Pickfair

From Academic Kids

Pickfair was a Hollywood mansion named appropriately by its original residents, silent film actors Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford.

Located at 1143 Summit Drive, in the San Isidro Canyon near Los Angeles, California, the property was a hunting lodge when purchased by Fairbanks and Pickford in 1919.

They renovated extensively to transform the lodge into a 22 room mansion luxuriously decorated with ceiling frescos and the highest quality art and furnishings available. The property was said to have been the first private property in the Los Angeles area to include a swimming pool (set in a large formal garden).

During the 1920s the house became the focal point for social activities, and the couple became famous for entertaining there. An invitation to Pickfair was a sign of social acceptance into the closed Hollywood community, and European royalty was also accommodated and entertained at the mansion.

Fairbanks and Pickford were divorced in 1936, and Pickford resided in the mansion until her death in 1979. A recluse in her later years, Pickford received few visitors and the house was neglected.

It stood empty for several years after Pickford's death, and was sold twice before being purchased by actress Pia Zadora and her husband Meshulam Riklis. They announced they were planning renovations to the famous building, but later revealed that the house had in fact been demolished and a new larger mansion constructed in its place.

Faced with public criticism Zadora defended their actions, stating that the house was in a poor state of repair, and was infested by termites.

The only remaining artefacts from the original Pickfair are the gates to the estate with their prominent P motif.

Pickfair is now on sale for $27 million, as of January 24 2005.

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