City orders demolition to stop on Eva Gabor’s Holmby Hills home

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A once-grand home designed by Paul Williams that was home to Eva Gabor fortwo decades is now at the center of a preservation battle.

Photos taken Friday and shared by the nonprofit Save Iconic Architecture show the front facade and windows of the Colonial Revival-style home at 100 Delfern Drive in Holmby Hills have been stripped. Remnants of the house are piled up outside, and a large, full dumpster sits inside the front gate.

The city’s building and safety department’s online database indicates that an investigation began Friday into reports that demolition was underway without proper permits.

The property is under consideration now as a potential city landmark. When a property is under consideration, any demolition plans or work on the site are supposed to be put on hold.

“Construction work is being performed contrary to the code,” a note in the online case file reads. “Demolition has occured [sic] on Historic Monument without any permits, inspections or approvals.”

Save Iconic Architecture’s photos show a pink notice posted to the mailbox outside the gates of 100 Delfern, also dated Friday. It says a city inspector ordered the construction to cease at the property until the owner obtained “all required permits and approvals.”

The property owner named on the “order to comply,” a separate document filed by an additional city inspector, is the family trust that sold the house in April. Property records indicate that the new owner is Core Development Group’s Philip Rahimzadeh.

The development company repurposed a brick building south of Eighth Street on Santa Fe in the Arts District into live/work lofts in 2015.

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously September 10 to consider the house at Delfern Street for historic-cultural monument status.

“This home is a notable work of a master architect whose work has significantly impacted the City of Los Angeles and its residents,” Councilmember Paul Koretz said.

The vote came at the request of Koretz, whose district includes the house. Koretz told the City Council that the building’s owner had applied for a “demolition pre-inspection.”

“An emergency stay on demolition must be implemented until the building can be evaluated for its historicity,” Koretz said.

Representatives for the city’s building and safety department did not immediately answer questions about the status of the department’s inquiry at the site. Calls to the office of Core Development were not immediately returned.

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