In 1948, an American poll declared Bing Crosby ‘the most admired man alive’ — and it’s not hard to see why. The first true multimedia superstar, Crosby’s career saw him win an Oscar, be awarded three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and influence sweet-sounding singers from John Lennon and Dean Martin to the great Elvis Presley. Even among icons, Crosby was a champion.
In fact, when the crooner hoped to open his own country club in 1950 — if Crosby coveted one thing more than fame, it was a good round of golf — he simply called on fellow megastars Bob Hope and Desi Arnaz to invest. The trio bought an onion field in Southern California and turned it into Thunderbird Heights, a super-sophisticated spot that became one of the most popular developments for celebrity holiday homes in the entire United States.
And, chief among the destination’s opulent properties was this; 70375 Calico Road — a Morocco-inspired mid-century home Bing built in 1957, and where he hosted friends from Frank Sinatra to President John F Kennedy. Fast-forward almost 70 years, and the striking, sumptuous house has just gone up for sale; let’s take a look around…
Sitting pretty on 1.36 acres of sprawling land, the 6,700 sq ft home is slightly elevated — and thus enjoys panoramic mountain views and sweeping down-valley vistas from almost every room or al fresco area. Inside, stone floors stretch out in every discernible direction, with open-plan living areas brimming with crooner-friendly facilities including a pool table, a home bar and multiple open fires.
Access to the main house comes in the fine form of custom-made Moroccan wood doors, through which the open-and-airy formal living and dining rooms can be glimpsed. Beyond these, you’ll find a chef’s-grade kitchen fitted with granite-and-stainless steel countertops — the perfect place for whipping up the star’s beloved signature dish, ‘Turkey and Eggs a la Crosby’.
Elsewhere in the property, you’ll find a home cinema fit for screenings of every Bing flick from High Society to Here Comes the Groom, with leather seating, surround sound speakers and a top-line projector. There’s also a spacious 1,400 sq ft master suite with a cozy fireplace, both indoor and outdoor showers, a separate lavish green stone bathtub and a large walk-in closet.
For entertaining, there are also two additional en-suite guest bedrooms in the main house, and — in the expansive gardens — you’ll find a large pool and spa, multiple fire features, an outdoor kitchen and even a putting green (to ensure your short game gets as good as Crosby’s).
But the real jewel in the crown of Crosby’s estate is the guest house on the grounds. This unassuming ‘casita’, with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a full living room, is named for President John F Kennedy, after the statesman stayed at Thunderbird Heights as a guest of Crosby (allegedly in the company of one Marilyn Monroe).
JFK was well-known to join Crosby on the nearby courses at Thunderbird Heights, and often jetted out to the warm Californian climes to play a round or two on a whim — giving the singer-superstar a run for his money with his infamous seven handicap. And the President’s wing at 70375 Calico Road was completely private; it even had its own secure entrance to ensure utmost discretion.
It’s a single-storey stronghold of high-strength martinis, well-kept secrets and holes-in-one; a piece of sun-soaked, southern Californian, pop culture history that promises to burn a $4,150,000-shaped hole in the pocket of anyone with a desire for golfing getaways as fiery and forthright as Bing Crosby’s. Could that be you?
Want more historic real estate? Step inside the Hearst estate, the mansion from The Godfather…
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