rivas Canyon’s mild microclimate.”
The current owners have embraced the history and character of this enchanting home, renovating it while preserving the integrity of its architecture. The grounds have been lovingly nurtured and enhanced, with a path leading through the grounds to an exclusive gateway to the street above, providing easy access to the Alphabet Streets and Caruso’s soon to be completed Village Center.
Nestled amidst majestic oaks and sycamores, and park-like grounds that blossom year-round, this magical street with its large properties, stables and trailheads provides an ideal setting for calm reflection and artistic expression.