May 20, 2024


Giving your Home a new Option

A Silent Movie Star’s Hidden Post-and-Beam Retreat Reappears on the Market for $2.1M

Another midcentury gem recently popped up on the Los Angeles market. Located in La Cañada Flintridge, the historic house was built in 1953 for Geraldine Mentz, a silent-screen actress who was more commonly recognized under the stage name Derelys Perdue. Mentz also played a large role in the home’s original design.

At first glance, most of the 1953 midcentury at 5118 Palm Drive appears is obscured by lush surroundings. A two-story addition hides among the towering trees in back.

The Hollywood star lived in the residence for over 35 years, after which it  switched hands to Mentz’s former companion and caretaker, Kay Tsuchimoto, in 1989. Although buyers overlooked the home for many years, Tsuchimoto finally sold the property in 1999 to its current owners, who have restored and cared for the home ever since. 

A look from the side yard reveals the home’s deep arrangement along the lot. Originally built as a 1,594-square-foot residence, the property was expanded to over 3,000 square feet in 2001.

With the assistance of architect Marita Vidal, the owners expanded the interior by adding a new two-story addition along the rear of the property. Vidal blended new and old by incorporating the original post-and-beam construction and by matching the cropped eave design along the exterior. Inside, she added expansive windows to take advantage of the home’s lush surroundings. Having fallen in love with the majestic trees encompassing the home, the owners were adamant that all be preserved in the expansion.

When the current owners purchased the property two decades ago, they tapped architect Marida Vidal to restore the residence to its original splendor. Here is a look at a new living area located in between the new and old sections.

A quiet retreat, the residence now spreads across 3,295 square feet. An open floor plan connects several living spaces as does the warm woodwork running throughout. Large sliding glass doors open up onto a new outdoor patio. Scroll ahead to see more of the property, which is currently listed for $2,095,000.

Expansive windows and doors illuminate the interior with natural light while opening onto a shady patio area.

A neutral color palette allows the custom woodwork and natural scenery to shine.

Honed Italian granite tops the kitchen counters, contrasted by a colorful tile backsplash by Walker Zanger. A built-in banquette wraps around a corner window.

A larger dining area sits between the kitchen and living room.

Another look at the dining area.

A large media room is also adjacent to the kitchen. Sliding glass doors provide direct access to the backyard.

Upstairs, built-in shelving runs along the hallway and staircase landing.

A look at the bright master bedroom, secluded in a quiet corner of the two-story addition.

Both of the two bathrooms have been remodeled. In addition to Grohe fixtures and white Caesarstone counters, the master bathroom also includes a soaking tub.

A look at one of the other three bedrooms.

The home also includes a private office area with a built-in desk and storage.

The surrounding landscaping includes several Italian Stone pine trees (approximately 120-feet tall), Canary Island pines, cedar and Carolina cherry trees, and 54 camellia plants—many of which date back to Mentz’s time and before. 

An outdoor seating area is embraced by the serene environment. 

An aerial view of the home showcasing the lush vegetation surrounding the lot.

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