A 1920s Los Angeles mansion built for a silent movie star


Location: Santa Monica, Los Angeles County

price: $ 10,995,000

This beachfront villa was built in the Spanish colonial style in the 1920s for a star of Hollywood’s Golden Era.

Located on Santa Monica State Beach, Villa del Sol overlooks the Pacific Ocean as the garden gate opens onto the sand. Designed by architect John Byers for American silent film actress Constance Alice Talmadge in 1928, it has a number of original features and finishes. The house has been owned by New York hedge fund manager Jeff Feinberg for two years, said co-listing agent Dan Malka.

The white stucco villa style property offers classic Mediterranean design and a relaxed coastal atmosphere. Byers created many Spanish colonial houses on site and was considered a master of style. In his own workshop, he made unique hand-made items for this, including the iron banister up to the third floor.

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The interior of the house is light and airy, with arched French doors and windows and high ceilings, including a 13 foot exposed vaulted beam ceiling in the master bedroom. It features original embossed clay ceiling tiles, terracotta floor tiles, open fireplaces, a copper freestanding bathroom from the original owner, and modern additions such as colorful decorative tiles.

The house has a flowing floor plan and a light and airy ambience mixed with handcrafted decorative details.


The entrance courtyard leads you to Marrakech with its colorful tiles, a water fountain, a hardwood staircase with a mezzanine and a metal door. “When you enter the house and listen to the water from the well, you immediately feel like you are in a Moroccan riad,” says Malka. “The wooden stairs and the balcony around the terrace give the house a unique Spanish character.”

According to Mr. Malka, the sea view is the best feature of the house. The bedrooms “with their ocean-view windows and balconies are a unique experience that brings peace and serenity to anyone who walks in,” he said, adding that the landscaped garden, with its walls of jasmine, bougainvillea, dragon trees, palm trees, and hibiscus as well edible basil and banana peppers.

The terrace with fireplace and built-in grill is ideal for dining and relaxing after sunset.


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The 6,485-square-foot home sits on 8,392-square-foot lot that includes 2,800-square-foot gardens bordering Santa Monica State Beach. The home has seven bedrooms (including two primary oceanfront bedrooms) and six bathrooms.


The Villa del Sol has a terrace with sea views and a balcony off the two master bedrooms and a 12 m long heated salt water pool on the property. It has a 850-square-foot entertainment room on the third floor with high ceilings and exposed beams, an 85-inch TV, built-in Sonos sound system, and a wet bar. The property has a fire pit, grill, garage for two Cars, an entrance gate with security alarms and floodlights.

Wooden garden gates open directly onto the sand and offer a view of the sea beyond.


Design notes

The current home has approved plans and permits from the City of Santa Monica to build a modern beachfront home on the site that would retain the facade of the Pacific Coast Highway for historical reasons, Mr. Malka said.

Neighborhood notes

The house is on “a very rare and sought-after strip of Palisades Beach Road in Santa Monica,” said Malka. “You open the gates and you can literally walk on the sand.”

Brokers: Dan Malka and Yohann Bensimon from the real estate group Ikon Capital Advisors

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