When home-furnishings mogul Evan Cole set out to build a home in Los Angeles, he wanted a classic design that would mesh seamlessly with his neighbor: the famed 110-acre Getty Center with its curved, marble buildings.
“The whole goal was to…make sure it matched the Getty—that it didn’t look out of place up there,” said Cole, who co-founded the home division of ABC Carpet & Home in New York City in the 1980s and later, California-based home furnishings company HD Buttercup.
Working with architect Thomas Juul-Hansen, Cole spent more than five years building a roughly 15,000-square-foot house clad in travertine marble. During that time, his family relocated to Aspen, Colo., and he is now putting the six-bedroom house on the market for $68 million, according to listing agents Branden and Rayni Williams of the Beverly Hills Estates, who have the listing with Kurt Rappaport of the Westside Estate Agency.
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“Doing this house is the culmination of all of my work, to be honest with you,” said Cole, 63, a Queens, N.Y., native.
The roughly 2-acre Brentwood property sits on a hilltop next to the Getty Center. When he drove up to the L.A. property in the early 2000s, Cole said he was immediately attracted to the location’s privacy and views. “When you’re there, you don’t feel like anybody can see you,” he said. “It’s like having a perch.”
He paid about $5 million for the site in 2004, he said. At the time, the property contained a “cool California ranch” house spanning 2,000 square feet. Cole lived there with his wife and two children there for eight years while he mulled over plans for a new residence. “Every day, I was like, ‘I’ve got to do something with this place,’” he recalled. “It took me eight years to figure it out.”
Cole was hung up on the idea of building something classic that would be “symbiotic” with the Getty next door, he said. He credited Juul-Hansen with designing a building that could be a “sister” to the museum.
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The three-story residence has 20-foot ceilings in the entryway and living room, which feature frameless glass sliding doors. A gym overlooking West L.A. has 60 feet of glass. “From every angle in the house, you have a view,” Cole said. Atop the house, there is a roughly 5,000-square-foot roof deck.
The house has two primary bedrooms and a “mother-in-law suite” with its own kitchen, Cole said. There is also a wine room and a spa with a sauna and massage room. The grounds have a kidney-shaped pool that cantilevers over the hillside.
Most of the materials came from Europe, including solid oak doors, Murano lighting and acoustic wood panels for the ceiling, Cole said. The house is clad in travertine sourced from the same quarry in Italy that provided the materials for the Getty. Cole said he relied on his contacts to source materials for the house. “I know where to buy the good stuff,” he said. “I could not have done any of this if I were not in the business.”
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Cole declined to say how much he spent building the house. Before it was completed, Covid hit and his family relocated to Aspen. Although he travels between Colorado, New York and L.A., he doesn’t want to uproot his children by moving them back to L.A. “It’s time to move on,” he said.
While Cole said he planned to move into his latest creation, he has never even spent the night. (He does, however, keep bottles of Fiji water in the fridge.) He has built several family homes in New York and L.A., he said, and feels that building is about the journey, not the result. “I have felt like whoever gets it, it’s theirs,” he said. “I’m like it’s shepherd rather than its master.”
Despite a slowdown in the luxury market nationwide and in L.A., the number of single-family home sales in Brentwood during 2023’s fourth quarter rose 15.6% compared with the prior-year period, according to real-estate appraisal firm Miller Samuel. The median sale price for single-family homes grew 3.8% year-over-year to $4.3 million.
While the overall L.A. market has softened, Brentwood and Pacific Palisades have remained attractive, seeing “a really good uptick” in deals, Branden Williams said. “Everybody loves to be on the west side,” he said.