Architectural congruence had no place in early Los Angeles. Nowhere was this truer than on the famed Bellagio Road. The roaring twenties ushered in an era which propelled Bel-Air into fame until today. As acres were being bought left and right, businessmen, oil men, and studio men all lay their unique architectural cornerstone. Spanish, English Tudor, French Norman, were some of the most popular styles. But one house, commissioned by Sol Wurtzel to architect Wallace Neff in 1930 sought to change that. Inspired by the imagery of “the lines of the Florentine villas found on the hillsides near Florence, Italy,” Neff, quipped with 1.5 acres and $100,000 set out to complete his task. Under constant pressure to finish the house, Wurtzel was not the easiest man to work with. Wurtzel got his start as a book keeper in his mid-teens working with Fox Studios. He was supposed to make sure budgets were balanced and the company was well oiled. The young Wurtzel cowered as his fledgling career almost dissipated in front of his eyes. But powered by notions of grandeur and a dream, Wurtzel absorbed the criticism, stood steadfast, and remained determined to succeed.
As the years passed, Wurtzel became a hardened veteran of studio life. Far from the book keeper he once was, Wurtzel and his career withstood the large merger with 20th Century (forming 20th Century Fox). Within a few years he was producing movies by the dozens. Wurtzel, at the time, really embodied success which is reflected in the beautiful estate he built. Championed as one of the jewels of Bel-Air, stars such as Howard Hughes, Prince Rainier and Elvis Presley have lived on the estate.
This house and Bellagio Road remain one of Los Angeles’ earliest pieces of living history. It is a constant reminder of the Los Angeles tradition and heritage that every Angelino is proud to call their own.