Farewell to Los Angeles's House of Davids

The owner of 19 naked lawn ornaments is putting his house on the market

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Anyone who drives through the quiet, classy Los Angeles neighborhood of Hancock Park knows the House of Davids for its 19 reproductions of the famous statue lining the lawn and driveway.  Fewer know who the owner is: R&B singer Norwood Young, and that is part of the problem. "The idea was to ride the wave of the house and segue that into my music," he told the Los Angeles Times' Nita Lelyveld. "But it didn't quite pan out that way." So, Young has put his place up for sale. Once an eye-sore to the neighborhood, the Davids, albeit tacky, have transformed into an icon.

Young moved into the house in 1994 but didn't start styling changes until 1996, reported The Los Angeles Times' Daniel Yi in 1997, when the statues first gained notice. At first Young made small changes, knocking down some trees, painting the house white and fencing his yard in with metal gates. Then he put up the statues. The neighbors complained.  "It's appalling," a neighbor told Yi. "As funny as people think it is, it really isn't."

While neighbors complained, worried that the eye-sores would drive house values down, the neighborhood never took an official position. "It is not our place to tell him to tone it down," said James Wolf, president of the homeowners association to Yi. "The association is 'not empowered to legislate taste.'" Obviously Norwood got to keep his Davids.

But Norwood defended his aesthetics in today's story: "The house was a piece of ---- when I bought it and I brought it up," said Young, who refers to his mansion as Youngwood Court but refused to be interviewed at length. "I don't understand why it is such a big deal." He's over the Davids he told Lelyveld. "I wouldn't give a rat's behind what they [the new owners] did."

Young's asking $2.4 million for the house, which he bought in 1997 for $1.2 million, exactly double, according to Curbed LA.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.