The elegant historic home at 3040 First St. that once entertained movie stars reaffirmed her glamour role this week as TV and film star. Telecommunications giant AT&T began filming a Christmas-themed commercial in the living room Thursday.
Newly placed on the market, the house's listing touts, “custom built in 1929, this Mediterranean Revival estate is a spectacular fusion of modern day luxury blended with craftsmanship and quality from a bygone era and enjoys an ambiance of sophisticated elegance.”
No mention of the home’s film career. Not to be type-cast, the home has played roles in "Dexter," "Melrose Place" and several movies.
The stately home was designed by Long Beach architect Winfield S. Payne. Payne’s style is recognizable, with tile roofs and large arches. He also designed Seal Beach’s Glider Inn, and when Toby Reece opened Ma’he at the site in 1999 he kept the signature arch entry of the restaurant.
Payne’s son, Winfield Jr., as a teenager did his best to break the world’s record in the tree sitting category. No wonder Junior longed to be as famous as his architect father, with designs that have stood the time of time.
This section of First Street in Long Beach is one of the most elegant parts of town. The street is so wide no one would dare mention the words “road diet” to any of the residents. Situated in Bluff Park’s Historic District, which regulates and protects the exterior of historically significant homes, the house qualifies under the Mills Act property tax relief, significantly reducing yearly property taxes.
According to listing agent Loree Scarborough, the home has been featured on the Great Homes Tour of Long Beach, and is the recipient of a Long Beach Heritage Preservation Award.
The listing shows the house was built during prohibition. In the 1920s, Long Beach was the film capital; Balboa Studios didn’t close until 1924. Many believe the large homes on First Street became a popular area for movie stars to socialize.
The original owner capitalized on this. The home’s records indicate he designed his home to entertain overnight guests with ease. Each bedroom has its own private bath. He owned the Queen City Laundry service, which took up almost a full block on Anaheim Street. He applied the instant hot water technology to each bathroom, making even more attractive to guests.
Scarborough shared, “This home is remarkably intact since its construction in 1929 and thoroughly and lovingly restored by various owners.”
The original owner, Irwin M. Stevens, was born in Illinois in 1876. He moved to Long Beach in 1921 and became active in civic and port affairs. During Mr. Stevens' service on the Board of Harbor Commissioners, an amendment was passed by the city that gave jurisdiction over the Harbor Department to the Harbor Commission.
The entry hall has a grand staircase with wrought iron rail, the original chandelier and mahogany doors. The arched theme of the entry door is carried throughout the house. The living room is filled with light from French doors, and has a monumental batch elder tile fireplace. Many of the original light fixtures, including wall sconces and chandeliers, have been restored.
Filming of the AT&T commercial wraps up this week. If a potential buyer acts fast enough, they can not only watch the holiday-themed ad when it airs, they can enjoy Christmas in this movie star house.