Tech Entrepreneur Saves Classic 1930s Estate From Demolition

John Herring buys Brentwood Park estate for $12.8 million

By Dolores Quintana

Tech CEO John Hering has saved a classic home in Brentwood Park as reported by The Dirt.com

Hering is a co-founder of Lookout, a company that provides security for mobile devices which is a bit ironic since he was known for scanning the cell phones of celebrities while they attended the Academy Awards. He was a hacker in his youth and also performed the feat of hacking into a Nokia headset from 1.2 miles away, which was a record at the time. 

Unfortunately in the history of real estate in Los Angeles, too many historic mansions and other properties have been demolished by new owners. Some of the more famous examples of this happening were the demolition of the Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford’s Pickfair Estate in Beverly Hills by Pia Zadora and her former husband Meshulam Riklis in 1990 and the destruction of The Enchanted Hill in Beverly Crest which was designed by architect Wallace Neff. Many times the vanity of the new owners takes over and the classic homes are replaced by modern eyesores but even more egregious is when the historic building is destroyed and the new owner never bothers to build a new home on the site. 

The Los Angeles real estate market is extremely competitive and prime properties are both expensive and rare. With this type of highly competitive market, it is a situation that can lead to the loss of more historically valuable structures. Many rich potential buyers have no interest in sinking money into maintaining a property that needs care and attention. 

The home that Hering bought is described, according to The Dirt.com as a “nearly 5,000-square-foot place as an “enchanting 1936 Neo-Georgian Revival manor” that had been “well-maintained” for the past 61 years by the same family, but also noted that buyers were free to demolish the structure and “build an elegant new home” in its place.” The sellers listed it as a tear down costing $14 million but the San Francisco-based Hering picked it up for $12.8 million. 

Even though the area is filled with new and larger estates, Hering decided instead to give the property a renovation and update the decor. While people might criticize the renovations, although no one really knows everything about them, the key point is that the house has survived intact and has not fallen victim to the urge to raze estates to custom build new ones. 

Hering is actually from Newport Beach and graduated from USC. He is 39 years old and a VY Capital partner. His company Lookout was valued at $1 billion in 2014, which means that Hering is a very rich man. 

The estate is located in the middle of the street’s block on an exclusive street in a very prestigious neighborhood. The home is 86 years old and still retains an awe-inspiring aura. The home has an ivy hedge, and gates that open into the driveway that passed through an old-style formal lawn area to a porte-cochère.

The site is nearly three-quarters of an acre has a detached garage with tandem parking that can hold three cars and has a workshop. 

The home itself has a curved staircase inside the foyer that leads up to the second floor which houses all four of the home’s bedrooms. Left of the foyer on the first floor is a living room with a fireplace, hardwood flooring and rich green wallpaper. The glass solarium gives the residents a view of the backyard and there is yet another fireplace within the area. 

The family room is wood-paneled and comfortable and yes, has another fireplace. There is a formal dining room that has a more delicate wallpaper color scheme. The kitchen is not the large gourmet showcase that many contemporary have but it has been significantly upgraded with stainless steel appliances and has ample storage space. 

The master bedroom upstairs comes with a separate sitting room that links to one of the other bedrooms. The walls are yellow and green mixed together and the doors are blue. The hardwood flooring on this level is much darker than on the first floor. 

Outdoors, the lawns surround a swimming pool of much more recent vintage that comes with an inset spa. The backyard has mature trees that provide luxuriant shade.

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