My Visit to the David House

When visitors come to Los Angeles, it is common to take them to gaze at the stars on Hollywood Blvd., or maybe take a hike to the Hollywood sign, and of course, you’ve got to take them to the beach. I do all that, but I also I take them to 3rd St. and Muirfield Road in Hancock Park. I like to watch my guests get their first look at the David House. They are never disappointed, nor am I by their reactions.

The David House, also known an Youngwood Court, is a local landmark. The all-white house features 19 replicas of Michelangelo’s statue of David, along with other smaller statues and other accoutrements. Legend has it that owner Norwood Young placed one statue in his front yard. When his snooty neighbors got angry and demanded it be removed, Young instead added 18 more. Is it true? Who knows.

I’ve been driving past that house for six years now, always wondering what it looked like inside. I never thought I would find out (unless I got an invite to Young’s infamous Christmas party, when all of the Davids are dressed as Santa) but then suddenly the R&B singer put the house up for sale (current asking price: $1,795,000)and there was an open house last Sunday. How could I miss it?

I was expecting a  line around the block, people panting with anticipation to see what awaited behind the Davids. After all, I can’t be the only one. To my surprise there was no line at all, the parking spots in front of the house available. When I remarked about this to the broker, she told me there had been a “steady stream” of people.

The house was surprisingly unremarkable inside. I was expecting it to be a bit more outlandish, especially after seeing preview photos on the Internet (incidentally, I was asked not to take photos, so the photos you see come from Curbed LA except the exteriors). Yes, there was a lot of white marble in the entrance hall and dining and  living rooms, which featured giant chairs.

Yes, there was a glass dining table suspended from the ceiling with track lighting underneath, right next to a giant Michael Jackson glove.

Yes, the bathrooms were not my taste (although I did like a The New York Times newspaper vending machine in one of them).

But overall it wasn’t crazy. The kitchen was perfectly normal. The rooms had four walls, a ceiling and a floor. Once the bizarre furnishings are gone it will look like any other house that was built to someones particular tastes. It definitely needs some work, but it is not a tear-down as many have written online.

The coolest thing about the house is that it seems to keep getting bigger. As you walk through, you think you are hitting a wall but then there is a doorway that leads to another room. That was kind of fun.

There will be an estate sale later this month where I’m sure the Davids will be the first things to go. It will be sad to see the house without it. I was hoping the new owner would leave just one as an homage. Perhaps that might still happen.

Young was in the house as I walked through. I was going to ask him if the statue tale is indeed fact. I decided not to, though — the real story can’t be as good as the legend.