These days, spacious compounds with plenty of land and many different buildings to house and entertain family and friends are in high demand. Easier said than done though, as building up one of these enclaves can take a substantial amount of time. So for those who’d rather just buy a place that already has it all—in a ideal neighborhood—there’s Tower Grove Estate, which just listed for $60 million.
Located on—you guessed it—Tower Grove Drive, just a mile and a half from Sunset Blvd., the address is close to the busy Los Angeles artery, while still feeling a world away. It comprises three acres of private land, with gardens and landscaping by Christine London. Included is an 8,700-square-foot main home, a 5,700-square-foot tennis court building and entertainment space, a conservatory and a pool house.
Interiors are by the renowned Michael Smith, who is perhaps best known for decorating the White House private residence for the Obamas. The owners—investor Bruce Karsh and his wife, Martha—tasked Smith with designing their home after encountering his work at a Santa Barbara residence. Prior to their ownership, Tower Grove Estate was in the hands of composer Maurice Jarre, who wrote the score for Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago and many other films.
“People often hire a designer and they just want to come back when the house is all installed,” says Linda May of Hilton & Hyland, who is co-listing the estate with Joe Cilic of Sotheby’s International Realty. “That isn’t this couple. They wanted to be part of every aspect of the vision of this house. They loved collaborating with Michael and being in his world.”
The result of their partnership is a home that feels like a classic English estate both inside and out. The living room has a Georgian plaster ceiling, the library features a marble fireplace and a high, coffered ceiling and the dining room is accented by scenic wallpaper from Zuber.
The primary suite has two walk-in closets and a bathroom that resembles a full-service sauna. Views from here extend all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Elsewhere on this floor are a handful of guest bedrooms—the estate has five beds and seven-and-a-half baths in all.
One of the property’s biggest and most extraordinary features, however, is its tennis court. Just courtside is a building that can serve as either entertainment space or guest house. The Karshes used it for the former, so it currently contains a home theater, billiards room, recording studio, golf simulation room, home office and lounge plus bar.
Elsewhere on the property is a two-story guest house with two one-bed, one-bath suites. There’s also a conservatory, a smaller building that’s made entirely of stone and glass, with a fountain and a fireplace inside. Like the tennis court outbuilding, it can easily be repurposed as a home office or even a gym—at the moment it serves as a sitting room.
Of course, there’s a pool too. The pavilion surrounding it includes a cabana and fire pit. Wander the gardens a bit more and you’ll find a heated gazebo that’s perfect for outdoor dining.
As for who the buyer will be? “It’s always been a family house,” says May. “When we were first talking to the owners about selling the house, it was before Covid. Now, the elements that are so incredible about it, like the tennis house—we suddenly see the market responding to it because of the opportunity to work from home.”
Linda May holds the listing.