Actor Michael York’s Former Hollywood Hills Home Gets an 18-Month Makeover

Actor Michael York’s Former Hollywood Hills Home Gets an 18-Month Makeover

  • Mansion Global
  • 01/4/24

The longtime Hollywood Hills home of the actor Michael York and his wife, photographer and former magazine editor Pat York, has emerged from an 18-month renovation and complete makeover.

The couple sold the home in February 2022 after moving full-time to Rochester, Minnesota, to live near the Mayo Clinic, where Michael York has long been treated for a rare disease, amyloidosis, according to published reports. The Yorks bought their Los Angeles residence—on a double lot on Cordell Drive in the sought-after Bird Streets—in 1976 and lived there for almost five decades.

Cordell Drive has had many famous residents, including Ronald Reagan and his first wife, Jane Wyman the director George Cukor, Elizabeth Taylor, Jane Fonda, and Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford when they were married, according to published reports. 


The developers Davana Fryzer and her father, Joseph Fryzer, bought the house from the Yorks for $6.995 million and almost immediately began a major overhaul of the house and property.

“We own the house next door—that’s how we found out about the listing,” Davana Fryzer said. “It’s one story, which is pretty rare for that area.”

Further, having a flat motor court in this hilly neighborhood is very unusual, she said.

“What’s great about Cordell is that you’re not too far from Sunset (Boulevard), yet you get these crazy views,” Fryzer said. “You get full downtown and full West Side out to the ocean. Having both of those viewpoints is really unique.”

The Yorks’ 1948 home, which is just above the Sunset Strip, was “charming with high ceilings and it had a lot of potential, but it needed a redesign,” she said. “We basically rebuilt the house.”

Davana Fryzer is also an agent with Carolwood Estates, and the 5,311-square-foot house, a reimagined Regency-style villa, is being shopped around off-market as a “whisper listing” for $17.5 million, with Drew Fenton, CEO and co-founder of Carolwood Estates, as the co-listing agent.

Tucked behind privacy gates and high walls on a 0.64-acre view promontory with a white limestone motor court, the four-bedroom, five-bath home offers a 17-foot entrance crowned in plaster and walls of glass that frame a wraparound backyard with a pool terrace, according to a listing sheet from Carolwood Estates.

For the renovation, Fryzer approached the design duo Michael and Arya Martin, co-founders of the L.A.-based OSKLO design studio, after seeing a Bird Street house they had designed and sold to celebrity chef Bobby Flay.

“Michael and Arya are a one-stop shop,” she said. “They design and build and manufacture the furniture, so it was all really streamlined. All of the furniture was custom designed for the house.”

“There are a lot of houses for sale in L.A. that are modern white boxes,” Fryzer said. “That’s not what we wanted. We wanted something that is transitional and timeless and elegant.”

“We loved it right away,” Michael Martin said. “It really appealed to us that [Davana] wanted to keep the one-story feel of the house. So many houses in this area get demolished and replaced with something three times the size.”

The home captures a moment in time, he continued. “It also had a lot of Spanish details. We tried to maintain the Regency feel of the house.”

There were clear design issues, however, including a weird floor plan, which the designers redid completely.

The reimagined home now has a wood-paneled media room with a billiards area, seven fireplaces, 10-foot ceilings and a butler’s pantry with white oak paneling, according to the listing sheet. The open floor plan allows the public rooms to flow out to the terraces and the pool.

The living room features a white marble bar and full-height metal windows that frame the views. The primary bathroom offers pocketing doors, a soaking tub and an indoor-outdoor shower pavilion clad in  Arabescato marble.

“We’re very pleased with how it came out,” Michael said. “Davana let us do what we wanted with the interiors. She was a dream client, and she had input, too. We worked really well together.”

In their own words, Michael and Arya Martin reflected on the renovation.

We describe our aesthetic as… A Nordic-meets-Asian aesthetic to interior design and architecture infused with Old World antiques and objects.

The biggest lesson we learned from the renovation was… A good team on a project is a perquisite for success. Know your strengths, but also know the strengths of others to lean on to make an even better project. 

Our biggest surprise was… That we are as impressed with the property today as we were when we first walked into the project. It is truly one of the most extraordinary view lots in Los Angeles.

Our favorite room after the renovation is… From the center seat of the dining room table, you have a westward view over Soho House and Century City to the ocean and Palos Verdes, while straight on is a view of downtown L.A. that even the best photographers couldn’t frame better over the gigantic Hollywood swimming pool. 

The most dramatic change was… The floor plan was choppy and weird before, and now the rooms are spacious and logically inter-connecting with most having some type of city view and outdoor space. The exterior maintains a grand Hollywood feel while utilizing limestones in varying textures and shapes for the hardscape.

A favorite material we discovered during the process was… The Arabescato marble in the indoor/outdoor shower feels otherworldly or like an Aphrodite fantasy framed by the city view of Los Angeles. 

An unexpected expense was… Toward the end of the project, we decided at the last minute to bring in matte plaster wall coverings in the common areas that added a lot to the budget for the owner but allowed the interiors to feel cozy and chic. 

Total cost of the renovation was… It was a multi-year, multi-million-dollar project that created a whole new house and thoughtfully landscaped yard.

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