Her laugh is infectious, her smile inspiring and her talent beyond remarkable, all of which is why the stunning Meryl Streep is widely considered the best actress of her generation, a staple in Hollywood and a true living legend. Known for her uncanny accents and adaptability both on the stage and on the silver screen, Streep has spent the last four decades giving performances that evoke tears, laughter and every emotion in between in Tony Award-winning productions like A Memory of Two Mondays/27 Wagons Full of Cotton as well as highly acclaimed films including Sophie’s Choice, The Deer Hunter, Into the Woods and The Devil’s Wears Prada.
Let’s face it, as the most nominated actress in Hollywood with 19 Academy Award and 29 Golden Globe nominations, there’s simply nothing the beautiful Streep can’t do, which is exactly what led the star to extend her reach behind the scenes into the realm of real estate. Worth an impressive $45 million, the 67-year-old actress and her husband, sculptor Don Gummer, decided to try their hand at house flipping when they purchased a mid-century home in the Hollywood Hills for $4.5 million in 2013. Already immaculate and somewhat historic, many believed Streep would give the home to her son, Henry Gummer, but that isn’t what the Julie & Julia star had in mind.
Built in 1954 and originally designed by architects Honnold & Rex for Architectural Products magazine, the aptly named 1954 Research House was built as part of The Case Study House Program that was launched by Art & Architecture Magazine as a way of inspiring architects and homebuilders to experiment with new design methods and innovative materials. Doing exactly that with its exquisite design, the home was then purchased by architect designer Xorin Balbes who put his own spin on the home during a major remodel in 2005 and again in 2010 before selling to Streep.
Despite its front entrance and curb appeal resembling an intimidating private compound complete with concrete and stone walls as well as dense greenery, beyond the exterior, the home itself is a beautiful and tranquil retreat designed on an open floorplan that gives it an airy and relaxing feel. Boasting four bedrooms and four bathrooms across 3,700 square feet of living space, the home is everything one might expect for one of Hollywood’s favorite leading ladies. Take a look inside and see for yourself!
Sleek and ultra-modern with clean lines, a neutral color palette and marble floors, the front entry of the Research House opens to a luxurious walnut staircase with a sculpted railing as well as a two-story living room with a floor-to-ceiling stone wall and fireplace. The main floor of the home is marked by plenty of skylights that are ideal for displaying fine art and photography in addition to glass walls that open to the home’s main courtyard where even more relaxation and beauty await with a pool and spa that live up to the true nature of Hollywood glamor.
In addition to aesthetic upgrades including furnishings and landscaping, Streep’s minimal improvements and redesign of the home also included a state-of-the-art security system that includes up-to-the-minute details of the property customized to the owner and accessible via smartphone or computer. There is also a specially ventilated garage with direct access from the house as well as specially “deionized” water, which is undeniably in character for a California-style real estate perk, if you ask us!
However, not even the dozens of amenities or the convenience of the city could lure Streep and her husband to stay. After barely living in the home for a year, Streep put the Research House back on the market in 2014 for $6.75 million (including the furnishings) with the hopes of making a small profit on her investment. Proving that perhaps she should stick to acting rather than real estate, it was only a matter of weeks before Streep accepted an offer from New York Yankee’s star Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez to purchase the home for $4.8 million. According to sources, the negotiations and deal itself went fairly quickly because “[Streep’s] a fan of his and of the Yankees, so they got along great!”
Needless to say, Streep may have barely broken even on the real estate venture but A-Rod certainly came out ahead especially since he already owns homes in New York and Miami. Announcing his retirement from the diamond in 2016 after a brief probation for taking performance enhancing drugs in 2014, there’s a good chance A-Rod will have more than enough time to relax in his new Hollywood mansion sooner rather than later!