It’s a one-of-a-kind property for a one-of-a-kind guy.
Sam Simon, co-creator of “The Simpsons” (among many titles), died last March at age 59, but he was prepared for it.
Diagnosed with terminal colorectal cancer in 2012 and given three to six months to live, Simon began furiously giving away his “Simpsons”-fueled fortune during his last three years. He decided much of it will go to the dogs.
Simon designated his vast fortune for various charitable organizations, including his own Sam Simon Foundation (which largely helps dogs), PETA, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (which protects marine life) and Save the Children, according to a Hollywood Reporter interview.
Now, the proceeds from the sale of his 1.5-acre estate, which includes two houses – one of them the revered Richard Neutra 1948 Bailey House – will bolster his foundation’s work. The property is listed at $18 million.
Simon began giving away his money after he nearly died during his battle with cancer and sought to create with it something “living after I’m gone,” he told the Hollywood Reporter.
Simon was a self-professed dog nut, hosting a dog costume party at Halloween (admitting that dressing up your dog pretty much qualifies you as a “dog nut”), and adopting as many stragglers as he could.
“The truth is, I have more money than I’m interested in spending. Everyone in my family is taken care of. And I enjoy this,” he told the Reporter.
While he was alive he was a bit of a modern Renaissance man – at least that’s how “60 Minutes” characterized him. He had a famed sculpture garden, nearly-priceless works of art, and the only Richard Neutra-built Case Study House in existence.
The Case Study involved Arts & Architecture Magazine commissioning major architects of the day to build inexpensive and efficient model homes for the U.S. housing boom that followed World War II, when military personnel returned to civilian life. Simon had the home, known as the Bailey House, meticulously restored and used it as an office, and lived in it while the expansive main residence was being rebuilt, after it was destroyed by fire in 2007.
The 7,124-square-foot white-walled contemporary, which has a sort of modern mission feel, has vast white walls, the better to display Simon’s extensive art collection, which consisted of works by artists from Rodin to Ruscha, as well as memorabilia from the TV shows he worked on, including “Cheers,” “Taxi,” “The Drew Carey Show,” and, of course, “The Simpsons.”
Perhaps the grandest work of art in the house is the stunning blue blown glass Dale Chihuly chandelier, which hangs above the sweeping, glass-railed floating staircase. That chandelier is not included in the price, but for those who can afford $18 million for the rest of the property, what’s another several hundred thousand for the light fixture? Just moving it is beyond imagination.
The number of bedrooms in the main house can vary from three to five, depending on how they’re used. The listing puts the property at five bedrooms and nine bathrooms. The master suite, with its terrace, expansive closet space and spacious master bath, is inviting to humans as well as canines. Almost every floor surface in the house is dog friendly.
Other high-end spaces include a climate-controlled wine cellar/cigar humidor room; an ultra modern kitchen with an L-shaped island; an entertainment lounge with a wet bar and home theater; an infinity pool with a water wall; and various ponds and spas hidden among the lush vegetation on the verdant grounds.
Climb up the circular, glass-walled staircase that leads to the roof top terrace, and you’re not only rewarded with a spectacular view of the nearby beach, but you’ll also see that the home has an elaborate solar energy system that supplies a good deal of the estate’s energy needs.
In fact, the main residence is LEED Gold certified, has a myriad of eco-friendly, energy-saving features, and is built of sustainable, recycled, toxin-free materials, according to listing agent Stephen Sigoloff who conducted a showing of the home for Yahoo Real Estate.
The trust is asking $18 million for the Pacific Palisades property, which is located in one of the most coveted communities in the Los Angeles area. Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner have a family home in “The Palisades,” which is rumored to be whisper-listed as a result of their split. Celebrities like Judd Apatow and his wife Leslie Mann, Matt Damon, Larry David, Kobe Bryant, Tom Hanks, Diane Keaton, Anthony Hopkins, Kate Hudson and Nicole Kidman have all called the sea-view area home.
The art and Simpson’s memorabilia have been removed from the home, and will be auctioned off by Sotheby’s on Oct. 22. Sotheby’s estimates that the sale will bring in between $7.6 million to $11.3 million, according to the L.A. Times.
Simon’s trust should be able to keep on giving long after its kindhearted founder has gone. Of course he’ll be well remembered for his role in bringing us Bart and Homer, but his true legacy will help life on the planet in countless other ways.