Jeff Bezos is reportedly 'mansion-shopping' in Los Angeles — and he may have scoped out the most expensive house for sale in America. Here's a closer look at the $225 million 'Casa Encantada.'

Business Insider

Dominic-Madori Davis
Feb. 3, 2020


Bel-Air estate Casa Encantada might soon become the most expensive home ever sold in California — and Jeff Bezos could be the buyer.

The 40,000-square-foot property hit the market in October with an asking price of $225 million, making it the highest-priced home on the market anywhere in the country, per the Los Angeles Times. On February 2, Page Six reported "unconfirmed chatter" that Bezos has visited the property, as he continues "mansion-shopping" in the Los Angeles area. (Shawn Elliott, the broker who has been showing the home, declined Page Six's request for comment regarding whether Bezos has viewed the property.)

Currently owned by financier Gary Winnick, the estate traces its roots back to the 1930s, when it was built for the widow of a glass bottle manufacturer. Since then, it has had several high-profile owners. In 1950, it was purchased by hotel magnate Conrad Hilton for $250,000 (or about $2.4 million today), then sold in 1979 to billionaire David Murdock, the chairman and CEO of Dole Foods, for $12.4 million, the Times reports. 

In 2000, Winnick bought the home from Murdock for a reported $94 million and soon led a project to restore the property to its former glory. 

While a PR representative for the estate told Business Insider that interior photos of the property in its current state aren't being released, you can keep reading for a look back at the home's original 1930s glory and to learn more about its history.

Located in Bel-Air, the estate (called Casa Encantada or "House of Enchantment") is nearly 40,000 square feet. According to Los Angeles Magazine, the land was initially bought in 1934 for $100,000 by Hilda Boldt Weber, the widow of a glass manufacturer. Weber then commissioned architect James Dolena to build her the massive estate.

Dolena was considered a "master" of Georgian architecture, taking influence and inspiration from the Art Deco movement as well as Moderne styles, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The interior was designed by Peterson Studios and TH Robsjon-Gibbions, who created custom furniture and fabrics for the home, the Los Angeles Times reports. It was finished in 1937, costing over $2 million – or about $35 million today.

Weber was a nurse who married a Midwestern glass bottle manufacturer after nursing him back to health. The death of her husband left her very wealthy, and she spared no expense in building this massive estate.

Though she always aspired to join high society, historians say she was never truly accepted by her Bel-Air peers and instead spent much of her time gambling away her fortune.

As time went on, the lavish property she had built became too much for her to handle. Weber eventually died by suicide after offloading the home, according to "Unreal Estate" by Michael Gross, a book about the histories behind the biggest mansions in Los Angeles.

The Washington Post reports that Weber sold the property in 1949 for $225,000 (or about $2.4 million today) to Conrad Hilton, who, at the time, was still building his now-ubiquitous hotel empire. He owned the home for 30 years, until his 1979 death.

The Hilton family then sold the property to billionaire Dole Foods CEO and Chairman, David Murdock, for $12.4 million. At the time, the deal was a record for the US market.

In 2000, Murdock sold the home to financier Gary Winnick for a reported $94 million — another record-breaker. Winnick then commissioned architect Peter Marino to help restore the property. The project took nearly two years (and millions of dollars) to complete.

Winnick is best known as the founder and chairman of Global Crossing, the company which installed fiber-optic highways across the ocean floor, thereby connecting four continents and 27 countries, according to the Times.

Though the listing agents will not be publicly releasing interior shots of the home in its current condition, the Los Angeles Times reports that Winnick has restored the estate's classic detailing.

According to the Times, the house has wood-paneled walls in addition to moldings embellished with geometric patterns. The property also features wrought ironwork and terrace balconies.

The property has a guest house, a pool house, and a managers quarters. There is also a basketball court, a tennis court, greenhouses, a rose garden, and koi ponds.

In addition, the entrance has 18-foot ceilings and a bar made of sterling silver. 

Per the Los Angeles Times, mountain and ocean views can be seen from nearly all of the the mansion's 60-rooms, some of which include a professional screening room, a reception hall, and grand formal rooms.

If sold for the current asking price, Casa Encantada will bypass the Spelling manor in Holmby Hills— which recently sold for $119.75 million — to become the highest priced home ever sold in California, according to Fortune Magazine.



Casa Encantada Casa Encantada
Shawn Elliott Shawn Elliott
Managing Director of the Ultra Luxury Division