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Van Griffith estate in Los Feliz returns to market at $8.3 million

Neal J. Leitereg
The Mediterranean-style home was built in 1925 for the son of mining tycoon and Griffith Park benefactor Griffith J. Griffith.  (Berlyn Photography)

The historic Van Griffith estate, a Los Feliz home built by the son of Griffith Park benefactor Griffith J. Griffith, is back up for sale at $8.3 million — a slight adjustment from last year’s $8.5 million.

The three-quarter-acre estate centers on a 1925 Mediterranean style home reached by a gated and tree-lined driveway. Mature olive, oak and pine trees add a park-like quality to the grounds, which have a swimming pool and an outdoor dining area. A two-bedroom guesthouse, separated from the main house by the driveway, has its own kitchen.

Past the arched front door, the main residence features classic tilework, rich hardwood floors and a speakeasy — a feature sometimes incorporated into homes built during Prohibition. The living room and master bedroom open to balconies facing the cityscape. Three additional bedrooms, an office and a modernized kitchen fill out the floor plan.

The estate has changed hands four times over the last decade: in 2004 for $2.8 million; in 2011 for $4.55 million; in 2014 for $6 million; and in 2018 for $7.75 million, records show.

Lisa Optican of Hilton & Hyland holds the listing.

Griffith, a mining tycoon, acquired Rancho Los Feliz in the early 1880s with the intention of selling the scenic hillside plots to home buyers but found little market for the land that some believed was haunted. In 1896, Griffith ceded most of the rancho to the city of Los Angeles, which turned it into one of the country’s largest urban parks.