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Old 22nd Sep 2013 at 2:18 PM
Default Alvarez-Rosenthal House
Alvarez-Rosenthal House

Like an ancient temple rising from the jungle, the Alvarez-Rosenthal House is a supreme example of Mayan Revival architecture. The home was built in 1929 for Ines Alvarez and her husband, Hiram Rosenthal. Alvarez was an extremely popular silent movie starlet, known for her leading performances against the famous "Latin Lovers" of the era. She married Hiram, an arts dealer from a well-known banking family, in 1924. With the advent of "Talkies" in 1927, Alvarez found her roles in film dwindling, unable to overcome her heavy Spanish accent. Though both very wealthy, they decided to downsize from Alvarez's Starlight Shores mansion to a smaller, cozier dwelling.

The resulting Mayan Revival home was the talk of the town. A lush, pyramid-like terrace of fountains obscures the ground floor that features the main entry and stairs, two bedrooms with attached baths, a lounge, and a laundry room. Above is the main living spaces, arranged in a modern, open plan--kitchen, dining, living and office areas. (As well as a small half-bath.) A ladder leads to an attic lit with a skylight for Hiram's extensive book collection. A trellised entry, patio, pool, and garage compliment the exterior.

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