Revealing a Piece of Los Angeles History: Chasan Villa

Left: two photos of Chasan Villa, right: Avengers Complex.
Notice the architectural similarities between the two, including the shared stucco, roof, rounded and square arches.

Los Angeles has been a center of media and entertainment for nearly a century, and there are interesting aspects to the city’s real estate history that readers love. If you ever got down Palos Verdes Drive from Torrance to San Pedro, chances are you’ve seen stunning views of Bluff Cove and Surfview Park. Today, these 180-degree views are not hindered by properties; however, if you have passed this section Palos Verdes Drive 40 years ago you should have seen Villa Chasan.

Built by famous couple Fred and Roslyn Chasan between 1979 and 1981. Villa Chasan was a one-of-a-kind Mediterranean-style villa built on the edge of a cliff – the newest and largest house built in the area. A light shade of cream-coloured stucco covered the exterior, with a combination of round and square arches over windows, doors, and terraces supported by square-topped columns. The roof and chimneys were covered with red terracotta tiles, and the front terrace looked out onto a manicured lawn. The property had a swimming pool, a wet bar, and guest houses that matched the style of the main residence. In addition, which was rare for a residential building, the villa had an elevator that went up from the basement to the roof.

By 1982 Villa Chasan was featured in full-page photographs in newspapers showing off its magnificent architecture and finishes, but the story of the dream villa takes an unexpected turn just a year later when it is demolished. The facility was built in 901 Paseo del Mar And 901 Palos Verdes Drive WestHow Paseo del Mar intertwined with Palos Verdes Drive and ends at the entrance to the once existing Chasan Villa. Although renowned geologists concluded before the building was built that the rock structure could support construction, the jury later found that the city failed to repair storm sewer pipes and water pipes that had not been repaired for decades, causing a landslide and destruction of the house. Villa Chasan and several surrounding properties.

At first, small cracks appeared throughout the property, which began to grow. Within months, some of the cracks widened to over a foot in size, sinkholes appeared, and pipes burst, forcing the Chasan family to leave the house in 1983, and the property was declared invalid by the city. As part of the settlement, the city bought the property from the Chasan family and hired a construction crew to dismantle the remaining portions of the property over the next year. The street continued to cause problems for the city throughout the 1990s and 2010s, with further landslides occurring that damaged other homes in the area.

Today, although the only physical remains of the villa are a few pieces of concrete foundations near Bluff Cove Lookout, Villa Chasan lives in Marvel Comics. In 1984, when the city was being dismantled Villa ChasanMarvel introduced The Avengers Compound in The Avengers #246. This oceanfront home, home to Tony Stark (Iron Man), Vision, Hawkeye, and other characters, has a lot in common with its real-life counterpart. Marvel used a fictitious address 1800 Palos Verdes Drive for their connection showing this as an area where Palos Verdes Drive curves west to unobstructed oceanfront property behind M-shaped rocks. While there are four addresses in Los Angeles that match 1800 Palos Verdes Drivenone of the oceanfront addresses match the outline of the cliffs or road depicted: North located more than four miles from the Pacific Ocean, East represents an intersection between two parts of the road and is almost half a mile from the Pacific Ocean, West is more than half a mile from the Pacific Ocean, and although South is closest to the ocean and curves to the west, it is not on the ocean as it is on the east side of the road, several streets away from the ocean, and the nearest cliffs are not marked with an “m”.

Left: Satellite view of Chasan Villa address, Right: Marvel’s illustration of a map of the Avengers complex.

Length Palos Verdes Drive closest to where Villa Chasan stood at that time; however meets the criteria: slight westward curve of the ocean coast Palos Verdes Drive slightly oblique from the center of the outlined cliffs, with Flat Rock, Bluff Cove, and Surfview Park forming three “m”-shaped arches. In addition to their location, Villa Chasan And Avengers Complex also share many visual attributes: the shade of the stucco, the style and color of the roofs and chimneys, the combination of round and square arches surrounding the building from the outside and the rectangular support columns, the style of the lawn, the swimming pool and the elevator system, to name a few.

The last irony shared Chasan Villa and the Marvel Universe is how drain pipes play a role in both storylines: in a later evolution Avengers storyline, their complex is partially razed to the ground when a sewer drain pipe collapses. Sounds familiar?

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